BC Craft Beer drinkers flocked to the Okanagan for the 19th annual Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale hosted in Penticton BC. Record numbers showed up to experience 35 different breweries and their beers that are making headlines around the province. In addition to the opportunity to experience the best BC Craft Beer available, industry experts also took the time to judge the beers and declare best in class awards across categories and ultimately the Best in Show. This year Four Winds Brewery took the top prize for their White Rye IPA.
Full results and details from the event can be found in the official press release.
PENTICTON, B.C. – A hopping good time was had by all who attended the 19th Annual Okanagan Fest-of-Ale beer tasting event held in Penticton April 4th and 5th. The caliber of brewers this year was outstanding. Wayne Schmuck, Marketing Chair of the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Society explained, “This year we re-adjusted the layout of the space so we could accommodate 35 brewers, which represented the greatest number of brewers in the event’s history. Of the 35 brewers, 8 of them were new to the festival, which shows the reputation we are building for this event”. The nearly sold out event included a number of new features including food and beer pairings and a sizable increase in the selection of real cask ales. Schmuck continued, “In addition to an increase in ticket sales versus previous years, we also saw a significant increase in hotel and tickets packages, a testament that people will travel to Penticton to attend this festival, and it also is a testament to the growth of the craft beer industry.”
Each of the 35 participating breweries put forward their best brews for judging. 2014 awards were determined by industry experts Joe Wiebe, author, Craft Beer Revolution; Jim Martin, Metro Liquor; David Beardsell, brewery owner/consultant; Mike Garson, Mike’s Craft Beer; and Alan Moen, NorthWest Brewing News. The awards were distributed as follows:
Best of Show, Judges Choice:
Four Winds White Rye IPA – Four Winds Brewing Co, Delta
Best in Class, Judges Choice:
Lager/Pilsner: Hoyner Pilsner – Hoyne Brewing Co., Victoria BC
Pale Ale: Red Truck Ale – Red Truck Beer Company, Vancouver BC
IPA: Four Winds White Rye IPA – Four Winds Brewing Co, Delta BC
Wit/Wheat: Robson Street Hefeweizen – Granville Island Brewery, Vancouver BC
Ales: Naramata Nut Brown Ale – Cannery Brewing, Penticton BC
Stout/Porter: Holy Smoke Stout – Firehall Brewery, Oliver BC
Belgian: Sunkissed Tea Saison – Deep Cove, North Vancouver BC
Fruit Beer: Stiegl Radler – McClelland Premium Imports, BC
Ciders: Red Roof Cider – Orchard Hill Estate Cidery, Oliver BC
The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by the guests at the event:
Best Beer: Project 9 Pils – Fernie Brewing Co, Fernie BC
Best Booth: Penticton Lakeside Resort, Penticton BC
Best Food: Brodo Kitchen, Penticton BC
Best Band: The Dungbeatles
A great time was had by all! The organizers and Board of Directors wish to thank all vendors, supporters, volunteers and attendees for making this event a success year over year. Net proceeds benefit some great local charitable organizations – check out www.fest-of-ale.bc.ca for all the details. With results like these, we are already looking forward to the 20th Okanagan Fest-of-Ale in 2015!
Photos by Kim Lawton