For our first dinner in Victoria, we decided that a brewpub would be an excellent choice given all of our different preferences, our one common denominator being the love of a good beer. Spinnakers calls itself a gastro brewpub, and one look at their menu will fortify this impression. In their own words, a gastro brewpub means "gastronomically amazing fare". I am here to tell you that they don’t exaggerate.
There are two dining options. Families will want to choose the dining room since minors aren’t allowed in the taproom. Located on the second floor, the taproom is dominated by a large, well-stocked bar. The room is all rich woods, with a corner for the dart-throwing enthusiast. Whichever room you choose, you will have a least a fleeting view of the inner harbor, and, if you are lucky, a constant, stunning view.
Your first and most important choice is which of their wonderful artisan brews will you be trying. If you are me, you will be delighted that they offer a $1.50 tasting size so that you can experiment without falling under the table. I had four tasters (equal to a pint): India Pale Ale, King Tut’s Tipple, Honey Pale Ale, and Raspberry Ale. Why I always think that fruit and beer will make a good combination escapes me at the moment, but the Raspberry Ale was the only one that I found quite hard to finish. Honey pale is my favorite, but the other two are very enjoyable. These are the cold beers. There is a full selection of English style ales and stout as well.
"Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world."
All of their food is prepared on the premises, including their artisan breads and pastries. I chose the BBQ pizza for my dinner and Al and Chris both chose fish and chips, one cod and one halibut. For once in my life, I didn’t actually taste their food. I was much too busy with my unbelievable pizza. It had the thinnest crust you can imagine and was covered with chicken, bleu cheese, BBQ sauce, and blackberries. Yes, I said blackberries. It was without a doubt the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten. The combination of the pungent cheese with the sweet sauce and the texture of the berries is an inspired pairing. The chicken was just a bonus.
For dessert, we shared a chocolate tart. It proved to be the perfect dessert to share, richly chocolate and served with whipped cream. Washed down with fresh coffee, it was the perfect ending it a perfect meal
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
January 23, 2009
From journal Shop Til you Drop - B.C. 2003
October 9, 2004
From journal Victoria - City of Gardens