Fest-Of-Ale 2017 – Penticton


April has come again and one of my favourite beer festivals has come and passed.  This was the 22 annual Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  This years festival was held on April 7-8th 2017 (Friday and Saturday).  This festival is held at the Penticton Trade and Concention Centre and is comprised of a large indoor area and a small outdoor section.  Both areas have live music as well as food options.

This festival continues to grow every year.  This year had an extra 15 breweries bringing it up to 65 and and a total of 6 bringing it up to 71 cider and beer producers.

This year the list included:

4 Mile Brewing Co.
Bad Tattoo Brewing Co
Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC Brew Co. and Distilling  – New
BC Tree Fruits Cider
Beau’s All Natural Brewing
BNA Brewing Co
Bomber Brewing
Boundary Brewing Company  – New
Bridge Brewing
Britannia Brewing  – New
Cannery Brewing Co.
Canuck Empire Brewing
Category 12 Brewing
Coal Harbour Brewing
Coronado Brewing Company
Crannog Ales
CrossRoads Brewing  – New
Dead Frog
Detonate Brewing
Doan’s Craft Brewing Company  – New
Dominion Cider Co
Dogwood Brewing – New
Double Mountain
Fernie Brewing Co.
Field House Brewing Co.  New
Firehall Brewery
Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.  New
Four Winds Brewing
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks  – New
Glutenberg
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewing Company Ltd
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Kettle River Brewing Company  – New
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Co.
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Moon Under Water
Mt Begbie Brewing Co.
Naramata Cider Co.  New
NOMAD Cider – New
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery Ltd.
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co
R&B Brewing Co
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Arrow Brewing Company  – New
Red Collar Brewing Co
Red Racer
Red Truck Beer Company
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Strange Fellows Brewing  – New
Summerland Heritage Cider Co.
The Parkside Brewery  – New
The Tin Whistle Brewery
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing Co.
Twin Sails Brewing  – New
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Victoria Caledonian Brewery  – New
Whistler Brewing
Yellow Dog Brewing

This year there were more than 175 craft beers being poured over the Friday and Saturday with over 5000 people in attendance.  Once again this was an amazing festival with great beer and lots of great people!  Here are some of the beer and food that I tried while at the fest.

This year I spent more time working on episodes of Pacific Beer Chat than I did taking photos for the blog.

Episode 12 Found us talking with Crannóg Ales out of Sorrento.   Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Episode 13 Part 1 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Cannery Brewing, Detonate Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Untapped Craft Imports, BNA Brewing, Kettle River Brewing and Torchlight Brewing.

Episode 14 Part 2 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Monday May 1, 2017

R&B Brewing, Crossroads Brewing, Tin Whistle Brewing, Marten Brewpub and Yellow Dog Brewing.

Like every year this was an amazing event.  There are a ton of people but you never have to wait in line long for a beer.  So many beer festivals get so crowded that you almost need two samples glasses to make it to the front of the line.  In the years that I have attended this has never been an issue.

This festival has become one of my absolute favorites every year.  Most of the best breweries come to this festival every year and the people really love that fact!  This year there were so many new beers to boot!  It may not have been requested but this year so many breweries brought out North East Style IPA’s the super cloudy and juicy beers.  These beers are all the rage right now and I am very happy that this is the case.

The first day of the festival I really explored the beers that the festival had to offer as I usually do.  This year though the weather was very bad on the way to Penticton and you could pick out the people like me that took the Coquihalla Highway and the Okanagan Connector as were were still stressed out and drank a bit to much because of it.  On Day 2 I was once again one of the as they put it Industry Expert judges for the best beers of the festival.  After Juding beer from 10am on Saturday I decided like normal that the second day of the festival was far more about the food than the beer.  Luckily for me the food was amazing!

If I remember correctly on Saturday around 3pm all of the judges made their way to the Main Stage for the awards ceremony.  Here are the winners from this years festival.

The Awards were distributed as follows:
Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:
High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:
Pilsner/Golden Lager Pixel Pils – Fuggles & Warlock, Richmond, BC
Pale Ale Dusk Pale Ale – Parkside Brewery, Port Moody, BC
Wheat Ale Summer Ale, Witbier – Steamworks Brewing, Burnaby, BC
Saison Sirens Chai Saison – Britannia Brewing, Richmond, BC
Amber/Dark Ale Brave Liver Scotch Ale – Mt. Begbie Brewing, Revelstoke, BC
IPA Street Legal IPA – Twin Sails Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Specialty IPA High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Dark Lager Dark Lager – Steel & Oak Brewing, New Westminster, BC
Stout/Porter Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford, BC
Sour Nectarous – Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Cider Pippin’s Fate – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston, BC
Fruit Beer Park Life Passionfruit Ale – Bomber Brewing, Vancouver, BC

The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by guests at the event:
Best Beer Old Style Lager – Red Arrow Brewing, Duncan, BC
Best Cider Pears & Peaches – BC Tree Fruits Cider, Kelowna, BC
Best Food Brodo Kitchen, Penticton, BC

When it comes right down to it if you can only make it to one beer festival in British Columbia in a year then the Okagnagan Fest-Of-Ale is that one festival.  They also have an amazing pop up liquor store to boot!

