It didn’t take long for Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery and Twa Dogs Brewery to make a mark on the world stage.
The Saanich whisky and craft brewer only opened in 2016, but its single malt whiskies are already competing with 12-year-old bottles from the world’s best distillers, and its inventive beers have piqued the interest of beer critics.
Founder Graeme Macaloney fell in love with Uisge Beatha, the water of life, as a young man in Scotland, and is now proud to bring the world’s best to B.C.
Award-winning single malt whisky
Caledonian whisky is crafted by a Scots trio rich in expertise. Whiskymaker Dr. Graeme Macaloney boasts a PhD in Fermentation Engineering. Mike Nicolson is a third-generation Master Distiller, and the late, great Dr. Jim Swan was a whisky maturation expert who helped select distillers around the world develop award-winning drams.
The knowledgable team works with quality ingredients like hand-hammered copper stills, rare oak casks, B.C. barley and crisp Victoria water.
“I travelled to Islay – the spiritual home of peated whiskies, and the ancestral home to my seven-greats granddad – to study how they peat-smoke great whiskies,” Macaloney says. “I worked with my cousin-in-law, an Alberta farmer, to build one of the first peat-smokers outside of Islay, and now we’re smoking B.C. barley here at the distillery.”
Try their Peated Mac na Braiche to taste that locally smoked barley, which won “World’s Best” at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards. The team continues to innovate, with a seaweed peated whisky in collaboration with Cascadia Seaweed in Sidney.
Civilized craft beer
The Twa Dogs Brew-Crew merges the best of Macaloney’s Scottish heritage with the flourishing craft beer scene of the Pacific Northwest. Brewermaster Dave Holowaty has nearly 10 years of technical brewing experience, and Quebecois Boiler Engineer Danny and Dutch Assistant Brewer Paul van der Ham round out the worldly crew.
This summer try their Dos Perros Mexican Style Lager for a crisp, easy-drinking brew, or for the more adventurous, there’s the Strawberry Daiquiri Sour.
“Later in the summer we’ll be doing a Seaweed Session IPA in collaboration with Cascadia Seaweed as well,” Macaloney says. Follow Twa Dogs on Instagram for their latest concoctions.
Adapting to COVID-19, and beyond
To order whisky, beer, hand sanitizer and merchandise, visit victoriacaledonian.com/shop, call 778-401-0410, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Locals can pick up orders seven days a week at the brewery/distillery conveniently located just off Glanford Ave., overlooking the Patricia Bay Highway at Royal Oak Drive, 761 Enterprise Cres. The store offers free deliveries in Greater Victoria for orders over $50. Don’t forget to pick up some hand sanitizer, a collaboration between the Caledonian and Goldstream distilleries! The bar serving Twa Dogs draft beer re-opens with appropriate social distancing on Friday, May 29.
“Please support your local breweries and distilleries and give us a visit one of these fine days!”
Join the fun
Keep an eye on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for updates about the summer patio, and distillery tours later in the year. If you want to take a stake in the innovative brewery-distillery and become one of 500+ Founder-Owners, visit their crowdfunding page, Canada’s first for a distillery.