Fest-Of-Ale 2016 – Penticton

With April comes one of my favourite beer festivals in the province in the Fest-Of-Ale.  This was the 21 annual event in Penticton and was once again a great party!  This two day festival took place on April 8th and 9th a Friday and Saturday.  Once again the festival was able to have an indoor and outdoor section that included beer, food and live music.  The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre was again the host location of the festival.

PicMonkey Collage(23)

Every year the festival invites new breweries to the festival.  This year there was just over 50 breweries and cideries in attendance.

This years brewery and Cidery list includes the following:
4 Mile Brewing
Bad Tattoo Brewing
Banff Ave Brewing
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC TRee Fruits
BRB Brewing
Big Rock Brewery
BNA Brewing
Bomber Brewing
Bridge Brewing
Cannery Brewing
Canuck Empire
Category 12 Brewing
Central City Brewers & Distillers
Coal Harbour Brewing
Crannog Ales
Dead Frog Brewery
Dominion Cider Co
Driftwood Brewery
Fernie Brewing
Firehall Brewery
Four Winds Brewing
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewery
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing
Lighthouse Brewing
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Company
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Mt Begbie Brewing
Old Abbey Ales
Old Yale Brewing
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Breiwng
Phillips Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
R&B Brewing
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Collar Brewing
Red Truck Beer
Russell Brewing
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing
Tin Whistle Brewing
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Vancouver Island Brewery
Wards Cider
Yellow Dog Brewing

On the Friday I was able to get into the festival early as I was part of the Media for the festival.  It is nice to get some photos before the place gets packed!

The Friday event ran from 4pm until 9pm and was a great mix of people.  The crowd that comes after work to drink is quite civilized.  Friday’s crowd seems to be more interested in getting to know the flavours and brands on hand at the festival.

Once again the fist day of the festival was a total blast.  The breweries involved were great and the people attending where all really excited to be there.  Like always I took the Friday easy as I was once again one of the Judges for the festival.

After our session of Judging on Saturday the judges all headed back into the festival for day two.  For the general public the festival ran from 12-6pm.  Like always day two for me is more about the food and the people than the beer as we have judged so many beers.  There were still lots of great beer that I sampled though especially some of the beers that we judged as winners.  With the second day being during the day the crowd seems to both be younger and less knowledgeable about craft beer.  Saturday is more rowdy and there are way more costumes.  Something that seems to be very popular at some beer festivals and even more at music festivals.

At 3pm all of the judges had to be up at the main stage that is located in the middle of the indoor portion of the festival.  This is where the awards where given out to the winning breweries and cideries.  Kim of DogLeg Marketing sent me these following photos of the winning breweries.  I could not take them as I was standing on the stage in behind the winners.

Here is the list of winning beers as chosen by the judging panel.

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:

Pilsner/Golden Lager – Bohemian Pilsner – Hearthstone Brewery, North Vancouver
Pale Ale – Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons
Wheat Ale – Smoked Hefeweizen – Steel & Oak Brewing Company, New Westminster Belgian Golden/Saison – Old Barn Saison – Fernie Brewing Company, Fernie
Amber/Dark Ale – A Wee Angry Scotch Ale – Russell Brewing, Surrey
IPA – Slingshot Session IPA – Fernie Brewing, Fernie
Dark IPA – Disruption Black IPA – Category 12 Brewing, Victoria
Dark Lager – Black Lager – Tree Brewing, Kelowna
Belgian Strong – Delirium Tremens – McClelland Imports
Stout/Porter – Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford
Blender – Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale – Coal Harbour Brewing, Vancouver
Sour – Sour Raspberry – Old Abbey Ales, Abbotsford
Ciders – Calville’s Winter – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston
Fruit Beer – Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale – Dead Frog Brewing, Aldergrove

Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award: 

Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons

Here are some more photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing.

Full sized photos

Once again the Fest-Of-Ale was a massive success in 2016.  If you can only make it to one beer festival in the province next year this is a great contender!  I forgot to take photos this year of the pop up liquor store but it was once again had an amazing selection of great beers.  I was able to pick up some from Torchlight Brewing that is usually only available in a small area in the Nelson area.

Don’t Loose Your Dinosaur IPA – BNA Brewing

From BNA Brewing in Kelowna comes their “Don’t Loose Your Dinosaur IPA”.  The beer pours a cloudy orange/amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dank and floral hops, caramel and citrus.  The flavour is of dank hops, bitterness, citrus, fruit, earth, resin and maybe some toffee.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.2% with an IBU of 70.  This has a distinct East Coast IPA feel with the very cloudy body and a slightly lower bitterness even if the IBU is high.  If you find yourself in the Okanagan stop in and get a fill of this!

Blood Sugar Hops Magik IPA – BNA Brewing

From  the newest brewery in Kelowna BNA Brewing comes their “Blood Sugar Hops Magik IPA”.  The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of malts, earth, sweetness and floral hops but overall is very mild.  The flavour is of caramel, earth, orange peel, citrus, resin and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7% (Tag said 6% but website said 7%) with an IBU of 60.  All I can say about this brew is that I hope it is still on tap when I get back to Kelowna as it is really tasty!

Commercial Description:  Fruit-forward hops & a blood orange twist

bna brewing

BNA Brewing – Kelowna

BNA Brewing in Kelowna is the new kid on the block in the Okanagan Valley.  Located in the historic British North American Tobacco Company building.  Tobacco leaves have not been dried here for years and the building has been vacant for most of its time since the 1960’s.


Luckily for the Okanagan things have changed and BNA Brewing was born!  BNA Brewing consists of a restaurant, small tasting room and a small brewery.  It is a brew pub that also has lots of other craft beer on tap (mostly probably because their system is so small!  Starting in the restaurant I met up with a friend who lives in town and had a beer.  The restaurant is gorgeous with the base building barley being touched from its original state and great  old school and new school touches.  There are two levels to the pub with a shuffle board table on the main floor and an indoor lawn bowling or boccie on the upper level!

Once finished inside the brewery we were lucky enough to have a personal tour of the brewery by Jill.  On the way to the brewery we walked through the tiny tasting room as it leads into the brewery.  Man was this a tiny space.  It reminds me of many of the nano breweries I have visited!

Walking through the door at the back of the tasting room we entered the brewery.  Well I think it is only mildly bigger than the tasting room (ok not quite but close).  I think they underestimated the popularity of their beer when they put in the brewery as it is already full and they can not keep up with demand.  They have rented brewing space at a different local brewery to keep up with their demand!  Its a great problem to have to be sure.

I have now had samples of 4 different brews from BNA Brewing and have to say that I am quite excited to see what comes next from them!  Kelowna needed some competition in town when it came to craft beer and these guys have brought it!


If you are in and around Kelowna and you do not check out BNA Brewing you are doing yourself a disservice!

Full sized photos

BNA Brewing
1250 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC
Current hours
Fri-Sat 4pm-1am
7 days a week in the tasting room 1pm-8pm


Earl Pale Ale – BNA Brewing

From  the newest brewery in Kelowna BNA Brewing comes their “Earl Pale Ale”.  The beer pours a cloudy orange with an off white head.  The aroma consist of earl grey tea and malt notes.  The flavour is of earl grey tea, malts, earth and some bitterness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.75% with an IBU of 45.  Not being a huge fan of tea this is not my favourite beer but if you like tea and beer you will probably really like this beer.

Commercial Description:  Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus & spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea compliments these flavours and smooths the finish.