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The best of Victoria’s Ale Trail

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The Vancouver Island city of Victoria boasts nine breweries within a 2-mile radius; these are the three can’t-miss stops.

by Tan Vinh

Lighthouse Brewing: This year’s biggest addition to the Ale Trail is Lighthouse Brewing’s 6,000-square-foot expansion including a tasting room and retail shop, scheduled to open in March. One of the city’s oldest breweries, Lighthouse will finally open its facility to the public and offer tours and samples of its signature lineup, including the popular Race Rocks Ale, a rich, malty amber with hints of chocolate. Unit 2-836 Devonshire Rd., lighthousebrewing.com

Phillips Brewing: Just about every pub in Victoria carries Phillips’ Blue Buck—a nutty, caramel English pale ale that goes down easy—but beer geeks know this brewery is more about hoppy, Northwest-style beers. Go to its tasting room (which doubles as an art gallery) and try Hop Circle IPA, piney with a grapefruit bitter finish. 2010 Government St., phillipsbeer.com

Canoe Brewpub: Spend a lazy day by the marina in this rejiggered industrial space that was once home to a century-old power plant. But on a sunny day, go alfresco; Canoe’s 250-seat patio is the largest outdoor seating area in Victoria. Bring your shades and watch the boats come in; there’s a smooth Siren’s Song Pale Ale calling your name. 450 Swift St., canoebrewpub.com

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