Sooke is now home to three craft breweries. (Photo submitted)

Sooke is now home to three craft breweries. (Photo submitted)

Sooke making a name for itself in craft brewing world

Trio of breweries will take part in Victoria Beer Week

Sooke is hitting the news with the opening of yet another craft brewery. And although the population of Sooke is just 13,000, they now boast three craft breweries.

It all started in June of 2016, when Sooke Oceanside Brewery 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, who are currently focused on establishing their taproom and brewing enough beer to fill growlers and satisfying thirsty visitors. In an effort to provide their customers with a regular line up of suds in the common categories in addition to offering them a variation of styles, they have come up with an innovative approach to the challenges all small breweries face.

The aim is to maintain four common categories at all times 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 have the pleasure of tasting something new!

The new kid on the block, 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 and, happy to report, it has all been good. Distribution is mainly in Victoria, but we will have these new suds on our shelves by next week in Nanaimo.

Sooke is a picturesque, seaside town situated on the dynamic southwestern 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/weekend trip getaway.

Speaking with John Lyle from Bad Dog, I really appreciated how the three craft breweries in Sooke are working together to nurture a local movement towards putting Sooke on the brew-map and making their community a craft beer destination. Confident that this goal is well within their reach, the locals believe 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 10, lucky participants will be shuttled on a round trip of sampling to all three of Sooke’s craft beer breweries.

Victoria Beer Week, running from March 2-10, is a nine-day festival highlighting a broad selection of B.C. craft breweries.

The week is fuelled by events that pair B.C. craft beer and local Victoria artisan food vendors. Smaller tastings, seminars and micro-events happen at various venues throughout the week.

As a must-experience event, I look forward to wetting my whistle and enjoying the variety of offerings. Bottom’s up my friends.

» Lynette Jarrett has worked in hospitality her entire career. A consummate foodie and beverage lover, she is the managing leader of Nanaimo’s Lucky’s Liquor Store.