Tuesday 28th June 2011
Next stop was reminiscent of a Wetherspoon's pub in the U.K. The building was once the Bank of Montreal and looks good from both outside and inside. It's part of a small chain run by the Vic Pub Co. The Irish Times is at 1200 Government Street and obviously, has an Irish theme.
The beer range was very similar to the Garrick's Head with all four of the major Victoria breweries represented.
Although there were fewer beers from each there was at least one that was not available at the Garrick's Head. These were Phillip's Service 1904, Lighthouse Lager, Driftwood White Bark Wheat Ale and Vancouver Island Double Decker IPA.
Other beers were Granville Island (Vancouver, BC) Cypress Honey Lager and Alexander Keith's IPA (from an InBev brewery located in Creston BC).
As can be imagined the interior was very opulent and it appears to the casual observer that this was a pub from the end of the Victorian era. Although it is not, it's perfectly in keeping with the city of Victoria itself.
On the way downstairs to the Gents I espied a lovely old sign from the Cairnes Brewery of Drogheda, Ireland. This was very interesting as this is the first time I'd ever seen a genuine artefact from this brewery. Please pardon me a small digression here as I am very interested in Brewery history and especially that of the Irish Republic.
Cairnes was a well-known economist that founded a brewery in Drogheda during 1825. He later bought the Castle Bellingham brewery (est. 1772) and eventually they merged in 1889 and the enterprise eventually became just Cairnes Brewery in 1933. I think that the sign dates to the period prior to that as the initials refer to the joint company. It was a victim of the relentless Guinness take-over machine and is reported to have closed in 1965 although another source suggests brewing finished in 1960. It was well regarded for both its ale and stout.
Irish Times, 1200 Government Street, Victoria BC. V8W 1Y2. Tel: 250 383 7775
Open: Daily 11.00-01.00
Victoria is at the bottom of Vancouver Island and is connected to the rest of the Island and also Vancouver by bus. The rail service is suspended.
Vancouver is also reached by normal air services and sea planes.
There are ferries to Seattle and Port Angeles in the USA. Cruise liners call regularly.