Hopping good time at Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale

Local brewers had a hopping good time at the 19th Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale on the weekend walking away with best-in-class awards.

The Naramata Nut Brown Ale created by Cannery Brewing in Penticton took the judges award for best ale, Orchard Hill Estate Cidery in Oliver also pleased the judges palate’s winning best in class ciders with their Red Roof Cider and Oliver’s Firehall Brewery won best in class stout/porter for their Holy Smoke Stout for the second year in a row.

Firehall brewer Sid Ruhland said because they don’t filter the stout it gives it a rich flavour that pairs well with barbecue and smoked or sharp cheese. It has been a big year for the Oliver-based outfit, who are now selling their product in local stores.

“It definitely has,” Ruhland agreed. “We are in the process of upgrading our equipment because we can’t keep up with the demand.”

Wayne Schmuck, marketing chair of the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale Society said the calibre of brewers this year was outstanding.

“This year we re-adjusted the layout of the space so we could accommodate 35 brewers, which represented the greatest number of brewers in the event’s history. Of the 35 brewers, eight of them were new to the festival, which shows the reputation we are building for this event,” said Schmuck.

The nearly sold-out event included a number of new features including food and beer pairings and a sizeable increase in the selection of real cask ales.

“In addition to an increase in ticket sales versus previous years, we also saw a significant increase in hotel and tickets packages, a testament that people will travel to Penticton to attend this festival and it is also a testament to the growth of the craft beer industry.”

Net proceeds from the event will benefit local charitable organizations.

Each of the breweries put forward their best for judging by industry experts.

Best of Show judges choice went to Four Winds White Rye IPA

Best in class, judges choice:

Lager/pilsner: Hoyner Pilsner from Hoyne Brewing Co.

Pale Ale: Red Truck Ale from Red Truck Beer Company

IPA: Four Winds White Rye IPA from Four Winds Brewing Co.

Ales: Naramata Nut Brown Ale from Cannery Brewing Co.

Stout/porter: Holy Smoke Stout from Firehall Brewery

Wit/Wheat: Robson Street Hefeweizen from Granville Island Brewery

Belgian: Sunkissed Tea Saison from Deep Cove

Fruit Beer: Stiegl Radler from McClelland Premium Imports

Ciders: Red Roof CIder from Orchard Hill Estate Cidery

The People’s Choice Awards:

Best Beer: Project 9 Pils from Fernie Brewing Co.

Best Booth: Penticton Lakeside Resort

Best Food: Brodo Kitchen

Best Band: The Dungbeatles

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