Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery

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Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield BrewerySwans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery
290 Ratings
Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield BrewerySwans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

506 Pandora Ave
Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 1N6

(250) 361-3310 | map

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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 22
Reviews by Derek:
Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

It was an old granary/feed-store, and in the heart of the city, it was reportedly Victoria's ugly duckling. Once renovated, it became the beautiful Swan that it is today! It continues to store grain (most of which is barley).

I had lunch at the Brewpub, and dinner at the Wild Saffron restaurant. They offer 4 oz samples for a very reasonable price (at both places). It's too bad their not a little larger, perhaps 5 or 6 ounzes? The pub and restaurant both have a nice atmosphere.

The pub was quite busy, so service was a little slow. The food was quite good, and an excellent value. I had slow roasted pork, which came on a mound of mashed potatoes, and was surrounded by beans. The ample portion was more than enough (I didn't finish the potatoes).

We had dinner early in the week, so it wasn't very busy. Service was exceptional. We chatted with our waiter about traveling and beer. It was a little pricey, but still a good value (the food was really exceptional).

Their beer is good/better-than-average.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of EOC
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good selection of beers and knowledgeable personnel.
Service was a little bit slow, more personnel is needed.

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Photo of Bach_And_Beer97
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of Kdouble
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Great spot in Victoria. The staff is super friendly and the brewer actually shared some soon to be released brews. Highly recommend checking it out.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Visited on a Tuesday about 4pm. Almost the only one in the place. Sat on the partially enclosed patio on a beautiful day.

V - More pub than beer bar. A bit warn but clean and open. Probably a bit dark at night. Beneath a hotel. Located on a relatively busy street corner. Great people watching if you have a patio seat. 4.0

Qual - I had the biere de garde, which was great! 4.25

Ser - Friendly attentive and helpful. No issues. 3.75

SEL - A good variety. I had the biere de garde. Something for everyone from the swans selection but also an equal number of guest taps. 4.0

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Photo of Needmorebeer312
3.9/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Taybeh
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of LampertLand
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Swans Brewpub on the corner of Bridge & Pandora in the heart of downtown , parking can be tough
the pub itself is nice , as is the new brewer and his beers ,
the drawback's service & food , both need to be updated

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Photo of cd34
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of bradybeer
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Nice spot to grab some pints. I mean imperial pints. Service was solid and food pretty darn good. Pulled pork poutine anyone? Was last here 18 years ago. Still rocking.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.74/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Jotora
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of ZachT
4.1/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of N_E_Beer
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Service a bit better than I thought, tasters were cool. beer is a bit un-carbonated for my liking on the whole but super location, some good specials, worth a visit.

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Photo of HipCzech
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25

Photo of twb0392
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Beergyrl
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of spark3148857
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of dirtylou
3.66/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

easy to find spot in Central Victoria - very "airy" place on a nice spring afternoon. unfortunately the outside area requires a food purchase under BC law, and we werent eating (google Ulla, then go there, immediately). We saddled up at the small bar inside for a few beverages.

the atmosphere inside was pretty bland, which seems to be pretty standard in Victoria. it borrows from a lot of UK themes, which again, standard. The service was attentive, but rather normal. From the reading I did, seems like crappy loud music permeates this place after dark.

there was maybe 8 or 9 taps and they sell by the half-pint, pint and pitcher.

I really didnt have any expectations but found the Extra IPA to be quite good. The Cafe Fantastic double shot porter had a nice coffee flavour but was a bit watery.

It's a lot more convenient than Spinakkers and appears to be superior to Canoe, so if you're looking for a Victoria brewpub, this seems like the practical top choice.

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Photo of BashOnABike
4.3/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Note: only inexpensive on Tuesdays and Wednesdays ($3.87 pints/$10.87 pitchers respectively)

This place had a decent atmosphere, live music daily during tourist season (summer) and great craft beer. None of us really tried the food, rather using the location for session drinking.

Sitting at the far back of the patio affords a beautiful view of the inner harbour and the pack-rusted Johnson St Bridge.

On weekends it gets pretty crowded. A more-or-less middle-aged clientele, but gets younger as the night wears on.

I recommend the Coconut Porter and Scotch Ale (8% abv)

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Photo of lespaulrocker
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited this brew-pub while on my honeymoon in Victoria. Pretty nice place.

