Wheat beers dominate menu for Oktoberfest in Penticton
Wheat beers feature large on the Penticton Oktoberfest menu this year, with dark, light and alcohol-free from Erdinger and the Cannery’s Apricot Wheat Ale.
“It’s a beautiful combination of flavours. Wheat ales always have a citrus component that comes from the wheat itself. We have added just enough apricot to soften the citrus, but not enough to make it sweet. So it finishes with just a nice mouthful of apricot,” said Pat Dyck of the Cannery Brewing Company.
“It’s a really nice summer beer, but lends itself to an event like this as well.”
But those are just the beginning of the tastes on the menu for the discerning beer aficionado.
“We are doing Stiegl, which is a lager from Austria, we are doing Stiegl Radler, which is a low-alcohol mixture of Stiegl lager and grapefruit juice,” said Flavia Kilger of McClelland Premium Imports, who are supplying the Erdinger weissbiers and a range of others.
“It is light and it is refreshing and you can have a couple of these and still be able to drive at 2.4 per cent alcohol.”
And for celiacs and gluten-intolerant people there is Mongozo, which Kilger describes as an “awesome” pilsner.
“It means to your health in a Ghanese dialect. It’s fair-trade certified, it’s organic certified and it’s gluten-free,” she said.
Mongozo is made with a mixture of 55 per cent de-glutenized barley and 45 per cent free-trade rice. “This has just been voted the world’s best gluten-free beer.”
Another unique taste is Fruli, a strawberry Belgian fruit beer, produced at a craft brewery near Ghent.
“For fun, we’ve also added Fruli,” said Flavia. “Something for everyone.”
Along with the Apricot Wheat Ale, Dyck said Cannery is pouring their new Lakeboat Lager and their popular Naramata Nut Brown Ale.
“It has a stubbornly loyal following and we are very grateful for that,” said Dyck.
Kilger said they are also pouring an alcohol-free wheat beer from Erdinger.
“It is just like the regular wheat beers, but they have stopped the alcohol process. So the taste is there but the alcohol is not,” said Kilger.
Erdinger’s Weissbier Alkoholfrei is not just alcohol-free, it’s going to be poured for free for designated drivers.
“Everyone that comes to the Oktoberfest and say they are the driver tonight, they will get the (alcohol-free) beer for nothing,” said Kilger. “There is no limit to it. We thought it was the responsible thing to do.”
The beer will be poured in the same 15-oz stein that comes with the $25 ticket price and drivers get the enjoyment of a beer that tastes like a beer, said Kilger, to enjoy the party with their friends and still be safe driving everyone home.
“They say that you need to drink 60 half-litre bottles in three hours to even have a mark on the breathalyzer. But I don’t know who could manage 60 in three hours,” she said.
If beer isn’t your thing, you can choose to get a wine bowl instead of a beer stein at the door and partake of either a cabernet shiraz or Sauvignon blanc from Penticton’s Perseus Winery.
“Oktoberfest functions are great fun. The people are amazing, these people that can keep dancing until midnight without stopping is just truly amazing,” said Dyck. “Plus, Oktoberfest is just so much about what we’re about. Good times and great music and good food. This is a real community event.”
Oktoberfest takes place Oct. 19 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Tickets are available online at ValleyFirstTix.com or in person at the SOEC Box Office or the Visitor Centre.