Sarah Swenson, sales rep and “brand ambassador” for Siding 14 Brewery in Ponoka. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Three local breweries: only one emerged triumphant

The Ponoka Golf Club held its first annual Battle of the Brews Putt and Par-tee on Aug. 24.

There was a 4 p.m. shotgun start and nine holes of golf followed by an appetizer dinner buffet and live entertainment from Wiklund vs. Wiklund and the best part of all – craft beer samplings from three area breweries: Siding 14 in Ponoka, Snake Lake Brewing Company in Sylvan Lake and Hawk Tail Brewery from Rimbey.

Each brought three of their best brews for the guests to sample and vote on.

Siding 14, which gets it name from the original designation of this area when it was a supply stop for the Calgary-Edmonton Railway, was featuring its Switch Point honey cream ale, Ten Wheeler IPA and light Rail pale lager.

The Ponoka brewery uses its own grains, grown on the owner’s farm Pridelands Grain Farm.

Hawk Tail Brewing Company had a four per cent summer ale with a citrus and berry finish on offer, along with a five per cent Belgian white, a light brew with an orange tanginess, as well as a rye milk stout with a creamy and bitter flavour reminiscent of chocolate and coffee.

Snake Lake Brewery also has a flair for history, getting its namesake from the original name of Sylvan Lake. It was renamed Sylvan Lake from Snake Lake in 1903.

The brewery served up Kinabik Pilsner, a German Pilsner-style beer, Miss Mermaid, after a famous boat in the area, and Sidewinder IPA (India Pale Ale), a nod to the water slide that used to be in Sylvan.

At the end of the evening it was Hawk Tail Brewery that won the most votes.

“It was a close race,” said Lorne Fundytus, general manager.

Fundytus says it was a bit of a surprise, as “talking amongst ourselves … we thought the hometown brewery would come out with the victory.”

The evening went well for a first-time event although it wasn’t as well attended as hoped, says Fundytus, with about 65 to 70 people coming out instead of the 80 to 100 range that was planned for.

The crowd really appreciated the entertainment, giving them an encore.

The appetizer buffet also proved to be popular, with a wide variety of foods from cheese burger sliders, nachos, pizza rolls, to perogies, wantons and more.

Of the people who came, quite a few were non-golfers, but all wound up enjoying the night, which Fundytus called, “mini-golf on steroids.”

The event went so well, they may extend it to 18 holes next year.

“I’m sure they’ll be back next year.”

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Cole Martin, sales rep and territory manager for Snake Lake Brewing Company gives a thumbs at Battle of the Brews Aug. 24. Photo by Emily Jaycox Cole Martin, sales rep and territory manager for Snake Lake Brewing Company gives a thumbs at at Battle of the Brews Aug. 24. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Music was provided by Wiklund vs. Wiklund. Photo by Emily Jaycox

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