In this episode of the Cascadian Beer Podcast, Aaron visits Parksville Qualicum Beach, BC.

Back in early March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived here in British Columbia, Aaron Johnson visited Vancouver Island. After enjoying Lift Off!, the first night of Victoria Beer Week, Aaron headed Up Island.

This episode of the Cascadian Beer Podcast focuses on Parksville and Qualicum Beach, neighbouring communities located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island just north of Nanaimo that are very popular summer because of their glorious beaches, parks, golf courses, and of course, craft breweries!

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing

Since opening in 2017, Mount Arrowsmith Brewing quickly made a name for itself by winning the highest honours (Brewery of the Year) at the BC Beer Awards that same year. Parksville’s only craft brewery has a stylish tasting room with an on-site kitchen and pizzeria. The beer is made by Dave Woodward, who grew up nearby but made his name while brewing in Whistler, Tofino, and Victoria. He is well known for his audacious IPAs, and the one he brews here (Jagged Face IPA) is a fine example. Of course, the other styles he makes are delicious as well.

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company

LoveShack Libations

LoveShack Libations

This small Qualicum Beach brewery is a labour of love for its charismatic founder, Dave Paul. When Dave and his wife Rachel first moved to Qualicum Beach from Pemberton, near Whistler, they lived in a small home Dave built, which they affectionately dubbed the “Love Shack.” Later, after building a larger house, the shack became his hobby brewery. But repeated encouragement from Rachel led Dave to turn his hobby into this small brewery located right on the Island Highway.

Dave and Rachel Paul in the tasting room/brewhouse at Love Shack Libations.
Dave and Rachel Paul in Loveshack’s tasting room

Dave brews part-time, bottle-conditioning his beers in 500-ml bottles, and serves samples at the brewery two days a week. He is a charismatic fellow (his side job is as a bartender at a Parksville resort so he knows how to chat) and the tasting room is right in the middle of the brewery, so be prepared to be entertained while sampling his beers. Feel the love!

Dave Paul serves his beer at LoveShack Libations in Qualicum Beach.

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing and Love Shack Libations can be found on the Vancouver Island Ale Trail Part Two.

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