A short stroll along Victoria’s waterfront leads you to Swans, a pub/hotel that looks as if it’s been here forever.
The original building was built in 1913 as a warehouse for grain from the prairies and it was only in the 1980s that it was converted to a hotel and pub, but managing to stay true to the historic style of the building.
In the spring, summer and fall this pub carries on the Victoria tradition of being bedecked with flowers.
In addition to being a historic pub, Swans is also a brew pub. Their original idea was to recreate some of the British Ales (being that Victoria is often more British than Britain) but at this point the West Coast preference for IPAs is winning as we could tell from this flight of six 5 oz tasters.
- Seasonal Wit: very nice, natural fruitiness from the hops.
- Kolsch: light but still flavourful, sweet aftertaste.
- Raspberry Ale: highly-perfumed, none of us were wild about it, Al found it phoney tasting, like it wasn’t real. Grant stated that he’s never been fond of fruit ales in the first place.
- Oatmeal Stout: ‘hand-pulled’ meaning that this is a Real British Ale and lacking in the carbonation that kind of defines ‘beer’ for me.
- The Swan Extra IPA: Yum!
- I seem to have missed one in my notes – that can happen when you’re tasting a lot of beer.
The Swan Extra IPA was worth a second order!
There’s a small article on the history of the building at http://swanshotel.com/hotel/history, which has this interesting quote:
‘Where does the name ‘Swans’ come from? Michael would laugh when asked this question and reply, “The Hans Christian Andersen story. This building was truly an ugly duckling before we started.”‘