On Saturday, March 9 at 5 p.m., the doors of the Sooke Community Hall (2037 Shields Rd.) will open and folks will be invited in to taste the offerings of more than 30 beer, wine and spirit producers at the first annual Sooke Craft Beer and Spirits Festival.
Beers, local wines and artisan spirits have captured the imagination and the taste buds of scores of people who only a few decades ago would largely have imbibed on the mass-produced products from one of the large breweries, wineries or distilleries that dominated the market at the time.
But things have evolved and artisan spirits, craft beers and local wines and ciders have increasingly become the choice of consumers in B.C. and across the country.
Building on that trend, Sooke Minor Fastball is offering the residents of Sooke a chance to sample some of the best of these great new products.
“What’s really exciting is that many of these vendors are local companies … and these local by producers are creating some of the best products in the world,” said Sooke Minor Fastball President, Justin Wilson.
One doesn’t have to look far to see the truth of that statement.
In October of last year, for example, the Sooke Brewing Company won acclaim as the best new craft beer in the province at the B.C. Beer Awards and, just last month, Sooke’s own Sheringham distillery won the title of the Best Contemporary Gin at the 2019 World Gin Awards.
Both will be presenting their products at the festival.
“A lot of times events like this are held in a place like Vancouver or Victoria, but we realized that some of the best products are being created right here in Sooke and we wanted local residents the chance to attend an event in their home town,” said Wilson.
In point of fact, the event promises to attract people from Victoria and beyond as well as Wilson said that he’s already been contacted by tour companies who plan to bring tourists to Sooke to take part in the festival.
In addition to the beer and spirits on tap at the event, organizers have promised a variety of food options as well as live entertainment by Sooke’s own Gord “Guitar Gord” Phillips.
“This is going to be a great event and the best thing is that all the proceeds are going to a really great cause,” said Wilson.
The funds will be used to help upgrade playing fields and provide player development opportunities, coach training and equipment for the coming season.
“We also want to keep the registration costs for minor fastball at a point that allows any young person who wishes to play the chance to take the field.”
Tickets for the festival are $35 and are going fast. Attendees will receive six- 4oz beer, 2oz wine or 1/2 oz spirits tasting tokens.
Additional tasting tickets can be purchased at the festival for $1.75 each. Tickets are available at sookebeerfestival.ca.