Brewers Reserve Series – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

On January 20th I headed to Victoria with my wife for the Brewers Reserve Series launch event at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.  Spinnakers Brewpub is the original brewpub in Canada after prohibition and opened in 1984.  There is no doubt that Spinnakers has some major history and they are looking to create even more history with their new barrel program.

Get to know the brewery better by checking out the podcast we did on Pacific Beer Chat.  We sat down with  Paul Hadfield the founder and Matt West-Patrick one of the brewers.  You can also find this episode on your favorite Podcast app at Pacific Beer Chat.


Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub is located on the waterfront just outside of Downtown Victoria and might win for best brewpub location ever.  This place has an English Pub vibe through and through.  The lower level is more of a restaurant with the top floor being more of a bar.

To top off the Brewpub they also have a lodging in their guesthouse.  We stayed at the guesthouse while there and really enjoyed out stay.  Staying with Spinnakers means you get a hot breakfast and Chocolate and beer tasting included with out stay.

Now lets get to the real reason we headed to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in the first place.  The latest beers to be released in the Brewers Reserve Series are Rubus a Blackberry Sour (Number 9) and Prunus Plum Sour (Number 10).  If you can find bottles of these beers make sure to pick them up as they are very limited.

Rubus Blackberry Sour

The beer pours a deep red colour with a very low carbonation and very little head.  The aroma consists of blackberries, mild cherry, semi sweet notes and tartness.  The flavour is of blackberries, cherries, tartness, wheat, oak with an almost wine like finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.1%.  This is quite the tasty Blackberry sour and I would highly recommend picking up a bottle of this.

Prunus Plum Sour

The beer pours a deep orange brown colour with almost no head and little carbonation.  The aroma consists of plum, sweetness and tartness.  The flavour is of plum, wheat, mild oak, wine, semi sweet with some good tartness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.8%.  Like the Rubus this beer is exceptionally tasty.  I would recommend picking up at least one of these bottles if you can find it.

This new series of beer are really tasty and I can not wait to see what they have coming in the future.

Wrath of Brooks-Kahn Belgian IPA – Big Ridge Brewing

From Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey comes their “Wrath of Brooks-Kahn Belgian IPA” a collaboration between the brewmaster at Big Ridge Ashley Brooks and the former brewmaster Tariq Kahn who is now the head distiller at The Distillery.  When this beer was originally made it was called the Wrath of Kahn as a play on Tariq’s name.  The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, citrus fruits and floral hops.  The flavour is of Belgian yeast, spices, huge citrus rind, lemon, resin, caramel, good levels of bitterness and a dry finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.4% with an IBU of 76.  I really enjoyed the glass of this that I had and I would go for me if I found it on tap.

big ridge wrath of brooks kahn

Situation Brewing – Edmonton

The situation in the city of Edmonton Alberta is that there is not a lot of craft beer currently.  Luckily that situation is changing right now!


Hopefully in the near future there will be a sign on the brewery so that it is obvious that this is Situation Brewing.  Situation Brewing is a great little brewpub located fairly close to the University of Alberta.

The brewpub has a great restaurant area with lots of windows that open up wide to bring in lots of fresh air.  They serve 7 different beer that are brewed on site currently with up to 5 extra guest taps.  The bar has a small selection of hard liquor as well if you are in the hunt for that.  Not only do they make some tasty beer they also have really good food.  I can personally recommend the Sandwich Cubano just get a side of hot sauce to make it even better.  I could not have better things to say about the staff either as they were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

I was lucky enough to have my lunch at the bar beside the brewing crew and was able to set up a little tour of the brewery.  The brewhouse is not huge but it is big enough to pump out enough beer to keep the taps flowing.  When I checked out the brewery they had only been open for around 3 weeks and they had already made a kettle sour so you can see that they are looking to make a name for themselves.  You will not find they beer at many locations outside of the brewpub because they fell in love with what Brassneck Brewing in Vancouver was doing more or less only selling been on site.

I am just happy that my work has been bringing me to Edmonton as I look forward to having a few more beers at this brewpub in the near future.  They make good food and good beer.  Make sure you head there if you ever make it to Edmonton or if you are lucky enough to live near to the brewery.

Situation Brewing
10308 – 81 Ave, Edmonton

full sized photos

R&B Brewing (R and B Brewing) (Food Primary Construction Update) – Vancouver

Last time I stopped by R&B Brewing they had just finished doing the demolition for their new Food Primary what I will be calling a Brew Pub even if it allows children.  To see what it looked like click on the following link and scroll to the bottom (Click Here).


Things are really taking shape now thought with the washrooms built, offices under way, growler bar partially built and other miscellaneous things coming together.

Photo 1 is the new temporary door to block the new entrance way.  Photo 2 is the new raised platform where there will be tables with views out to the street.  Photo 3 is the area that will host the growler bar.  Photo 4 shows the bathroom area of the pub.  Photo 5 shows the floor area.  Where the two guys stand is where the bar will begin.

R& B Brewing hops to have this space open in January and I am really looking forward to this!

Full sized photos found here.

R&B Brewing
54 East 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Phone: 604.874.2537
Fax: 604.874.2517

Steel Toad Brewpub – Vancouver

Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall is one of the newest brewpubs in the province of BC and is located in Vancouver’s Brewery Creek district and Olympic Village.


The brewpub is located inside the historical Opsal Steel Building built in 1918.  The building was taken apart, restored and then put back together a surprising thing as it lost its Historical Status in 1997.  Below is a historical photo of the building.  It is always nice to retain some history of a city as it densifies.

Photo from Vancouver Real Estate Direct.

I recently stopped by the brewpub for a weekend brunch.  The pub has a central wrap around bar with seating all the way around it.  The space is wide open with very high ceilings and feels great.   No matter where you sit in the bar you can see the brewery behind the glass wall on the far side of the pub.  The actual stacked tanks in the photos below are the serving tanks that are tapped right into the bar taps.  There are no kegs being used to serve this beer.  You really can not get much more fresh than that.

Google has a great 360 degree immersion that you can explore the pub in as seen below.

Behind a glass wall you find the brewery itself.  The grain mill is mobile and is moved outside when brewing to keep the grain dust out of the brewpub.  The crazy part is that the brewers actually have to carry the milled grain from outside up the stairs of the brew house to get it in the mash tun.  One of the cool things about the mash tun here is that it is a two part vessel.  The top part is the mash tun but the bottom part is the hot liquor tank.  Once the beer is finished in the brew house the beer is moved into the fermenters on the left hand side of the brew house.  When the beer is finished fermenting the beer is moved into serving tanks on the right side of the room.

If you have never checked this brewpub out then it is time to take a trip there.  Their beer is only available in house as they do not keg their beer or do growler fills but they do now fill growlers!

Full sized photos found here.

Steel Toad Brewpub
97 2nd Ave East
Vancouver, BC
(@ Quebec St.)
604 709 8623