Great Okanagan Beer Festival 2015 – Kelowna


Will drive for beer!  The only headline that could be in front of the Great Okanagan Beer Festival for me.  To be a little more exact will drive 780km round trip for beer.

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Logo taken from the official Great Okanagan Beer Festival website

I can admit I did not know what to expect from this beer festival.  It was the first annual event in a city that has not hosted a big beer festival like this to my knowledge.  Now I never doubted Gibbons Events would put on a great event as they hit it out of the park with the  Whistler Village Beer Festival but who would have guessed they would find a venue that could rival Whistler Village and its amazing peaks?  Waterfront Park & Concession Plaza in downtown Kelowna rivals many of the destination waterfronts  that I have visited on holiday.  Sometimes I wonder why we fly so far to take holidays when our own province is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  To boot it was around 25C for the entire festival.  The festival was held on May 9th 2015 from 1pm-5pm.

The breweries that poured at the festival included the following (Booth order not alphabetical):

1 Big Surf
2 Prohibition Brewing
3 Riders Cider
4 Cannery Brewing
5 Bad Tattoo Brewing
6 Firehall Brewery
7 Phillips Brewing
8 Lighthouse Brewing
9 Wolf Brewing Co
10 Mt. Begbie Brewing
11 Scandal Brewing
12 Glutenburg Beer
13 Steam Whistle Brewing
14 Erdinger, Steigl
15 Stone Brewing
15 New Belgian
16 Worthy Brewing
16 Coronado Brewing
17 Whistler Brewing
18 Bowen Island Brewing
19 Lonetree Cider
20 Howe Sound Brewing
21 Red Truck Beer Company
22 Moody Ales
23 Bomber Brewing
24 Four Winds Brewing
25 Steamworks Brewing
26 Coal harbor Brewing
27 Parallel 49 Brewing
28 Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers
29 Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
30 Bridge Brewing Company
31 Central City Brewers & Distillers
32 Stanley Park Brewing
33 Okanagan Springs Brewing
34 Fernie Brewing
35 Barkerville Brewing
36 Old Yale Brewing
37 Big Rock Brewery (Alberta)
38 Mill Street Brewery
39 Waterloo Brewing Co

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With the brewery booths being located around a gorgeous lagoon and Okanagan Lake just over the hill from the beer venders you would not ask for a better place to sample beers from all over the province and some from around the world.  If you wanted an unimpeded view of the lake all you had to do was to head over to the plaza that had all of the food carts!

Like always I took a bunch of pictures of the beer that I was sampling although I did not remember to take photos of over half of my samples.  I know so many people in the industry and I made so many new friends at the festival so I was distracted more often than not.

On the beer side this beer festival held its own with all other beer fests in BC.  Where this festival really held its own though is its location.  This is the best location that I have ever been to for a beer festival in the province and really any beer fest I have been to!  I look forward to next years event and what they have to offer!

Full sized photos can be found here.

Fraser Valley Food Show 2014 – Abbotsford


I was recently invited to attend the Fraser Valley Food Show 2014 in Abbotsford BC. On Saturday October 4th I attended the event along with a bunch of other beer and food related bloggers. The event is held out at the Tradex building out at the Abbotsford Airport.

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The Fraser Valley Food Show is an annual event that showcases some of the best food vendors, food related products and alcoholic beverages.  I had heard that there was a sausage competition so I found my way towards its location and waited for it to start.  Luckily for me the competition was located right beside the drinks pavilion so I stopped in for some samples while I waited.  First off you need to buy tickets for food and drinks.  Drinks and food take different amounts of tickets.

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Once into the drink area I did a quick loop of the booths to see what they had to offer.  Once I had taken my once over look I stopped in at many booths to sample their wares.  The alcoholic drinks at this event included the following.

Erdinger Beer, McClelland Premium Imports, Red Truck Brewery, Campbell’s Gold Honey Meadery, Crush Imports, Yellowtail Wines, Old Yale Brewery, Galileo Wine & Spirits, Steam Whistle Brewing, Distiller’s Pride, Mission Springs Brewery, Kealy Beverage Company, Mt. Lehman Winery, Parallel 49 Brewery, Philippe Dandurand Wiines, Beverage Concepts, Network Beverages Ltd., Domaine Pinnacle, Glutenberg Beer, Barkerville Brewing

Once the Sausage competition started I headed over to the line and paid my few tickets to try all the sausages.  Once finished we got to vote on our favourite of the bunch.  The overall champion for the event was Anita Pichlmeier of Black Forest Meats out of North Vancouver.

