Crowds converge on Fest-of-Ale

Both Fest-of-Ale organizers and RCMP are saying the 16th annual event held on the weekend was a success.

Ray Huson pours glass after glass of the Barley Mill’s Pale Ale and other brews to a long line of patrons at the 16th annual Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Saturday.

Both Fest-of-Ale organizers and RCMP are saying the 16th annual event held on the weekend was a success.

“South Okanagan Traffic Services along with the Keremeos IRSU unit conducted a very successful night of traffic enforcement in the Penticton area on Friday night,”  said Const. Don Carefoot. “Many motorists commented on the fact that we were everywhere. The word successful is used in regards to the fact that there were no fatal or serious collisions in the area that night.”

Over 5,000 tickets were sold in advance of the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale which was held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Beer aficionados from throughout the Pacific Northwest enjoyed the best variety of micro-brewed products, local food samples and live entertainment.

Two beers created by a local brewer tied for the industry choice macro awards. The Cannery Brewing’s Naramata Nut Brown and No Justice Pale Ale took those honours. The best beer award went to Paddock Wood Brewing’s Czech Mate Pilsner from Saskatoon, best beverage was awarded to newcomers Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse from Saanichton for their Rumrunner. Industry choice awards macro winner was Central City Brewing’s Red Racer India Pale Ale.

“Despite the token price needing to be raised, after 15 years, from $1 to $2, the event was an overall success and patrons continued to support the event and raise funds for charity,” said Wayne Schmuck, marketing chair for Okanagan Fest-of-Ale.

“It is important to the non-profit society that they achieve their five goals, which are to promote overnight visits to Penticton during the shoulder season, to ensure all microbrewers are able to promote their products at an affordable event, to ensure the event does not compete with our local restaurants, pubs and night clubs during peak hours, to run a responsible consumer tasting event in partnership with B.C. Liquor Stores Get Home Safe Program and most importantly to support a number of local registered charities.”

RCMP said there was a great deal of traffic in the city and traffic services did come across some drivers that went a little overboard. Five people were found over the .08 limit and were given 90-day immediate roadside prohibitions, two three-day IRPs and one 24-hour driving prohibition for drugs.

“The motoring public are reminded that police will be out every night and every weekend. We want everyone to have a safe, fun summer,” said Carefoot.