Phillips puts some pop in local soda market

Grocery program showcases local flavours

Fans of Phillips Sodaworks’ Intergalactic root beer, Sparkmouth ginger ale and Dare Devil orange cream might be surprised to learn their favourite beverages are the result of a happy accident.

Phillips Sodaworks is a spinoff from Victoria’s longstanding Phillips Brewing, delighting Island beer drinkers since 2001.

“We had been doing a lot of work to make an alcoholic ginger beer and we wanted to do it using natural ingredients,” explains founder Matt Phillips. Finally happy with the results, “we thought, ‘We could also make a really good soda with this too!’”

What followed was the launch of the Sodaworks, which today has also added Speed King cola and two artisanal tonic waters to the line-up, perfect for sipping over ice or with Phillips’ STUMP Coastal Forest Gin.

Like their beers, people appreciate the natural ingredients and local approach (not to mention those great artist-created labels).

“In our mind, it gives our customers a chance to have something that has a flavour that’s genuine and real,” Phillips says from the recently expanded brewery, sodaworks and tasting room in downtown Victoria.

(Yes, mom and dad can sample the grown-up beverages, while the kids sample sodas!)

It’s that kind of innovation that propels local business.

“We’ve had great feedback, not only from locals but from some surprisingly distant places, too. We’ve also had a lot of support from our local grocers and retailers and that’s been so important,” Phillips says.

Island made: Island Good

Phillips is one of numerous Vancouver Island producers and growers participating in Island Good, an initiative with four Island grocers to increase consumer awareness of Island-made and Island-grown food products.

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance pilot project, in all Island Country Grocer stores (except for Salt Spring) plus Thrifty Foods, Quality Foods and 49th Parallel Grocery stores through August, aims to increase demand for products made and/or grown on the Island.

Shoppers can look for ‘Island Good’ stickers, posters and other signage highlighting these Island products in all store departments.

“We’ve been thrilled with the interest Vancouver Islanders have shown in the Island Good program since it launched and as we come into spring and summer, those opportunities to shop local, source local and eat local will be even greater,” says VIEA President George Hanson. “Shoppers have shown us that identifying Island Good options is important to them and we know that will lead to increased production, more jobs and more production capacity.”

Look for the Island Good tags, enjoy local food and support our local economy: It’s Island Good!

Just Posted

PHOTOS: 120th Annual Victoria Day Parade

Check out the photo gallery, watch our live feed of the festivities

Esquimalt Farmers Market kicks off summer season

Recently named Best Mid-sized Farmers Market in B.C., weekly event returns to Memorial Park

Preserving Victoria’s character buildings costly, but worth it

Pemberton and Son recognized for heritage preservation of Promis Block

Reporter gets serious with Tour de Victoria’s 140km ride

Travis Paterson’s training blog for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Aug. 18, Volume 1

‘ALR golf courses should return to farming,’ says ex-ALC chair Frank Leonard

Former mayor says Saanich could appeal Cedar Hill Golf Course application

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Most Read