Raspberry Wheat – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “basic lightly raspberry flavoured boring wheat ale. Palate is rough after drinking.”


Raspberry Wheat – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“A crisp, dry and refreshing summer beer. Brewed with BC raspberries for a full nose and crisp finish, this beer pairs well with sunglasses and patios.”


  • Style: (raspberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: light raspberry light body wheat ale palate rough
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$6 CAD – 650 ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: palate roughness at the end

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours blush red with a dissipating 1cm head, fine ringed retention with an island, raspberry sediment, slow and steady micro streams.

Nose: clean fruity raspberry juice, inviting. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp

Mid-palate: thin mouthfeel, off-dry, (lvl-2-sweetness), fruity raspberry jam

Finish: dry wheat malt, raspberry exhale, mild artificial sweetener-like roughness

Summary: A very basic and straightforward lightly flavoured raspberry wheat ale, not much body or depth to speak of. It’s just an easy-drinking brew, barely above average, hardly recommendable nor memorable. The best aspect is the nose.

Evergreen Ale – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)


TL:DR – “plain sweet barley malt with a bit of honey spruce. Not terribly exciting.”


Evergreen Ale (ale with spruce tips) – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“This beer is rooted in Vancouver Island tradition-literally. Just like the first beers brewed in BC by Captain Cook back in 1778, local hand-picked spruce tips give this coniferous ale a crisp pine flavour!”


  • Style: (spruce tips) Herb Ale
  • Taste: sweet grainy barley malt subtle spruce honey
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $5 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: clean and drinkable

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours cloudy copper orange with a small dissipating 1mm head, a thin layer of retention, suspended bits of sediment, just a few bubbles here and there – not much.

Nose: honey-toffee malt, green sprucey overtones – very inviting. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, airy-green, spruce bitter undertones

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), bready sweet barley malt, honey, more subtle spruce, subtle tart

Finish: off-dry grainy malt, candy toffee exhale.

Summary: Too bad it doesn’t taste as inviting as it smells. Mostly sweet malt with a bit of spruce nuance, it drinks rather straightforward and basic. A bit above average, but not something I’d keep on my hard drive.

Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Scarfface Cranberry Orange Wit – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“Say hello to our little friend! Scarfface is a welcome break from the heavy winter ales, this seasonal offering is snow-packed with enough cranberry and citrus to make a bad guy feel good. The world is yours…and so is this.”

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, hops, yeast, cranberry juice, coriander, pure orange oil, acacia gum

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  • Style: (cranberry juice, coriander, orange oil) Flavoured Wheat ale
  • Taste: Light pukey palate rough tart tangy unappealing orangish/cranberryish wheat malt
  • Where I got it : Legacy liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.90 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way in frozen hell

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours almost clear pale candy orange without much of a head, ringed retention, scattered small clustered steady streams, minor lacing.

Nose: unappealing orange oil, hints of berries. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp-huge tart, light funk’d tart fruity wheat malt impression

Mid-palate: persistent tartness, (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy-tart acidity, background thin orange oil, palate rough soft banana wheat malt

Finish: slight coriander dry, more palate rough tart slight cranberry finish

Summary: Unfortunately none of the particularly advertised flavours shine; the whole experience lacks refinement. There’s also a major palate roughness in here that makes it quite unpleasant to drink by itself. Not recommended, though I can’t remember that last time I had a Phillips brew that wow’d me.

Old Sarsaparilla – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Old Sarsaparilla Root Beer Style Ale – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“The stranger: Say friend, d;ya have a good sarsaparilla?

Bartender: We’ve got Phillips old sarsaparilla.

The stranger: That’s a good one.”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, anise seed, spearmint, licorice, ginger, nutmeg and yeast

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  • Style: (root beer spices) Spice/Herb Beer
  • Taste: Mainly toffee barley malt off-dry wintergreen-sarsaparilla-nutmeg exhale no thin carry
  • Where I got it : Legacy liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours translucent medium dark copper brown with a dissipating 2mm head, ring and island retention, singular fast loose streams.

