Penticton is officially the third of 17 communities to join the BC Ale Trail app.
According to Kim Lawton, marketing director for Cannery Brewing and organizer of Penticton Ale Trail, the app first launched in Victoria just over two months ago to “test it in a smaller market and work out the kinks” before it expanded to include the other communities.
“The cool thing is that out of the 17 ale trails on the BC Ale Trail, we’re one of the early ones to be added to the app,” said Lawton. “It’s just a testament to the collaborative working relationship that the Penticton breweries have and enjoy.”
|Each quarter, participants of the Penticton Ale Trail passport program have the opportunity to win a prize pack from the five breweries, valued at $500. Photo submitted|
Before the app was launched, Lawton and the breweries with the Penticton Ale Trail launched their own passport program to encourage locals to stop at each location, each quarter to enter to win a $500-value prize pack.
“The five of us have been working together for about two years now and in the effort of bringing awareness to our amazing craft beer scene here in Penticton,” said Lawton. “Aside from the five breweries and the two opening here, we have the Okanagan Fest of Ale, which is one of the longest running craft beer festival in B.C., and the Penticton Beer Run.
“We just wanted to bring awareness to how amazing this area is for craft beer. Everybody knows about the wine in the Okanagan, but I think it’s still a surprise for a lot of people that craft beer is so dynamic here and really growing.”
Cannery Brewing, Bad Tattoo Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing Company, Tin Whistle Brewing Co. and Barley Mill Pub are the five Penticton breweries now featured on the map-based app. Lawton said Hatchery Brewing and Neighbourhood Brewing, two breweries opening in the city in 2019, are both on board to join Penticton’s Ale Trail when they become operational.
“Kim has been a huge component of the BC Ale Trail and Penticton’s Ale Trail, as well as at Cannery Brewing,” said Max Rutherford, taproom manager at Cannery Brewing. “She got all the breweries behind it and on the same page with how everything will roll.”
Rutherford said Penticton’s craft beer scene is “definitely on the up-and-up”, noting that the city was listed as the second-best Beer Town in Canada 2018 by Expedia.ca.
|Here is an overview of the BC Ale Trail app home screen. Photo submitted|
The app features a map of the area with icons placed where each brewery is located. Clicking the icon shows the user what brewery is there and what it has to offer in terms of craft beer. In addition, the app tracks points earned by stopping at each brewery, and after users have accumulated 50 points they can start redeeming them at the locations.
“It looks like it flows pretty smoothly and looks like it will definitely help people find all of the breweries in Penticton and where they’re located,” said Rutherford. “(The app) tells you a little about our history and where we got our name — being started in the old fruit-packing centre — and it will also tell you about the move in 2015. Not to mention what we have to offer here in the taproom and what the Ale Trail app can provide for points and point redemption.”
Derek Hurst, operations manager for Bad Tattoo Brewing, said the brewery is excited to participate and continue in the ongoing partnership with Penticton’s other breweries.
“The BC Ale Trail has already been a great benefit to us, so any way that we can be participatory and continue with it and, more locally, the Penticton Ale Trail, that’s what we’re going to do,” said Hurst. “It’s going to bring folks coming up from the Lower Mainland who may not know about the Penticton Ale Trail, so that’s what we’re expecting to see, more folks from away coming to the breweries in Penticton.”
Hurst said Bad Tattoo is thankful for the good working relationship it has with the other Penticton breweries as the craft beer industry begins to pick up steam, citing the age-old advice that “a rising tide floats all boats.”
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