Saltspring Island Ales – Experiencing Craft Beer on Island Time; It Tastes Better That Way!
Saltspring Island is not exactly along the way to many places. In order to find your way here from the mainland of BC you must take a procession of ferry rides taking you a round-a-bout of beautiful and remote scenery. It may be out of the way but the best things in life do not come easily.
When you do find your way to Saltspring Island you will find a bustling artisan community, world renowned farmers’ market and most importantly a Craft Brewery. Saltsrping Island Ales calls this Gulf Island home and in true Island time fashion this is the place to sample, purchase and experience Saltspring Island Artisinal Beer.
As you pull up to this farm based brewery you may or may not be suprised that it is located in a converted barn built from trees sourced from no farther than a few hundred feet away. Local is key in everything on Saltspring Island and the building in which beer is brewed is no exception. In addition, hops grow at the foot of the property and several other local farms have been tasked with growing hops for this local brewery. Saltspring Island takes sustainability rather seriously and with a minimal footprint the Saltspring Island Brewery is brewing delicious craft beer while respecting those around them and the generations that will be left with this earth tomorrow.
When it comes to the tasting room itself you will find yourself climbing the steps to a barn’s second level and entering a wooden room with bottles awaiting filling your glass. The beer consists of 5 staples brewed with a focus on tradition and patience. Working through the year-round beers consisting of a Heather Ale, Golden Ale, ESB, IPA and a Porter you will find a European inspiration and no desire to conform. These beers are designed to be unique by British Columbia standards but also stay true to the style and international expectaions behind each brew.
Taking Tradition and local ingredients together as a package the Saltspring Island Heather Ale is a great illustration of this team’s dedication. Heather flowers go back thousands of years in brewing tradition to before Hops were used as an ingredients. Prior to Hops Heather flowers were used for preserving as well as flavour in brewing and today’s Heather Ale is no different. This floral, light and refreshing brew sources its Heather flowers from the Victoria based Buchart Gardens giving further credit to the local mentality.
The Saltspring Island Brewery is small and quaint with a certain rustic nature to it. In the spirit of living an island life the beer is not widely available either but this is not a concern to those in charge. The brewery is brew what it can and service the markets that are close enough to be reasonable and thirsty enough to drink up the spoils of their labours. If you are looking for the beer in Vancouver you will likely be able to find it if you are willing to search high and low but a better plan would be to plan a trip and make the journey to the source itself. Go to Saltspring island to experience the wilderness, the people and most importantly the delicious Craft Beer!