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BEST OF THE CITY: Ale trail hops outside city limits

Colwood beer spot opens craft scene to suburban dwellers
A row of tap handles hints at the selection of craft brews on pour at 328 Taphouse, where the list (above) is rotated monthly, in addition to cask nights and tap takeover events, when the pub partners with Island breweries. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS


Best Beer Selection: 328 Taphouse and Grill

As anyone in tune with B.C.’s burgeoning craft beer movement knows, it’s not just for city slickers in urban centres full of plaid-wearing, mustachioed dudes anymore.

Case in point: our readers voted Colwood’s 328 Taphouse – just over a year old – as the top spot with the best selection of brew, pouring from over 40 taps behind the brewpub’s bar.

“We’ve introduced so many people to that [craft beer] world,” says bar manager, Stuart Smith. “I’ve seen so many people develop their beer taste here.”

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Customers who once sat at the bar ordering domestic beer or light lagers are excited when the monthly rotation comes, eager for the IPAs or the more experimental batches, he explains.

People’s tastes are developing just as the Victoria beer scene continues to, realizing just how much choice is out there, Smith adds. With few options on the West Shore, he feels like 328 Taphouse has filled a void in the market for beer enthusiasts.

“It gives people the opportunity to discover more, without having to head into town.”

When designing the tap list, the focus is always on Northwest breweries, says general manager Shane Snider. Nestled between the classic, local favourites (Phillips, Hoyne) are beers from up-Island, Washington and the Lower Mainland.

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“We want to give people something that’s a new experience, not just something they can go and get in a six-pack,” says Snider, pointing out the question from guests is always – what’s new?

For anyone left out there who still isn’t into the craft craze, 328 Taphouse also has craft cider, wine, sangria and Prosecco on tap, as well as a pizza oven, part of the full-service kitchen where even the gravy is made from Blue Buck ale.

“We wear a lot of hats here,” Snider says with a laugh. “We’re a little diamond in the rough.”

BOC 2018 Best Beer Selection:

1. 328 Taphouse and Grill

2. Bard and Banker

3. The Drake Eatery

BOC 2018 Best Micro Brew Pub

1. Moon Under Water Brewpub

2. Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub and Guest Houses