Greater Victoria Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries

Victoria breweries have been leading the way for the craft beer industry since the mid 1980's when Spinnakers served their first brews. Since then, the number of Victoria breweries, distilleries and cideries has exploded - each with their own creative spin on what was a relatively generic drink, not that long ago. 

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

If you grew up in the 60s, 70s or 80s the idea of independent breweries, distilleries, wineries or cideries was pretty far-fetched. We were led to believe that only big companies made anything remotely drinkable – after all we all had friends who were either fermenting grapes or experimenting with barley and yeast at home. And unfortunately most of it was nasty! 

Jump to listing of Victoria Breweries, Distilleries and Cideries

I will say this though - times have changed and home-made concoctions have vastly improved over the past few decades.

Bottom line though, it wasn't too many years ago that our selection for beer seemed limited to either Labatt’s Blue or Molson Canadian.

Sure, the odd person maybe drank Red Label or a “premium” beer like Sleemans but we didn't even realize how few choices we had.

We were naive beer drinkers! 

Beer and coaster from Vancouver Island Brewing

Fast forward a few years and we now have independent brewers selling their products in the coolers and on the shelves beside the “big guys”. And they are bravely going wherever their taste buds take them (and taking a good chunk of profits with them!). 

According to Statistica, in 2018 Anheuser-Busch controlled 35.1 percent of the Canadian beer market, Molson Coors Brewing Company controlled 28.1 and “Other” controlled the remaining 36.8 percent.

That “other” category is comprised of all the small breweries and microbreweries who are shifting the balance. Once big brand loyal consumers are now jumping ship and lining up to enjoy distinctive, flavourful beers - with some very unique names - made locally in their own communities. 

Here on Vancouver Island, we have an excellent variety of delightful locally produced alcoholic beverages with many of those businesses offering tasting rooms and tours, and some available at local farmers markets. For our purposes, we highlight the Victoria breweries, cideries and distilleries that are located in the region from Sidney to Sooke.

Hoynes Brewery delivery truck

Greater Victoria Breweries, Distilleries and Cideries

4 Mile Brewing Company

  • 199 Island Hwy, Victoria
  • 250-479-3346
  • Small local brewpub/microbrewery; uses the Peter Austin brick kettle brewing system

Bad Dog Brewing Company

  • 7861 Tugwell Road, Sooke
  • 250-642-3621
  • Craft microbrewery
  • Tours and samples available during open hours

Category 12 Brewing

  • 2200 Keating Cross Rd C, Saanichton
  • 250-652-966
  • Northwest & Belgian inspired ales
  • Category 12 Brewing is a science-themed brewery that experiments with different ingredients and techniques to create unique and flavourful beers
  • Some of their creations are Disruption Black IPA, Insubordinate Session IPA and Zombie Repellent Ale 2
  • Tours & tasting room available

CRAFT Beer Market

Formerly Canoe Brewpub

  • 450 Swift Street, Victoria
  • 250-361-1940
  • Mainstays and seasonal beers
  • All-season covered waterview patio, indoor and outdoor bars, outdoor bocce courts, a dog-friendly patio, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and boat access
  • 110 taps, 75% of which feature B.C. beers, ciders and wines

Driftwood Brewery

  • 836 Viewfield Road, Esquimalt
  • 250-381-2739
  • Local since 2008
  • Brewery tours unavailable
  • A pioneer of the West Coast IPA style in BC, with its famous Fat Tug IPA being one of the most awarded beers in Canada.
  • Also beweing other styles such as Sartori Harvest Fresh Hop IPA, Blackstone Porte, and Old Cellar Dweller Barleywin.

Howl Brewing

  • 1780 Mills Rd, North Saanich
  • 778-977-4695
  • Small batch craft beer made from BC grown ingredients

Hoyne Brewing Company

  • 102-2740 Bridge St, Victoria
  • 250-590-5758
  • Local craft beer since 2011
  • Founded by former brewmaster of Swans Brewpub, Sean Hoyne
  • High-quality beers with a focus on balance and drinkability. Some of their flagship beers are Dark Matter, Pilsner and Devil's Dream IPA
Dark Matter tap from Hoyne Brewing

Ile Sauvage Brewing Co.

