Brent Smith (frog, at left), Matt Carter (Green Lantern, middle) and Dave St. Jean (Skeletor, at right) brought their costumes and their thirst to the 2016 Okanagan Fest of Ale held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The event runs April 7 and 8 this year. Western News Staff

Okanagan Fest of Ale adds new twist

Taste your way through town at craft beer themed events taking place during Okanagan Beer Week

Taste your way through town at craft beer themed events taking place during Okanagan Beer Week leading up to the 22nd Okanagan Fest of Ale.

In addition to the two-day consumer tasting Fest of Ale, April 7 and 8 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, organizers are excited to showcase craft themed events throughout the week. Participating restaurants include Craft Corner Kitchen, Brodo, and The Pasta Factory each of which will be offering a unique craft-themed dinner featuring local craft brews.

“With seven craft breweries and a dozen craft cideries throughout the region, Penticton has quickly become a destination for craft beer and cider enthusiasts. We’re as excited to be working with area businesses to share and promote the excitement for craft beer and cider here in the area as we are to be welcoming craft brewers from out of the area to the main event this year,” said John Cruickshank, Okanagan Fest of Ale Society president.

In addition to craft themed dinners, Joe Wiebe, The Thirsty Writer, will be offering a seminar and tasting focused on IPAs at Bad Tattoo Brewing on April 6. Area breweries will also be open for tastings throughout the week.

Related: Everything you need to know about craft beer

“The signature event will always be the two-day consumer tasting which will feature 65 breweries from B.C. and beyond this year. It’s by far the largest number of participants to date and includes a great mix of longstanding favourites and new breweries and cideries from all across the province,” said Cruickshank.

There will be over 175 quality-crafted brews and ciders for tasting including new releases, experimental brews and cask ales. Guests of Fest of Ale can also look forward to fabulous food, with many restaurateurs incorporating a craft inspired twist on their dish and live entertainment taking place around the venue both indoors and out.

New for 2017, guests will have the opportunity to purchase their tasting tokens with either cash or by card at various locations throughout the venue.

“The change is not only consumer friendly but also allowed us to rework our floor plan to accommodate a greater number of brewer vendors, and free up space for an few neat additions this year,” said Cruickshank.

Cascades Casino, set open their doors April 5, will be setting up a few gaming tables in the newly created area alongside various industry themed displays and information tables. Also new, and certain to be popular with our guests from the Kelowna are tasting trips being offered by Distinctly Kelowna Tours and West Kelowna Wine Tours – trip times and itineraries vary with service being offered from Kelowna and West Kelowna.

“All in all it’s shaping up to be one the best events yet” said Cruickshank. “Tickets have been selling remarkably well with a notable increase in the number of two-day weekend pass and ticket and accommodation packages sold to date. If you’re planning to attend we certainly encourage you to book soon in order to avoid disappointment.”

Tickets to the event are available online at www.ValleyFirstTix.com. Single day admission $29; 2-day weekend pass $47 (inclusive). Ticket and accommodation specials start at $99/couple at www.FestofAle.ca.

Okanagan Beer Week events will be posted on www.FestofAle.ca as details become available.

Watch the Penticton Western News Facebook page for your chance to win tickets to Fest of Ale.