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!

Double IPA (S2S) – Howe Sound Brewing


From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes their new beer in the Sea To Sky Series of beers a “Double IPA”.  I am a little confused as this bottle states its the 8th release in the series but the Baltic Porter With Red Grape was also numbered 8.  The beer poured a golden colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of some maltiness, juicy fruit notes including pineapple, tropical fruit, oranges and floral hops.  The flavour is of passion fruit, mandarine oranges, stone fruit, candied mango, caramel, honey, resin, pine, bitterness and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 8.5% with an IBU of 55.  Howe Sound definitely delivered with this new release and its nice to see that they are doing more of the Double IPA style now.

Commercial Description:  A juicy, full flavoured and delicious Double IPA. Hop notes of candied orange peel, watermelon, nectarine, ripe berry, passion fruit, rose petal, and resin are forefront on top of a clean malt profile. This beer is big balanced and simply beautiful.

Woolly Bugger Barley Wine 2016 – Howe Sound Brewing


From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes the “Woolly Bugger Barley Wine” 2016 vintage.  Once again Howe Sound has released this beer in a bomber opposed to a smaller bottle.  The beer pours a deep reddish brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, toffee, caramel, brown sugar and some hops.  The flavour is of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, earth, mild chocolate, bitterness, some pine and of course alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 11% with an IBU of 75.  Woolly Bugger continues to be one of the best barley wines in the province and this year gives us a very tasty beer!  I look forward to trying this against multiple vintages!

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Mexican Chiapas Cold Pressed Coffee Ale – Howe Sound Brewing


From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes “Mexican Chiapas Cold Pressed Coffee Ale”.  The beer pours a deep red amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of roasted and toasted malts, coffee, nuts and caramel.  The flavour is of roasted coffee, toasted malts, caramel, chocolate, earth, nuts, hint of fruits and some mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 22.  This would be a terrible beer to drink before bed with all of the caffeine but this stuff is seriously tasty!

Commercial Description:   This smooth amber ale is conditioned with cold brewed coffee to give a bold aroma and flavour of fresh coffee with roasted, earthy, caramel and nutty notes.

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Baltic Porter With Red Grape (S2S) – Howe Sound Brewing


From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes their new beer in yhe Sea To Sky Series of beers called the “Baltic Porter With Red Grape” and is the 8th release in the series.  This is a Baltic Porter where red grape must is added to the brew.  The beer pours a deep brown with a ruby red tinge and a tan head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, slightly bitter chocolate, toffee, plums, grapes and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of roasted malts, milk and dark chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, some grape, cherry, earth, bitterness and maybe some brown sugar in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.5% with an IBU of 30.  The addition of red grape must really adds a new dimension to the style and makes for a great sipping experience.  I have only had a few beers from this Sea To Sky Series so far but they have all been very interesting and well made.  Take a look for a bottle of this one.

Commercial Description:  Baltic Porter is an old style beer originating in the Baltic states in the 1800’s. The style is unique because it is fermented with lager yeast which creates a crisp smooth finish. It is conditioned over a two month period before packaging. Red Grape must is added at the end of the fermentation to add complexity and intrigue to the beer.  Simon Jongsma, head brewer comments, ” A rich Baltic Porter with notes of raisin, plum, dark chocolate, and toffee. The addition of red grape adds a complex aroma of sweet cherry and currant with a delicate finish. The combination of a very old traditional style of beer with the red grape creates a very elegant beer with complexity that continues to grow with every sip.”

Food pairings as per brewery:  Excellent with smoked or grilled meats such as beef, pork or poultry, hearty stew or soups. Pairs well with rich deep chocolate, dark fruit/berries with the red wine notes.

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