I have consumed my fair share of beer over the years – it’s part of the territory when you are a news reporter. But in the ‘good old days’ of my burgeoning journalism career there was no such thing as a craft brewery – all the big companies dominated the market and the offerings in the pubs. Things have changed more recently, and the proof was in the tasting when we stopped in recently at Red Arrow Brewing Company just off the highway near Duncan.
Red Arrow is housed in a beautiful red brick building that was originally used as a motorcycle shop. The tasting room at the brewery has high ceilings, plenty of space, Red Arrow merchandise (of course!), friendly staff and some of the most interesting darned beers that have ever graced my gullet.
The signature brews are created on-site right at the Red Arrow building. At the time we visited the company had on offer eight very distinct beverages, created in just one year of existence. They have recently added several more, to the point where tasting all of them could be a dangerous thing from the point of view of trying to decide just which ones to purchase and take home to enjoy.
My husband and I have done our share of wine tasting tours over the years, including one very long and interesting day in the Cowichan Valley when I began writing for Destination BC. (http://blog.hellobc.com/vancouver-island-cowichan-valley-wine-region/) But beer had never been on the agenda until now. After the experience at Red Arrow I found myself wondering why we had taken so long to get around to visiting a craft brewery. It definitely won’t be long until our next experience!
The thing that impressed both my husband and myself was the wide range of intriguing flavours and hues that were set down before us. Everything from sourdough bread to cacao, black cherry and floral essences came through. We loved the Sweet Leaf IPA, a bright amber creation with a floral and fruity nature. And the Chocolate Cherry Porter – well, the name pretty much says it all on that one, describing the flavour as well as the dark, chocolatey brown colour.
Truth be known, there wasn’t a single offering among the eight that we didn’t like – each had its own special aroma and taste, and each had its own appeal. We travel Highway 1 south on the Island quite frequently these days, so we are happy to know that this great little brewery is a) so easily accessible off the highway and b) produces so many unique and delightful beers. I think Red Arrow is going to become one of our favourite stops on the way up and down-Island.
Further information on Red Arrow Brewing Company and its products can be found at the website:
Red Arrow is located at 5255 Chaster Road, Duncan
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 48.762630 Long. -123.690293
N 48 45.758 W 123 41.418