Okanagan Fest of Ale 2019 – A Hopping Success

From Okanagan Fest of Ale

For Immediate Release

24th Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale Biggest Brewer Lineup to Date

A hopping good time was had by all who attended the 24th Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale in Penticton this past weekend April 12 & 13, 2019.

75 BC based craft brewers were on hand at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre to showcase more than 225 craft beers and ciders to craft beer enthusiasts from near and far. A record breaking 75 breweries participated, including 19 new to the event, and 8 craft cideries. “We are always very fortunate to attract some of the best brewers and cideries to the event as well as guests with a keen interest in craft beers and ciders,” explained John Cruickshank, Okanagan Fest of Ale Society President. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at the festival, and we heard really positive feedback from guests and breweries throughout the weekend” said Cruickshank “and with net proceeds from the event going to charity, everyone benefits!”.

In addition to an outstanding lineup of craft beers, ciders and cask ales, there was a great selection of food and fabulous entertainment both inside and out. The festivities continued at the fun photo booth manned by Flash and Frame Photography, onsite gaming at the Cascades Casino satellite station and a Best Dressed Contest hosted by the friendly folks at 97.1 Sun FM and Travel Penticton.  Additionally, the folks from Trellis & Vine Crafthouse and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) were on hand providing brewing education. The Clancy’s Liquor Store service team were also onsite to help festival goers at the pop up liquor shop.

The People’s Choice voting was managed by the crew from Canadian Craft Tours with awards for Best Beer, Best Cider, Best Food, and Best Label Design up for grabs as voted on by guests at the fest. The difficult job of determining top honours for the Judges’ Choice awards fell upon a panel of 9 industry experts including Joe Wiebe (Beer Writer; Craft Beer Revolution and BC Ale Trail), Jason van Rassel (Original Levity & Avenue Edmonton), Wade Dhooge (Cask & Barrel), Lundy Dale (Pink Pints & BC Craft Beer Month), Mike Garson (podcaster and blogger with Pacific Beer Chat), Dave Smith (What’s Brewing Magazine), Rob Mangelsdorf (The Growler), Michelle Gowling (Beer Educator), and Aaron Johnson (Cascadian Beer Podcast & BC Ale Trail).

“We were thrilled to once again have such an esteemed panel of judges here with us at the festival,” says Warren Everton, Okanagan Fest of Ale Judging Chair. “They had a difficult job tasting and evaluating 127 different beers and ciders to determine the best entries in 12 different categories and then to agree on the overall Best in Show award. The winners represent an amazing collection of the best beer and ciders around. These are well worth keeping an eye out for at your local liquor store, restaurant or tap room.”

Hand crafted awards created by local artisans at Timber Child were distributed to the winners as listed below.

Judges’ Choice Award Winners

Best in Show
Would Crush – Twin Sails Brewing, Port Moody BC

Best in Class
Amber/Dark Ale: Smoke & Mirrors – Coal Harbour Brewing, Vancouver BC
Best Cider: Broken Ladder Rosé – BC Tree Fruits Cider, Kelowna BC
Best Fruit Beer: Would Crush – Twin Sails Brewing, Port Moody BC
Best IPA: Loop Line IPA – Iron Road Brewing, Kamloops BC
Best Pale Ale: Squirrel Chaser Hazy Pale Ale – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody BC
Best Pilsner/Lager/Kölsch: Nightwatch Coffee Lager – Lighthouse Brewing, Victoria BC
Best ESB: English Subtitles ESB – Kettle River Brewing Co, Kelowna BC
Best Sour: Tart Wild Ale with Pineapple & Guava – Luppolo Brewing, Vancouver BC
Best Specialty Beer: Beermosa – Bad Tattoo Brewing, Penticton BC
Best Specialty IPA: Dreamboat Hazy IPA – The Parkside Brewery, Port Moody BC
Best Stout/Porter: Tennessee BBA Imperial Milk Stout – BNA Brewing, Kelowna, BC
Best Wheat Ale: Dim Wit – The Parkside Brewery, Port Moody BC

Cascades Casino People’s Choice Award Winners
Best Beer: What the Fog, Hazy IPA – Slackwater Brewing, Penticton BC
Best Cider: Broken Ladder Rosé – BC Tree Fruits Cider, Kelowna BC
Best Food: Surf Side California, Kelowna BC

Super Deluxe Creative/Westkey Graphics Best Label Design
Best Label Design Gold: Ghost Ship Hazy IPA – Lighthouse Brewing, Victoria BC
Best Label Design Silver: Lucky Pig Tangerine Ale – Red Racer Brewing, Surrey BC
Best Label Design Bronze: Sunblink Berry Sour – Cannery Brewing, Penticton BC

Thank you to our industry sponsors; Air Liquide, WestKey Graphics, Super Deluxe Creative, and Direct Tap for supporting these great breweries and cideries year round and for supporting the 2019 Judges’ Choice Awards.

Cruickshank 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, our event photographers from Moments Under Frame Photography and DogLeg Marketing, our local hotels for hosting so many out of town guests, to Get Home Safe for their support, and to our local taxi operators 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. Since 1996 the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society has gifted over nearly $700,000 in net proceeds back to the community.  2019 Charitable grant applications will be made available online June 1-30, 2019.

Save the Date – Celebrate 25 Years of Cheer April 17 & 18 at Okanagan Fest of Ale 2020.

2019 Award Winners Gallery


About Us:

Operating as a non-profit society, and managed by a Volunteer Board of Directors, the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society hosts an annual Consumer Craft Beer Festival that functions to support and promote the growing craft beer industry, enhance local tourism, and donate to charitable organizations within the South Okanagan Similkameen region. Since its inception, $697,660 in net proceeds has been gifted back to qualifying registered charities and other not-for-profit societies.

For more information on the Okanagan Fest of Ale, visit www.FestOfAle.ca or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For all inquiries: please call 250.492.4355 or email [email protected].

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