Perched on the Pacific, Sooke’s wild West Coast setting offers ample inspiration for its growing community of brewers and distillers.
Come take a tour of the local brewers and distillers making a name for themselves in this culinary hotspot just 45 minutes outside Victoria.
Named for the famous coastal lighthouse a little farther up West Coast Road, Sheringham Distillery delights fans with coastal-inspired spirits handcrafted with BC ingredients into longstanding favourites like Seaside Gin, newer pours like their Lemon Gin Liqueur, and fan-favourite Rhubarb Gin Liqueur.
After closing to tastings this past winter, the Sheringham team expects to open the doors in early July, with safety measures in place. Visitors can expect the same complimentary tastings and tours from the tasting room!
One of the original beverage purveyors in the area – and British Columbia’s first meadery – Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery is located on a picturesque hillside setting near the ocean.
Handcrafting refreshing libations from their own Wildflower Honey, Tugwell Creek’s varied lineup ranges from a dry, beer-like mead crafted from honey, heather and hops, to an off-dry mead made with Wildflower Honey and a blend of berries.
Currently open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., Tugwell will likely open Fridays through summer as travel restrictions ease. Stop by their COVID-safe tasting window, then relax on the ocean-view patio as you sip a flight of three favourites. Of course, not all their honey is made into mead – be sure to ask about several varieties of the sweet treat available to purchase.
Brewing up the flavours of the coast
Locally owned and operated in the heart of Sooke, Sooke Brewing Company celebrates its fourth anniversary this fall.
Boasting deep local roots, this team’s extensive line-up includes regular favourites and new beers to sample.
Pull up a stool overlooking the working part of the brewery, or take your flight outside to enjoy on the heated covered patio. And for snacks or a meal, the onsite Black Market Meats Food Truck serves up some delicious options from 12 to 8 p.m. daily.
Coming up, in addition to new brews, the Sooke Brewing team is excited to welcome back Thursday’s Open Mic Night when possible – keep an eye on their social media for coming events and updates.
A little way out of town, but well worth the drive or ride is Bad Dog Brewing Company, open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the summer season.
Another favourite with locals – and well-behaved dogs – Bad Dog currently has 12 beers on tap for tasting or take-away. Pull up a seat in the treed picnic area to sample a selection. Light snacks are available, but you’re are also welcome to bring your own picnic to accompany your pour.
All 12 beers are also available in tall cans and for growler fills.
Rounding out the Sooke craft beer experience is the community’s first brewery, the five-year-old Sooke Oceanside Brewery, pouring a selection of year-round, locally inspired brews alongside seasonal selections.
This summer, the award-winning brewery is moving their tasting room and pilot brewery into a new, expanded location at Winnipeg Road, a little ways up Sooke Road from its current location. Look for them behind the brand new Fuca Cycles bike shop and Seek and Surf surf shop.
With close to 180-degree views of the Sooke Basin and seating for approximately 40 people with a large patio, this promises to be a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike. Sooke Oceanside Brewery is also increasing their taps and will have a large selection of their beers and other products at the new site.
To plan your Sooke explorations, visit sooke-portrenfrew.com