It’s no secret that I have an actual taste for the finer things in life. My husband has always told me he’s scared for the day that we might win the lottery, because he knows much of it would be spent on fancy home decor, delicious food + smooth, smooth drinks. And I have to admit – he’s probably right!
While I usually discover my new favourite products & small business people at artisan and farmers markets, there are a few vendors that I’ll never meet there – like the lovely people that brew our beers, ferment our wines and distill our spirits (at least not at our local markets). Since I love supporting great local businesses and learning the stories behind their products, I’m always a little heartbroken when I see our liquor stores sampling the same ol’ generic products instead of highlighting the amazing small batch distilleries we have right here in BC.
Which is why I was beyond thrilled to discover that Chilliwack will be hosting their very own (and very first) Fraser Valley Distillery Festival on Friday January 29th. As a long time attendee of the Cork & Keg Festival (based out of Langley), I can honestly say that people belonging to the beverage industry are some of the most passionate, energetic and happy entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. True, it might have something to do with all those good libations flowing around, but man do they love to share what they’re all about. You can see the full vendor list here, but just know we’re most excited to meet Long Table Distillery, Noteworthy Gin & Odd Society. You may want to beat us there.
Distillery Festivals (along with Brewery & Wine Festivals) are about learning just as much as they are tasting. But in that super cool ‘impress your friends with your knowledge’ kind of way. Want to learn the difference between scotch and whiskey? What makes a dry gin, dry? How to make a cocktail with a tomato and have it taste good? Yup – you’ll probably learn it here. But don’t worry, there are no lectures to sit through, or homework to answer. Just bonafide amazing conversations with people who love what they do. While drinking.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you’re pretty much set for the night! They get you started with 10 free beverage samples, which can be used at any vendor’s table (or all at one if it suites your tastes)! Additional samples will be available for purchase throughout the evening, but at $5 for 10 extra samples, it’s pretty reasonable. Complimentary appetizers will also be served throughout the evening, to keep you going well until 10:00pm.
Found Something You Like? Take It Home With You!
One of the most disheartening things is trying an incredible spiced rum, or a specialty infused vodka, falling in love…. and never seeing it again! Because some of these great distilleries are visiting us from the Okanagan and Vancouver Island, it’s not like we can just zip down the street to pick up a bottle. Thankfully, Sardis Liquor Store will be there with their pop-up-shop of awesomeness, so you can take home a bottle or two of your favourites.
Support a Great Cause!
The 1st Annual Fraser Valley Distillery Festival is proud to support the Chilliwack Academy of Music, a non-profit music school that helps make quality musical experiences available and affordable to families throughout the community. All of the proceeds of this event go to raise funds to support music education in your community. See? It’s a win on so many levels!