David Langlois

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"What areas have a high Beer Score?" is a question that I've never been asked.  But I wish someone would, because unlike the "What are the neighbours like?" it's a question I would look forward to answering.


Victoria has a varied and vibrant craft brewery and brew pub scene.  There are beers being produced in nearly every community, and further there are some bars and restaurants that specialize in bringing the best regional and international beers to our little corner of paradise.  Living in a beer district could very well make all the difference to a beer lover.


I am a big fan of the growler.  A growler is a 64 oz glass bottle, (jug?), that you take to a brewery or brewpub and have filled with the beer of your choice.  You can buy them at the breweries, they typically cost about 5$.  Filling them typically costs around $10.  This is a great deal, you get roughly 5 beers for $10, but it's five quality, fresh, wonderful beers! Perfect to take camping, to the beach, a BBQ or a dinner party at which local craft beer may well be more appreciated than wine.


According to Victoriabeers.com, (great site, go there), there are 11 breweries and brewpubs with growler stations offering an astounding 68 varieties of freshly brewed local beer.  It takes some time to work through this vast array of local beer, but it's good to have goals.


So what neighbourhoods offer a high Beer Score?  Downtown condos would generally score well, within walking distance of well known pubs on Government St. that feature a multitude of taps, for example Garrick's Head and the Churchill combine for over 100 taps.


But for straight up easy access to fresh brewed beer you can carry home in your own growler, the area in and around the intersection of Bay and Government wins hands down being within easy strolling distance of Moon Under Water, Hoyne, Phillips, Driftwood and Vancouver Island Breweries.  Chinatown would be a close second with easy access to Vancouver Island, Phillips, Swans and the Canoe Club.


Unfortunately there really isn's a whole lot of housing stock to choose from at Bay and Government while there are lots of choices in and around Chinatown, from new condos to converted lofts, micro lofts and historical buildings to funky townhouses and heritage spaces.  So while it may be a slight runner up in raw Beer Score, when adjusted for housing stock and proximity to the entertainment district offering exceptional beer drinking environments, Chinatown should be on the list of areas to look at for the beer aficionado!


So there's the answer, in case anyone does ask.


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