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The fifth annual Penticton Beer Week is on its way, with ten days of cool events that begins Oct 13 and ends Oct 22.
Events like the always wild and crazy Penticton Beer Run. And the Oktoberest-themed "BrewHaHa" at the Lakeside Resort. And the keg versus keg "Brewers' Showdown."
But aside from the events, all of which are designed to celebrate the ultra-hot Penticton craft brewery industry, each new Beer Week also brings a brand new beer -- a unique collaboration brew called "Do Good" that changes up every year, is developed jointly between all eight local breweries, and benefits a worthy local cause.
Last year, the Do Good beer was brewed at Cannery Brewing. This year, it's being created at Yellow Dog Brewery, the soon-to-be-open venue in the old Bad Tattoo space at 169 Estabrook. And Friday morning, reps from all the breweries got together to kick off the process.
So PentictonNow dropped by too. After all, the local craft beer scene is now a really big deal. Eight breweries, bragging rights as a BC and Canadian beer stronghold, major beer-inspired events like Fest of Ale -- craft beer is clearly on a run.
We started as we often do when talking Penticton and beer with Kim Lawton, who manages the collective of Penticton breweries and Penticton Beer Week too. And she's understandably psyched about the October happening.
"I think of Beer Weeks over the past few years," she said, "and we've had pandemics and fires and road closures and all these things that work against tourism.
"So it's just exciting to go into this Beer Week. We have some great momentum this year. We'll have 20 to 30 amazing events during the week."
As for the 2023 version of the Do Good beer, which we're told is a "west coast-style pilsner" (more on that later), it'll officially debut the day before Beer Week begins, on Oct. 12th at a launch event at the Yellow Dog outdoor patio called "Dog Park."
Going forward from there, it'll also be available at all eight Penticton breweries and local liquor stores until it sells out. And this year, part proceeds from all those sales go to the South Okanagan SPCA.
A beer that benefits the SPCA unveiled at a place called the Dog Park? You betcha.
"We want our Do Good beer to do good in the community," said Lawton. "and in 2023 we're thrilled to contribute to the amazing work of the folks at the South Okanagan branch of the BC SPCA.
"We know pets bring joy to so many people. We see it regularly as people bring their dogs into our breweries."
We then flagged down Yellow Dog director of brewing operations Darren Binnema, who told us Do Good is a product of truly collaborative industry partners.
"Yeah, we really are good friends," he said. "We get together when we can and we help each other out wherever possible.
"This year, like usual, all the brewers in town got together and came up with a recipe without the owners and sales people -- what we like to drink and what we think is good."
The 2023 Do Good beer, said Binnema, is a "west coast-style pilsner, kind of a mash-up between a German pilsner but brewed with more modern American hops.
"So it'll be more citrusy, a little bit exotic, with tropical flavours as well. But it'll be clean and drinkable and crisp. It's easy drinking, but with some fruitiness as well."
There'll be 60 hectoliters (6,000 liters) of Do Good produced. That works out to approximately 200 flats.
Joining the group Friday was Penticton mayor Julius Bloomfield, who spent the better part of an hour chatting with brewers and brewery owners.
"It's one of the fastest growing industries Penticton has seen in decades," he told PentictonNow.
"There are a lot of people working at the breweries or in the background, but with an industry like this you don’t just look at the industry itself. It's all the support businesses around that get something out of it.
"Transportation companies, material sourcing, the creation of promotional materials, musicians and other live acts -- it's a good news story for the city in general."
Slackwater Brewing co-founder Liam Peyton was all about the camaraderie.
"It's pretty well known the industry here is large and very collaborative," he said. "But at this time of year we all look forward to getting together in a brewery and making something super fun that we talk about for weeks and plan together.
"And then we get to enjoy it again when it comes out in Beer Week."
For more info on this year's Do Good brew and Penticton Beer Week, running Oct. 13 to 22, go here.