A: Normal pub-like atmosphere. Nothing made it stand out. Patio area was nice.

Q: The food and the beer were great, the service was poor, but we'll get to that. Me and my wife tried different beers and food and everything was great.

S: We were in the pub around 2 P.M. and we were one of four tables. Even so it took 20 minutes for a waitress to finally wander over to us and get our drink orders, then another 15 to finally get our drinks, another 10 to place our food orders, then about 45 minutes after we asked for the bill to actually get the bill and pay. Really shoddy service. May have been an off day, but I wasn't impressed.

F: The food was good. The hot wings were tasty and my wife really enjoyed her sandwich. Nothing outstanding, but good nonetheless.

I would love to go back just to try more of the beers, and hopefully be able to try the oatmeal stout they were out of when I visited. But the service was awful and kept us from returning for the rest of our trip.

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Photo of CBA
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Spent a night in the hotel, and had drinks and some food downstairs. The bar and hotel in general has some great history, and the inside of the bar had a great vibe. Sat in the atrium with great street views, a must on a rare sunny day in Victoria. Food was decent (yam fries, and salmon skewers) - better than your average pub, the beer was good, with the Oatmeal Stout and Coffee Porter being tops. Service was weak, but I'd chalk it up to our server in particular. All in all would definitely go back, and would certainly recommend.

As an aside I'd also recommend staying here; large rooms with excellent views and located in an ideal neighbourhood for walking (i.e. 5 minutes from Spinnakers, great local stores and other restaurants).

*Goldorak's comments about the "looming disapprovingly" portrait of P.E.T. is spot on - too funny.

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Photo of ericj551
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

We met some friends at Swans for a couple of beers. We got there a little after dinner time and it was busy, but there was room at the bar. The atmosphere was upscale, but still pub like. I had the IPA and thought it was quite good, nicely balanced with plenty of citrusy hop flavor. My girlfriend had the brown ale, which was also quite good. Next I had their oatmeal stout, which was a highlight for me. One of the best I have had. It was rich and creamy, and full flavored.

The service was okay, we got offered fresh pints whenever we were low, but when it was time to settle up, it took about 15 minutes of waiting to get our bill. It was busy, but frustrating to watch the bartenders fill multiple orders that came after we had asked for to settle up.

As the night went on, the place got a little more rowdy, and there was some live music. Overall it was a little on the pricey side, $6+ for beers, but they were full pints, and I'd say the beer was worth it.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Swans Brew Pub is set in a cool old reconditioned building turned into hotel, brewery and pub. It reminds me of a McMenamins establishment where I'm at in Portland, only with better beer.

The pub area is updated with quality, classy touches that seem pretty new. It's located on a busy city corner downtown near the inner harbor, so it gets quite a bit of foot and vehicle traffic that seem to keep business hopping. Not the most crowded place I've been, but pretty bustling on a weekend evening.

Our waitress was attentive and friendly. She seemed to have a lot of tables to wait, yet never seemed to keep anyone waiting. A team of bus staff helped, as well.

Swans had a surprising number of beers on tap, more than a dozen, I think. A solid, well rounded lineup that covered most major brewing bases but didn't hit any home runs. I tried the strong Riley's Scotch Ale (good, very malty traditional beer), their seasonal Coconut Porter (very one-dimensional coconut, but good), Oatmeal Stout (solid, roasty, malty) and the Extra IPA (despite the menu description, it didn't mean extra hops, but a good balanced IPA).

The side room we sat in was fairly quiet and insulated from the noisier bar, which suited us. It even deadened much of the volume of the cover band that started playing halfway through our time. We heard a band playing there another evening when walking by... whether that's a pro or a con for you, it seems to be a frequent occurrence.

The only food I tried was the mixed yam and potato fries, which were good, but fairly expensive for what you get to this American... so went it with just about every place I went in Victoria. However, Swans seemed in line with the other establishments I visited.

Worth a stop if you're getting a feel for the beer part of the town in Victoria. If it were in my hometown, It probably wouldn't be my most often stop, but it would be regular on the rotation. Kind of interesting, somehow Swans ended up having the highest overall rating I gave after visiting and reviewing the three Victoria brewpubs, but I think I'd be more likely to visit Spinnakers or Canoe if I was a local. I guess the standout service and good selection is maybe what skewed the numbers.

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Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery in Victoria, BC, Canada
Brewery rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 290 ratings