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Project 9 Pils – Fernie Brewing


From Fernie BC’s Fernie Brewing comes the “Project 9 Pils” part of a mixed 12 case I purchased for Camping.  The beer pours a straw yellow colour with a fluffy white head.  The aroma consists of biscuit malts, grain, citrus, sweetness and grassy hops.  The flavour is of biscuit, grain, mild fruit, grassy hops with little bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 35 although the bitterness is not all that present.  This is not a style that I often buy as there just is not enough flavour for me but Fernie Brewing has done a great job brewing this.  This will be a favourite for many during the hot Summer months.

Commercial Description:  Brewed right in the Canadian Rockies, Project 9 is a true Bavarian Pilsner with exceptional continental hop flavour that can only be achieved by a selection of fine noble hops including the Saaz variety. The use of Munich, Pilsner and Pale western Canadian malts and time honoured brewing methods produces a clean, crisp Bavarian Pilsner that is truly transcendent.  People’s Choice Award for Best Beer at the Okanagan Fest of Ale 2014 & Silver Award at Calgary BeerFest!

Food Pairing as per brewery:  Great with spicy foods, or a variety of cheeses.

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Fest-Of-Ale Day 1 2015 – Penticton


Time flies when you are having fun so I must have been having fun this year as it feels like I just attended last years Fest-Of-Ale recently.  I was lucky enough to get Friday April 10th, 2015 off work so I headed up to Penticton first thing in the morning to take part in the festivities for my second year in a row.  This year was the 20th Anniversary of the festival and it brought some new exciting things to the table this year.  First off this year had a large outdoor section as well as the main festival inside the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The Fest-Of-Ale fan from 4pm to 9pm on Friday.

PicMonkey Collage(23)

Both the indoor and outdoor parts of the venue had stages with live music as well as lots of beer and food venders.  With a growth in the space for Fest-Of-Ale this year the breweries and Cideries went from 35 to 47.  Its never bad to have more than 10 more breweries at a festival!

This years brewery and Cidery list includes the following:
4 Mile Brewing Co.
BC Tree Fruits Cider
Bad Tattoo Brewing
Barkerville Brewing Co.
Barley Mill Brew Pub
Big Rock Brewery
Bomber Brewing
Bravo Beer Co
Cannery Brewing
Canuck Empire Brewing
Central City Brewers & Distillers
Coal Harbour Brewing Company
Crannog Ales
Creemore Springs
Dead Frog Brewery
Driftwood Brewing
Fernie Brewing Co
Firehall Brewery
Four Winds Brewing
Granville Island Brewing
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Longwood Brewery
McClelland Premium Imports
Mill Street Brewery
Moon Under Water
Mt Begbie Brewing Co
Okanagan Spring
Old Yale Brewing Company
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery
Scandal Brewing
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
Red Collar Brewing Co.
Red Truck Beer Company
Spinnakers Brew Pub
Stanley Park Brewery
Steamworks Brewing Co.
Summerland Heritage Cider Company
Tin Whistle Brewery
Torchlight Brewing Co.
Tree Brewing Company
Twisted Hills Cider
Vancouver Island Brewery
Wards Hard Cider

Much like last year I was able to get a sneak peak at the festivities before the general public as I was part of the media and industry.  Here are my photos from before the public was let in.

Once 4pm hit and the doors were opened to the public it didn’t take long for the place to really fill up!  The after work crowd really came out to support the Friday night.  I would have to say that the average age on Friday would probably be much higher than on the Saturday afternoon event and was quite noticeable.  Friday had a different feel than Saturday with little to no costumes an a bit more subdued atmosphere.  Here are the photos from once the doors opened.

The other new thing at the Fest-Of-Ale this year comes thanks to one of the new Liquor Reforms (one that actually worked).  This year there was a popup liquor store at the festival!  Now when you leave the festival for the night you can leave and pick up beer or cider from all of the venders at the event.  This includes breweries that do not distribute their beer to the Okanagan!

Day one was once again a blast with so many great people to meet and chat with.  It was also great to catch up with so many of the Okanagan people that I have not seen in a year!  This years festival had just that much more great beer to sample and people really seemed to respond to that fact!  I tried to take Day one fairly easy as I knew that I had to be up early Saturday to once again be a judge at the event.

Full Sized photos can be found here.

The following photos are Kim’s of DogLeg Marketing.

Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie BC


Fernie Brewing is located very close to the BC Alberta border in Fernie BC has been around since 2003.  Starting out in the family barn and then moving to the current location things have slowly been building as the thirst for craft beer has exploded.  Things have not slowed down at the brewery either as they are currently upgrading their brew system to help increase their output while reducing the amount of work required to make their beer.

