Around 5,000 people came to Penticton to celebrate everything craft beer at the 21st annual Okanagan Fest of Ale.
The two-day event, held April 8 and 9 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, featured 175 different beers and ciders from 55 craft brewers.
A panel of craft beer experts had the tough task of determining the top brews of the festival. Judges’ Choice was determned by a pannel of nine industry experts including Joe Wiebe, author of Craft Beer Revolution; Jim Martin, Metro Liquor; Mike Garson, Mike’s Craft Beer; Jan Zeschky, beer writer with The Province; Jason van Rassell, beer writer at The Daily Blog; Brady Strachan, CBC Radio reporter; Jeremy Nemanishen, Craft Beer Vancouver; Stephen Smysniuk, editor of The Growler and Chelsea Dawn, Brewtiful British Columbia.
The Judges’ Choice award ended up with Persephone Pale Ale, from Persephone Brewing Company out of Gibsons B.C.
There were no Penticton breweries named for best-in-class by the judges panel in terms of brews, however in the people’s choice awards, voted on by attendees of the festival, Brodo Kitchen took home the Best Food award, and Bad Tattoo Brewing Company won Best Label design by local tattoo artist Alex Black.
“We were thrilled to once again have such an esteemed panel of judges,” said Warren Everton, Fest of Ale judging chair. “They had a difficult job tasting and evaluating 106 different beers and ciders to determine the best entries in 14 different categories, and then to agree on the overall Best in Show award.”
Winners recieved hand-crafted awards created by local artisan Tim Tweed, eaching taking on a unique look for the different categories.
Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:
Pilsner/Golden Lager Bohemian Pilsner – Hearthstone Brewery, North Vancouver
Pale Ale Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons
Wheat Ale Smoked Hefeweizen – Steel & Oak Brewing Company, New Westminster
Belgian Golden/Saison Old Barn Saison – Fernie Brewing Company, Fernie
Amber/Dark Ale A Wee Angry Scotch Ale – Russell Brewing, Surrey
IPA Slingshot Session IPA – Fernie Brewing, Fernie
Dark IPA Disruption Black IPA – Category 12 Brewing, Victoria
Dark Lager Black Lager – Tree Brewing, Kelowna
Belgian Strong Delirium Tremens – McClelland Imports
Stout/Porter Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford
Blender Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale – Coal Harbour Brewing, Vancouver
Sour Sour Raspberry – Old Abbey Ales, Abbotsford
Ciders Calville’s Winter – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston
Fruit Beer Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale – Dead Frog Brewing, Aldergrove
The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by guests at the event:
Best Beer Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale – Dead Frog Brewing, Aldergrove
Best Cider Dominion Craft Cider – Dominion Cider Co., Summerland
Best Food Brodo Kitchen, Penticton
Label Design Champion Los Muertos Cerveza Negra – Bad Tattoo Brewing Company, Penticton
Label Design Runner Up Fat Tug IPA – Driftwood Brewery, Victoria
Label Design Runner Up Kingston’s Twist – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston