You don’t have to travel Germany to enjoy beer during Oktoberfest, you can stay right here in B.C. and take in the abundance of local breweries all month long.
It’s the seventh annual Craft Beer Month in B.C. and with breweries popping up 60 communities across the province there is a lot to celebrate.
The craft beer industry is an ever growing business, back in 2010 there was just 54 breweries in the province compared to more than 140 today. This year, over 20 new B.C. breweries will open their doors, the fourth year in a row they will have accomplished this milestone.
Nestled in the heart of Penticton Cannery Brewing Company, on Ellis Street, has been operating since 2001 and owner Patt Dyck is excited the provincial government has got on board with the craft beer industry.
“For us in all the years we’ve been here, you often feel over shadowed by the humongous wine industry that we have, but I have been here long enough to know it was supported at the very beginning which has enabled the wine industry to happen and we would like to see the same thing happen,” she said. “And, I think we are seeing the same thing happen. It is excited when the government does say ‘oh you are there, we do see you,’ and this could be viable.”
With the growth in the industry comes a little competition as well which is good news for consumers when it comes to diversity but it also keeps breweries like Cannery on their toes.
“It is a challenge to keep up and a challenge to stay relevant in a market that is changing so much,” explained Dyck. “I think consumers tastes have changed a great deal and also have the ingredients that are available to craft brewers like us.”
Currently more than 4,000 British Columbians are employed in the craft beer industry.