This trailblazer is changing the way Western Canadians enjoy a brew.

There once was a brewer named MattWhose passion for beer was unmatchedHe dreamed of a dayHe’d make beers his own wayAnd the plan for a brewery was hatchedThe above little ditty is the first verse of a seventy-line poem Matt Phillips penned to document the birth of his brewery in 2001. This is proof enough the former Spinnakers employee does things a little differently. He started his brewery with a raft of credit cards, living at the site for the first few years to make a go of it. But the first time many Western Canadians ever saw the words Kolsch, Rye IPA, ISA or Wit on a beer label, it was on a Phillips beer. And while we’re in the middle of a craft beer renaissance, it’s worthwhile to look back at someone who’s been doing things differently for almost 15 years.Q&AOne trait you need to be a good brewmaster?Most people would assume it is a beard.Dream bottle of beer?Bottomless.Go-to bottle of beer with pizza on a Wednesday?Amber ale usually works pretty well for me!Where do you go for beer when you cross the border?If I can hit it, that place is Apex bar in Portland.Greatest thing about working in Victoria?There is a wonderful sense of community here—and it is great for the brewery to be a part of it.Trends you see for the coming year?I am hoping a trend towards more local ingredients. We are currently building a malting plant to allow us to use local barley in our beer.2015 Foodies of the Year Matt Philips Western Living 32015 Foodies of the Year Matt Philips Western Living 1