Vancouver Island Brewing Celebrates 30 Years with a Beer and Open House


Here at Vancouver Island Brewery we are fortunate enough to mark 2014 with a yearlong celebration of the trailblazing efforts that made the brewery into the award-winning and internationally recognized institution that is has become. This year is the 30th anniversary for Vancouver Island Brewery and we will mark this milestone year with a public celebration and a signature brew.

“It’s amazing to look back at the last 30 years and see how far we’ve come as a brewery, as a community and as an industry. We’re extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received over the last 30 years,” said Barry Fisher, Owner, Vancouver Island Brewery.

As part of the celebration, Vancouver Island Brewery has created a 30th Anniversary Imperial Red Ale. “This is a tribute to the beer that helped make this brewery, Piper’s Pale Ale,” said Marketing Manager Adam Ball. “At 8.5% alc./vol, this bold, malty, well-hopped beer is the brewery’s way of paying homage to the past and looking forward to the future.”

Crafted in small batches there is a limited supply of bottles available at fine local beer stores and at Vancouver Island Brewery’s on-site beer store.

“Our 30th Anniversary Imperial Red Ale is a celebration, a way to give back, and a thank-you for those who have helped us along the way,” said Ralf Pittroff, Brewmaster. “This beer was brewed in the adventurous spirit of the founders of our brewery and the craft beer movement in Western Canada. These pioneers helped to transform BC into the most exciting beer province in Canada and for that we are thankful.”

To kick off the celebrations Vancouver Island Brewery will be hosting an Open House Saturday May 3rd from 1pm – 5pm. There will be free brewery tours, samples of craft beers paired with artisan cheeses. Plus 91.3 the Zone will be broadcasting live from the brewery and there will be live music by Ganjo Bassman.

Vancouver Island Brewery started in 1984 with a humble, hand-built brewhouse and some interesting ideas about beer. Today it’s one of BC’s longest-running craft start-ups and boasts multiple award winning brands including the BC Beer Awards “Best in Show” winning Hermannator Ice Bock.

When Vancouver Island Brewery first opened its doors, there were less than a handful of craft breweries in operation in Western Canada. Today, there are more than 80 craft breweries in operation, and BC breweries lead the nation in variety of styles, innovation, experimentation, and quality.
To kick off the celebrations Vancouver Island Brewery will be hosting an Open House Saturday, May 3rd from 1pm – 5pm. There will be free brewery tours and samples of craft beers paired with artisan cheeses. Plus 91.3 the Zone will be broadcasting live from the brewery and there will be live music by Ganjo Bassman. Come by the brewery to enjoy in the festivities and help us celebrate this historical moment!


Phillips Newest Beer Adventure – Schottleweizen

For some reason my Phillips’ press releases always come several days after they’re sent.

For us here at Phillips Brewing Co., beer has always been an adventure. We’ve climbed mountains of fresh northwest hops, spelunked into the darkness of the blackest malts, and dabbled with exotic yeast strains found on both sides of the yeast divide.

But for every seasonal beer adventure we enjoy someone has to hold the map. The path between a crazy idea in our head to the bottle isn’t ever straight, but our beer architect Ben Schottle is always ready to recalibrate his latest test batch to methodically trace our path to the flavour summit.

This Schottleweizen is a brand new seasonal release named in honour of Ben featuring a dark malt base, a generous dose of hops brought to life with Belgian-inspired saison yeast. It’s lively, moderately sweet, and a little bit unconventional—just like Ben.

So tip your cap to Ben by removing this one, and join us on this latest beer adventure. Schottleweizen is available for a limited time from private craft-focused liquor stores.

For Victoria-based beer adventurers, we’re teaming up with Choux Choux Carcuterie, Two Rivers Meats and Brewery & the Beast for a special boar and venison-paired draft tasting of this special brew. To participate, join us at Phillips base camp on Tuesday April 15th from 4-6.

Interesting that wheat isn’t listed on the ingredients list.

Lighthouse Releases Rhubie Rhubarb Ale

I miss the days when bloggers got press releases. It made things so easy. Cut and paste the press release with beer flavour descriptions. Things were simpler back then. 

Without press release, Lighthouse has released the Rhubie rhubarb ale. This looks like the first fruit beer of the season. Technically rhubarb is an edible herbaceous perennial, but I’m being silly. Their timing is perfect for a tart and refreshing ale. It will most likely be available in better CBAW stores. Photo is from a nice Untappd user. Image

Vancouver Island announces charity collabration beer of unknown style

This, I believe, is a first for Vancouver Island craft beer drinkers. We get to chose what style of beer VIB will brew for us. West Coast Common. VIB will donate 25 cents of each bomber sale to the Surfrider Foundation. This charity is dedicated to protecting and enhancing our beaches. West Coast Common. Click on over to the VIB website to vote for the West Coast Common, or the other 7 styles of beer available. Our West Coast Common, or perhaps one of the other lesser styles, will be ready on June 1st. Voting for the West Coast Common begins April 1st, 2014 and runs through until midnight April 25th, 2014. Don’t let anyone influence your selection, certainly not some west coast common person like myself. Press release to follow.. Image

When two epic forces collide you get the perfect wave – ocean swell and land. When the balance is just right the result is a perfect breaking wave, with a slight off shore breeze and enough juice to bring a smile to any surfers face.

 While we may not wield the powers of mother nature, there is a new colossal force about to take place here in Victoria, BC. Vancouver Island Brewery and Surfrider Vancouver Island are teaming up to brew a Surfrider Support Brew.

 But first we need your help! What makes this collaboration unique is that the beer style to be brewed for the Surfrider beer is in the hands of you, the craft beer drinker. We need you to help us choose what beer to brew. Voting begins April 1st, 2014 and runs through until midnight April 25th, 2014. There are 8 different beer styles to choose from and the beer style with the most votes on April 25th will be the beer Vancouver Island Brewery brews.

Website link: 


 The Surfrider beer will be brewed at the beginning of May and launched the first week of June, quenching consumers thirst for the hot summer months. Vancouver Island Brewery will be donating 25¢ from every 650 mL bottle sold to the Surfrider Vancouver Island foundation to help aid in beach cleanups and awareness.

 “We live on an island, a very beautiful island and we feel a strong connection to the environment and our beaches. Being a local craft brewery we feel it is our duty to pitch in where we can and help outstanding groups such as Surfrider Vancouver Island and its many initiatives” Said Rob Ringma, General Manager at Vancouver Island Brewery.

 “Surfrider Vancouver Island is very excited to be partnering with Vancouver Island Brewery on the support brew. This is a dynamic initiative that provides both meaningful financial support for our programs and campaigns and valuable outreach. A tasty beer is a great way to connect with the local community and get the word out about Surfrider Foundation.” Said Lucas Harris, Vice Chairperson at Surfrider Vancouver Island.


Spinnakers Releases Imperial IPA the Jolly Hopper

We never tire of drinking IPAs here on the west coast. Luckily brewers are willing to enable our hoppy habits. This time Spinnakers broadsides our palate with a 8.0%ABV 100IBU imperial IPA. The Jolly Hopper is a bottle release and perhaps on tap as well. Certainly a growler fill of this will ‘shiver thee timbers’. Don’t worry, I’m done with pirate jargon. Look for this bottle in finer CBAW stores in the near future.  Press release to follow…

“Ahoy matey! While the Jolly Roger is flown to identify that pirates are about to attack, our Jolly Hopper, signifies an imminent attack on your taste buds. Featuring a mother load of experimental hops, this beauty is not for the faint of palate. Surrender or walk the plank!”Image