Jolly Hopper Imperial IPA – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

From Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC comes the “Jolly Hopper Imperial IPA”.  The beer pours a deep amber with a tan head.  The aroma consists of caramel, fruity almost banana, lemon, floral hops and some sweetness.  The flavour is of caramel, toffee, fruity, citrus rind, resin, pith, hops bitterness and a grassy finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 8% with an IBU of 100.  The 100 IBU and the alcohol does not really come out in the flavour as bitterness but this is an interesting flavour anyways.   I would say this almost seems like and English IPA.

Commercial Description:  Ahoy matey!  While the Jolly Roger is flown to identify that pirates are about to attack, our Jolly Hopper signifies an imminent attack on your tastebuds.  Featuring a moutherload of experimental hops, this beauty is not for the faint of palate.  Surrender or walk the plank!



Honey Mussel Saison – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

From Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC comes the “Honey Mussel Saison” a beer with Mussel’s from BC Mussel Company.  The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of wheat, yeast, spices, grapefruit and coriander.  The flavour is of wheat, lemon, grapefruit, spices, coriander, honey and something I can not place that would most likely come from the Mussels.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.2% with an IBU of 20.  I am not a fan of shellfish so I had some trepidation when it came to this beer.  My trepidation was unfounded though as the beer was very tasty.

Commercial Description:  Brewed with Canadian Pilsen and BC grown hops, this is a Belgian style saison made truly unique by the addition of BC Mussel Company Quadra Island grown Honey Mussels.

spinnakers saison

Photo from Spinnakers website as I lost the photo

Ciel De Nuit Dark Sour – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

From Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC comes the “Ciel De Nuit Dark Sour” a beer aged in French oak barrels.  The beer pours a deep red colour with an off white head.  The flavour is of dark fruits, oak and some mild sweetness but not to much more.  The flavour is of oak, dark fruits, sweetness, mild tartness, bitterness, resin and earth.  The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 30.  Spinnakers is taking a much different approach to sour beer as they are making very understated sour beers with other flavours that overtake the sourness.  Almost no alcohol shines through in the flavour and the beer is quite enjoyable.



Happy New Beer Barrel Aged Sour – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

From Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC comes the “Happy New Beer Barrel Aged Sour”. The beer pours a golden yellow colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of citrus, tartness and a mild grainy finish. The flavour is of citrusy lemon, earth, pepper, grain, mild wood, quite mild tartness with a resinous hops finish. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5% with an IBU of 30. This beer is tasty but I have a feeling that the low alcohol content and barrel ageing ate away at the sour nature. This beer will appeal to a much larger group than the average sour beer. It’s more of a fruit beer without the sweetness and with a good hop addition.

Commercial Description:  Our Happy New Beer is a specialty barrel aged sour. A refreshingly tart beer perfect for ringing in the New Year! This beer has been dry hopped with Pacific North West varietals for an added level of complexity.  To good friends, a Happy New Year and a Happy New Beer!

Food pairing as per brewery:  house smoked fish plate.


Spinnakers 30th Anniversary Party – Victoria

On May 15th, 2014 it was the 30th Anniversary Party for Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.  Spinnakers is the oldest still operational Brewpub in Canada so I had to take a few days off work so that I could attend.


The party was set up in the parking lot with an outdoor stage, tents with beer taps and a couple tents selling memorabilia.  This is also the first event that I have attended since the BC laws changed for events with alcohol.  There are no longer separated beer gardens so people with children could come and enjoy this event and still have beer.  There was also a pig roast setup and the pork tasted amazing!  I arrived right at 3pm when the event started to really take in the party.  Here are some photos of the main event portion.


Spinnakers also wanted to involve all of the other Victoria Breweries in their party.  To do this they held a beer Olympics with lots of silly games! Each brewery put together a small team of participants and had a ton of fun!

The following are videos from the event.  Some are from the Beer Olympics and some are from the party itself.

Full sized photos can be found here

Congratulations Spinnakers on your 30 great years in Victoria! Here is to the next 30 years of history for the brewpub. I really enjoyed coming over for the party and I look forward to the next big party you guys throw!

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub