Saturday night, after dinner at Canoe and then finding Moon Under Water closed, I headed to Swans Brewpub (or Swans Brewery, or Swans Buckerfields Brewery — probably easiest if I just stick with “Swans”) where a rock ‘n roll cover band blasted out the tunes to a packed house of 50- and 60-somethings dancing and having a good time.  I actually considered staying and doing a tasting before coming to my senses and calling it a night.  So instead I returned Sunday right after brunch at Spinnakers and had a light lunch and the sampler tray.  Disaster nearly struck as I rattled off which beers I wanted to try when the waitress misheard “Riley’s” and instead included their Raspberry Ale, which, after three other raspberry beers over the past several days, I really did not want.  She was apologetic about it, brought me the Riley’s, and let me keep the Raspberry.  Yay.

Swans had an Old Victoria feel to it — the furnishings were pretty dated, the food I ordered (hummus plate) was okay but not very interesting, and most of the patrons looked 20 years older than me.  A brewpub my parents would go to, if they went to brewpubs.  But then two college kids sat down at a nearby table.  One waxed on about how in five or ten years, he thought it was possible that British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Baja would secede from their respective countries and form the nation of Cascadia, with an economy based on art and beer.  Ah, youth.


“Cygnets” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) at Swans Brewpub — Victoria, BC

    Rob’s Picks

  • Appleton Brown – 5% – A bit sweet with caramel flavor and not particularly fizzy. Very subtle apple notes, and a touch watery. But quite drinkable.
  • Extra IPA – 6.8% – Floral aroma. Good floral hoppy bite with some caramel malty balance. Pretty light on the tongue.
  • Riley’s Scotch Ale – 8% -Strong caramel and alcohol flavors. Nice malty body. This will knock you on your ass.
    The Rest

  • Smooth Sailing Honey Ale – 5% – Not as sweet as I expected. Floral and bitter, with subtle honey notes and a touch watery.
  • Pandora Pale Ale – 4.5% – Malty, kind of floral. Fairly big body but nothing too remarkable. Goes down easy, but with some lingering bitterness.
  • Raspberry Ale – 7% – Strong raspberry aroma. Strong raspberry flavor, too, with an alcohol edge to it. No breadiness, thankfully. Best (and tartest) raspberry beer of the trip, but still not a fave.
  • Oatmeal Stout – 5.4% – Pretty light stout and a bit watery. Some coffee and chocolate flavors to a bitter finish.

There were no logo glasses for sale, but the waitress suggested I try the adjoining Swans Liquor Store because sometimes they had promo glassware available.  They didn’t have any, either, but the puzzled blank stare I got from the cashier when I asked about it made it worth the effort.

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  1. I’m “Inspiring”, but these other bloggers are more inspiring! (Thanks House Elf) | Musings, Photographic and Otherwise

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