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

Tackling ‘one fear after another:’ ‘Spirit Orca’ swimmers ready for next challenge

Victoria swimmers with developmental disabilities preparing for ocean relay in Great Bear Rainforest

Easter Seal’s Drop Zone gives participants chance to rappel down 13-storey Victoria building

Event supports Easter Seal’s services, specifically their camp in Shawnigan

Tuesday will be mainly cloudy

Plus your weekly forecast

Province funds $88.6M for two new schools in Langford by 2022

Langford gets 500-seat elementary school and a 700-seat middle school

New secondary school planned for north Langford

Province announces $18.6 million in funding for site

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read