Well it’s that time of year again! Fest-of-Ale is here, and the moment has come to toast a new era of beer and beer drinking, as the latest inspirational flavours from across North America come to Penticton to inspire our palates and wet our appetites! However Fest-of- Ale is much more than just a two day celebration of international brewing. It is a return to epic ideals, a leap into all things warm and fuzzy, a social buzz, a release from the humdrum and the everyday monologue; it is quite frankly, a really good time with really good people.
When we think of beer, I’m sure many of us can conjure up a glorious montage of lazy afternoons in the sun, social weekends, barbeques, family picnics, a well-earned, deeply gratifying ice cold satisfaction after a long day on the snowy slopes, or on the mountainous trails, or maybe just a quiet spare moment spent alone in silent consideration. Whatever the association, beer in itself is a profound icon, the juggernaut cocktail of an ancient perfection, which inspires and preserves powerful memories, sentiments and relationships. The image of beer in a frosted glass or right out of the bottle or can, hits home for many of us, summoning that “ahh” sensation that can intimidate even the most sophisticated of wine connoisseurs. The very act of beer drinking is transgenerational and appeals to an overall sense of calm, inner contentment, repose, social connectedness, unity and quiet reflection. Beer is a grassroots movement, a beverage that connects us all on a fundamental echelon of humanity, as it transcends social and geopolitical barriers and does not discriminate against socioeconomic class, race, and religion. So how can we encapsulate in a phrase or two the epilogue of beer? It is undeniably the sweet nectar of antiquity, the unorthodox tool of human development, the constantly evolving flavour of mankind’s dichotomy – epitomizing our need for both reckless abandon and stoic contemplation – and of course, beer is always a constant reflection of present-day society. Who could imagine such a complex reality from something so seemingly simple? And yet, in spite of all this, we are just as eager to take beer at face-value for what it means in our everyday life: a great drink for a great time!
The Fest-of-Ale is a celebration and collaboration of many different types of beers featuring award winning microbreweries from across Canada and Western United States. Each beer style is considered based on its aroma, appearance, mouth-feel, flavour and strength of alcohol present. While this festival is a coming together of peoples who share a common interest and purpose, (to taste, drink, consume and enjoy a range of beers) this event echoes from the history of beer itself and celebrates not only its very colourful evolution, but also its ever-changing state.
Dating as far back as possibly 9500 BC, beer is one of the oldest prepared beverages in the world. During the medieval period, beer became a dietary staple and was consumed by almost everyone on a daily basis as a vital source of nutrition. Beer also carried with it medicinal properties, which allowed people to live longer, healthier lives. As uncanny as it may seem, beer in fact catalyzed the development of farming, and encouraged man to keep records of harvests, receipts of payment and exchange of goods and crops, as well as recorded recipes, all of which lead to advances in economics and mathematics. What’s more, unlike the process of wine-making, which begins with the naturally occurring fermentation of crushed grapes due to yeast found in the skins, beer requires an extended knowledge of different grains, germinating times, and yeasts, to which there are thousands of variations. Frankly, the sheer complexity of beer is astonishing.
The Penticton Lakeside Resort & Casino has been participating in the Fest-of-Ale for over a decade now, and we’ve been honoured with the People’s Choice Award several years in a row. This year, look for our colourful country western booth, as we pay homage to the Wild West in a true saloon style setting. Authentic wood swinging doors, a pot-bellied stove, and colourful personalities will transport you back into North America’s rich history, where gold rush madness, thriving prairie settlements, cattle country, Hudson Bay trading posts, military outposts and forts came to embody the idea of the New World. Our very own Barking Parrot Bar will be serving up an all-time favourite, Californian chicken sliders, in-keeping with our inspired country western theme. Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without our very own Joe’s Garage, also a People’s Choice winner and a Vancouver-based, Roxy Nightclub resident band, who will be there to make sure you rock out and have fun! Join us, April 8th and 9th, from 4-9pm on Friday, and 12-6pm on Saturday at the Penticton Trade & Convention Center. Tickets are available in advance only. We hope you’ll enjoy the festivities and amidst the spectacle, take a moment, as you take a swig of ale, to reflect and appreciate our long amazing, rich history that embodies every glass.