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Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery
Active Beers: 18
Beer Ratings: 192
Beer Avg: 3.72
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Store ]
506 Pandora Ave
, V8W 1N6
phone: (250) 361-3310
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 18
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
easy to find spot in Central Victoria - very "airy" place on a nice spring afternoon. unfortunately the outside area requires a food purchase under BC law, and we werent eating (google Ulla, then go there, immediately). We saddled up at the small bar inside for a few beverages.
the atmosphere inside was pretty bland, which seems to be pretty standard in Victoria. it borrows from a lot of UK themes, which again, standard. The service was attentive, but rather normal. From the reading I did, seems like crappy loud music permeates this place after dark.
there was maybe 8 or 9 taps and they sell by the half-pint, pint and pitcher.
I really didnt have any expectations but found the Extra IPA to be quite good. The Cafe Fantastic double shot porter had a nice coffee flavour but was a bit watery.
It's a lot more convenient than Spinakkers and appears to be superior to Canoe, so if you're looking for a Victoria brewpub, this seems like the practical top choice.
05-29-2012 23:52:32 |
More by dirtylou
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
All dark and dank wood, this brewpub means business. English style for sure and packed to the gills with great beer, great tunes, and great value! The atmosphere is killer. Dark wood, many rooms, and a killer jazz/blues band. Quality was great as well. the IPA is killer, as is the rasp ale, cider, and cask bitter. Selection is great as well. 8 hand pumps and 6 taps let you know what is going down. Service is fast and friendly, and the food looked and smelled great! Definateley one of the best in BC's Capital city!
05-13-2005 07:18:23 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Interesting décor, to say the least. You feel almost in the lobby of an old art deco hotel. What really floored us was the large, looming painted portrait of Pierre-Elliott Trudeau not too far from the bar. With his haughty, condescending grin, I felt like he was staring straight at me, calling me a hotdog eater and telling to "foodoo-boodoo ma gang de tabarnak". Honest to God, it really fazed me. At least at the few other pubs we poked in on our quickie tour of Victoria, we had Lizzie the second's austere yet grandmotherly likeness welcoming us in. Thankfully we sat down at a table where I couldn't see him, so it didn't ruin it all for me. Other than that, the place was quite charming, along with the rest of the city for that matter. Decor was art-deco/old train station, I liked it. They were about to clear away our section to make room for the band, something not everyone likes in a brewpub, but I think it's great. What else...I found it strange to have the toilets protected by a code lock, but it wasn't the only pub I've been to on this trip that had this "feature". Service was prompt and I got my sampler tray quickly. Selections ranged from uninspired to somewhat interesting, with nothing really catching my eye, save perhaps the Scottish ale that had interesting smokiness to it. It stood out from the rest, but I had better. Didn't get to try any food either. But it was a fun place to visit in good company (certain former prime ministers excluded), if only for a few tasters.
10-22-2008 16:39:56 |
More by Goldorak
British Indian Ocean Territory
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Spent a night in the hotel, and had drinks and some food downstairs. The bar and hotel in general has some great history, and the inside of the bar had a great vibe. Sat in the atrium with great street views, a must on a rare sunny day in Victoria. Food was decent (yam fries, and salmon skewers) - better than your average pub, the beer was good, with the Oatmeal Stout and Coffee Porter being tops. Service was weak, but I'd chalk it up to our server in particular. All in all would definitely go back, and would certainly recommend.
As an aside I'd also recommend staying here; large rooms with excellent views and located in an ideal neighbourhood for walking (i.e. 5 minutes from Spinnakers, great local stores and other restaurants).
*Goldorak's comments about the "looming disapprovingly" portrait of P.E.T. is spot on - too funny.
10-17-2010 23:06:28 |
More by CBA
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Swans is a nice little brew pub in the swans hotel in downtown Victoria, BC. Live music is often playing on the weekends and can be loud, but sitting on their wonderful enclosed deck reduces the noise level quite a bit. I had their beer sampler initially and found all the beers to be quite nice. Food is the standard pub fare with a fair bit of seafood as well. The attached brewery/wine shop sells their pub brews in nicely labeled bottles for take out if desired. Worth checking out if you are in town.
04-16-2002 09:14:33 |
More by jreitman
British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
It was an old granary/feed-store, and in the heart of the city, it was reportedly Victoria's ugly duckling. Once renovated, it became the beautiful Swan that it is today! It continues to store grain (most of which is barley).
I had lunch at the Brewpub, and dinner at the Wild Saffron restaurant. They offer 4 oz samples for a very reasonable price (at both places). It's too bad their not a little larger, perhaps 5 or 6 ounzes? The pub and restaurant both have a nice atmosphere.
The pub was quite busy, so service was a little slow. The food was quite good, and an excellent value. I had slow roasted pork, which came on a mound of mashed potatoes, and was surrounded by beans. The ample portion was more than enough (I didn't finish the potatoes).
