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Spinnakers: another cask beer specialist
Spinnakers is the longest running of the Victoria brewpubs, having opened its doors in 1984. It has expanded considerably since that time and has gone a bit more upscale, calling themselves a Gastrobrewpub for good measure. This is a now a sprawling operation, taking up a few floors of a spacious facility on the other side of the Inner Harbor.
I visited the original brewpub in 1994 and this place in no way reminds me of it. If it has not changed physically I definitely had too many pints that year! It is a very nice place and homey despite its upscale leanings. It is obviously a place to be seen and a local of well-to-do Victorians were frequenting the place when we were there. There is quite a bit of outdoor seating which is very popular especially in the good weathet.
We went twice, once sitting at the small bar downstairs and once at a stand-up table during happy hour as they had tapped a special keg up there that afternoon.
Favorite Dish: We had only two nights in Victoria and since we had already had a typical pub dinner at The Swan and Spinnakers menu had gone very much upscale, we decided to just go there for a few beers. Besides, there were numerous other places in town with more interesting ethnic food we wanted to try.
While Spinnakers has many of their beers on tap, not all are cask-conditioned. If looking to try something rare and authentic, please ask for something that is cask. If you are unsure, ask for a sample. Once you get used to the soft palate of cask beer, you won't want to go back.
We stopped by Spinnakers twice for beers and tried: 1) Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter-Amber session beer in the London tradition. Low carbonation & sudsy head. Fruity malt palate w/ perfect hops to dry out the finish without imparting an overbearing bitterness. Quite good. 2) Summer Stout-Light bodies coffee-ish stout w/ bittersweet semi-dry finish.
Every weekday at 4 PM, they tap a new cask at the upstairs bar. Actually, ON the bar as it is gravity poured. Pints are C$5 until it kicks compared to their more typical C$7.
Along with their fine dining, they also sell artisan chocolate and bread in a small shop inside the multi-use sprawling brewpub/guesthouse. It was very nice chocolate but as you can imagine, not cheap.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Spinnaker's: Great View!
Spinnakers is located on the opposite side of the inner harbour from most other tourist attractions. You can drive there, but it's more fun to take a water taxi or walk along Government Street, cross the blue bridge, and then just walk along the water until you reach the restaurant (about ten minutes from the bridge to the restaurant).
The menu in the restaurant is mostly pub-style, but does feature some other things such as pastas and curries. There is also a seasonal menu featuring fresh BC ingredients. They brew their own beer on site as well, and also have a pub and B&B on site. The website below features their food and beverage menus.
My all-time favorite dish was on the seasonal menu once- summer vegetable cannelloni with walnut sauce! Mmmmmm! On a recent visit I tried a tempura-tofu burger which was fantastic- it re-introduced me to veggie burgers! Dinner entrees like fish and burgers are often served with either fries or salad- these accompaniments are HUGE and you would be smart to ask for half-fries, half-salad.
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
Spinnaker's: Excellent views and atmosphere
Has an upstairs pub and downstairs restaurant, both casual. Excellent baked goods (two-mile high pies). Menu is extensive enough for a good choice, food is well prepared and presented. View over the Inner Victoria Harbour is fabulous and the staff were attentive.
They also do B&B, as it's also an Inn.
Favorite Dish: Great hot wings, warm seafood caesar salad, wonderful fresh breads for their sandwiches. They are a microbrew pub so their own brand of beers are very good.
They make their own beers (microbrewery) its very nice.
On the main floor is a nice classy restaurant, with view on the bay and on the top floor you can play darts, pool, there are bags of barley everywhere. Its so cool!
Favorite Dish: Nachos and their own brewed beers!
Spinnaker's Brewpub and...
Spinnaker's Brewpub and Restaurant
The upper level is a self-serve bar with a full menu available for lunch and dinner (order both food and drinks from the bartenders). You can also play darts or sit outside on the deck overlooking the harbor. Downstairs is a full service restaurant, including seating outside on a patio. In this photo you can see the upper deck and lower patio.
Favorite Dish: Hefeweizen beer, Caesar salad, hamburgers, wedge-cut french fries (chips) and pizza. The pizza crust is made with beer and is thin, crispy and delicious. Check out the entire menu.
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