The T(ale) of an Adventure and Amazing Cause

The Kiwanis AleFest is Prince George’s premier and original craft beer tasting festival that showcases many amazing independent BC craft breweries, including three from Prince George. The 2024 edition included the addition of two craft cideries and one craft kombucha brewery. This is an event that people in Prince George look forward to each winter. The silent auction is a great way to contribute to Kiwanis’ charitable fundraising goals, which benefit local children. I love that many local businesses are promoted and that the festival increases awareness of independent BC craft breweries, local Prince George restaurants, and the many sponsors. I also love that Kiwanis promotes and ensures the responsible consumption of alcohol and ensures a diverse, inclusive, equitable, respectable, and safe environment. 

The sign at Twin Rivers Gallery for Kiwanis AleFest (GSP Photography)
Kiwanis AleFest (photo: GSP Photography)

This year was the eighth annual Kiwanis AleFest, which was held at the Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, BC. There were three tasting sessions held on Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night. Each session was three hours long and the average attendance per session was around 360 people. Kiwanis donates $5,000 annually to the Ronald McDonald House, $15,000 annually to the Two Rivers Gallery, and they have also raised over $230,000 for children’s charities over the past number of years. This year was no different with a part of the event proceeds being used to support Northern BC children through the Ronald McDonald House of BC. And to know this absolutely warms my heart. 

The 2024 Kiwanis AleFest was a very special and memorable experience. As a person who loves hiking and the outdoors, what made me feel warm was the detailed wooden hand-crafted signposts that directed you to the multiple craft breweries, cideries, kombucha breweries, and the many restaurants in attendance. It was like being on a mini-BC Ale Trail within a wonderful venue with warm ambience. I could attribute this to the inviting, helpful, and professional volunteers, the lighting, the music, the photo booths, the silent auction area, and the overall feeling by just being present in this environment itself. Plus, it made me very happy to see the event goers enjoy their experience. Another thing that I loved was being able to choose one out of seven individual tasting glasses that were originally released and uniquely designed for past Kiwanis AleFest events. 

The breweries in attendance included Barkerville Brewing from Quesnel, Bulkley Valley Brewery from Smithers, Cask & Cleaver from 100 Mile House, CrossRoads Brewing & Distillery from Prince George, Deadfall Brewing from Prince George (winner of the 2023 Canada Beer Cup for their Basal Brown Ale), Fox Mountain Brewing from Williams Lake, Lillooet Brewing, Mighty Peace Brewing from Fort St. John, Post & Row Brewing from Dawson Creek, Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse from Terrace, Smithers Brewing, Three Ranges Brewing from Valemount, Trench Brewing & Distilling from Prince George, Two Peaks Brewing from Kitimat, Ursa Minor Brewing from Ootsa Lake (located South of Burns Lake), and Wheelhouse Brewing from Prince Rupert. 

My favourite beers included the Three Bears Belgian Style Tripel from Ursa Minor Brewing, Apple Pie Sour and Black Forest Stout both from Cask & Cleaver, Skippity Paps NE Style Hazy IPA from Three Ranges Brewing, Post Voyage ESB from Post & Row Brewing, Vienna Lager from Lillooet Brewing, Double Rainbow Hazy IPA from Fox Mountain, Blueberry Mojito Tart Ale from Smithers Brewing, and Wake Up Jake Coffee Ale from Barkerville Brewing. Trench Brewing’s Peach Iced Tea was a popular item too. 

In a very cool twist on the usual “collaboration beer,” the three PG breweries brewed a blonde base ale and then split it into three tanks with each brewery getting a tank to make it their own. Deadfall Brewing made a Strawberry Basil Blonde Ale, Trench Brewing did a Honey Pineapple Blonde Ale, and CrossRoads made a Vanilla Espresso Blonde Ale. There was a little friendly competition going on with these three breweries since event attendees were able to vote on which of the three was their favourite.  

I also loved that Bulkley River Booch (craft kombucha) from Smithers, and the two Prince George cideries, Slaughterhouse Craft and Cold Front Cider, were also in attendance. They absolutely had some great offerings. What stood out for me was the PG Select from Cold Front Cider and the Cyser from Slaughterhouse Craft. I also really like the apple spiced kombucha from Bulkley River Booch. 

The food which was provided by many local restaurants in attendance was excellent as well. Nancy O’s /Betulla Burning had delicious tacos that included Mexican-style pulled pork with tequila BBQ sauce; Trench Brewing had beef brisket and mushroom tacos; Baller Food had delicious meatball and cheese sliders; The Black Clover had beef stew; and CrossRoads had perogies and sausage on a stick and veggies on a stick. 

Another important addition was free the Safe Ride Home Shuttle Bus provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters PG. 

I had the opportunity to speak to some of the craft brewery owners, which was special too. What I truly enjoyed was their excellent knowledge of craft beer and their commitment towards the guest experience at their respective craft breweries. 

Overall, the 2024 edition of Kiwanis AleFest was memorable for many amazing reasons: the amazing volunteers, the charitable cause, ambience, music, setting, and the food and beverage offerings from the wonderful independent craft breweries, cideries, the kombucha brewery, and the awesome restaurants. 

Thank you, Kiwanis Prince George, for hosting this amazing event and making it an amazing experience. The 2024 Kiwanis AleFest was one of the best. Cheers!

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