River of beer in Victoria street causes stir after tank leak at a local brewery

Beer flowing in Victoria street [Credit: Erynn Pawluk]

In perhaps one of the most patriotic manufacturing accidents in Canadian history, a valve issue at Phillips Brewery in Victoria, B.C. caused a tank of beer to flow into the street.

The spill happened at around 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon, and it wasn’t long before people heard about it and began volunteering help “clean up” the mess. The incident, dubbed #beerriver on Twitter, led to excitement on social media and a lingering hoppy odour at the intersection of Government and Pembroke streets.

Videos and photos of the incident show the liquid streaming down into gutters and lapping at the curb as brewery employees desperately try to sweep it into storm drains. The beer itself is reminiscent of a pitcher inexpertly poured at your local dive bar: it’s dirty and has a significant foamy head, which surely made the cleanup process even more difficult.

While people online reacted to the news of a body of water composed entirely of beer with jubilance, the true beer lovers among us have to express regret at beer lost. While it’s not known exactly how much beer was lost in the spill, a tank holds enough liquid to fill over 3,000 bottles, which is a whole lot of beer going down the drain.

But never fear, Phillips’ beer output hasn’t been stopped by the incident. They are fully prepared for the demands of patio season.

The Canadian beerscape is packed with weird and wonderful brews, and Phillips has always been a beloved member of the Canada’s craft brew family. But now that they’ve literally created a river of ale…they may just go down in history as beer legends.

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