Penticton's unique beer community shines

Building beer community

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It’s not just what’s in the glass, pint, or growler that makes the craft beer culture in Penticton special. It’s also the community support around the table and at the taps.

Penticton Beer Week has kicked off and runs until Oct. 23 with safe celebrations at long-established breweries and the newest ones to join the sudsy scene in the South Okanagan, a collaborative brew, and the continued recognition that Penticton is Canada’s Craft Beer Capital – so named in 2020 by Lonely Planet.

One of the newest entrants on the scene, Neighbourhood Brewing, welcomed its fellow brewers recently to create a collaborative beer. A Golden Sour with Honey and Citrus, the ‘Do Good’ limited release brew is “a perfect beer to celebrate what makes Penticton so great,” said Neighbourhood’s owner Mike Coghill in a recent announcement for Penticton Beer Week.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Do Good will be donated to the Ooknakane Friendship Centre.

Neighbourhood might be the seventh brewery in town (a new one will open soon and become the eighth), but craft beer has been created here for decades. Marrying the old with the new, Tin Whistle Brewing Co., its name a nod to the historic Kettle Valley Railway, is the oldest craft beer producer in town.

When new owners Alexis Esseltine and Timothy Scoon took over in 2020, their own personal pandemic pivot, as Alexis calls it, they brought with them duo passions for sustainability and innovation.

They transitioned the business to cans, updated the brand, and embraced the history of Tin Whistle while at the same time launching new products. The three core brews are still on tap, but you’ll also find experimental beers to tempt your tastebuds.

Now in the historic Cannery Trade Centre, Alexis points out that the building was once home to fruit canneries and has evolved into space for Tin Whistle to produce beer … in cans.

“Our business is centred on a different way of brewing,” she explains, with the addition of some technical innovations, plus Tin Whistle is the first carbon-neutral brewery in B.C. “We wanted to bring our values to the business. We’re stewards towards the next phase for the brewery.”

Their family atmosphere means you’ll find the owners in the tap room, and you’re invited to “come have a beer and a chat and tell us your story!”

The story of Cannery Brewing, now in its 20th year, also reflects how the craft beer industry has changed, explains Kim Lawton, the brewery’s marketing director and the manager behind Penticton’s beer collective and Beer Week.

“Our customers have changed, they’re not just looking for a six pack, but for an experience. It’s the evolution of the tap room to come have a beer in a friendly place and hang out,” she says, adding that the craft beer community provides year-round activities, including events that often feature local arts and music.

Family-friendly, fun, and full of good times, why stay home? Go out, have a beer, and explore everything the craft beer community offers.

Learn more at www.visitpenticton.com and on social @visitpenticton

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