Later this summer, Victoria’s Rock Bay district will be gaining its sixth brewery, when Île Sauvage Brewing Co. opens its doors at 2960 Bridge St, in the building formerly occupied by Pizzeria Prima Strada.
The brewery is a join venture between head brewer Stephane Turcotte and two of his close friends who share his passion for great beer. They aim to open the brewery and tasting room by September 1, followed by a full lounge some time in early 2018.
Île Sauvage is French for “Wild Island” and is a dual reference to the wild environs of Vancouver Island and the brewery’s main focus on Belgian-style wild ales and sours— making use of Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, and Pediococcus fermentations, as well as secondary fermentations with fruit.
They plan to use some stainless steel tanks but also a huge assortment of oak-ageing vessels. At opening, they will offer a number of beers produced using sour worting methods, but in the long run they plan to release more and more blended, oak-aged sour beers.
Turcotte’s main goal as a brewer is to release beers that excite him and his palate; therefore, a lot of the beers will make use of fermentation-derived flavours, dry-hopping, and local fruit refermentations.
Turcotte was inspired to start brewing by his father, who had been a hobby winemaker for over 30 years. When he went to UVic, he made a few beers at a local U-brew and got a taste for homebrewing.
After university, he moved to Korea where he met his wife and was dismayed with the local beer options. This prompted him to form a homebrew collective with some friends and they pooled their money to rig up an all-grain system and a Kegerator. They home-brewed so much that that it led to them opening a craft beer bar, followed by an actual brewpub called Galmegi Brewing Co. in Busan, South Korea.
Turcotte managed the original craft beer bar, before going on to serve as head brewer, part owner, and CEO of Galmegi for two and a half years. Following this he went on to study a brewing course through Siebel and gained his Cicerone certification.
Currently, he is working as a brewer at 4 Mile Brewing, where he is also helping to modernize their beers, designing new recipes, designing bottle labels, and keeping their social media up to date.
If you have noticed their new Mosaic Session IPA on shelves, this is one where he designed the recipe, brewed the beer, and designed the label. It’s also a ridiculously tasty session IPA, so make sure to pick one up.
I’ll be sure to post more information closer to the date and plan be there on opening day to report back on the beers on offer.