Creston Valley Blossom Festival brews up a Beer and Bites bash

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A Saturday night Creston Valley Blossom Festival highlight will feature a beer and appetizer tasting event to be followed with a dance featuring Nightshade.

The tasting event cashes in on the benefits of having the Columbia Brewery based in Creston. It not only brews and has access to a wide variety of beer, but it has the expertise of brewmaster Scott Stokes to draw on.

“We are really lucky to have Scott here,” says Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director Jim Jacobsen. “He travels to various events and talks to others about how well different types of beer match with different food, so it should be a lot of fun. Beer and food is a combination that is really taking off with people who are interested in heightening their dining experience.”

Stokes wasn’t about to reveal all that he has up his sleeve for the event, but he credited Extra Foods manager Donovan Gigliotti with arranging for President’s Choice appetizers for this first-ever Beer and Bites event.

“I’ll be talking about beer-making basics and about how different beers affect the taste of food,” he says. “We’ll have samples of our raw materials for guests to smell and taste to get a better understanding of the process.”

Stokes has delivered the program to other events for Columbia Brewing mother company InBev, one of the world’s largest producers of beer.

“It’s fascinating to learn how different styles of beers influence and compliment the flavor of food,” he said. “Pairing food and wine — that’s what this is all about.”

Jacobsen said the chamber of commerce is organizing the event to support the Blossom Festival and help fill a void on Saturday night, which hasn’t featured a dance.

“We’ve been lucky to partner with Rick and Jan Potyok and their band, Nightshade,” Jacobsen said.

The chamber of commerce is helping with the Potyoks’ House of Rock youth dance on Friday night and they are returning the favour by playing on Saturday night.

Beer and Bites tickets are $25 per person and are available at the chamber of commerce at 121 Northwest Blvd. Tickets for the dance only are $10 and are also available at the door.