Celebrating Success in the Sunny Okanagan – Fest of Ale 2016

A crowd of nearly 5,000 flowed through the doors of the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre over April 8th and 9th to enjoy tastings of over 175 great beers and ciders from 55 amazing craft brewers at 21st Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale.

“It was another great year for the festival” says Randy Kirkoski, Okanagan Fest of Ale Society President. “Not only did we hit a new record with 55 craft brewers onsite 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 turn out 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”, says Kirkoski. “The choice of food was great and the selection of brews was incredible.”

The difficult job of determining top honours for Best in Fest – Judges’ Choice fell upon a panel of nine industry experts comprised of Joe Wiebe, Craft Beer Revolution; Jim Martin, Metro Liquor; Mike Garson, Mike’s Craft Beer; Jan Zeschky, beer writer with The Province, Jason van Rassel, beer writer The Daily Beer; Brady Strachan, reporter with CBC Radio; Jeremy Nemanishen, beer writer Craft Beer Vancouver; Stephen Smysniuk, editor of The Growler; and Chelsea Dawn, beer writer Brewtiful British Columbia.

“We were thrilled to once again have such an esteemed panel of judges” says Warren Everton, Okanagan Fest of Ale Judging Chair. “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 BC has to offer. Make sure you visit your local liquor stores and try these award winners.”

In addition, the People’s Choice Awards were voted for by attendees of the festival. These awards include Best Beer, Cider, Food as well as awards for Best Label Champions and Runners Up from submissions from participating brewers displayed at the event.

The winners received beautiful awards that were created by local artisan Tim Tweed. They are handmade and crafted with passion each as unique as the award winning brews themselves.

The Awards were distributed as follows:

Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:

Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons BC

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:

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

The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by guests at the event:

Best Beer Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale – Dead Frog Brewing, Aldergrove BC
Best Cider Dominion Craft Cider – Dominion Cider Co., Summerland BC
Best Food Brodo Kitchen, Penticton BC
Label Design Champion Los Muertos Cerveza Negra – Bad Tattoo Brewing Company, Penticton BC
Label Design Runner Up Fat Tug IPA – Driftwood Brewery, Victoria BC
Label Design Runner Up Kingston’s Twist – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston BC

Kirkoski summarized, “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Society, we would like to extend thanks to all vendors, sponsors, supporters, volunteers, entertainers, judges, media and attendees for making this event an incredible success year over year. Thanks to the great work from the team at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and to Erick Thompson from ET2media for being the MC for the event. We are also very thankful to Get Home Safe for their support, to our local taxi operators and to The Coconut Express for shuttling our guests home safely.”

Not only does the festival host a venue for beer enthusiasts, but it also generates money for local Penticton charities. In its twenty-year history, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Society has gifted over $537,600 in net proceeds back to the community.
2016 Charitable Grant Applications will be accepted from now until May 31st – please click here form more information

Event Summary

Since 1996, The Okanagan Fest of Ale has been bringing together craft beer lovers and craft brewers to celebrate the almighty ale! Early every April, Penticton is host to one of the largest and longest running annual beer festivals in the Pacific Northwest. This two-day event features great entertainment, fabulous food and the opportunity to sample a diverse array of quality crafted beverages. Operating as a non-profit society, organizers are committed to support and promote the growing world of quality brewery products, local tourism and local charitable organizations. Since its inception, $537,660 in net proceeds has been gifted back to qualifying registered charities.

2016 Brewers
Click on each of the brewers to find out more

2016 Sponsors

2016 Partners