Bigger and better, it is what the 24th Okanagan Fest of Ale is promising with a record number of craft breweries and ciders that will pour into Penticton April 12 and 13.
“We are thrilled to announce that we are expanding and relocating our outdoor tasting plaza,” said John Cruickshank, Okanagan Fest of Ale Society president, in a news release. “We had a waiting list of breweries that wanted to participate, so we decided to move our outdoor tasting area to a bigger location. The new outdoor tasting plaza means we can welcome a few additional brewer booths and accommodate a few more guests to the fest.”
A record breaking 75 breweries are now confirmed to participate, including 19 new to the event and eight craft cideries. In addition, there will be 13 different food vendors, entertainment, onsite attractions, education stations and Clancy’s Liquor Store pop-up shop.
“The list of participants is incredible and includes breweries who have been attending since the very first festival, and some highly anticipated new breweries attending for the first time. The lineup of beers and ciders being offered is outstanding with a great mix of core favourites, new releases, collaborations, cask ales and experimental brews to try,” said Cruickshank.
The Canadian Craft Tours team will be on hand to collect your vote for the Cascades Casino People’s Choice Best Beer, Cider and Food as well as your top picks for Best Label. Fest of Ale festival goers with a passion for fashion are encouraged to show off their spirit and their crafty side for a chance to win the Best Dressed guests with bragging rights and great prizes up for grabs.
On the entertainment front, DJ Nathan Shakes will be spinning tunes in between sets from an eclectic mix of talented performers with styles as diverse as the selection of beers being offered at the event both indoors and out.
For local craft beer enthusiasts and out of town guests extending their Okanagan craft beer getaway, a number of craft themed events are taking place around town including; Every Beer Has a Story a fun-filled educational seminar, hosted by The Thirsty Writer, Joe Wiebe at Bad Tattoo Brewing; Strange Brews for you to savour at Craft Corner Kitchen; Songs of Karaoke at the Barley Mill Brew Pub; Walk the Plank – Murderers Row Cask Event at the Kettle Valley Station Pub; the Hair of the Dog buffet brunch at the Barking Parrot; and celebrate the end of the festivities on Sunday evening as you relax and wind down with some free live music at Cannery Brewing with Justin Koshman.
With just over two weeks to go until the kegs roll in and the casks are tapped, organizers said ticket sales have topped their expectations and encourage anyone wishing to attend the event to purchase their tickets soon.
Ticket and accommodation packages will be offered until April 1 with a number of partners already reporting a sellout. Ticket and tour packages are available for guests travelling from Kelowna with space subject to availability, as shuttle seats are filling up fast.
Tickets to the event are available online at www.ValleyFirstTix.com, or can be picked up in person at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC. Single day admission is $29 and a two-day weekend pass is $49 (inclusive of tax and fees). Groups of 12 or more enjoy 10 per cent off single day or weekend passes. Tickets at the door are subject to availability.
Since its inception, the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society has donated $697,660 in net proceeds back to qualifying registered charities and other not-for-profit societies.
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