Nose: sarsaparilla/wintergreen, hints of nutmeg, caramel malt – quite inviting. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: off-dry thin body impression, light crisp

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy toffee metallic barley malt dominant

Finish: wintergreen-sarsaparilla exhale, nutmeg, anise seed-licorice, subtle hops, flat no carry residual thin barley malt.

Summary: The initial sips are somewhat disappointing in that you get mainly a toffee barley malt bomb without the accompanied sugar rush you usually get in a beverage label “sarsaparilla/root beer”. Most of the spices are discernible at the finish, quite nice; I’m not liking the thin watery mouthfeel and lack of carry of the barley malt though.

Boxcar ESB – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

Boxcar Extra Special Bitter – Phillips Brewing Company, 5% ABV, 355 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-right label:

“From the other side of the tracks comes a Phillips twist on a British classic. Like a freight train to your pallet this boxcar is loaded with enough hops to wake the sleepiest rail rider. A sophisticated depth of flavour all the way down the line, it’s boxcar Willie meets the Queen. Hop on!”

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  • Style: ESB
  • Taste: Citrusy almost lemony grand fir grassy sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : exchanged with brother
  • How much: priceless, sometime in 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours dark copper brown with a lasting 1cm foamy head, micro suspended sediment, tight clustered glass of streams.

Nose: sweet toffee’d caramel barley malts, hints of brown sugar. Awesome. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, half-bodied

Mid-palate: metallic-toasted barley malt, fading flavour, (lvl-3-sweetness), residual caramel-building hopped bitterness

Finish: lingering bitter without carry, airy-bready, residual malts.

Summary: Like the majority of Phillips’ brews, slightly above average and not something you’d remember. The nose is better than the actual beer. The fullness or body is lacking in the mids and moreso in the finish.

Sky High Grand Fir Ale – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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Sky High Grand Fir Ale – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-right label:

“If you’re pining for a sappy sipper you may be barking up the wrong tree. Branching out from the usual, freshly harvested grand fir boughs were added to the kettle, accenting this bright ale with notes of citrus & evergreen.”

Ingredients: water, barley, hops, yeast, grand fir boughs, grand fir essential oils.

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  • Style: (herb flavoured –  Grand Fir) Spice/Herb Ale
  • Taste: Citrusy almost lemony grand fir grassy sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $7.85 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: like fir? Be my guest

Visual: Pours clear golden straw yellow, almost no head, thin large island retention, several of steady large CO2 bubble streams. Suspended sediment in the last pour.

Nose: grassy grand fir, light woody, sweet lager malt. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: almost creamy, incoming sweet barley

Mid-palate: fizzy-tingly, (lvl-4-sweetness), citrusy grand fir tang, grand fir oil, almost lemony, light sweet barley malt

Finish: grand fir grassy exhale, lager malty, tongue numbness

Summary: Interesting prominent grand fir flavour profile that works, but the barley base is fairly basic and non-spectacular.

Odyssey Nitro Porter – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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Odyssey Nitro Porter – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 500 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


printed on the side of the can:

“Welcome aboard the Odyssey, our nitrogen powered porter transport vessel. Known for riding cascading clouds of tiny bubbles through turbulence into a creamy foam landing, it delivers the rich and full flavoured voyage you’ve been waiting for.”

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  • Style: (nitrogenated) Porter
  • Taste: Creamy but immediately flat roasted barley coffee chocolate watery thin
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3 CAD (after 10% off) – 500ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours dark brown with a lasting 5mm pillowy nitro foam head.

Nose: deep roasted coffee barley malt. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: (initial sips = creamy), afterward = flat-slick-watery

Mid-palate: sustained background acidity, deep roasted barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness),

Finish: roasted coffee and sweet barley malt exhale, mild chocolate.

Summary: The initial few sips are good but the nitrogen quickly disappears and you’re left with a seemingly flat and watery drink. I enjoy the roasted malt profile but overall it’s just too watery too fully enjoy.