By Nicole Brodzik
For the second year in a row, local breweries, wineries and cideries are coming together to support local students at Our Lady of the Lake’s Keg and Cork fundraiser on Saturday, March 4.
There a few changes from last year’s inaugural event. This time around, the school has added a chili cook off to the mix to help show off the culinary talents of not only local breweries, but home cooks as well.
“We had a really good response last year, so we thought adding a chili cook off would just make it better,” Keg and Cork co-chair Shannon Norum said.
The fee to enter that chili cook off is $25, but family chefs could win big as the grand prize winner brings home $1,000. Each person who buys a ticket to the event will get to vote once. That money was donated to the fundraiser and Norum hopes it will help bring in even more people to the event.
“We figured, if you’re making chili, the more people you invite, the more votes you have and the better your chance to win the grand prize,” she said.
The other major change this year is the location. Last year’s fundraiser was held in Waconia, but this year they’re bringing the event to their home turf by hosting it from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.. in the Our Lady of the Lake (OLL) Gymnasium.
There will be 12 Minnesota breweries, wineries and cideries in attendance and Harbor Wine and Spirits will be there with four other local breweries beers to sample.
One of the breweries in attendance last year was Waconia Brewing Company. They will be back this year to continue their support of local communities and their customers.
“We get a lot of requests to donate and help with fundraisers, but we really like to focus on our local schools and communities,” Owner Peter DeLange said. “It’s not about making money for us, or even attracting new customers. We want to give back and help our community.”
DeLange said Waconia Brewing Company was just the 48th brewery in Minnesota when it opened in 2014, but that by the end of this year, there will be close to 120 craft breweries in the state.
“We want to help support people who support these local companies and help all of those brewers and brewing companies make a living,” he said.
Other businesses that will be in attendance include Back Channel Brewing, Excelsior Brewing Company, BrewWorks, Next Chapter Winery, Lakes and Legends Brewing Company, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Sovereign Estate, South Fork Brewing Company, Lake Monster Brewing, Urban Forage, and Sociable Cider Werks.
Norum said there were other establishments that were interested in getting involved with the event but weren’t able to make it. Many of them have donated drinks, gear and drink wear that will be given away in drawings at the event.
“This is one of our bigger fundraisers,” she said. “We really want to try and get the community involved and let them know we’re here and how great the OLL community is.”
For more information on the Second Annual Keg and Cork Fundraiser or to buy tickets, visit http://school.ourladyofthelake.com/kegcork/.