Powell River Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Awards is an opportunity for the community to toast local entrepreneurship and achievement. This year those glasses will be filled with locally-sourced beverages.
“The bar service at this year’s event will feature 100 per cent BC beer and wine,” said chamber manager Kim Miller. The concept was suggested by chamber vice president Tye Leishman and enthusiastically supported by the board, she added.
“This is a big deal to us, to shop as local as we can,” said Miller.
Bartender Sasha Randolph said sourcing BC-only products presented a fun challenge and some surprises.
“It’s been interesting for me because it’s involved a lot more homework than just going to the liquor store to pick what I think,” she said.
Products with the most local connection include craft beer from Townsite Brewing, which will be on tap at the event, and Nude Vodka Soda, which is a business venture co-founded by Powell River-raised Julius Makarewicz.
Randolph discovered in her research that many brands of non-craft beer long associated with the province are actually no longer brewed here.
“One that really surprised me that is really popular here is Lucky Lager,” she said. “Everybody thinks it’s from Cumberland but it’s actually brewed in San Francisco now.”
BC wines were much easier to find, and several from the Okanagan will be featured. Although costs may be higher, the chamber will keep its prices the same as previous years.
“We will keep our per glass or bottle the same prices as in the past,” said Miller. “The chamber will pick up the extra costs.”
The event will also continue to try and source as much of the food and produce locally as it can going forward, she added.
Miller said she hopes this initiative will inspire other groups in town.
“I hope we’ll lead the charge in making other organizations look at this as well,” said Miller. “Maybe we’ll start a trend.”
Safe rides home will be available for anyone attending the event. The chamber awards will be held Saturday, February 2, at Dwight Hall. For more information, call 604.485.4051.