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 enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

West Shore RCMP reminds vehicle owners to lock it or lose it

Numerous complaints of vehicles rifled through in View Royal

Spring break nature walks – get the kids out into nature!

Spring break, CRD Regional Parks naturalists are hosting three guided nature walks

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read