We had dinner early in the week, so it wasn't very busy. Service was exceptional. We chatted with our waiter about traveling and beer. It was a little pricey, but still a good value (the food was really exceptional).
Their beer is good/better-than-average.
12-24-2005 19:31:21 |
More by Derek
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Michael Williams, the original owner passed away a couple years back. He donated the pub and his extensive art collection to the University of Victoria. Some of his art collection can be seen in the pub.
Swans has consistently made good beer over the years. My second favourite brewpub in Victoria for beer.
11-12-2003 02:41:28 |
More by saskguy
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
We checked out Swans in the afternoon, and even then it was still fairly busy. Beautiful old rennovated heritage building on the corner of a busy intersection. The wood and ornaments within the bar are classy and well done, gives the whole place a comfortable and cozy feel to it. We sat in the L-shaped atrium on the outside of the building and watched the action happen and go by outside--great view and scenery.
A curious side-note: Swans is just up the street from some sort of drop-in centre, so if you sit in the atrium along Wharf you get to hear the screeching of tires and horns honking, plus intermittent screams and shrieks as random crackheads wander or run out right into traffic every 20 minutes or so.
Service was polite and professional, or at least our server was very friendly and accomodating. I had the most surreal encounter/conversation I've ever had with a server from another section who started out by shouting at my turned back, "Hey, pay attention to me!" Before that hadn't heard her over the din of the music and other patrons. What ensued I'll write off as just an acid flashback instead...
I sampled a few different pints (brown, stout and pale) and my friend went straight for the sampler option of 6 4 oz. glasses from their decent style selection. I found the beers I tried to be a bit mediocre for their styles, and for the most part on the watery side. Didn't get the opportunity to sample any food this time around, but I've heard from others that it is excellent.
Still, I was thoroughly content with the atmosphere of the pub, the beautiful decor, and sitting in the atrium on a pleasant sunny day, watching the citizens of Victoria bustle along their way, and witnessing the occasional wigged-out crackhead nearly getting mowed down by what was turning into rush hour traffic by that point.
I'm definitely planning on going back again, to sample a few more beers and give them a fair try, as well as to finally try the food. Definitely a place I'd love to spend an entire evening.
03-02-2008 21:02:04 |
More by IronDjinn
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
We sat in the greenhouse-like patio overlooking a nearby bridge and were fortunate to have a nice sunny day. The bar has lots of wood and a good pub feel. The patrons were a mix of locals and tourists on the weekend. The service was good, quick, and friendly. She even brought me a pen because I forgot mine. The only thing we ate was the poutine appetizer, which was very tasty with fresh potato fries, cheese, and gravy. If you haven't had this before, try it! They have a good selection of house brewed beers and a good menu. I would definitely recommend stopping by. We tried 3 of their beers on tap or cask, and they seemed a little watery but with good flavor.
07-10-2007 15:44:07 |
More by walshclimb
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Swans Brew Pub is set in a cool old reconditioned building turned into hotel, brewery and pub. It reminds me of a McMenamins establishment where I'm at in Portland, only with better beer.
The pub area is updated with quality, classy touches that seem pretty new. It's located on a busy city corner downtown near the inner harbor, so it gets quite a bit of foot and vehicle traffic that seem to keep business hopping. Not the most crowded place I've been, but pretty bustling on a weekend evening.
Our waitress was attentive and friendly. She seemed to have a lot of tables to wait, yet never seemed to keep anyone waiting. A team of bus staff helped, as well.
Swans had a surprising number of beers on tap, more than a dozen, I think. A solid, well rounded lineup that covered most major brewing bases but didn't hit any home runs. I tried the strong Riley's Scotch Ale (good, very malty traditional beer), their seasonal Coconut Porter (very one-dimensional coconut, but good), Oatmeal Stout (solid, roasty, malty) and the Extra IPA (despite the menu description, it didn't mean extra hops, but a good balanced IPA).
The side room we sat in was fairly quiet and insulated from the noisier bar, which suited us. It even deadened much of the volume of the cover band that started playing halfway through our time. We heard a band playing there another evening when walking by... whether that's a pro or a con for you, it seems to be a frequent occurrence.
The only food I tried was the mixed yam and potato fries, which were good, but fairly expensive for what you get to this American... so went it with just about every place I went in Victoria. However, Swans seemed in line with the other establishments I visited.
Worth a stop if you're getting a feel for the beer part of the town in Victoria. If it were in my hometown, It probably wouldn't be my most often stop, but it would be regular on the rotation. Kind of interesting, somehow Swans ended up having the highest overall rating I gave after visiting and reviewing the three Victoria brewpubs, but I think I'd be more likely to visit Spinnakers or Canoe if I was a local. I guess the standout service and good selection is maybe what skewed the numbers.
09-15-2009 04:18:44 |
More by josiahschlender
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Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery in Victoria, BC, Canada
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