Swans Brewpub and Wild Saffron Bistro, Victoria

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 7 Reviews

506 Pandora Avenue (corner of Store St.)

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  • cask ale & Sheppard's Pie
    cask ale & Sheppard's Pie
    by richiecdisc
  • floral touches at The Swan
    floral touches at The Swan
    by richiecdisc
  • Swans Brewpub and Wild Saffron Bistro
    by grasshopper_6
  • Swans Brewpub: Rude staff, Ignorant CEO

    by blinkmanb Written Mar 30, 2012

    Rude staff, ignorant CEO. Any restaurant that allows servers to curse at guests and have the CEO not only play ignorant, but defend them losses not only my business, but the business of everyone I will ever meet. They seem to be doing a good job of destroying what's left of their reputation. Skip it at all costs.

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  • Swans Brewpub: Rude staff, Ignorant CEO

    by blinkmanb Written Mar 30, 2012

    Rude staff, ignorant CEO. Any restaurant that allows servers to curse at guests and have the CEO not only play ignorant, but defend them losses not only my business, but the business of everyone I will ever meet. They seem to be doing a good job of destroying what's left of their reputation. Skip it at all costs.

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    The Swan: some true English style cask ales

    by richiecdisc Updated Nov 22, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    cask ale & Sheppard's Pie
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    Though the name, The Swan sounds like an English pub, this former Canadian Brewpub of the Year has a decided British Colombia edge, like Native American art and open air windows, but from hand-pulled ales to Sheppard's Pie, this places breathes UK.

    This is quite a large facility, occupying the entire first floor of its namesake hotel but it's broken into a couple of rooms connected by a smallish and not highly frequented bar so you never feel lost in it. It's certainly more of a restaurant than a real pub and has a bit of a high end vibe to it. There are big windows everywhere and on the day we visited, they were open to let in whatever sea breeze was blowing along with lots of sun. Service was friendly enough but not overly efficient.

    We decided to share one meal and one appetizer as prices for eating out in Canada are generally much higher than in the US. The Sheppard's Pie (C$ 13.95) which according to their menu has a tradition at the pub for 20 years was handsomely presented and full of stout infused lamb and fresh vegetables, topped nicely with mashed potatoes. It seemed smallish for the price but the quality was very high and came with a very nice salad of mixed greens topped with various seeds. Poutine (C$ 8.95) is a classic Canadian dish and this appetizer plate was quite large and a meal in itself. Perfectly done fresh cut fries were covered in a nice brown gravy and beautiful melted curd cheese

    Favorite Dish: Now, for the beers. Though The Swan does have some regular tap beers, they are most noted for their cask-conditioned beers. These ales are under secondary fermentation in the keg and thus change over the course of their shelf life. They are more perishable for this reason. It makes for a softer palate and much less carbonation and hence easier to drink. This is part of where the term session ale comes from. Ales as a rule are fermented at higher temperatures and should be served like-wise so the hand drawn ales at The Swan are at cellar temperature. It's not warm, just not ice cold as North Americans tend to be used to. All are also served in proper Imperial Pint glasses so close to 20 US ounces.

    We had all three of their current cask line-up: 1) Appleton Brown (5% alcohol)-Light brown w/ thin head & soft mouthfeel. Fruity palate w/ some drying hops for balance. A bit on the sweet side but after a month of drinking in the Pacific Northwest anything would taste sweet. That said, more hops would do it well. 2) Buckerfield's ESB (5%)-Light amber w/ sudsy head. Fantastic go at an English session ale. More of a bitter than an ESB. Fruity & dry. Clean bitter dry finish. Lovely. 3) Swan's Oatmeal Stout (5.4%)-Black w/ thin tan head. Some roast coffee in this primarily malty brew that dries just enough in the bittersweet finish.

    The two meals with three pints came to C$ 49 including a modest but typical for Canada 10% tip.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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    Swan's Brew Pub: Just Swan's..!

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written May 2, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Victoria's nicest and most popular pub-restaurant is housed in a 1913 warehouse. It offers no less than 10 beers from its own brewery, great food which includes a variety of salads, nachos, fish and chips).

    Favorite Dish: Beer!!

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  • klj&a's Profile Photo

    Swans Brewpub and Wild Saffron Bistro: Beer!

    by klj&a Written Oct 27, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Had your normal pub fare-burgers, sandwiches, etc. The food is okay, but you have to try their beers. My suggestion would be to get the six beer sampler and then order a pint of the one you like best. I had our server pick the six beers, but you can also choose your six. The cost was $10.00. My favorite was the Riley's Scotch Ale. I have to say, that we had a great server. She was pretty much working the entire pub by herself, but we never felt neglected. We also had a group of 10 in which we had her split our table into 8 bills. Needless to say, she got a huge tip.

    Favorite Dish: Riley's Scotch Ale

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  • rids's Profile Photo

    Swans Brewpub and Wild Saffron...

    by rids Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Swans Brewpub and Wild Saffron Bistro

    Interesting artwork throughout. The pub is a mellow place to hang out and read the newspaper (copies provided). Check out their great website.
    It has all the menus, information about the beer brewing process and a really interesting history of the building when it was a granary and
    feed store. I remember going to it on a regular basis when I was about 7 years old to buy food and bedding for the rabbits I raised, as well as for dog food.

    Favorite Dish: Riley's Scotch Ale and fish and chips (in the pub-have not eaten at Saffron, because I like the pub and glassed-in patio so much).

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    Swans is our favourite pub in...

    by mlafren Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Swans is our favourite pub in Victoria. They make their own beer, we had a raspberry beer (among others) and it was delicious. We were in Victoria for 3 days and managed to eat at Swans 4 times!

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