Bigger turnout expected at this year’s Kingston Wine & Brew Fest

With the event still in its infancy, the 3rd annual Kingston Wine and Brew Fest is expected to have its biggest turnout this year in terms of attendance and vendors.

The festival, which expanded from the Kingston Wine Walk a few years back to include breweries and cideries, is expecting about 500 people along with around 30 vendors, said Kaili Roest, executive director for the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, which runs the event.

The first festival in 2021 was when the world had just begun to climb out of the COVID pandemic, so attendance was minimal due to masking and social distancing. Last year’s event was more of what the chamber expected with nearly 400 people and eight wine and four brewery vendors participating.

Wineries, breweries and cideries are among the vendors this year, along with food vendors, and local artisans who are typically seen at the Kingston Public Market, selling jewelry, candles, glass and more. The event will also have live music.

Tickets are $45 per person for general admission, which gives you a custom glass, six tasting tickets and a swag bag full of goodies. Brewery and winery vendors will be selling bottles and six-packs for people to take home. For designated drivers, tickets are $20.

Roest said most groups come with a designated driver and each ticket only provides them a small sample of beer or wine “so it’s not like you’re getting full glasses. That’s how we sort of prevent people from drinking too much.”

Event proceeds go to the chamber, which helps it do community events like Summer Concerts on the Cove and Kingston Cove Christmas along with advertising for Kingston in different publications, Roest said.

“We want to bring the community together,” she said. “We want to get the chamber more recognition and the ability to do more for the greater Kingston area, and to support local businesses.”

The event will be July 15 from 1-5 p.m. at Mike Wallace Park near the Port of Kingston. It is for ages 21 and older.