Effing Oysters general manager Rob Tryon

Effing Oysters general manager Rob Tryon

Uncorked festival in Parksville carries best booze in B.C.

Annual four-day event brings B.C.'s best craft beer, cider, wine and food to Parksville resorts

The annual beer, wine and food extravaganza called Uncorked returns to a couple of high-profile Parksville resorts next week, and tickets are at a premium for these always-sold-out events.

The four-day festival kicks off Thursday, Feb. 20 with Parksville Untapped at The Beach Club. Beer lovers won’t want to miss this event, which will showcase B.C.’s best craft beers and ciders, coupled with local eats.

A new resident of the area, this will be Ian Lane’s first Untapped event. He’s the director of food and beverage at The Beach Club. He says there will be 60 beers for people to choose from and 10 food vendors. He said late last week he is still looking to add a couple more beer and wine proprietors to the list.

“I’m looking forward to a really great event,” said Lane.

He said he likes working with food and beverage staff at other local establishments, and he thinks that teamwork, and Uncorked, brings people from outside our region here to sample what’s to offer, even in the so-called off-season.

“An event like this really helps reach out to those people,” said Lane.

Wine takes over centre stage Friday, Feb. 21 at Tigh-Na-Mara with Swirl, where more than 50 B.C. wineries offer their best, paired with gourmet cuisine.

Both resorts will host winemakers’ dinners on Saturday, Feb. 22, highlighting the talents of chefs Eric Edwards (Tigh-Na-Mara) and Rick Davidson (The Beach Club). The festival wraps up with an event called Bubbles and brunch on Sunday morning at Tigh-Na-Mara.

“There’s going to be a bounty of different tastes for every palate, that’s for sure,” said Tigh-Na-Mara marketing manager Luba Plotnikoff.

Tickets are still available but these events are traditionally sell-outs. The Beach Club will likely have 250-300 people for Untapped and Tigh-Na-Mara is expecting almost 500 people for Swirl. Plotnikoff said the festival is attracting more and more people from outside our region.

“It definitely is spreading farther than our own backyard, which is great,” she said.

Different this year are the resorts’ commitment to charity. Variety Children’s Charity and the Rotary Club of Parksville will be “beneficiaries” of the events in 2014, the sixth year for the Parksville Uncorked Wine and Food Festival, the fourth year for the beer-centred event.

Tickets to Untapped (beer at The Beach Club) are $49 per person. For Swirl (wine at Tigh-Na-Mara), they are $69. For tickets and more information, visit www.parksvilleuncorked.com.