Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale Celebrates Community on April 5th and 6th

Okanagan is fast gaining a wine reputation, and everybody knows it. But Okanaganian beer lovers can rejoice too, because nothing brings the local brew crowd together faster than Fest-Of-Ale, an annual toast to suds on April 5th and 6th.

It’s happening next weekend in artsy little Penticton, at the heart of B.C. wine country. There, 30 breweries and cideries both local (B.C., Washington) and as far-flung as Saskatchewan and Ontario come together to celebrate in the name of beverage diversity. It’s a good chance for Northwesterners to sample a wider range of Canadian brews than usual and you might see a Belgian import or two that will represent the international set. Together they’ll represent close to 100 tasting options, a record number in Fest-Of-Ale’s 18-year run.

But Fest-Of-Ale isn’t about the numbers. Bigger beer fests with wider selections are abound in the region – in Okanagan this event is first and foremost a community gathering, a chance for fest-goers to kick back, breathe a Friday sigh of relief and raise a glass to a weekend spent together. The festival has a living-room feel – and past years’ participants have asked organizers to keep it this way. So even though the Trade Center venue has a capacity of 3,500, ticket numbers stay well below that year after year. What proceeds do come in from tickets go right back out to local charities ($422,000 since 2003).

2013’s party features entertainers from in and around Penticton – Fluxx, Flashback, the Thursday Night Jazz Band are among them, as is the more eclectic Get Bent Belly Dancing. Local entertainment is another thing Fest-Of-Ale doesn’t trade out for big names.

And there’s something about this community commitment that draws people in. Though it wasn’t always in high demand, the Fest-Of-Ale secret is out now – and tickets will more than likely sell out fast. Get yours sooner than later and come see what a small town brewfest is all about.

April 5th 4:00—9:00 pm and April 6th noon–6:00 pm || Penticton Trade and Convention Center – Penticton, B.C. || Tickets: $20/day.