Ferniebrewing-002

Located in one of the most beautiful locations of any brewery in BC I was blown away when I arrived at the brewery!  The scenery was stunning!  When you walk through the doors of the brewery you will find a nice tasting room with lots of taps for tasting and a good amount of merchandise for purchase.  Like most breweries they also have bottles and cans for off sales as well as growlers for fills.  Fernie Brewing is currently re-branding all of their beer and I was given a look at a good chunk of their brew branding.  For the most part I really like the direction they are taking.

Normally the guys at Fernie would have given me a tour through the brewery but they were actually installing the new brew house and specifically their grist hopper.  Seeing as they were hoisting equipment I was not able to walk into the brewery.  I was still able to get a great view of the brew house though as I was taken up to the second floor and was able to get a view of the brewery through a door that led to a second floor mezzanine.  From here I was taken outside to see the other side of the brewery where the packaging takes place.  There was still a lot of activity here but it was still possible to take a peak.  The brewery was still brewing on their old system while the new system was being installed although it was moved to a new location to allow for the installation of the new system.

Not only is Fernie Brewing upgrading their brewery to increase beer production but they are also adding a new section to their building to increase storage space.  As it is now they are storing grains in containers outside as well as storing whatever they can outside when they can.  They were lucky to have a very sunny summer which helped with the upgrades.  I didn’t take any photos of the new building as it was only a concrete slab at that point as they are installing a prefabricated building that sits on top of the slab and will go up in only days.

If you find yourself in Fernie be it you live there, are on a road trip or are located just across the border in Alberta I recommend a visit to the brewery.  They make great beer and you would be missing out if you did not stop bye.

Here are full sized photos

Fernie Brewing Co
http://www.ferniebrewing.com
26 Manitou Rd. Fernie, British Columbia
V0B 1M5
Phone: (250) 423-7797
Toll Free: 1-855-777-BREW(2739)
Fax: (250) 423-7733

Fest-Of-Ale Day 2 2014- Penticton


On Day two (April 5th, 2014) of the Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton the party started at Noon.  Seeing as I was one of the Judges for the Fest-Of-Ale Awards I was not able to join the party until 3pm.  From the Judging room it sounded like there was a tone of fun being had though.

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As with Day One the brewery’s involved included the following:

Breweries and Cider Makers
Alpine Brewing Company – Oroville Washington
Bad Tatoo Brewing – Penticton (Not Pouring)
Barley Mill Brew Pub – Penticton
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Vancouver
Bomber Brewing – Vancouver
Bravo Beer Co – International Imports
Cannery Brewing – Penticton
Central City Brewing – Surrey
Crannog Ales – Sorrento
Creemore Springs – Creemore Ontario
Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – North Vancouver
Driftwood Brewery – Victoria
Fernie Brewing Co – Fernie
Firehall Brewery – Oliver
Four Winds Brewing Company – Delta
Hoyne Brewing – Victoria
Granville Island Brewing – Vancouver
Hoyne Brewing Co – Victoria
Lighthouse Brewing Company – Victoria
McClelland Premium Imports – International Imports
Mill St. Brewery – Toronto Ontario
Mt Begbie Brewing – Revelstoke
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson
Orchard Hill Cidery – Penticton
Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vancouver
Phillips Brewing Co – Victoria
Red Truck Beer Company – Vancouver
Stanley Park Brewery – Vancouver
Steamworks Brewing Co – Burnaby, Vancouver
Summerland Heritage Cider Company – Summerland
Tin Whistle Brewery – Penticton
Tree Brewing Co – Kelowna
Vancouver Island Brewery – Victoria
Wards Cider – Kelowna
Whistler Brewing Company – Whisler

There was also more great music on day two including Flashback, Joe’s Garage, Papa Wheeley, The Dungbeatles and Thursday Night Jazz Band.

Day one of the Festival was a bit more business for me as I knew that I had friends that would be at day 2.  While spending time with a few groups of friends I noticed that day two was quite a bit busier that the first day.  People seemed to be imbibing in a little more alcohol but everyone was having a great time!  I enjoyed a wide selection of beer although I did not need anymore really after all the judging.

 

Here are some photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing

It was then time to announce the winners to the entire room.  Not only did they announce the beers that won the Judging portion of the competition but they also announced the people’s choice awards.  The winners of the Fest-Of-Ale are as follows!

Winners

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

Best of Show

IPA: Four Winds White Rye IPA – Four Winds Brewing Co, Delta BC

People’s Choice Awards

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

Here are some photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing



Click here to see full sized versions of my Photos

The festival went on until 6pm and was a blast!  Once again I did take it easy at the actual event as I had one more event to hit up after this Festival.  I have to say that this is a very well run Beer Festival.  it is more about learning more about craft beer and different flavours than it is about over indulging.  It is great to see that this event has matured in the last 3 or 4 years from what I hear was a bit of a drunk fest.  It is amazing what removing a few vendors can do to change the whole feeling of a festival.  Congratulations to the organizers of the Fest-Of-Ale for pulling off a wonderful 19th Annual Event.