Sixth annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival a night of fun

Lucas Walters (from left) enjoys a night of beer tasting with Alice Johnston, Chad Matthies, Nyree Alexander and Rob Schlamp at the annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival. (Cordell Wiebe photo)
Kent Neufeld samples Three Ranges Brewing’s Experimental IPA after being served by Rundi Anderson. (Cordell Wiebe photo)
Committee Chair Chad Matthies (from left) presenting the Fan Favourite award to Blaine Estby & Cam McKeigan of Smithers Brewing during the annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival. (Cordell Wiebe photo)

The sixth annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival was held Sat. Feb. 22 at the TRU Gymnasium.

This sold-out event, which attracted 430 craft beer enthusiasts, is an annual fundraiser for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Centre and has raised more than $160,000 since its inception.

This year’s event had 19 B.C. breweries, one cidery and one distillery, serving over 70 different libations. Four first-time breweries were in attendance including Smugglers Trail from Langley, Mt. Begbie from Revelstoke, Smithers Brewing, and Highway 97 Brewery out of Penticton.

Participants received a small, commemorative tasting glass, food from various city vendors, the chance to win unique prizes from the silent auction table and the opportunity to interact directly with B.C.’s brewery representatives.

Read More: Williams Lake Beer Festival raises $30,000 for CDC playground upgrade

Almost all of the beers offered up are available in the craft beer sections of local liquor stores, including the top beer at this year’s festival, Smithers Brewing’s London Fog Dark Mild Ale, an Earl Grey tea influenced, nitro-tapped beer.

It’s the second year in a row that a brewery from Northern B.C. has taken home the award; Valemount’s Three Ranges Brewing received the honour last year.

Wheelhouse Brewing from Prince Rupert, Barkerville Brewing from Quesnel, and Trench Brewing and Crossroads from Prince George rounded out the contingent of northern brewers. Fox Mountain Brewing of Williams Lake plans to add to that list next year once their location is up and running.

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