Craft Brewery Hot Spot
The tiny burg of Sooke is hitting the news with the opening of yet another craft brewery.
Yup, although the population of Sooke is a mere 13,000 souls, they now boast three craft breweries.
It all started in June of 2016 when Sooke Oceanside Brewing got their brewery up and running, opened a tasting room, started filling growlers and distributing to greater Victoria. Now their great brews can be enjoyed all over the Island in bottles.
Last November, we saw the opening of Sooke Brewing Company. They are currently focused on establishing their taproom and brewing enough beer for thirsty visitors and growler fills. Wanting to provide their customers with a regular line up of suds in the common categories while offering a variation of styles, they have come up with an innovative approach to the challenges all small breweries face. The concept is to maintain four common categories at all time while using creative licence to keep an interesting mix of styles within each category. So if you are an IPA drinker, you may encounter a different style of IPA every time you visit. This is an ideal approach for most craft beer lovers, as while they will stick to a category; they always want to taste something new!
Bad Dog Brewing opened their doors just six weeks ago and is already busy in their tasting room filling growlers. The canning line at Bad Dog is putting out a Blonde Ale, a Session Ale, a Red Ale, an IPA and a Dark Mild. So far I have only heard word of mouth reviews on their brews, all good. Distribution is mainly in Victoria, but we will have these new suds on our shelves by next week at Lucky’s Liquor Store in Nanaimo.
Sooke is a picturesque, seaside town situated on the dynamic south-western shores of Vancouver Island. Fabulous accommodations, restaurants, galleries, shops, provincial parks, unspoiled rainforests and surf pounding west coast beaches all make Sooke a great day or weekend getaway for Vancouver Islanders and international tourist alike. Add the lure of three craft breweries and this little town is now a local craft beer lover’s day trip.
Speaking with John Lyle from Bad Dog, I really got a sense of how the three craft breweries in Sooke are working together to nurture a local movement towards making Sooke a craft beer destination. It is the local belief that they will see more small breweries opening in that area within a few years.
To that end, the three Sooke breweries are participating in Victoria Beer week with The Sooke Beer Run. On March 10th, lucky participants will be shuttled on a round trip of sampling at all three of Sooke’s craft beer breweries.
Victoria Beer Week , running from March 2nd to 10th, is a nine-day festival highlighting a broad selection of BC craft breweries. VBW is fuelled by events that pair BC craft beer and local Victoria artisan food vendors. Smaller tastings, seminars and micro-events happen at various venues throughout the week.