From the judging panel at the Okanagan Fest of Ale ’23.

American IPA

Trail Guide Everett, Sidekick Brewing 


Brewed with New Zealand hops, pine tree notes join with the citrus notes in this bold IPA. Sidekick opened its beautiful location right beside the Chilliwack River.

Hazy/New England IPA

Brave New World NEIPA , Vice & Virtue Brewing 


This Hazy IPA is definitely a fine example of the style. Vice & Virtue is part of a wave of new breweries that have opened in Kelowna over the past five years.

Best Haxy IPA – Vice & Virtue Kelowna

Lager European

Ferdinand Vienna Lager, Strange Fellows Brewing 


This amber ale is complex but balanced, with toasty, malty and spicy goodness.  

Lager American

Bandito Lager & Lime, Highway 97 Brewing Co.


The summer offering from this local brewery which moved into a new location right across the street from Cannery Brewing during the pandemic years.

Pale and Hazy

Mystic Haze Pale Ale, Vancouver Island Brewing 


With an IBU of 30, this hop-forward ale offers notes of orange, ripe pineapple and coconut. One of the oldest breweries in B.C. is still going strong as it celebrates its 40th year. 

Fruit Beer

Sunkissed Apricot Wheat Ale, Lakesider Brewing Co. 

West Kelowna

Bright, playful and bursting with apricots. The tasting room at Lakesider Brewing is always welcoming with weekend entertainment.

Sour Fruited 

Nautical Nonsense Pineapple Sour with Pink Sea Salt, Slackwater Brewing 


The addition of sea salt in this gose-style sour elevated the burst of tropical fruit to another level.

Red and Brown Ale 

Stoked Ember Ale, Firehall Brewery 


This extra special bitter ale is brewed with a complex mix of eight different barley malts.

Belgian/French Ale 

Mountain Bluebird Belgian Wit, Lillooet Brewing 


Honourable Mention

Barrel-Aged Monkish Quad, Marten Brewing 


Lillooet Brewing just opened in Fall of 2022 so it was wonderful to see this small brewery win an award, let alone nearly take home Best in Show. The judges panel had a quandary in this category. Ultimately, they decided to award an Honourable Mention to Marten Brewing for its entry, which was the strongest beer on tap at the Fest, achieving 14% ABV.


London Fog Mild Ale, Smithers Brewing


Smithers Brewing has made a name for itself when it comes to creative hybrid ales like this dark, mild beer brewed with Earl Grey tea and vanilla.  

Specialty Ale 

Mutual Aid Imperial Stout, Firehall Brewery


This is the beer that ultimately won Best in Show with a creamy and smooth mouthfeel and a delicious, complex, whiskey-tinged character. 


Cucumber Mint Cider Howling Moon Craft Cider, Oliver

Cucumber is great in beer and it turns out it is just as good in cider.

As seen in

Wine Issue 2023 Trends Magazine