Fest of Ale a success

A crowd of nearly 5,000 flowed through the doors of the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre over the weekend (Apr 8-9) to enjoy tastings of more than 175 beers and ciders from 55 craft brewers at the annual Okanagan Fest of Ale.

“It was another great year for the festival,” said Randy Kirkoski, Okanagan Fest of Ale Society president. “Not only did we hit a new record with 55 craft brewers on site to showcase their best beers and ciders, the sun was shining and everyone was smiling. We saw a definite increase in out of town guests to the event this year, and a great turnout of locals as well.”

“Patrons really seemed to enjoy the changes made to the entertainment set up this year. We had a stellar mix of talented buskers and main stages acts; it really worked well to create a great atmosphere,” he said.

The difficult job of determining top honours for Best in Fest – Judges’ Choice fell upon a panel of nine industry experts.

“We were thrilled to once again have such an esteemed panel of judges,” said Warren Everton, Okanagan Fest of Ale judging chairman. “They had a difficult job tasting and evaluating 106 different beers and ciders to determine the best entries in 14 different categories and then to agree on the overall Best in Show award. The winners represent an amazing collection of the best that B.C. has to offer.”

In addition, the People’s Choice awards were voted for by attendees of the festival.

These awards include best beer, cider and food as well as awards for best label champions and runners up from submissions from participating brewers displayed at the event.

The winners received awards created by local artisan Tim Tweed.

Not only does the festival host a venue for beer enthusiasts, but it also generates money for local Penticton charities.

In its 20-year history, the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society has gifted over $537,600 in net proceeds back to the community. The 2016 charitable grant applications will be made available online only, April 18 to May 31.

For more information on the Okanagan Fest of Ale, visit their website.

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