I’ve been selected to cover the Great Okanagan Beer Festival by Gibbons for the second year in a row! It’s one of my favourite local events and the three day event cannot be topped.
For my second year covering the Great Okanagan Beer Festival I’ve said as much as I could about how much fun it is. The beer tastings, the cideries, the food scene and games that all take place on a sunny Okanagan day against the backdrop of Lake Okanagan. But this year, instead of telling you how much fun it is to attend I wanted to show you with my favourite Instagram moments of the entire festival!
One of my favourite things about going to the beer festival is, well…the beer. That might sound obvious but what interests me are the new trends – sour beers, saisons, beer with odd ingredients like kelp or seaweed and so on. Additionally, there are some really cool concepts when it comes to marketing – video games, fantasy worlds with warlocks, dogs, old world, understated and I even saw a beer named “Creepy Uncle Dunkle”. The possibilities of branding and the unique labels are endless. The ingenuity, not only in the end product – the taste of the beer – but with the creative ways in which they seek to catch our attention is a big part of it.
The labels are truly inspired and the hard part is picking which is your favourite. Plus it is always fun to see if you’ll like the brew behind the label. Fuggles and Warlock’s booth always has a seemingly endless line and a large part of it has to do with its marketing. Is it a coincidence that many of those in line also look like warlocks?
Who doesn’t love dogs? Yellow Dog Brewing’s label appeals to everyone and their beer seems to as well. In this case the marketing matches the brand exactly with reliable beer that are always delicious. A classic go-to each year I visit as I know i’ll be poured something enjoyable and refreshing in the Okanagan heat.
The Games & Music
Sumo suits, giant Jenga, frisbees, beer pong and corn hole all go so perfectly with a sunny afternoon and an ice cold beer in hand.
This year there were even more food vendors than ever before. However, if you couldn’t make it to the festival’s main event they made it possible for you to participate with local restaurants offering special dinning options from a Brewer’s Brunch at Oak + Cru to a beer paired dinner at Kelowna’s only speakeasy! I had the pleasure of attending both.
However, the latter required tickets. Tucked in behind the pizza oven at the Curious Café is Kelowna’s only speakeasy, Bar Norcino. This smaller and more intimate dinning room hosted beer enthusiasts looking to enjoy a special menu tailored to suit Four Season’s beers. Plus, what better way than to taste beers in an environment inspired by the prohibition era, the speakeasy?!
Although some believe that the Okanagan Beer Festival is growing much too quickly to keep its location along the boardwalk and in the Waterfront Park due to congestion, it is a beautiful spot. Located on Okanagan Lake with beach access, it makes for a gorgeous area to enjoy the festival with beer in hand, something you can’t (legally) do any other weekend.
The Great Okanagan Beer Festival is one of the hottest tickets in town and sells out quickly! I always recommend the VIP tickets because of the perks and swag bag. Truly, one of my favourite hats is handed out at this festival and is free for VIPs!