Last week, I was whisked off to Kelowna for a couple of days with the promise of beer to drink and great food to eat. Now, that’s more than enough incentive to get me to travel out to the west coast of Canada – which holds a very special place in my heart. But when they asked me to travel out there to sample some local craft beers for the Four Points Best Brew Global Tour, how could I say no? I mean, come on now. I’m only human.
The Four Points is part of the booming Marriott International hotel brand, known for its love of beer. So, it was only natural for them to embark on the global journey to discovering the world’s best brews. Kicked off at the Four Points Manhattan Midtown West on International Beer Day on August 4th, the tour will continue around the world, finishing off at the Four Points Barcelona Diagonal in October 2017. Other stops along the way include the Four Points Cancun Centro, Four Points Melbourne Docklands and the Four Points Nairobi Hurlingham.
But, I think the best one of them all is the stop that was made on August 23rd at the Four Points Kelowna – and not just because I got to be there to take part in the competition! It was the only stop in Canada and I’d like to think that they chose quite wisely. At each stop along the Best Brews Around the World Tour, two beers from local craft breweries are chosen to go head-to-head to claim the spot as the hotel’s newest Best Brew. Each beer is tasted by the crowd, consisting of local beer lovers, and then scored based on taste, colour and aroma. This is all led by an influential “beer expert” who is there to educate the crowd and help them to cast their vote!
Fighting for the place of Best Brew in Kelowna, was Prohibition Brewing Company vs. Tree Brewing Company. It was a close call, but Prohibition took the crown. It was hosted by the lovely Isabelle from The Allons.y, who walked us through each component based on her experience with being newly certified in the globally recognized Cicerone Certification Program. I was actually fortunate enough to be able to take the course as well and learn all about the ins and outs of beer!
To add further credibility to the Best Brews Program, Four Points is actually enrolling select associates at each competition in the Cicerone Certification Program too! This program is highly regarded in the food and beverage industry and is instrumental with the development of expert beer servers. Each of the selected Four Points associates will train and complete the first of four levels of the Cicerone Certification Program, becoming a Cicerone Certified Beer Server and on-property beer aficionado. Now you know where you need to go if you’d like to taste a great beer!
The property itself isn’t only about beer – although they do host a Best Brews and BBQ™ every Wednesday night! Located right across from the airport, the Four Points Kelowna is surrounded by great local restaurants, shopping and stunning views. Deemed the “15 minute city”, getting around Kelowna is a breeze – even from their international airport!
Although it’s an airport hotel, they’re actually the perfect venue for events, meetings and weddings. Their boardrooms are modern and clean with lots of natural light (which is so nice to have in meetings). Parking and transportation is a plenty for those looking to host an event or wedding. With catering services, a beautiful venue with an outdoor function space and gorgeous photo opps – you can’t go wrong.
The hotel itself has a great fitness zone and pool, but theirs is extra special. They have, what they have deemed, the fastest water slide in Kelowna! I was filled with immediate regret that I didn’t pack my swimsuit. Another wonderful touch is that they are located in the Okanagan Valley, so there’s an abundance of great wine around too – not just beer! When I arrived in my room, I was greeted with a cheese platter and some wine from Prospect Winery. Which I devoured in mere minutes and I’m not even ashamed. At least I felt a bit better about not bringing my swimsuit, so I could avoid complaining about it being too tight and just keep eating. Right?
One thing that really stood out for me, which may not be a huge surprise to anyone after reading any of my posts, was the food at the hotel. I woke up feeling refreshed after a great sleep (because I freakin’ love hotel beds) and dragged my cheese and beer filled self over to GulfStream, the restaurant in the hotel that hosted the amazing beer competition the night before.
For an authentic experience, I decided to let the server choose my breakfast. She recommended the Bacon and Jalapeno Eggs Benedict with homemade Boursin Cheese. It came served with a an energizing smoothie shot to offset the ridiculous amounts of glutten-y, cheesy, but delicious, calories I was about to shove into my face hole. But holy mother of pearl, it was life changing. And quite possibly one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever eaten.
Well, I feel like that’s an appropriate way to sign off with this post. My whole adventure at the Four Points Kelowna consisted of meeting amazing people, drinking and judging craft beer, wishing I had a swimsuit then not regretting it after eating all the cheese, and then also just eating all of the other kinds food. Sounds about right. I can’t wait to visit again soon!
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Catherine Sugrue, CNP