Fest-of-Ale makes big splash in return to Prince Albert

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald There were 26 different vendors at the Prince Albert Kinsmen's third annual Fest-of-Ale on Saturday night at the Ches Leach Lounge.

The Prince Albert Kinsmen Club returned with their third annual Kinsemen Fest-of-Ale at the Ches Leach Lounge in the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday, and organizers were just happy to be back.

Prince Albert Kinsmen member Shaun Pikaluk was one of the organizers. He said the last time they were able to host the event was in 2019.

“We just about had it in 2020,” Pikaluk said. “We had it kind of organized. Everything was booked and we were just getting vendors in and that’s when everything went south.

“We were still contemplating having it and then everything kind of got shut down and it was like, ‘okay, that’s it we are done.’”

The event features a chance to try different wine, beer and spirits from 26 different vendors. Pikaluk said they wanted to create a neat way for people to come out and try some new things.

“It’s just a really neat way for people to come out and just try some new things. You have got 26 different vendors out there, so there is different types of beer, different types of wineand spirits out there. If you want to come partake and just try some different things,” Pikaluk said.

In the years since the last Fest-of-Ale, the market for small brewers and distillers has grown with the addition of many new entries in the market.

“There is lots of new stuff out there so instead of going to the actual liquor store and buying a bottle of something or a case of something and not knowing if you would like it or not, you can come here and sample stuff,” Pikaluk explained.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald There were 26 different vendors at the Prince Albert Kinsmen’s third annual Fest-of-Ale on Saturday night at the Ches Leach Lounge.

The market has especially grown in the province and the majority of vendors Saturday were from Saskatchewan.

“There is so much new stuff and so many vendors,” he said. “The majority of the stuff is local. I would say probably 90 per cent of the stuff in there comes from the province.

“We have got about 140 different products in there right now so there should be something for everybody in there.”

Pikaluk said that since the pandemic, new vendors have popped up across Saskatchewan. Saturday’s selection gave attendees a wide variety of options, but organizers said there were still a few who couldn’t make it this year.

Pikaluk said it’s the more vendors who come, the better it is for everyone.

“It gives exposure to some of these new companies that are just starting out or maybe it’s an older company, or more well established company and they have some new products they want to get out there,” he explained. “This is a great way because then it gives exposure to those people and allows the public to come in and try those new things for a minimal cost.”

The cost for tickets was $10 in advance and $20 at the door with tokens costing $1 and samples averaging between one and two tokens.

The Kinsmen will put all funds raised towards two community projects: the paving of the rink surface at the Carlton Park court for pickle ball and basketball, and the diamond conversion project at Crescent Acres.

An exact fundraising total was unavailable by deadline.