When Lynette Faye launched the Fraser Valley Cork and Keg wine, beer and food festival five years ago, she had to fund the event with her personal credit card.
A a newcomer to Langley from Vancouver, she was determined to bring the craft beer and wine market out to the Fraser Valley.
“I’ve been in the liquor industry for more than 20 years and there was just really no events out here,” Faye said.
“We found ourselves continuously having to go downtown for sampling events and things like that.”
Now, the Fraser Valley Cork and Keg is a yearly sellout and features one of the largest samplings of craft beer and wine in the Valley.
Taking place on Sept. 18 at Cascades Casino, there will be 16 breweries, six distilleries, 21 wineries and 10 food vendors represented.
“We have the most vendors that we’ve ever had before,” Faye said.
“It’s a nice group of hard to find producers, primarily from B.C. A lot of what you aren’t going to find in mainstream distribution will be there this year.”
As an industry that is growing throughout B.C., Faye says consumers are loving the products coming from local producers.
Wine sales were more than $1 billion in B.C. in 2014, and the number of distilleries have tripled in the past three years.
“We are seeing really, really fantastic products coming out of B.C.,” she said.
“It shows that we don’t always have to have mainstream products. There’s still a place for those, but we have some really fabulous local producers you can support.
“We’re on to something that the industry supports as well as the consumer.”
Partial proceeds from this year’s Cork and Keg festival will go to the Langley Hospice Society.
Members of the hospitality industry are invited to the trade event from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The public portion starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the consumer event are $64.95 and include all tastings.
To purchase tickets, visit www.corkandkeg.ca.