Spinnakers: A Gastro Brew Pub Trendsetter

By guest contributor Emma Thomson

Spnnakers from the Songhees walkway

Spinnakers is located at 308 Catherine Street in Victoria BC.

When traveling to Victoria, it’s hard to find time to visit all the fantastic farmers markets, local food hotspots, and historical must-sees. Luckily for travelers, Spinnakers has pulled it all together.

They have been a trendsetter in Victoria for more than twenty years, and while the company started out as a brewery, paving the way for Canada’s abundance of modern day brewpubs, it has grown into a Gastro Brew Pub with an amazing locally-sourced menu. Heritage guest houses are also available, and overlook the beautiful Songhees walkway, only a short distance from Victoria’s downtown core. 

Spinnakers Knows Beers

When it comes to beer, Spinnakers has a large variety to select from.

Their summer seasonal selection includes popular hits such as Raspberry Lager, Peach Paradise Hefeweizen, and Iced Tea Pale Ale.

The Raspberry Lager is my particular favourite, and is created with local raspberries from Victoria staple, Michell’s Farm; a sixth generation, family owned and operated farm, dating back to the 1880s.

The Raspberry Lager is light on hops, but heavy on flavour, with a consistent taste of raspberry. It avoids the sweetness most fruit beers have, while maintaining the taste of fresh, ripe, raspberry. 

For winter selection, Spinnakers Chocoholic Chocolate Milk Stout is a sure hit for lovers of dark, rich, flavoured beers.

Spinnakers Black Lager is also something to look forward too. While it has some light notes of coffee and chocolate, this roasty German Schwartzbier is a more classic, simple, dark beer. It’s something that is sure to hit the spot after a night out exploring Victoria’s winter attractions. 

One thing you don’t want want to miss is Spinnakers Brewer’s Reserve selection.

A variety of barrel aged beers of all kinds, ranging from the simple Raspberry Sour, Framboise, to the Malus, a lighter sour aged with local crab apples, plums, and blackberries, to the more intense Cabernet Barrel Aged IPA, or the Cerveza Reposada Tequila Sour. 

If you’re a true IPA lover, the Jolly Hopper Imperial IPA is something you won’t want to miss. A crazy 100 IBUs shows how serious you have to be to give this IPA a shot, but this beer’s claim to fame isn’t just a massive amount of hoppy flavour.

The Jolly Hopper is an extremely well balanced beer, from start to finish, and as an Imperial IPA, it’s a hefty eight percent; not something for the faint of heart.

With so many great beers to try from, as well as gorgeous, centrally located lodgings, and a fantastic menu, Spinnakers is the whole package.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to stay and enjoy Greater Victoria’s local bounty, a base camp to start your exploration of Vancouver Island’s Ale Trail, or a local favourite for good food and drink, Spinnakers is the place to go.

Emma Thomson is a local craft beer enthusiast living in Victoria, BC. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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