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Vancouver Island Brewery pursuing 40-seat brewpub-style tasting room

Vancouver Island Brewery, located at 2330 Government Street near Bay Street in Victoria's Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood, is looking to convert its tasting room experience into a brewpub similar to those now operated by Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. and Moon Under Water.  Vancouver Island Brewery

Vancouver Island Brewery pursuing 40-seat brewpub-style tasting room
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
With the recent opening of Moon Under Water’s and Phillip’s Brewing & Malting Co.’s tasting rooms in Victoria’s Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood, another local brewer is looking to get in on the action with a modernized tasting experience of its own.
 
Vancouver Island Brewery (VIB) on Government Street at Bay Street plans to convert its existing tasting room into a format more in-line with a traditional bar. VIB’s recently renovated merchandise store and tasting area is currently limited to 12oz servings in a series of 3 or 4oz glasses known as ‘flights,’ while its competitors have introduced pub-style experiences as part of their brewing operations.
 
The brewer has applied to the City of Victoria to designate its tasting room as a 40-seat brewpub, thereby lifting the limited serving cap and allowing visitors to enjoy their beers from a full-size glass best suited to each style.
 
In a letter submitted by the City by David Nichols, VIB’s general manager, the brewery hopes to make the tasting experience more comprehensive for its visitors and less dependent on off-sales.
 
“Vancouver Island Brewing is located on the brewery walk, ideally situated between Phillips Brewery on Government Street and Driftwood and Hoyne Breweries on Bridge Street,” Nichols writes. “This area draws a large number of tourists and locals alike looking to have an authentic craft brewery experience. We believe that this experience entails more than just buying a 6 pack from a brewery.”
 
Although VIB's operating hours would not change, Nichols envisions the tasting room's operating hours to extend from 11AM to 10PM or earlier, depending on demand. Special events or use of the space by organizations to host galas or mixers could push operations to 11PM. The brewery’s existing hours permit operations from 9AM to 11PM.
 
Limited food pairings would be available for patrons such as meat-and-cheese plates from local producers, along with non-alcoholic and gluten-free beverages.
 
VIB is the oldest microbrewery on the Island with operations dating back to the mid-1980’s. Based out of its upper Government Street facility since 1995, the brewery has played a dominant role in fostering the budding craft beer industry Victoria has become known for and continues to deliver some of the most popular beers on the Island.
 
In 2016 VIB was sold to Ontario-based businessman Bob MacDonald for an undisclosed amount. C
 
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