Once I finished up with the tasting and voting for my favorite sausage (made by Beast & Brine) I headed into the festival proper.  All kinds of food venders were on hand to give out sample of their products to either sell to you on site of bring you back to their place of business.  There were all kinds of great stands handing out great meat samples.  There was also a second theme to this years festival.  It was the Gluten-free living show.  The gluten-free thing is lost on me but there were some pretty tasty samples that excluded gluten.  The venders included the following.

ALL OF OILS, WHOLESOME OILS & VINEGARS, ARBONNE, AROMA BAKE HOUSE, AZUMA FOODS (CANADA) CO., BATTEN INDUSTRIES, BC BROILER HATCHING EGG PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION, BC BUZZ HONEY, BC CANCER AGENCY – PREVENTION PROGRAMS, BC CHICKEN GROWERS ASSOCIATION, BC CRANBERRY MARKETING COMMISSION, BC MEATS, BC PORK, BEANFIELDS, BEEZ & TREEZ SPECIALTY FOODS, BLAZES BEANS INC, BONNE SANTE DISTRIBUTING, BORN 3 MARKETING CORP, BOXMASTER, CABIN FEVER SWEET SENSATIONS, CANADIAN CELIAC ASSOCIATION, CHECKERS PREMIUM FUDGE, CHECKERS SALES & MARKETING, CHEF NOSE SPICES, CHOCOLATAS, CLASSIC PARTY RENTALS, COCONAMA CHOCOLATE CO. LTD, COOKING ESSENCE, COOL-IT HIWAY SERVICES INC, COUNTRY PRIME MEATS LTD, CUTCO CUTLERY, DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA, DAMIANI FINE FOODS, DIRECT BUY, ENERJIVE, EPICURE SELECTIONS, FAR-MET QUALIFIRST, FIELD TO FORK HERBS, FIRE BELLY SAUCE COMPANY INC, FORTE WHOLE FOODS INC, FORTIS BC, GELDERMAN FARMS LTD, GLEAM GUARD INTERNATIONAL, GOOD SEED HEMP COMPANY LTD, GOURMET CREATIONS LTD, GRANOLA GIRL, GREEN EARTH ORGANICS, GRIPSTIC, HAPPY DAYS DAIRIES LTD, HAPPY PLANET FOODS INC, HONEYVIEW FARM, HOPCOTT PREMIUM MEATS, INTRAWEST RESORT & CLUB GROUP, INVESTORS GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES, IT WORKS! INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTOR, ITALIAN KITCHEN SAUCE COMPANY, JD FARMS SPECIALITY TURKEY, JOHNSTONS, JUMP UP AND GOGO, JW SALES AND MARKETING, KB HONEY PROCESSORS/WESTERN SAGE HONEY, LUPITA MEXICAN FOODS, MARIE`S GUILT FREE BAKERY, MASSAGE CHAIRS, MAYACAMAS FINE FOODS, MR MOMS WORLD CATERING, NATUR-A, NATURES PATH FOODS INC, NORWEX, OCEAN SALES LTD, OH GREEN BIOTECH LTD, OKANANGAN PINK SALT COMPANY, OMEGA CRUNCH, OMEGA NUTRITION CANADA INC, PAMPERED CHEF, THE, PAULING LABS INC, PROSNACK NATURAL FOODS INC, RA ENERGY FOODS, RHINELAND CUTLERY, S&B GLUTEN FREE INC, SALADMASTER COOKWARE, SALT SPRING SEA SALT LTD, SEASONED GOURMAND FOODS, SEDOS OLD FASHIONED BUTCHER + DELI, SHEN YUN SHOW VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, SHUSWAP INFUSIONS TEA, SIMPLY DELISH SOUP & SALAD, SPICEWORKS FOOD CREATIONS, SPOLUMBOS SPECIALTY SAUSAGE, STUFFERS SUPPLY COMPANY, SUNDANCE SEAFOOD, TUPPERWARE, U-BE-LIVIN-SMART INC, UNIQUE FIRE & SAFETY, VILLAGE CHEESE COMPANY, WATKINS, WEST COAST CHRISTMAS SHOW, WINELAND DRESSINGS, WISE BITES, YB! GLUTEN FREE BAKERY, YOUR INSPIRATION AT HOME, ZARAS PASTA

My favourite of the samples had to be the Fire Belly Hot Sauce from Fire Belly Sauce.

I quite enjoyed the event as it had so much great food and some great beverages to boot.  I recommend that anyone who enjoys food and beverages head out to this event next year.  You will not only get to try out some great products but also find new favourites that you can bring into your daily lives.

Full sized photos can be found here.

Fraser Valley Food Show
http://www.fraservalleyfoodshow.com/
Tradex Centre
1190 Cornell Street.
Abbotsford BC