Ile Sauvage Brewing, located downtown Victoria, specializes in sour beer which has a similar acidity as white wine. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

From home brews to owning a brewery: Ile Sauvage specializes in sours

Cicerone teaches beer school events for other ‘beer geeks’

From college roommates fiddling with home brews to brewery owning buds – Stephane Turcotte, Ian Ibbotson and Adam Gresley-Jones say they’re living the life.

The threesome own Ile Sauvage located in downtown Victoria. The brewery opened last November and specializes in sour beer.

“I’d say our beers pop and most people agree with that,” says Turcotte.

RELATED: Is your beer vegan? Vancouver Island Brewing also going kosher

According to Turcotte the trend started in Germany and Belgium, breweries started adding a bacteria to the beer to make them ‘sour’ – although Turcotte says the name is a little misleading.

“It’s not a really good term because technically speaking they have as much sourness as a white wine,” says Turcotte.

While they say sour beer might be an acquired taste for some, they’re proud of being able to show off their talent locally.

“We’ve heard almost nothing but good reviews of our beer, there’s the odd person who doesn’t like sour beer but we’ve been really impressed with being able to convert them into sour beer drinkers,” says Turcotte.

Turcotte had been running a brewery with his wife in South Korea, but on a visit home started imagining what life would be like if he, Ibbotson and Gresley-Jones could open a brewery on the Island.

“The one thing we wanted to do was make sure we were making exciting beer that we are passionate about,” says Turcotte. “We got to basically dream up our ideal brewery and do that.”

RELATED: Getting hopped up for Victoria Beer Week

Securing their location in spring 2017, Turcotte says it took about a year of rezoning and planning to get the brewery, tasting room and bar up and running.

“Not only can you taste the beer but you can also buy flights of beer or by the glass,” says Turcotte. “You can also buy beer to-go.”

With a rotating menu of new beers the team says they love to experiment.

“We generally choose stuff that’s little bit funkier or wild with a lot of different strains that a lot of other breweries don’t use which we’re excited about because it helps us drive flavour and at the end of the day that’s what we’re excited about,” says Turcotte.

Both Turcotte and Ibbotson played with home brews while in university that lead to a lifelong passion.

“It was cheaper and the beer was a little better and so I just got more and more into it,” says Turcotte.

RELATED:Happy Beer Day! Iceland marks 30th anniversary of end of ban

Another unique characteristic of the brewery is the fact that Tourcotte is a cicerone, similar to a sommelier but for beer instead of wine.

“I’m actually an advanced cicerone so I think I’m the only one on Vancouver Island,” he says adding the testing for this was more intense than when he did his masters degree at the University of Victoria.

The team at Ile Sauvage say that while it’s understandable if you don’t like sour beer, the best way to try it out is to come in and crack a cold one.

“We’re pretty confident there’ll be at least one beer you will really like,” says Turcotte.

In conjunction with Victoria’s Beer Week, Turcotte will be teaching a couple beer school events for other ‘beer geeks’ on the Island.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Oak Bay-based performing arts school named second Acorn Arts Award winner

District award recognizes CCPA’s outstanding contributions to the arts

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read