Best New Brewery
Best East Coast/Hazy IPA // Promised Land Hazy
Best Weird Beer // Sea of Tranquility Smoked Dulse Stout
Best B.C. Collab // Bruja Tajin & Lime Cerveza (with Boomtown Burritos)
Sidney is a beautiful, seaside town that is very popular with book lovers thanks to the excellent independent bookstores there. Although it used to feel mired in the past with an aging population and no craft breweries, young families are moving there in droves now, and — hooray! — it has two breweries. First on the scene was Beacon Brewing, which opened in 2021, and then, just two doors down in the same development, Small Gods Brewing opened its doors last year.
Small Gods has quickly become one of my favourite places to visit — especially by bicycle. It’s a good distance from Victoria (30 km), but the Lochside Trail up the Saanich Peninsula is mostly flat, and if I really push it, I can make it door to door in an hour and 15 minutes. My reward is a “Slow Pour” Neverending Pilsner. It takes some time to make it from the tap to my lips, but it is worth the wait. Follow it up with one of Small Gods’ delicious deli sandwiches, made to order on buns baked fresh on site every day, and that makes for an epic lunch, the perfect fuel for my return ride home.
The brewery was founded by Chris Bjerrisgaard, well known from his days on the marketing side of things at Parallel 49 and Vancouver Island Brewing, and brewer Jonny Kostiuk who made a name for himself at Deep Cove before teaming up with Chris. The two, along with the rest of their team, ensure that everything at Small Gods is thought through completely and done properly — first and foremost the beer and food, but also, importantly, the company’s vision of inclusivity, accessibility and stewardship. Plan a visit, and take time for the slow pour and a sandwich. You won’t be disappointed.