The craft beer industry in northern B.C. continues to grow with new breweries popping up all over the region.
In just the past two years at least two new micro breweries have opened their doors to the public.
On the shores of Ootsa Lake, south of Burns Lake, Ursa Minor Brewing began operating in June 2020 and just this past summer Prince George beer drinkers found a new source of bubbly brew to discover on Nicholson Street when Deadfall Brewing opened its doors to the public.
Both small businesses will be among 13 breweries to have their beer products featured Jan. 27-28 with the return of the Kiwanis AleFest. The popular event is back for its seventh year after a two-year absence due to pandemic restrictions.
Tickets for the two-day festival at Two Rivers Gallery go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. on the festival website. . A sellout is expected, so get to the site early to fill out the online form. Tickets are $81.25 each.
You have their choice of three tasting sessions - Friday, Jan. 27 (7:30-10:30 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 28 (3-6 p.m. and 7:30-10:30 p.m.). Each ticket holder received six tasting tokens good for a four-ounce sample. Additional tokens will cost $5 (good for three samples).
Two other Prince George establishments – Trench Brewing and Distilling and CrossRoads Brewing - are part of this year’s Ale Fest, along with Bulkley Valley Brewery and Smithers Brewery (both of Smithers), Barkerville Brewing (Quesnel), Fox Mountain Brewery (Williams Lake), Cask and Cleaver Brewery (100 Mile House), Sherwood Mountain Brewing (Terrace), Wheelhouse Brewing (Prince Rupert), Mighty Peace Brewing and Three Ranges Brewery (Valemount).
“It’s a chance to see all of the really cool craft breweries from all across northern B.C.,” said AleFest communications/marketing lead Holly Keech, “People can’t sometimes travel to their breweries and that all come to Two Rivers Gallery with some of their best brews and everybody will come to sample it. There are 20-plus craft breweries in northern B.C. right now.
“We’re hoping it sells out again. There’s a few new ones, and the cool thing about not having the event the last two years is there are all these new breweries that we haven’t been able to showcase yet and they haven’t come out and met the AleFest crowd yet.”
Those who don’t get tickets (there are less than 1,000 available due to capacity limits at the gallery) can still participate in the AleFest Cask Beer Crawl visit to participating downtown Prince George restaurants. The Beer Crawl will stop at The Black Clover, Nancy O’s, Trench Brewing and Distilling, CrossRoads Brewing, Betulla Burning Pizzeria, The Firm Lounge and Grill, Frozen Paddle Ice Creamery and Twisted Cork.
Participating restaurants will bring appetizers to feed the beer samplers at the gallery event.
The Beer Crawl is open to anyone 19-and-over. The breweries will be bringing cask beer kegs to the restaurants and people can get their passports stamped as they sample each beer. The passports can then be entered in a draw for a prize package.
The Kiwanis Club of Prince George has a long history of supporting children’s charities in the North. The local chapter of the service club started in 1954 and the efforts of its members raised the money to build the bandshell at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park (formerly known as Fort George Park) and the Kiwanis picnic shelter at Cottonwood Island Park.
A portion of the profits from AleFest will be sent to Ronald McDonald House BC in Vancouver to pay the accommodations of families from northern B.C. who have to travel to Vancouver to be close to their kids while they are being treated at the BC Children’s Hospital.
The Kiwanis Club is seeking volunteers for this fun event to take tickets at the door, staff the beer booths and set up/dismantle the chairs and tables at the gallery.
Contact email@example.com or call 250-301-8561 for more information.