2015 Foodies of the Year: Matt Phillips
This trailblazer is changing the way Western Canadians enjoy a brew.
There once was a brewer named Matt
Whose passion for beer was unmatched
He dreamed of a day
He’d make beers his own way
And the plan for a brewery was hatched
The above little ditty is the first verse of a seventy-line poem Matt Phillips penned to document the birth of his brewery in 2001. This is proof enough the former Spinnakers employee does things a little differently. He started his brewery with a raft of credit cards, living at the site for the first few years to make a go of it. But the first time many Western Canadians ever saw the words Kolsch, Rye IPA, ISA or Wit on a beer label, it was on a Phillips beer. And while we’re in the middle of a craft beer renaissance, it’s worthwhile to look back at someone who’s been doing things differently for almost 15 years.
One trait you need to be a good brewmaster?
Most people would assume it is a beard.
Dream bottle of beer?
Go-to bottle of beer with pizza on a Wednesday?
Amber ale usually works pretty well for me!
Where do you go for beer when you cross the border?
If I can hit it, that place is Apex bar in Portland.
Greatest thing about working in Victoria?
There is a wonderful sense of community here—and it is great for the brewery to be a part of it.
Trends you see for the coming year?
I am hoping a trend towards more local ingredients. We are currently building a malting plant to allow us to use local barley in our beer.