Author: West Coast Brewery Tours

From White Sails Brewing’s Website.

Hey, White Sails is a new Craft Brewery and Taproom in Nanaimo.

We’re close to the downtown waterfront, across the street from one of the City’s jewels, Maffeo Sutton Park.

We’re a craft brewery with a fab taproom who used to be an old neighbourhood pub and we’re super excited to be a part of the downtown revitalization.

You’ll recognize White Sails Brewing by the knots. The knots are about tying our craft brewery and our community together.

The Vision

The vision was to create a gathering space where people can relax, meet with friends, celebrate an event or milestone and enjoy fresh craft beers. It will also be a place where everyone feels welcome and where local musicians and artists can participate in jam sessions or open mike nights.

The Sails

White Sails was inspired by the large white masts that anchor our community from the North and South and is also a tribute to Nanaimo’s heritage, environment and community. It reflects the City flag, which includes a ship with billowing white sails that commemorate the settlers of Nanaimo that sailed from England.

The Ambiance

The ambiance combined with great craft beers is what White Sails is all about! The excitement of sailing on the open ocean, the exhilaration when you get going and the peacefulness and relaxed feeling of being so close to nature all symbolize the ambiance in White Sails’ tap house.

The History

The history of the location is really cool too. It’s on the site of the old Newcastle Hotel which was built in the late 1800’s by the owner of one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest breweries at the time – Union Brewing.

From Craig Street Brew Pub’s Website:

Welcome to the Craig Street Brew Pub!

We are a locally owned and operated business and we offer fresh hand-crafted brews, local house-made food and top-notch customer service.

  • We love the environment!
  • We recycle all paper, tin, glass and plastics.
  • We use biodegradable garbage bags.
  • We compost daily.
  • We have reduced our waste by 75,000 kg so far.
  • Our fryer oil is recycled into Biodiesel.
  • We offer a complimentary shuttle on weekends.
  • We offer a variety of celiac-friendly food!
  • Our mash from each brew feeds the local pigs!
  • We sponsor tons of community organizations.
  • We use energy efficient products.
  • We use biodegradable cleaners.
  • We buy from local businesses.
  • We buy with environmental consciousness.

Oh, and one last thing, I’m not sure if you know Liz or not, but we go through an average of 29 HUGS per day!

So please, come in and take a look around, in person or use our 360 virtual tour.


From Longwood Brewery’s Website:

Tasting Room & Growler Bar

As soon as you walk into our tasting room, you will see where the name “Longwood” comes from. Featured are a locally-crafted cedar surfboard from V.Isle Surfcraft and the seriously impressive Zebrawood bar. While giant posters of our amazing designs plaster the walls, the centrepiece is our custom, stainless steel, 6-tap growler bar. We put the GRRRRR in growler! It doesn’t matter if you are a first-timer or one of our regulars, feel free to pull up a stool and sample the Longwood Line Up. Easily accessible, we are located just off the Nanaimo Parkway. Our friendly and amazing staff will impress you with their vast knowledge about Longwood’s recipes and will definitely help you find your perfect beer. We always have a unique beer that is only available on the growler bar. Whether you crave a proper pint can, a bomber, or a growler filled with tank-fresh beer, Longwood Brewery has what you are looking for. This is a place for fun, beer, and a little bit of business.

From Victoria Spirits’ Website:

Our Story

Well-crafted spirits are the essential building blocks of cocktails. At Victoria Distillers, these ‘liquid bar tools’ are made with one, pretty basic goal. We want people everywhere to be able to make great drinks.

We know bartenders are the cocktail experts. They understand that a great drink requires spirits that are singular and distinctive in taste. So we collaborate with incredibly talented mixologists to create both classic and innovative cocktail spirits, using the world’s best-tasting water (found right here on the Canadian west coast), and the best ingredients from around the world.

As one of Canada’s oldest, small-batch spirits companies, we’re influenced by history and driven by innovation. For us, there’s no other way.

From Category 12 Brewing Company’s Website:

There is a fundamental basis of biology and chemistry that guides the fermentation process and enables the creation of consistently great beers.

Category 12’s head brewer and founder, Michael Kuzyk, has been brewing beer for nearly 20 years and has his doctorate in microbiology and biochemistry from UVic. But all work and no play makes… well, you know the rest. After leading the creation of several world-class research labs, he decided it was time to make his own – dedicated to the pursuit of exceptional beer.

The C12 Thesis

Bold beers for strong minds. With Michael’s continual tinkering, you can expect a continually expanding line of seasonal releases, including those that pay homage to our favourite big Belgians and hoppy Northwestern ales.

We make beers that we like to drink, and we’ve learned how to play nicely, we share!

