Phil Heads to the Olympics!

February 21, 2010

It is what you's all about the food and beer - not snowboarding!

It is what you's all about the food and beer - not snowboarding! Our SupermarketGuru shares some of Canada's best beers with Lester on the TODAY Show. Canadians take their beers seriously - in fact beer is the number one alcholic beverage up North. Most Canadian beers are made in the more Germanic or Belgian tradition and are typically higher in alcohol than their US counterparts (sometimes actually double!). Canada's malting barley, the key ingredient in beer, is one of the country's most important crops and is recognized internationally as one of the highest quality. We selected a few of the most interesting micro-brews for our taste buds to explore. The majority of these are not sold in the US, and remember, to be considered a "micro-brew" a beer brand must sell under 460,000 gallons in a year.

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Spinnakers is Canada's oldest licensed brewpub and a pioneer of the North American micro-brewing renaissance. A local legend, Spinnakers is loved by both resident and visiting beer aficionados and foodies. Ardent support of Vancouver Island's farmers is reflected in Spinnakers menu which uses almost 100% local product. Other distinctive aspects of Spinnakers include the on-premise aquafir and malt vinegar brewery, unique in North America. Spinnakers recently expanded its kitchen, making it more "viewer friendly" so visitors can better watch the culinary team at work adding seats to the restaurant and around the bar. Spinnakers has also recently added a "beer and chocolate pairing" to its unique offerings where house-made truffles are each paired with a different house micro-brew. For more information visit

Blue Bridge IPA 
- An emerging new world style, this double IPA blends north-west and noble bittering hops and finishes with old world noble aromatic hops to create a complex and floral hop profile. This beer is superbly balanced, masking its strong body and making the beer very drinkable. Beware! Best mates: all swimmers, oysters, fish cakes, thai chili wings

Canoe Brewpub Marina & Restaurant

Canoe is housed in the historic City Lights Building, circa 1894. It was originally built to house coal fired generators that powered downtown Victoria's first electric streetlights. It has also been used as a warehouse and a garbage wharf. In 1996, the building was purchased and renovated. In May 1998, it opened its doors to the public. The brewery at Canoe was built from scratch and is Canada's only marine pub and micro-brewery. Sean Hoyne, the brewmaster, was responsible for the planning and construction of the brewery. With an Applied Science degree from Vanier College and a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, Sean began his brewing career with a formal apprenticeship under the watchful tutelage of renowned brewmaster Frank Appleton. Using the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, which states that the only ingredients to go into beer are malted barley, hops, water and yeast, Sean brews a variety of beers available exclusively at Canoe. Their beers are naturally carbonated, unfiltered and created without the use of additives or preservatives. For more information visit

Beaver Brown Ale -  Deep mahogany brown in colour. Rich chocolate roasted malt. Subtle and sensual with a full-bodied creamy texture. 5.4% alcohol.

Phillips Brewing Co
Phillips Brewing Co, born of the passion and persistence of brewer Matt Philips in 2001, has opened a new storefront in Victoria, BC offering tours and tasting Tuesday through Friday starting at  4 pm. With 17 different types of beer in their repetoire, visitors to Phillips Brewing Co. will have the opportunity to taste regular brews as well as specialty beers such as the popular summer brew,

Blue Buck - Known as the Blue Buck after a legendary beast known to grant those that see him good fortune and safe travels! A deep amber coloured beer, the Blue Buck has a crisp finish featuring a delicate hop aroma. Certainly seeing the Blue Buck on the bottle grants the drinker a great experience!  

Driftwood Brewing

Driftwood Brewing Company was founded in the spring of 2008 by two very passionate and experienced brewers, Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum. They wanted to make and sell the kind of beer they liked best - beer that is fresh, brewed in the tradition of classic world styles but with the finest local ingredients. To develop the sales and marketing of the new brewery, Gary Lindsay joined the team in August bringing with him years of successfully promoting craft beer in the local market. With the depth of experience in the partnership, Driftwood is able to brew with an adventurous spirit to reflect the tastes of the many who are seeking to experience bold new flavors and rediscover some more familiar styles. It is beer for everyone to enjoy! (comes in 22 oz. bottles  $4.75 ea.)

Farmhand Ale
 - Our interpretation of this Southern-Belgian farmhouse ale uses a partial sour-mash and the addition of freshly ground black pepper. We use a very unique strain of yeast from Belgium to add further layers of spice and complexity to this rare style of beer. Food Pairings being walnuts, pecans, cheeses such as Trappist, Livarot, or Comte. Beef, venison, mussels. Root vegetables, resinous herbs (rosemary, marjoram, thyme). Great for brazing.

White Bark Ale  - This traditional Belgian-style wheat ale is brewed with the addition of freshly ground coriander and curacao orange peel. Hops are outshone by the wonderful floral aromas that dominate the nose of this dry and quaffable beer. Food Pairings being Duck, goose, pork. Thai curry, Indian curry. Sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger, bell peppers.

Swans Brewpub
Swans Brewery was established in 1989, and continues to this day with Brewmaster, Andrew Tessier at the helm providing Victoria locals and visitors alike with the highest quality unique ales, served in the traditional fashion at Swans Hotel & Brewpub. The on-site brewery is rightly proud of its award winning beers. Swan's has a wide selection of British-style ales and German and Canadian beers that are brewed with old-world care and without compromise. No syrups, sugars or "adjunct" are used in our 100 percent grain mashes-only barley and wheat malts, plus some oatmeal in our special stout. All of their specialty malts are imported from the United Kingdom, as is our unique strain of yeast. The ales are naturally carbonated, and left to settle or "fine" at cold temperatures, rather than being filtered. Filtration can remove much of the goodness from beer along with the haze. Another negative practice our Brewer avoids is pasteurization. Swan's natural and healthy brews are more lightly carbonated than the factory product, and served at a palatable 45of to bring out the fullness of the flavour for which we strive.   

Raspberry Ale - Full-bodied ale with raspberries added in fermentation, amber-light red in colour - a great complexity & delicacy.
Coconut Porter  -  listed in Vancouver Magazine's 100 Things to Taste Before you Die.

Vancouver Island Brewery

With 25 years of local brewing excellence Vancouver Island Brewery is the Island's original craft brewery. As a craft brewery, Vancouver Island Brewery begins its process with the careful selection of the finest quality ingredients, handcrafting a family of natural, unpasteurized ales and lagers in small batches to allow their flavours to fully develop. With a commitment to using 100% natural ingredients combined with their proud heritage of brewing excellence, Vancouver Island Brewery has developed local beers that have garnered world class acclaim. The beer is fresh, pure and unpasteurized craft beer with no artificial preservatives or additives. Whether you enjoy a pale ale, lager, honey brown, pilsner or a dark lager at Vancouver Island Brewery there is a brew for all to enjoy. For more information visit

Vancouver Islander Lager - A classic, North American style lager, crafted with 100% barley malt. It's a light bodied, delicately hopped and refreshing lager.  

Cheers! Click here to watch Lester & Phil now.