The converted tugboat Swell gliding through B.C. waters. (Jeff Reynolds/Maple Leaf Adventures)

Views, brews and food on Gulf Islands craft beer cruise

Five day cruise from Sidney to Gulf Islands, includes chef and beer historian

The tugboat Swell was first launched in 1912 and has puttered around Vancouver Island’s waterways for the best part of a century.

Over the years, she has undergone multiple refits, with the most recent restoration in 2004 costing $3.5 million, upgrading it into a greener, more luxurious, boutique cruiser.

Maple Leaf Adventures took her on and since 2006 have been offering guests plush trips around Vancouver Island and the rest of the archipelago.

ALSO READ: Five Peninsula churches celebrate the bounties of the vine at Wine Fest

This fall, Swell will host twelve guests on a craft beer expedition, travelling out of Sidney and chugging to the southern Gulf Islands. The itinerary includes visiting island micro-breweries, learning about brewing history from the onboard beer historian and, of course, supping fine ales.

“People that love wooden ships and people who love exploring often love great craft beer,” says Maureen Gordon, owner of Maple Leaf Adventures. “We also like to take people to some of the remoter islands, like Cabbage Island or Tumbo Island, places where they can’t get to by ferry.”

The start of the trip will feature micro-brewing elder statesman Paul Hadfield, who was a key member of the fledgling B.C. craft brew movement in the 1980s, and still owns Spinnakers Brewpub in Victoria.

ALSO READ: Edie Daponte set to take Edith Piaf show on eight-city B.C. tour

“We’re very honoured he comes out and he often does an amazing beer pairing with chocolate truffles. He usually brings some special, private, family brew that’s from the cellar of Spinnakers and you can’t get anywhere else. The trip is full of special little touches,” says Gordon.

It’s not all liquid gold though, with an onboard chef whipping up foods flavoured with beer; from soups with a twist to porter infused brownies. Nature also plays a big role in the cruise, with shore walks, whale spotting and optional kayaking trips to the outer islands available for those on board. Beer geeks will be well catered for but the company says people often come as much for the cruise and nature as for the suds.

The cruise has some activities and island stops confirmed, with the rest to be determined in the coming weeks and on the trip itself. Swell maintains its tugboat charm but World War One era sailors might have a hard time recognizing the facilities. As well as comfortable cabins, featuring double beds, there is an on-deck hot tub for guests to watch the sun set.

ALSO READ: Island View Nursery under quarantine after single plant found with infected spores

In the past, the beers sampled have included brown ales, lagers, stouts, alt beer, kolsch, bock and wheat beers. Islands on the menu have included Salt Spring, Galiano, Mayne, Protection and Russell. Expect a selection to be paired from each list, based on time and weather.

The four night, five day trip between Oct. 29 – Nov. 1 costs between $3,025 and $3,875. For this and other cruises, contact mapleleafadventures.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

To burn or not to burn?

Vancouver Island authorities take a patchwork approach to wrestling with the issue of woodsmoke

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Guardians leaving parks on Vancouver Island’s south coast for good

Juan de Fuca Park Watch folds due, in part, to people not carrying cash any more

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

RCMP members search shore along Stories Beach near Campbell River

Ground search not thought to be related to Oct. 16 homicide: RCMP

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

Most Read