  • 2960 Bridge Street, Victoria
  • Belgian-style wild ales and sour beers using various yeasts and bacteria to create complex and tart flavours
  • Known for beers such as Framboise Noir Raspberry Dark Sour, Tropique Passionfruit Guava Sour and Assemblage Wild Saison

Island Shiners Distillery

  • 2036 Idlemore Road, Sooke
  • 778-352-1132
  • Craft spirits showcasing locally sourced organic ingredients; no added preservatives; uses traditional fermentation and distillation methods

Lighthouse Brewing Company

  • 2-836 Devonshire Rd, Victoria
  • 250-383-6500
  • Locally brewed craft beer since 1998
  • Lighthouse offers a range of beers for every palate, from the crisp and refreshing Race Rocks Amber Ale, to the hoppy and citrusy Switchback IPA to the rich and malty Keepers Stout

Macaloney's Island Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery

  • 761 Enterprise Crescent, Victoria
  • 778-401-0410
  • Scotch style single malt whisky
  • Unfiltered beer that combines sessionable Scottish brews with West coast craft beer 
  • Guided tours, bar and lounge

Merridale Cidery & Distillery 

  • 1230 Merridale Road, Cobble Hill
  • 250-743-4293
  • Tasting bar
  • Ciders plus small-batch craft spirits, fermented and distilled on site

Millstream Beverage Company

  • 103-2323 Millstream Road, Langford
  • 778-265-0701
  • Made with local ingredients as often as possible
  • Brewery lounge on the West Shore

Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub

burgers and drinks at Moon Under Water
  • 350 Bay Street, Victoria
  • 250-380-0706
  • Family owned brewery featuring German style brands with a North American flare
  • Moon Under Water brews both traditional and modern styles such as Tranquility IPA, Creepy Uncle Dunkel and This Is Hefeweizen
  • Barrel-aged sour beer now available

Phillips Brewing & Malting Company

  • 2010 Government St, Victoria
  • 250-380-1912
  • Family friendly tasting room overlooking packaging hall
  • Expanding into a soda company, a distillery and a malting facility
  • One of the oldest and largest craft breweries in Victoria, Phillips is known for its innovative and diverse beers, such as Blue Buck Ale, Electric Unicorn White IPA and Solaris Peach Ale

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

  • 2487 Mt St Michael Road, Saanichton
  • 250-544-4824
  • Farm-based cidery 
  • Tours & tastings available

Sheringham Distillery

  • 103-4382 West Shore Parkway, Langford
  • 778-528-1313
  • Small batch hand-crafted spirits made with 100% BC agricultural products
  • Tours and tastings available

Sooke Brewing Company

  • 2057 Otter Point Road, Sooke
  • 250-642-0106
  • Brewery tours and tasting room

Sooke Oceanside Brewery

  • 5871-A Sooke Road, Sooke
  • 778-352-2739
  • Brewery and tasting lounge

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

Sign at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
  • 308 Catherine Street, Victoria
  • 250-386-2739
  • Classic ales and specialty beers brewed since 1984 
  • Canada's oldest brewpub
  • Spinnakers offers a variety of beers that pair well with their gastropub menu, such as Lion's Head Cascadia Dark Ale, Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter and Ortega Blonde Ale.
  • Raspberries and beer? Find out why local craft beer enthusiast Emma Thomson puts this on the top of her must try list at Spinnakers

Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel

  • 506 Pandora Ave, Victoria
  • 250-361-3310
  • Since 1989
  • British-style ales and German and Canadian beers
  • Swans Brewery Pub & Hotel is a historic landmark in Victoria that houses a brewery, a pub, a hotel, and an art gallery
  • Swans brews beers that are inspired by the local history and culture, such as Pandora Pale Ale, Buckerfield's ESB and Coconut Porter

Vancouver Island Brewing

  • 2330 Government St, Victoria
  • 250-361-0007
  • Uses locally-sourced ingredients when possible
  • Brewing since 1984 (one of the original craft breweries in BC) with just two Brewmasters in that time
  • Offers a diverse portfolio of beers from the classic Islander Lager, to the seasonal Hermannator Ice Bock to the new Pod Pack mixed pack
  • Tasting room and tours available

Victoria Distillers

  • 9891 Seaport Pl, Sidney
  • 250-544-8217
  • Handmade spirits in copper pot stills
  • Tours, tastings and lounge
  • Waterfront distillery

Whistle Buoy Brewing

  • 63-560 Johnson Street, Victoria (Lower courtyard at Market Square)
  • Contact via DM on instagram
  • Tiny brewery making small-batch, experimental beers made with ingredients from the Pacific Northwest 
  • Whistle Buoy Brewing Co. makes beers that reflect the community and culture of Victoria, such as Market Saison, Strawberry Rhubarb Sour and Cosmic Wave Double IPA.

We want to hear from you! If one of the Victoria breweries, distilleries or cideries is your fave and you would like to write a rave review - be sure to contact us for details on how your review could be a page of it's own right here on this site. 

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