Michael’s obsession with great beer, recipe optimization, and meticulous record keeping practices–honed during his research days–make him a brewer to be reckoned with.

Don’t Worry. I’m a Doctor.

Michael started brewing his own beer in the mid-1990s, during graduate studies. Hundreds of Untappd check-ins later, his passion for brewing finally prevailed and his wife Karen conceded to the inevitable.

In preparation for launching Category 12, they both travelled up and down the West Coast, visiting and talking to the very best brewmasters and building a beer-making syllabus that is sure to cement their uniquely precise place in this exciting industry.

The Future of the Brew

Michael experiments with a 50 L pilot brew bench that allows him to fine tune recipes that scale to our 1,500 L production capacity-and we have more than a few on the books. Our brewhouse is proudly made on the Island, just around the corner from the brewery. Specific Mechanical has made over 350 brewing systems over the last 25 years, and ours is the first one they will be able to walk over and enjoy in person.

But good beer doesn’t do any good if no one knows about it! Enter Jeff Kendrew, our Sales & Marketing Manager who is a Certified Cicerone® and co-founder of Victoria Beer Week. Jeff will be introducing you to Category 12 beers at your local pubs, liquor stores and festivals. Watch for him – but be careful as his passion is contagious!

Welcome to the Ultimate Lab

Category 12 is the complete Northwest craft brewery experience. We look forward to welcoming fellow craft beer aficionados into our “growler testing facility”, where beer always comes first.

To repeatedly produce top quality craft beers that stand out from the crowd – and keep customers returning for more–requires both creativity and intense attention to detail. We’ve got both. Welcome to our lab.

From Sea Cider’s Website:

Sea Cider Farm & Cider House

Sea Cider is a farm-based cidery located on the Saanich Peninsula just minutes from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our ten acre farm is home to over 1,300 apple trees, made up of over 50 varieties of heritage apples.

Sea Cider opened its farm gate for business in 2007 when owner Kristen Jordan purchased the property with a vision of creating an organic farm and orchard and producing traditional fermented artisan ciders. Since then, we’ve grown to an annual cider production of over 7,000 cases and growing. We continue to pride ourselves on crafting traditionally fermented ciders from organically grown apples, and our award-winning cider is now available throughout B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Washington State, Illinois and Oregon.

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse has also become one of the top agr-tourism attractions in Victoria and Vancouver Island.
Relax at our ciderhouse, and drink in the panoramic water views overlooking our orchard across the Haro Straight to James Island. The Ciderhouse is open for tastings and tours year round 11 to 4. Sea Cider is also the perfect venue for large and small weddings and corporate events and family functions. Enjoy a flight of ciders paired with organic cheese and other local delectables. Top off your visit with a tour and browse our selection of hand crafted farm product.

From Lighthouse Brewing Company’s Website:

About the Brewery

Starting a craft brewery in 1998 was, by necessity, a labour of love. The demand for hand-made, small-batch beer was not what it is today. But those first kegs of our Race Rocks Ale we proudly delivered to local pubs and restaurants found a market that was receptive to flavourful, locally brewed ales back when bland, generic beers ruled.

It turns out we were onto something. Though our lineup of beers has grown, the way we brew all of them—always keeping quality and consistency in everything we do—remains the same. That artisanal spirit that Lighthouse was founded on continues today: brew excellent craft beer every day.

From Four Mile Brewing Co’s Website:

About the Brew Pub

Four Mile Brew Pub has been serving Vancouver Island travelers fabulous fare for over 100 years. Housed within a 150 year-old tudor style building located just outside downtown Victoria, Four Mile Brew Pub features the charm and elegance of an olde English Inn.

Our comfortable tudor design, leaded-glass windows, fireplace and rustic decor evoke images of a by-gone time when good-living was king. A large local clientele as well as patrons from downtown Victoria and travellers from the world over make it an interesting place to spend time and enjoy a meal. Our casual dining menu and warm service combines old-world style with a distinctively West Coast flare at an affordable price.

Boasting an extensive wine and scotch list as well as a year round patio, Four Mile Brew Pub can accommodate any event. Come celebrate your special occasion with us.

From Driftwood Brewery’s Website:

At the Brewery

Growlers filled at the brewery 5 days a week!
*NEW* growler hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11-6pm.
Closed Sundays, Mondays, and Holidays.

We are currently pouring:

  • Fat Tug IPA ($12)
  • Driftwood Pale Ale ($11)
  • Crooked Coast Altbier ($11)
  • Farmhand Saison ($11)
  • White Bark Witbier ($11) at our growler station.

$5 for new 1.89L/64oz Growler.
At this point in time we’re only filling 1.89L/64oz bottles.

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