A Look at the First Three Releases from the New Vancouver Island Brewing

Last Year, Vancouver Island Brewing was purchased by Bob MacDonald, who co-owns Ontario-Based craft brewery Muskoka, and also founded a large motor oil distribution company.

At first the new ownership was subtle, with the rebranding of their Storm Watch winter lager to a red pilsner and the release of their 19 east coast IPA. Then late last year they closed the tasting room, with plans to re-open on March 1, 2017 for a complete relaunch, with new beers, new recipes, and new branding.

Even though the grand relaunch is still a few weeks off, three rebranded beers have already started to hit stores. All of the beers have tweaked recipes and in a strange move, the ABV has been reduced to 4.8% for all of them (a gimmick based around the 48th parallel, which is slightly north of Victoria).

Piper’s Pale Ale has maintained its original name, while Hermann’s dark lager is now called 48, and a new ale has joined the ranks called Carmanah.

The details are listed below. I haven’t had a chance to taste them yet, because I don’t want to buy three six-packs. However, I know you shouldn’t just a book by its cover, but the packaging does not impress me. I could say more, but I will refrain.

Piper’s Pale Ale: Pub beer perfection, this complex and biscuity pale ale is our tribute to the legendary Piper James C. Richardson.



48: All the taste of a perfectly balanced German Dark Lager, but made right here on the 48th parallel. Excellence knows no borders.



Carmanah Ale: Piney and resinous, this Pacific Northwest amber ale’s flavour is as deep as a forest of Sitka spruces