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Fred Eckhardt in a peddle bike

Sporting the grand marshal hat Fred Eckhardt leads the parade from the brewers brunch.

If you were trapped in your office, another city or even another country, you might not know there was a large dose of fun and brews today. But fear not! The festival continues on for another full three days. So book the day off, cash in those air miles and get yourself to Portland. (more…)

Pint of cask chocolate Stout

Pint of cask chocolate Stout

Want to try a beer so rare that it will never see a bottling line? Don’t want to travel for hours to a foreign country (or Vancouver)?

First a little history lesson on who is behind all this liquid magic. Tommie Grant joined Spinnakers 6 1/2 years ago under the supervision of Lon Ladell, and continued with Rob Monk while he was head brewer until this past fall. Since then Tommie has taken over as the head brewer creating these one off liquid master pieces. (more…)

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

When you stumble across a four pack in beer for $20 some odd dollars you wonder what creative genius went in that beverage or if it’s a clever marketing ploy that will leave you with buyers remorse after the bottle is empty.

I’m no stranger to Dogfish head, and the recent show on Discovery has made them even a little more well know. They’ve never as far as I’ve been paying attention to them a brewery that makes standard beers. They’ve always made beers that stand out. (Granted not all of them have been home runs, but you remember them none the less)

The first thing you notice on this beer after the price, is the promise that it’s been matured in an exotic wood (Palo Santo or Bulnesia sarmientoi) from South America. So you may think that this is a special or seasonal beer, but in fact is produced year round by Dogfish Head.

The second thing you may notice as you go over the intriguing package is that ABV… a massive 12% This is dangerous territory for a beer in my experience, if done right you can come away with a product that is drinkable and well rounded. Done badly you end up with an expensive white elephant that isn’t drinkable and brings back that buyers remorse.

Once you’ve gotten over all the mental hurdles (price, style, abv, etc..) you’ll want to toss this in the fridge for just a little bit, but not too long. Just enough to bring it below room temperature but certainly not as cold as a pilsner.

When poured you get a nice amount of head, than settles down fairly promptly.

For our tasting we use a wine sample glass, this gave enough room to capture the aroma and get your nose in there to smell it. It had substantial vanilla, butterscotch, and oaky aroma.

Drink-ability and balance is where this beer just blasts you out of the water. The beer is a heavy winter beer, and while 12% is smooth and easy drinking with minimal carbonation, minimal alcohol taste, heavy vanilla and oak flavor like a red wine with roasted malt tones.

It’s a massive beer and with the weather becoming less pleasant, this beer makes a great beer for sipping with friends around a virtual fireplace (or real if you have one). With the price point where it is you can certainly get good mileage from sharing each glass between two people. Leaving me to recommend this beer & would pair quite well with dessert at your next dinner.

Brewers Suggested Pairings:
Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar

Dogfish Head

What to pick?

At times it was a hard pick.

Spinnakers threw a very well received Firkin Festival Nov 20th. While a few short of the published 20 casks the 15 provided certainly didn’t leave any attendee I talked to feeling deprived. There was a wide range of styles from Golden Ales to rum infused hybrids to a beefy barley wine.

With a limit of only 100 tickets the upstairs tap room filled consistently till the home stretch around 3:30pm and while full, it was still possible to move around the upstairs and make your way to a cask when you were ready for that next sampling of fermented elixir.


Moon Under Water sign

Moon Under Water sign

After a long wait, good beer with affordable food has come to town!

Getting into Moon Under Water mere hours after they opened we finally got to try the new beacon of affordable micro brewed beers (Currently on tap are a Pale Ale, Bitter and a Rye Beer) and good pub food that won’t break the bank.

Being that it was their soft opening there are still some features to be finished.  Along with the important things like hot food (Some of the hottest food I’ve been served in an Victoria restaurant in quite some time!) and perfect temperature beer, there are nice touches like the bar tops and table with their lacquer finishes. A fire place in the center of the pub, along with another one in the alcove just in from the front door, and rotating artwork around the room.

The food options are restricted at the moment until they get their feet firmly on the ground. But there certainly wasn’t a shortage to pick from.

Starter Menu

Starter Menu at Moon Under Water

Opting for a wide selection of food choices, items tried at our table included the chicken burger with salad, chicken pot pie with salad, fish and chips, beef burger with fries and onion rings.Everything was hot and quite tasty, and paired well with the beers ordered. Average check ran around $20~25 including beer, food and tip.

The stand outs here were the onion rings with a smokey sauce. The batter hung on and stayed crispy. But the big surprise was the salad! Salad that wasn’t the decrepit sad looking lettuce that you see in all too many restaurants these days. This salad was actually a pleasure to eat!

Onion RingsChicken Pot PieFish and Chips


There’s still work to be done on finishing the place up, but I think Victoria might have a new local’s favorite place for a pint and a good quality meal while still leaving a few dollars to pay that parking ticket off you got earlier in the day downtown.

Moon Under Water
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
350B Bay Street