Fest-of-Ale crowds pose no problems for police

Penticton RCMP report only a single minor incident resulted from the two-day celebration of beer lovers

Cannery Brewing’s Jeff Canada draws a glass of beer at the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale on Saturday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The two-day event  attracted 29 breweries from Canada and the U.S. Penticton’s own Cannery Brewing won the people’s choice award for best beer for its new Paddles Up Pale Ale. Other local winners included:  best stout

Cannery Brewing’s Jeff Canada draws a glass of beer at the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale on Saturday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The two-day event attracted 29 breweries from Canada and the U.S. Penticton’s own Cannery Brewing won the people’s choice award for best beer for its new Paddles Up Pale Ale. Other local winners included: best stout

RCMP said Okanagan Fest-of-Ale attendees were fairly well behaved over the weekend in Penticton.

“It has actually gone quite well the past couple of years,” said Staff Sgt. Dave Fayle. “We just had one minor incident on Friday where a couple of gentlemen had too much to drink, but other than that it was a calm, normal weekend and it didn’t impact us at all.”

Fayle said the men became combative with Okanagan Fest-of-Ale security and the security decided they had enough and wanted them to leave. The men refused to leave the event and RCMP were called.

“We came in and said you have to go, but they chose not to and ended up in jail. They were released with no charges once they sobered up,” added Fayle.

Included with Fest-of-Ale ticket purchases is a $3 Get Home Safe coupon that could be used with any participating taxi. Fayle said a good sign of people choosing to be responsible was the fact there was a number of cars in the parking lot each morning.

“We didn’t even have any impaired charges afterwards. People were leaving the cars and choosing to find other ways home. All in all, it was a very successful event and no problems at all,” said Fayle.

Proceeds from Okanagan Fest-of-Ale are donated to various qualifying registered charitable organizations by the society board of directors. A special meeting will be held in July to review the applications and an announcement will be made in August with the list of charities who will receive the funds. Since 2003, the board has dispersed $422,000 in cash to charities.