Living in Vancouver it is almost impossible to get a hold of beer from Saltspring Island Ales. Their beer is distributed to Vancouver Island but not the Mainland for the most part. I have been planning to travel over for a while and check out the brewery. Steve and his Wife asked if I would be interested in riding out to the brewery on August 3rd, 2014 and I jumped at the idea. If you are looking to make this trip the best idea is to drive out to the long term parking out on the spit at Tsawwassen terminal (or take the buss if you do not drive). From here you ride up towards the car booths for the ferry and follow the signs for bikes. At the booth let the person know that you are riding through to Saltspring Island and they will charge you for the through trip currently around $20 one way. You will be taking the Victoria ferry across and then taking the short ride over to the Saltspring terminal directly to the left while you ride off the ferry. You will be landing at the Fullford Harbour terminal and this is the one you will want to leave from also. On the way back you can pay for your return trip on the Saltspring ferry which will get you to Tsawwassen via Victoria and will cost you $10.
Once on Saltspring Island there are lots of things to check out including the Brewery some wineries, restaurants and even a few Provincial Parks to name a few things. Here is the Video of our trip!
Instead of heading straight to the brewery we decided to take a quick peak at a local Provincial Park called Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park. Its not far passed the brewery but its a nice view.
Once done at the park we backtracked and headed up to the brewery. It is at the top of a big hill so either hope you have some great legs for riding or you may be walking up the hill. Keeping with the theme of these brew bike trips I did not actually know what to expect when I arrived at the brewery as I had never looked up any photos. Arriving at the brewery you find a small tasting room on the second floor of the building where you can sample the beer that they currently have. You can also buy bombers of their beer and also get growler fills. They only fill off of taps so the beer has to be consumed in the next day or two after filling. I was not able to get a tour of the brewery as the brewmaster does not work on weekends to be with family but I did get to see the brewing equipment that is kept outside.
Seeing as we had no other plans on the island and Steve and Sarah both like wine we headed up to a winery further up the road called Garry Oaks Winery. From the sound of it their wine is very good. I tried all of the wines on offer and as expected I did not like any of them but it was to be expected as I do not like wine. They did have some beautiful viniards and a cute little wine shop and tasting room though and it is worth the visit if you enjoy rotten grapes (oh wait fermented grapes lol).
I remembered seeing a sign for a joint venture hop farm on the way towards the brewery and winery so on the way back we stopped to check out the farm. Hops grown here are used to brew the beer at Salt Spring Island Ales. These hops are grown organically which makes it even more impressive.
A day of riding would not be complete without some food and brew and what better way to get both than to support a local Island Restaurant? We Stopped in at Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe for some food and a Saltspring Island Ale. My food was awesome and from what I hear the seafood was to die for.
Once our food was done we headed back to the terminal and waited for the ferry to bring us back home after a great day of sampling and riding. Here are a few photos from the ferry rides on both ferries.
Full sized photos can be found here.
To get to Saltspring Island drive to Tsawwasen ferry terminal and ride onto ferry.
Directions to Saltspring Island Ales
When you get off the ferry head up Fulford Ganges Road
Turn left to stay on Fulford Ganges Road
Turn right to stay on Fulford Ganges Road
Turn left on Furness Road
Follow road until the end where you will arrive at 270 Furness Road
Directions to Garry Oaks Winery
Follow same directions but continue strait when you arrive at Furness Road
Stay Right to stay on Fulford Ganges Road
You will arrive at 1880 Fulford Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island Ales
270 Furness Road, Saltspring Island
Garry Oaks Winery
1880 Fulford-Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Canada V8K 2A5
Telephone: (250) 653-4687
Fax: (250) 653-4426
Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe
2921 Fulford Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1X6
Reservations by phone only 250.653.4833