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A toast to the town: ABQ Corks & Brews adds food vendors

Each year, ABQ Corks & Brews gets bigger and better, and this year is no different.

The event features a mix of local breweries, wineries, restaurants and dessert makers that eventgoers can sample, purchase from and enjoy.

“This year we added in food vendors so they would have some food sampling so they can go around and sample. They can purchase if they’d like to purchase a full drink or a bigger plate of food, and it’s basically just a showcase of what’s the best of New Mexico,” said David Stroud, ABQ Corks & Brews event organizer.

There are 25 vendors this year, including Algodones Distillery, Casa Rondeña Winery, Gruet Winery, VARA wines, Canteen Brewhouse, Duel Brewing, Desert Valley Brewing Co., Marble Brewery, Red Door Brewing Co., Rio Bravo Brewing Co., Q’s Cakes & Sweets Boutique, Celina’s Biscochitos and Vanilla Cream Bakery. Chocolate vendors will offer a variety of options to sample.

“In the past, they’ve done, like, chocolate-dipped biscochitos or macaroons or truffles, just a range,” Stroud said. “And they try to keep a local feel to it, so they’ll have piñon custard covered with chocolate or a truffle with red chile powder. It’s very cool to see what they come up with to showcase.”

Local artists and crafters also will be on hand selling their unique items, including art and jewelry. Live music will be provided by Shane Wallin and The Real Matt Jones band.

“We’ve grown since our year one,” Stroud said. “Last year, we sold out at venue capacity. We’re hoping that we sell out again this year. As far as vendors, we keep adding new ones that want to participate in the event. We love to add new businesses in there, especially if they just opened up this year, so we can help promote them and support local business.”

Proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit Future Funds of the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

“We selected them because we’ve worked with them in the past,” Stroud said. “They were one of our beneficiaries last year. We really enjoyed what they do for the community. They use this fund as an endowment, and they give to local nonprofits that people may not know of or don’t get state funding. I really like that they help these organizations that really do need the help and they find them and they give them this endowment. We appreciate that the money is going to someone locally that will benefit from it.”