With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a visit to Canada, it seems like a great opportunity to share one of my favourite Brew with a View pictures. The royal couple arrived in Victoria, British Colombia on 24 September. It’s possible they got the chance to sample some of the area’s wonderful craft beer. Although I guess it’s unlikely that members of the royal family cry out for a cold beer as soon as they arrive somewhere like most of us do. Either way, their visit provides me with all the excuse I need to share not just one of my favourite pictures but also the story behind a great craft beer.
The Brew and the View
For someone who lives in Cologne, Germany and works in aviation this picture has everything. The beer is an Analogue 78 Kölsch from the Phillips Brewing and Malting Company from Victoria, British Columbia. Kölsch of course is the local beer from Cologne. The view is of the Seaplane Base at Victoria Inner Harbour with a Single Otter Seaplane. The aircraft belongs to Harbour Air Seaplanes who recently flew the royal visitors from Victoria to Vancouver on the second day of their trip.
The Phillips Brewing and Malting Company
The Phillips Brewing and Malting Company is the brainchild of brewer Matt Phillips. He started the Brewery in 2001 having decided it was time to start making his own beer after working for a number of different breweries.
Despite being able to make some amazing beer, the fact that craft beer wasn’t quite as cool back then as it is now made Matt’s task of finding the finance to start the brewery pretty difficult. With banks not as impressed with his business plan as his beer, he founded the brewery on a mountain of credit card debt. In a windowless apartment, he dedicated every his entire life to making a success of his new enterprise. Matt worked day and night, sleeping on the floor of his apartment and setting timers on his lights to keep the brewing process going. If it wasn’t for his dedication I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of enjoying a wonderful lunchtime sampling his cold Kölsch in a fantastic part of the Canadian Coast.
From the Unconventional to Amazing Classics
Matt’s early beers were as unconventional as his approach to financing. The Brewery was launched with an Espresso Stout, a Raspberry Wheat Ale and a hoppy IPA. Over time the range of beers has expanded to include classics like the Kölsch I had, to a Pilsner and also a Chocolate Porter. Not wanting to leave behind his love of interesting flavours they also brew a Kaleidoscope Mosaic IPA (with loads of fruity flavours) as well as a tangy Ginger Beer Ale. The Brewery also have an amazing range of Seasonal Ales that currently includes the Pucker Plucker Sour Cherry Ale and the Solaris White Peach Ale. Both match my lasting memories of the wonderful colours and tastes that we enjoyed during out trip to Victoria in the summer of 2015 (the picture of the Harbour below is the screensaver on my phone to remind me of it every day).
Expanding Beyond Beer – Passionate About Community
As the Brewery has become more and more successful Matt has expanded beyond just the beer. In 2015, the Phillips Brewing Company, became the Malting Company as well when they became the first brewery in Canada to malt their own barley. They have also started a Fermentorium where they craft Stump Coastal Forest Gin using hand-foraged herbs and botanicals from British Columbia. Matt has also started a Soda Company where the team craft Rootbeer, Ginger Soda and Orange Cream Soda that is available all over Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia.
In addition to making all their great brews, Matt and the team are passionate about their local community. For example, with their Benefit Brew Project they brew up a beer for a charity, name it after them and then donate all the proceeds to the cause. They also support a wide range of environmental, non-profit and other causes.
The Phillips Brewing and Malting Company is a great example of an independent business that has grown thanks to the dedication of the people behind it and the support of whole community. In turn, by supporting businesses like theirs you help to bring life to your own community and the people who rely on your support for their very existence.
You can find out more about the Brewery on their website here. Don’t forgot to check out both their wonderful Stump Coastal Forest Gin (here) or their sodas (here). Now if only I can persuade them to start shipping to Europe….