Pictured: Whistle Buoy Co-owner/brewmaster Matt West-Patrick, in the brewhouse.
Last week, online magazine TalkingShop.ca featured Victoria’s Whistle Buoy Brewing in a spotlight interview. Here’s an excerpt from their coverage. For the full story, visit talkingshop.ca →
In Conversation with Isaiah Archer // Whistle Buoy Brewing
What is Whistle Buoy Brewing?
Whistle Buoy Brewing Company is a community taproom brewery in Market Square.
If you had to describe Whistle Buoy Brewing to someone who hasn’t seen it, how would you describe it?
We have a small brewery with a tasting room and patio right beside it, so you can see where the beer is made while you’re drinking it. We are in a busy downtown square built over 100 years ago, with a nice big dog-friendly patio in the courtyard. We make small batch experimental beers using high-quality local ingredients and serve them to the local community. That’s the core of what we do.
Can you tell us about your brewing practices? How is your beer connected to the local area?
So far we have brewed close to 150 batches. In that time, we have used grain grown in the Fraser Valley, hops grown in Maple Bay, currants grown in Sidney, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwis and beets grown in Saanich, grapes from Salt Spring, kelp harvested in Sooke, cranberries from Comox, and plums from Victoria. We have collaborated with 6 independent local coffee roasters, a local chocolate maker, a tea producer, a bakery, and several restaurants. We have also made beers with 4 different Island breweries. That’s all to say, we love our community and we buy our ingredients very close to home whenever possible.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to open up a brewery?
You have to really give a shit about the quality of the beer. Anything below average just doesn’t cut it in this market where there is such a high level of competition and consumers that really know their stuff. The other thing I would say is to think about how modern design and technology play into your plan, because our world is shifting rapidly and we have to be ready to shift our operations and adapt quickly.