In a community laden with foodies, there also lives a growing number of Langleyites with a passion for beverages, and consider themselves aspiring connoisseurs of wines, beers, and spirits from around the world.
Well, it’s those people Lynette Faye was thinking of when she developed her idea for the Fraser Valley Cork & Keg festival five years ago, and to this day it’s still those people she hopes to attract and impress in the Cascades Casino ballroom on Friday.
With wines sales in B.C. topping more than $1 billion in 2014, craft breweries creeping east into the Fraser Valley, and B.C. craft distilleries climbing from only eight in 2012 to more than triple the number in 2015, Faye said she is looking forward to another successful event on Sept. 18.
Faye underscores the importance of providing a platform for wineries, breweries, and distilleries to introduce their product to the local community, to those outside the immediate Vancouver market.
“With the growth in the marketplace, the opportunity to meet people where they are at and get feedback on your product is priceless,” she said.
And as it turns out, consumers are eager to discover new favourites.
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“This will be our fifth year hosting the Cork and Keg and with each year we are seeing continued growth in attendance from both the trade and consumer audiences,” Faye said.
“Consumers are interested trying new products and tasting things they may not otherwise pick up from liquor store shelves. Many of our guests tell us it is one of their favourite events to attend each year because they get to discover new products and mingle with great people.”
The Cork and Keg organizers once again have a sold out vendor line-up that includes two of Abbotsford’s newest breweries, Old Abbey Ales and Ravens Brewing. As well as a number of new distilleries who will be sampling their wares.
Not to be forgotten, the list of wineries attending this year is long and includes Langley’s Backyard Vineyards that will be pouring their award-winning wines from winemaker James Cambridge.
“James is a passionate artist whose vision is realized through his approach to wine,” said winery manager Felicity Holmes.
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“Events like the Fraser Valley Cork and Keg are invaluable to us. With so many outstanding products available to consumers, events like the Cork and Keg provide us an opportunity to speak directly with consumers and hear their feedback on our wines,” Holmes added.
And each year, the Cork and Keg continues to connect with community-based charitable organizations with partial proceeds from this year’s festival set to help the Langley Hospice Society to fund further support for those accessing one-to-one and group support at their programs centre in Langley.
Tickets for the event are almost sold out, and Faye is anticipating another sellout crowd to their two-part event.
Members of the hospitality industry are invited to attend a trade event from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. with the public invited starting at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the public event are $64.95 and include all tastings. To register as a trade guest or purchase tickets visit corkandkeg.ca.