March 04, 2015 - 3:02 PM
KELOWNA - There's more than just wine to the Okanagan and as proof another popular fermented drink will be celebrated at the Great Okanagan Beer Festival for three whole days this May.
More than 40 breweries from across the country and around the world will be offering more than 90 beers to try at sampling events during the inaugural event May 7 to 9 at Waterfront Park. There will be cask events and beer and brewing seminars. The sampling event on May 9 is expected to draw an estimated 2,500 beer lovers, according to a media release.
“We were thrilled when Tourism Kelowna reached out to us at the end of last year to ask if we’d host a beer festival in their home town,” Gibbons Festival and Events Manager Liam Peyton says. “At Gibbons we believe in really working with the community to create events that increase business, put the experience of the guest first and make people happy.”
Representing the Okanagan is Tree Brewing from Kelowna, Okanagan Spring Brewery from Vernon and Bad Tattoo Brewing from Penticton. Other B.C. breweries include Four Winds Brewing Co. (Delta), Bomber Brewing (Quesnel) and Fugglies & Warlock Craftworks (Aldergrove).
Expect to see local food vendors among the throng though events have been scheduled to encourage patronage of local businesses and restaurants throughout the downtown area. So far 16 events have been scheduled over the three days at various locations such as the new Cannery Brewing Facility in Downtown Penticton May 6. Tree Brewing’s Kelowna satellite location and The Beer Institute events take place May 7. Others participating include Barkerville Beer Dinner at The Curious Café Artistry and Alchemy Café and the Brewer Highlight Series at the Train Station Pub, Mission Tap House and Black Bear, Kelowna.
The Great Okanagan Beer Festival initiative follows the success of a similar festival in Whistler.
Proceeds from the main event will go to support community based events and showcases of artist and athlete development, through the Kelowna-based license holder K-Billie Artistic & Athletic Development.
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