Breweries To Quench Your Thirst In (And A Bit Around) Nanaimo

April 30, 2021

NANAIMO – While mainland Vancouver breweries tend to get the spotlight due to the sheer volume of options, Vancouver Island boasts its own formidable bevy of exceptional breweries with unique and exciting offerings. Amongst them, Nanaimo holds its own, with plenty of tasty and award-winning choices for locals and visitors alike.

Check out our list of homegrown breweries right here in our own backyard, and celebrate a local brewmaster with your business next time you crave a frosty one!

WOLF BREWING CO. – 940 Old Victoria Road, Nanaimo

Wolf Brewing Co. began as Fat Cat Brewery in 2000, Nanaimo’s very first craft brewing company. After a few ownership changes and a rebrand, it landed in the capable hands of expert brewmaster, Kev Ward. Tucked in an industrial park off Highway 1, Wolf Brewing is continually concocting delicious favorites and new offerings to add to their brew stable. –

TWO TO TRY: Dark Malt Porter, Dirty Harry California Common old style amber ale


CLIFFSIDE BREWING COMPANY – 11 Cliff Street, Nanaimo

Opened by head brewer Andrew Eubank, his father Jack and brother Mike, Cliffside Brewing Company is a family-owned-and-operated microbrewery that prides itself on high-quality, small batch beers. This small batch blueprint allows them to release new, tempting creations quickly for thirsty patrons to explore and enjoy. –

TWO TO TRY: Plateau amber IPA, Plaid Jacket smooth red ale


WHITE SAILS BREWING125 Comox Road, Nanaimo

A Downtown Nanaimo favorite, White Sails Brewing won our own Beverage Business of the year award in 2020, but we weren’t their first. They won Best Canadian and Best World Black IPA for their Snake Island CDA at the World Beer Awards in 2017, also taking home the Canadian Gold Medal at the tournament for their Mount Benson IPA.That’s not even a full list of their accolades. In short, White Sails has been instrumental in putting Nanimo’s unique brewery scene on the map. –

TWO TO TRY:  Yellow Point Pale Ale, Chocolate Porter


LONGWOOD BREWERY – 2046 Boxwood Road, Nanaimo


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Longwood Brewery was named, “The most local of local breweries and beers,” in the Tyee’s 100-Mile Beer Challenge in 2020. Aptly, Longwood utilizes hops from Cedar Valley Hop Yards just south of Nanaimo in some of their most delicious creations, including a knockout Russian imperial stout and their outstanding Irish red ale. They’ve also been included in Nanaimo’s Best of the City awards, and took home silver in the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2020 for their Honey Hop Pale Ale.  –

TWO TO TRY: Island Time Lager, Quince Tart Lager

We can’t celebrate our own local breweries without acknowledging some of our immediate neighbors. A quick ride up the coast will take you to two of our favorite spots outside of Nanaimo’s city limits.

RIOT BREWING COMPANY – 101A, 3055 Oak Street, Chemainus


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Riot Brewing Company makes art in and outside of the bottle. Artist Jimbo Phillips, son of famous Santa Cruz Skateboards artist Jim Phillips, has designed vibrant, strange and truly unique label art for many of Riot’s eclectic brews. With over two dozen wildly different beers between year-round selections, seasonal offerings and collaborations with everyone from breweries, a coffee roastery, and even a barber shop, Riot will never leave you short of options. –

TWO TO TRY: Lipside Lager, Working Class Hero Dark Mild


MOUNT ARROWSMITH BREWING COMPANY – 425 Stanford Avenue East #109, Parksville


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If your handmade pizza cravings match your craft beer appetite, Parksville’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company has you more than covered. Their in-house pizzeria offers the ideal meal to compliment their award-winning selection of home-grown brewer David Woodward’s hand-crafted beers. Want a ham, pineapple and bacon slice with a crisp blonde ale? That’s just one delicous combo Mount Arrowsmith has on their menu and on tap. –

TWO TO TRY: Comfortably Chum Hefeweizen, Salish Sea Pale Ale





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