Tofino: Home to Surfing, Storm Watching and Craft Beer – Visiting The Tofino Brewing Company
Nestled on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in what is referred to as the “Fog Zone” Tofino is home to 2,000 or so residents and is a community that is driven by tourism. As the Surf Capital of Canada Tofino is a global destination for cold weather surfing and storm watching, drawing in an affluent crowd of visitors to high end resorts and house rentals. It also brings in Westfalia-driving and bush camping visitors for the same draw. Regardless of cultural status or reasoning, if there is one spot that attracts everyone alike it is the Tofino Brewing Company.
Located on the south side of ‘downtown’ Tofino, The Tofino Brewing Company is a craft brewery that opened their doors back in 2011 just ahead of the BC Beer Rush. Since opening they have made a brand for themselves out of embracing the local frame of mind and surf culture. Locally the Tuff Session Ale is a favourite beer while across the province beers like the Hoppin Cretin IPA and Kelp Stout have made the Tofino Brewing Company a well known brewery.
Stepping into the brewery it is clear that you are in a small town. It isn’t just the flannel-wearing, long haired customers that give it away, but also the sense of community, friendliness and laid back nature of everyone in attendance. This is an easy place to meet new friends and enjoy a flight.
The brewery space is a decent size and is split three ways between the brewery, growler filling zone and tasting room. The tasting room doesn’t have the privilege of a lounge license so patrons are limited to 12oz of beer per visit. The tasting room is a bustle of activity with locals and tourists alike coming to the top watering hole in the area. Next to the tasting room, the growler fill zone also has a constant stream of customers filling their refillable bottles with their favourite brews.
Tucked to the side of the room is the brewery itself. While the brewhouse and tanks take up a fair bit of space they have been tetrised into a compact zone to maximize the consumer area. The brewing lineup consists of their Lager, Blonde Ale, Tuff Session, Hoppin’ Cretin and Kelp Stout. There are also seasonal beers from time to time such as the Spruce Tip Ale and Cosmic Wave Double IPA. The capacity of the brewery is limited given the number of tanks and space available but they make it work keeping the beer pouring on site and providing bomber bottles and even some cans to key private retailers throughout BC.
Surfing and storm watching may be the primary draws to the small, coastal town of Tofino but there is another reason to travel here. As beer-tourism grows in British Columbia the Tofino Brewing Company is a key destination. They have the beer, they have the location and they have the people to make this a destination worth pursuing. It is time to plan a trip to visit this iconic BC craft brewery and take in the more traditional Tofino adventures at the same time.
Check out more from Tofino Brewing Co. at tofinobrewingco.com