Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breweries in this City

In the mid 1980s there was the start of the micro-brewery revolution in North America.  In Canada there were some big success stories but many of those breweries are now part of large corporations

A list of some of the micro breweries that are no longer independents:
  • 1984 Granville Island - bought by Peller Wines in 2005, bought by Molson Coors in 2009
  • 1984 Upper Canada Brewing - bought by Sleeman in 1998
  • 1985 Okanagan Springs - bought by Sleeman in 1996
  • 1986 Shaftebury Brewing - bought by Sleeman in 2004
  • 1987 Creemore Springs - bought by Molson in 2005
  • 1988 Sleeman - bought by Sapporo Breweries in 2006
  • 1992 Lakeport - became a discount brewer in 2002 and was bought by Labatt in 2007
  • 1993 Unibroue - bought by Sleeman in 2004
You think you are buying something local and you are not.  Many of the beers I have bought regularly over the last 25 years are now just one more corporate label.  Luckily here in Victoria this has not been happening and we have a host of breweries, more than our fair share really.

Breweries
Brewpubs
If I have any single one complaint about the breweries is that they offer too many products - the nine establishments offer a total of 78 different beers!
  • Vancouver Island Brewery offers 8
  • Lighthouse offers 10 
  • Philips offers 14
  • Driftwood offers 6
  • Hoyne offers 5
  • Spinakers offers 12
  • Swans offers 9
  • Canoe offers 9
  • Moon Under Water offers 5
There are really too many for me to keep up on what I like because many of them are one offs or seasonal.   It is an embarrassment of riches.

The amazing thing is how close most of these breweries are too each other.    In a 3.6 kilometer walk around the upper harbour you can get from Moon Under Water through to Spinakers and pass by all of the others along the way other than Lighthouse.  I am actually surprised no one is promoting the idea of a Brewpub/Brewery Walk.

Victoria Brewery and Brewpub Walk

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