Guests can throw back a brewski, hammer down a burger, smash around a few ping pong balls, and even throw an axe or two at this year’s Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival.
As many as 2,800 people are expected to gather outside the walls of the Fort Langley National Historic Site, in the heritage orchard, for the second annual festival this Saturday afternoon.
It’s all about enjoying some drinks, food, live entertainment, and fun, said festival coordinator Hannah Brown, who does double duty as marketing manager for the festival founders at Trading Post Brewing.
“We plan to make every year bigger and better than the one before,” Brown said, noting that this year there are 25 breweries coming with more than 60 different craft beers to try, a dozen eateries with more than 20 different food options, and there’s even going to be a winery, cidery, meadery, and Kombucha vendor on site.
As well, the day will feature three live, local bands, Ryan McAllister & The Seventies, Derek Pitts & the Bullets, and Six Gun Romeo – a Canadian rockabilly band on the way to Europe this summer to tour.
“Six Gun Romeo are the only ones who played last year and they kicked off our festival by being the first ones on stage and people are still raving about them,” Brown said.
The idea for the festival was conceived by and brought to life by Trading Post co-owners Paul and Lance Verhoeff.
They wanted to “create a place for our community to gather to celebrate the best of the Fraser Valley’s breweries and food vendors/suppliers/producers. It started as an idea, but once we started to talking to more and more people everyone got really excited about the idea,” and that lead to last year’s sell-out event with 1,800 guests, she explained.
“We’re a brewery but we also have a restaurant in Fort Langley, so combining great beer and great food together for our festival was a no brainer for us,” Brown added.
“We think food tastes better with good beer and vice versa. And having live music from amazing local bands really keeps the good vibes up all day long. People were on their feet dancing in the sun last year and it was amazing to see, so I think each of these components really adds to the overall experience for our guests.”
Tickets are $35 and includes admission to the six-hour festival, access to the live music, three tokens for beer or food, plus admission to the Parks Canada Fort Langley National Historic Site all weekend. Brown was expecting the event to sell out by the Wednesday before the event.
The event will also feature axe throwing, a ping pong table, and a pitch ‘n’ putt for attendees.
“We want to make this event an integral part of our community and hope that it continues for years to come to showcase and celebrate the best of the Fraser Valley and the place that we call home,” Brown said.
She noted there’s even a charity component to the annual day-long event.
Profits from the festival go towards a Trading Post Brewing scholarship for the Kwantlen Polytechnic brewing program. Last year, that scholarship was $2,000. The scholarship honours John Mitchell, a British ex-pat credited with bringing microbreweries to B.C.
The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival is set up in the Fort Langley National Historic Site’s orchard, at the corner of Mary Avenue and Royal Street, and runs from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.
“Our owners and their families all live in Fort Langley, so doing it here – in a place so close to home made sense. Our eatery is in Fort Langley and our brewery is only 10 minutes away in downtown Langley,” Brown elaborated.
“Trading Post Brewing’s brand was built on the history of Fort Langley and B.C., and it’s something that’s really important to us so using their orchard and recognizing that it’s the Birthplace of B.C. was a natural fit. We also wanted to bring people back to the fort. We go there as school children and usually don’t go back until we have kids of our own and there’s so much history there that we want people to enjoy it and have a reason to come back.”