Phillips Brewing’s Willy Wonka vibe a crowd favourite

Lara Zukowsky photo

Silver medal – Best Brewery Tasting Room

Silver medal – Most Knowledgeable Tasting Room Staff

Silver medal – Best Social Media

Bronze medal – Best Branding/Packaging


Victoria’s Phillips Brewing and Malting Co. has long been a trendsetter in the B.C. craft beer scene, but for the longest time it was missing one thing: somewhere of its own that it could actually serve its own beer.

That changed at exactly 4:11 p.m. on April 27, 2018, when Phillips officially opened its new tasting room at the corner of Government and Discovery in downtown Victoria. The 100-seat tasting room features 16 taps of craft beer, cocktails made with Phillips’ spirits and the entire line of Phillips’ craft sodas available for the kids.

Inside, the walls are festooned with an eclectic array of quirky handpainted art. The far wall features four gigantic windows into the packaging hall, where dancing beer bottles make their way along the production line—you might even glimpse a Lavern and Shirley moment or two.

“We’re happy to embrace our Willy Wonka-esque qualities here,” says Dan Reid, Phillips’ marketing coordinator.

In addition to being a central gathering space for Victoria’s craft beer community, the tasting room has also allowed Phillips to tackle beer styles it would otherwise not be able to release.

“We’ve done everything from a Schwarzbier to a Lychee Sour,” says Reid.

Despite having been open for less than a year, the tasting room managed to win two silver medals in The Growler Craft Beer Awards, one for Best Tasting Room and one for Most Knowledgeable Tasting Room Staff. There’s even more to come next year, with further renovations planned for the retail space.

“We’ve got a few things up our sleeve,” says Reid.

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