Island Pubbing II: A Guide to Pubs on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Rev. ed.


168 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 0-920501-60-5
DDC 647.95711'2




Reviewed by Susan Perks

Susan Perks, formerly a teacher and librarian, is a travel agent in
Thompson, Manitoba.


This update of the 1984 guide includes 40 new pubs. All together, 72
pubs throughout Vancouver Island are described, including some of the
Gulf Islands and “up-island.” Each pub has some historical or local
significance. One example is the Dinghy Dock Pub, Canada’s only
floating pub, at Protection Island near Nanaimo. The author mentions
various tourist attractions in the vicinity of each pub. There are
several maps, and directions are included for each pub. Hours of
operation for each pub are given. Throughout, the book offers gems of
trivia about beer and about Vancouver Island, as well as philosophical
musings about pubs in general. A chapter also gives the history of
beer-brewing. Some of the pubs have separate restaurants. The author
states that “the kitchen is the heart of any genuine pub,” and he
describes many of their specialties.

Moyes, a freelance writer in Victoria, has an easily readable style. He
skillfully portrays the pub not as a “noisy tavern,” but as a
fellowship and social centre, a place for anyone who enjoys a
“civilized sip and the pleasures of good company.” The book made me
want to go to Vancouver Island and visit every pub.

Some photos are included. In a future edition, I would like to see a
photo for each pub. This would help newcomers to the area, as well as
help readers visualize the pubs. Also, I would like to see prices given
for each restaurant. Only three times does Moyes give the price of a
“special.” Even though prices do change, this would give the
first-time visitor an idea of the price range to expect.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable book. It will be popular with anyone
planning a trip to Vancouver Island, and it will also be a useful book
for any Island residents.


Moyes, Robert., “Island Pubbing II: A Guide to Pubs on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,