As the grip of Winter has officially taken hold of Prince George and Northern BC, there is much to celebrate in the Northern Craft Beer hub. The past few months have been exciting. Kask Taproom held two tap takeovers: one from Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks and another from Beerthirst, which included BC’s Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers.
Kask Taproom also featured several Kask Beer Club tasting and food pairing nights that have successfully educated folks about the diversity craft beer offers. January 23 to 26 were a celebration of craft in Prince George and Northern BC. The festivities kicked off with Kask Beer Club on January 23, followed by Beer Lover’s Night at the Copper Pig BBQ on January 24. The grand finale was the 5th Annual Kiwanis Ale Fest, which ran from January 25 to 26. The event has three goals:
- Raise funds for Kiwanis projects and children charities
- Increase community pride through a fun signature social event
- Promote business of participating breweries, restaurants, sponsors and increase tourism
This year, part of the event proceeds went to supporting Northern BC children through the Ronald McDonald House of BC (RMH BC). Kiwanis Ale Fest featured three tasting sessions at the Two Rivers Gallery. Featured craft breweries included Barkerville Brewing , Bulkley Valley Brewery, Cannery Brewing, CrossRoads Brewing, Iron Road Brewing, Jackson’s Social Club & Brewhouse, Mighty Peace Brewing, Mt. Begbie Brewing, Red Collar Brewing, Smithers Brewing, Three Ranges Brewing, Trench Brewing, Wheelhouse Brewing, and Whitetooth Brewing.
Kiwanis Ale Fest also featured two Brewmaster’s dinners at two local hotels and the Cask Beer Experience Weekend at eight downtown Prince George restaurants, which featured special one-off casks. The Brewmaster’s Dinners and Cask Beer Experience Weekend featured Northern BC Craft Breweries.
Kiwanis Ale Fest was amazing; cheers to the folks that made it happen. This event, in addition to Beer Lover’s Night and Kask Beer Club, is becoming Prince George BC’s premier, in demand and flagship craft beer festival. Check it out; I highly recommend it.
There are also hints that one of Prince George’s private liquor stores will be listed on the Northern BC Ale Trail. That would be quite an accomplishment, because the BC craft beer selections at many liquor stores around Prince George are becoming impressive.
Overall, things have never been better in the Prince George and Northern BC craft beer landscape and they’re getting better every day. Many restaurants, pubs, bars and liquor stores are getting on board. There is increased presence on taps and on shelves, and tap takeovers are happening. Folks in Prince George and Northern BC are becoming aware that BC craft beer is the real deal, thanks to its quality, flavours, diversity, community spirit, charitable efforts, ethos and the fact that people like it. Many people have made the conversion and recognize that craft beer is real beer. Cheers to that!