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Community Common: Seven Penticton breweries, one collaboration beer and one great cause

Penticton’s seven breweries have teamed up to release a collaboration beer for Penticton Beer Week
Members of all seven of Penticton’s breweries gathered at Bad Tattoo Brewing to celebrate the upcoming release of the first-ever collaboration beer between all of them - Community Common. The limited-release fundraiser beer will benefit the Penticton & Area Cycling Association through its sales when it is launched during the upcoming Penticton Beer Week, Oct. 19 to 26. (Jordyn Thomson - Western News)

If you’ve ever been stuck deciding which local brewery in Penticton to support, you’ll soon be able to purchase a beer produced by all seven existing breweries.

Community Common, a California common beer with a medium-bodied malty character and fruit notes, is a limited release beer that will launch during the newly-established Penticton Beer Week, Oct. 19 to 26. This will be a fundraiser beer, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the Penticton and Area Cycling Association (PACA). All seven of the city’s breweries – Bad Tattoo Brewing, Slackwater Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, Barley Mill Brew Pub, Cannery Brewing, Neighbourhood Brewing and Tin Whistle Brewing – came together to make this delicious brew.

According to Liam Hutcheson, the head brewer with Bad Tattoo Brewing, the idea to do a collaboration beer only came up just a few short weeks ago.

“The starting point was to pick a date (for the release), which took more work than it should have. And then our next job was picking a beer style, and that was the hardest part just due to us all having brewed so many different beers over the years,” said Hutcheson. “So we just wanted to come up with something creative that was our own. No one has actually brewed a California common before so that’s nice to be able to do that.”

Hutcheson said all the brewing for the collab was done at Bad Tattoo since they have the space to handle that level of production, but the venue will change each year going forward. He said despite that it may seem like too many cooks in the kitchen, it was great to bring the head brewers in the city together to work on a solitary craft creation.

“It was nice, we just came up with a general recipe and everyone put their input into it. So it wasn’t like everyone was trying to control exactly what the brew was, we all wanted to collaborate and make something we all wanted,” said Hutcheson.

Liam Peyton, co-owner of Slackwater Brewing, the newest brewery to join Penticton’s Ale Trail, said the camaraderie among the breweries in the city is a huge benefit. He noted that the other breweries stepped out to help them get settled when they opened just a few short months ago.

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Community Common will be available in draft format at the breweries and local restaurants throughout Penticton Beer Week. It will also be packaged into four-packs of 473 mL cans to be distributed in the city’s private liquor stores and beyond. The label for the beer, which has yet to be unveiled, was designed by Skyler Punnett and Paul Higgins with Super Deluxe Creative, who is the title sponsor of Community Common and Penticton Beer Week as a whole. Printing of the labels will be done by Summit Labels, who are also sponsoring Community Common.

“We loved the idea of Community Common, it’s going to be like an amber lager. Nice and easy to drink, nothing too polarizing like a crazy IPA or something super sour. And the breweries can buy a few kegs to put this on guest tap, and all of the other bars and restaurants are getting involved,” said Peyton. “Not to mention all of the other liquor stores that want to get on board, and they spread further afield.

READ MORE: Craft breweries showcased during Penticton Beer Week

“The whole purpose of this, and working together and collaborating and meeting so frequently, is to push Penticton to the rest of the province, to Alberta, to Washington state. It’s pretty incredible the work that the BC Ale Trail does and we’re so lucky to have Kim Lawton (organize for Penticton BC Ale Trail) to handle our leg of it.”

The donation PACA receives from this collaboration beer will go to supporting the non-profit association’s efforts to help develop and enhance trails and local cycling infrastructure, according to a release. Each year, a new recipient will be selected by the Penticton breweries to benefit from their fundraiser beer collaboration.

“PACA is both excited and honoured to be the first recipient of the Penticton Beer Week collaboration ale fundraiser. Our mission is to advocate, build and support a better cycling experience for locals and visitors alike,” said Terry Mcwhirter, president of PACA. “Trails in the Penticton area are used by cyclists, hikers, dog walkers, bird watchers, photographers, nature lovers and more, so this donation will help us to improve the trail experience for all users. And since so many cyclists love to drink beer, we see this as a perfect match.”

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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