Ryan Orr once had a dream that he would one day design a craft brewery in his Sooke hometown. Years later, Ryan managed to realize his dreams through years of hard work. Located just off the side of the Shell gas station at 1-5529 on Sooke Road is the Sooke Oceanside Brewery. As a first brewery in the area, the locals were so excited about the new establishment that they bled the place dry after the first three opening days. Ryan also works alongside his wife Karri Jensen and fellow brewer Garritt Lalonde, who is also charged with the responsibility of overseeing the warehouse.
The Snooke Oceanside Brewery is driven by the heart and spirit of the West Coast, and one can feel it as soon as they walk into the brewery. The interiors are custom built and feature accents of solid wood, steel, and rock, which emit a homely feeling that captures you in as the smell of hops quickly fill the air.
Inside, the brewery has six taps which offer four amazing Sooke Oceanside flagship beers with complex flavors. These beers include the Stiff Jab pale ale, the Renfrew red ale, the Bonfire blonde ale, the Boneyard IPA and the Irish red ale. The Boneyard IPA, which seems to be many people’s favorite, has a deep flavor profile of tropical fruits, honey, and citrus. The hops in this beer are abundant and burst from the glass beautifully.
Ryan had plans from the very beginning to experiment as much as possible, which is why the two extra taps will award him the perfect chance to play around. He has toyed around with the idea of creating a Cedar Juniper APA and a coffee porter beer utilizing stick in the mud coffee.
The brewery can also use the two extra taps for guest tapping, which is becoming common as craft breweries in the area unite in an effort to collaborate and drive sales for micro and nano breweries. So far, the brewery does not yet do any bottling on site, however, patrons can enjoy their amazing brews on draught in the tasting room and in refilled growlers that can be carried to go.
Although it took a while for the brewery to survive the overwhelming demand for their beer that occurred in the first three opening days, Sooke Oceanside has since recovered to become one of the most visited places in the little town of Sooke.