If all goes according to plan, within a year Phillips Brewing & Malting will have a 42-seat tasting room for patrons to come and sample some of its popular brews.
The Island’s largest brewery has put forward a rezoning application to the city, which calls for the transformation of a newly acquired 4,000 square-foot retail building adjacent to its brewing facilities near the intersection of Government and Discovery streets. The new space will also allow for a larger retail space.
About five years ago, the province said breweries could have tasting lounges, but owner Matt Phillips had no interest in adding one at the time — or the space. Now Phillips recognizes tasting rooms are a fixture in most breweries outside Victoria.
“It’s a part of beer culture in other areas and for us, it’s an ability for our fans to come in and actually have a pint at the brewery and try something new or different,” said Phillips. “It’s just being able to have an experience at the brewery as opposed to buying the beer and running away.”
Phillips launched in 2001 and has grown to include a soda company, distillery and a malting facility — the only one of its kind in Canada.