Tuesday 28th June
I arrived in Canada on the morning fast ferry from Seattle. On the journey I had hoped to see some orcas but they were all a bit further north around the San Juan Islands. I checked in my hotel and took a stroll around the interesting inner harbour.
I walked until I saw Spinnaker's across a small lagoon. Its actual address is 308 Catherine Street. This pub and brewery was an important early starter in the Canadian micro-brewery revolution and I must admit it is very likeable.
As I entered I told a member of staff that I only wanted a drink and he said I should go to the pub upstairs. Pub, now that was good. In a number of places in the US the only area you can just drink is at the bar. And so it proved to be, a lovely bar with beautiful views of the bay and a terrace for al fresco drinking.
There was a fantastic range of beers, all ales. On keg were Scottish Ale (6.4%), Tsarist Stout (7.7%), Northwest Ale (6.4%), Discovery (3.8%), Peach Hefeweizen (4.2%), Blue Bridge Double Pale Ale (8.2%), India Pale Ale (7.%) and Summer Ale (3.9%).
But best of all, there were four hand pumps. They dispensed cask versions of Scottish Ale (6.4%) India Pale Ale (7.1%) and a further adaptation, India Pale Ale dry-hopped with Cascade Hops (7.1%). The remaining cask beer was Extra Special Bitter (5.2%).
I ordered 10oz glasses of the four cask beers and enjoyed them very much, especially the two types of IPA. I actually tried all the other beers, except the Hefeweizen, simply because I'd shown an interest and I kept getting sample glasses to try.
In the middle of this pleasure I noticed the classic lines of a ferry approaching and darted out on to terrace to photograph it. It was the MV Coho of the Black Ball line, arriving at the end of its 90 minute crossing from Port Angeles in the USA. It truly is a classic that was built for the route 52 years earlier and still going strong.
Spinnaker's Brewpub and Restaurant, 308 Catherine Street, Victoria BC. V9A 3S8.
Tel: 877 838 2739
Open: Daily 11.00-23.00
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.