Sooke has some pretty good beers, according to Sooke Oceanside Brewery owner Ryan Orr.
And he’s got the award to prove it.
SOB won second place for its Renfrew Red Ale in the Scottish and Irish Ale category at the eighth annual B.C. Beer Awards and Festival, held in Vancouver last month. The beer was created by local brewer Garritt Lalonde.
This was the first year SOB took part in the contest, which includes craft breweries from across the province. More than 800 beers were entered in several categories.
The win was welcomed by Orr, who started SOB just over a year ago.
“We’re flying with this win. It shows we’re on the right track,” he said.
Orr, a professional chef for more than 20 years, hopes this is just phase one of a bigger plan: bringing a restaurant and brewery to the Sooke waterfront.
“This is my phase one, to get it out there,” he said.
The brewery, which has six taps, offers four deeply-flavoured beers, or what Orr calls the “flagships” of SOB: Renfrew Red Ale, Irish Red Ale, Bonfire Blonde Ale, Boneyard IPA and Stiff Jab Pale Ale.
“I wasn’t really confident that it would succeed, but I didn’t know to what extent. I’m absolutely surprised how fast the business has grown,” Orr said.
And the success of SOB isn’t going unnoticed. A second brewery – Sooke Brewing Company – opened its doors on Otter Point Road earlier this month, and a third is in the planning stages.