Penticton was making craft beer well before it was cool to drink craft beer.
It was 1995 when Tin Whistle opened its doors, and the taps have not turned off since. There are soon going to be seven craft breweries in the South Okanagan city, which next year will celebrate the 25th annual Okanagan Fest of Ale. In the meantime, you can celebrate all things barley and hops during the inaugural Penticton Beer Week, which starts Saturday.
“It was pretty cool to be on the forefront of something that’s grown into something so popular in B.C., across Canada, and, really, around the world,” Cannery Brewing marketing director Kim Lawton says. “Craft beer is such a special phenomenon, and it just keeps gets bigger and better.
“Penticton seriously out-ranks the number of breweries per capita versus a lot of towns. We punch way above our weight.”
There are no punches involved when it comes to Penticton’s craft breweries, however, as all seven work together to shine the spotlight on one another. That will be the case once again during Penticton Beer Week, as the breweries came together to create one special brew—called Community Common—that will raise money for Penticton and Area Cycling Association.
The creation will be revealed next week during Penticton Beer Week festivities. The craft beer industry is a collaborative industry to begin with, but the Penticton brewing community takes it to another level. Tin Whistle, Barley Mill, Cannery, Bad Tattoo, Highway 97, Slackwater and Neighbourhood Brewing, which will be opening soon, all work together and go the extra mile to promote the Penticton Ale Trail, which is one of 18 ale trails across the province.
“We are competitors, but at the end of the day our view is really that the more that we work together, all boats rise with the tide,” Lawton says.
“We know if you live in Vancouver you’re not going to drive to Penticton to visit one brewery. But if you’re into the craft beer scene, you might drive to Penticton for the opportunity to do the Penticton Beer Run and visit seven breweries and climb Skaha Bluffs, and spend some time at the lake and float the channel.”
Another way the award-winning breweries attract attention is to take the beer to potential new customers.The Penticton Ale Trail has done tap takeovers in Vancouver and Kamloops to showcase the South Okanagan’s finest.
“It’s like we’re picking up Penticton’s craft beer scene and taking it to another place and giving people a taste of it,” Lawton says.
The inaugural Penticton Beer Week will kick off with Saturday’s 10th annual Oktoberfest, and the rest of the week will include the following smorgasbord of events:
Saturday, Oct. 19 – Penticton Oktoberfest
Sunday, Oct. 20 – Neighbourhood Brewing industry kick-off at The Nest & Nectar
Tuesday, Oct. 22 – The Highway 97 Big Bar Takeover at The Barking Parrot Bar
Wednesday, Oct. 23 – Brewers’ Showdown at Cannery Brewing
Thursday, Oct. 24 – Neighbourhood beer-paired dinner at Brodo
Thursday, Oct. 24 – Work Boots, Beer and Bacon at the Barley Mill Brew Pub
Friday, Oct. 25 – Bustin’ the Barrel at Slackwater Brewing
Saturday, Oct. 26 – Laughs and Draughts with Tin Whistle at Craft Corner Kitchen
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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