Maiah Fujino (left) and her friends Brayden and Paige enjoy the 2019 Great Okanagan Beer Festival at Kelowna’s Waterfront Park. Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News

Cheers! Beer lovers swarm for Great Okanagan Beer Festival

Kelowna’s Waterfront Park was packed Saturday as beer fest returns

Whether it was light, dark, gluten-free or vegan, beer lovers were enjoying their drinks at the 2019 Great Okanagan Beer Festival this past Saturday.

Temperatures were pushing close to 30 C with the beer festival bringing in product from over 60 B.C. and Alberta breweries and cideries at Kelowna’s Waterfront Park. Beer from popular Kelowna breweries BNA, Tree Brewing and Vice and Virtue as well as big B.C. breweries Stanley Park, Okanagan Springs and Parallel 49 were tapped as the festival brought in thousands to downtown.

“This is the kick-off of summer,” said Maiah Fujino who was enjoying the festival with her friends.

“Food is great, love the variety and the beer selection is wide and true.”

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Penticton’s Slackwater Brewing, set to open later in summer, was chosen as People’s Choice brewery as Port Moody’s Twin Sails Brewing was awarded Best of Fest. Both breweries will now have their brews available at The Train Station Pub.

Live music, sunny and hot weather, games, local food trucks and cold beverages were enough to sell out the event this year with close to 4,000 guests this year.

“Most we ever had,” said organizer Brittia Thompson.

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The success of this year’s beer fest has already led to the Great Okanagan Beer Festival setting a date for next’s years beer and cider party.

“It might be called the ‘Coachella’ of Kelowna,” said gluten-free beer lover Brayden Sangha.

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