If your perception of the upcoming Philly Farm & Food Fest conjures up thoughts of leafy greens, grass fed meats and artisan cheese, prepare to be surprised.

Dad’s Hat, ManhattanAttendees of this premier regional food and farm expo are going to have their taste buds expanded and spirits lifted. Although farm fresh food will make up a large portion of the vendor area, a guided tasting of Pennsylvania’s most exciting alcoholic beverages has been added to the program. Producers from Victory Brewing Company, Frecon Farm Cidery, Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey, Philadelphia Distilling Company and Subarashii Kudamono Asian Pear Dessert Wines will all be on hand to create the inaugural Local Libation Lounge.

VictorySwing_NinaLeaPhotographyEntry to the Local Libation Lounge requires a special timed ticket available through the Philly Farm & Food Fest website (participants must be at least 21 and will be required to show photo ID). Tastings will be held on the hour between 12 noon and 3 p.m. and are limited to groups of 40 participants. Get your tickets soon so as not to miss out on sampling Frecon’s Early Man Cider, Victory’s spicy citrus limited release known as Swing Session Saison, the award-winning Dad’s Hat Rye and the debut of the “Pennsylvania Martini,” a combo of Philadelphia Distilling’s aromatic Bluecoat Gin with Subarashii Kudamono’s Asian Pear Dessert Wine.

Adding local spirits to the diversity of products available at the Philly Food & Farm Expo is a natural progression for the Fest organizers, Fair Food Philly and PASA. From farms that have expanded their product line to include wines and hard ciders to local brewers and distilling companies who explore partnerships with the farming community, there seems to be a trend toward connecting tasters and producers to celebrate the terroir of our region.

Frecons_GaryColyerJosh Smith of Frecon Farms explains that “The Philly Farm & Food Fest is the perfect showcase for our products at the perfect time of year. By April, we’re easing into our blossom season and prepping for another fruit harvest after the long winter, plus releasing our newest batch of hard cider. This event gives us the chance to reconnect with all our customers that we see throughout the growing season, plus chat with new folks that feel the same way we do about locally produced, high quality, fresh food and products.”

Smith continues, “This year, we’re bringing our line of fruit butters, cider applesauce and our brand new Mother Mary’s Garlic & Honey Apple Cider Vinegar—handcrafted by us with our very own apples, local honey and just the right amount of garlic. It’s great for salads, marinades, broth and for overall health. Plus, with the Local Libations Lounge featuring our 2013 release of the Early Man Cider, it makes for a great day and great kickoff to another year. We’re honored to be featured alongside folks like Victory Brewing, Subarashii, Philly Distilling and Dad’s Hat and really excited to get the newest fermentation in everyone’s hands.”

Bill Covaleski, Brewmaster and President of Victory Brewing Company, adds, “The consumer groundswell that has lifted craft beer from a fad to a phenomenon is simply a channel of America’s awakening appreciation of foods of integrity and full flavor. We specifically located our craft brewery in Chester County to contribute to, and experience, the best aspects of local production. It is a delicious reality we are enjoying.”

Photographs credited to the following: Dad’s Hat photograph courtesy of the distiller, credited to Todd Rice. Victory’s Swing Saison photograph credited to Nina Lea Photography. Frecon’s cider credited to Gary Colyer, Mizfam Photo.Video.Design.

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