A New Liquor Store Opens at the Junction.

Nestled in the corner of Oak Bay Junction, we find the newly opened Vessel liquor store, bringing vibrancy to what was once a lackluster plaza. Warm lights strung across the parking lot and a hot white sign flashing deals at drivers make it hard not to be sucked in. With a focus on the best global and local, craft beverages and a desire for excellence, Vessel is more than a liquor store – it’s a whole little world (a vessel, have you) of folks who really love good drinks and want nothing more than to share their wealth of knowledge and products with whomever may wander in their doors.

Vessel is a liquor store providing a service to all palates. For those in search of Lucky or the like, you will not be disappointed. For those in search of some of the best wines, beers, and spirits in the city, you will be delighted. If you are unsure of what it is that you are looking for, their well-educated staff is eager to lend a hand. You can sense the passion with every team member you speak with, all of whom have formal training through WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust). The crew is lead by an all-star management committee that has some serious merits under their belts as well.

DSC_0578With all those brains at work, education is the second focus of Vessel, and the thing that really sets them apart from all other liquor stores in the city. Sharon McLean (one of the biggest names in Canadian wine educators and an EAT wine writer) is the Education Director, bringing her extensive knowledge and experience to the Cru’s Nest – the custom classroom that Vessel and Cru Consultancy have integrated above the store. The Cru’s Nest is a place not only for Vessel, but also for the entire community, really. With a line-up of rotating specialty classes through the store, WSET training through Cru Consultancy, and trade-only training, it will be brimming with activity almost every day of the week.

Other goodies to entice you include the tasting bar and case program. Every day, all day the tasting bar is set-up, ready to tempt you with a variety of treats. The case program is great for those who would like to stock their cellars, or even just the bar. Every month 12 different beverages are included in the case program, everything from beer to obscure spirits. You can mix and match any 12 or get 12 of the same thing, with 10% off the entire purchase.

And finally: the organization! Oh, the organization is enough to have me going on to everyone I meet. Everything is meticulously arranged in a rainbow of areas and flavours – it’s every neat freaks dream. Each beverage is separated into region, and then further by style, and finally laid out like the best book you’ll ever read, with the lightest options on the left leading to the stronger choices as the shelf goes on.

– By Laura Peterson

Vessel Liquor Store

1609 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8R 1H8


Monday – Sunday: 9:00am – 11:00pm


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