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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

LaSalle’s Last Call Before Fall nearly sells out


by Greg Layson

Spirits were high and flowing in LaSalle last weekend as the Town and local breweries, distilleries, and wineries resurrected — and reimagined — the once-annual craft beer festival.


The Last Call Before Fall was a nearly sold-out, two-day event, featuring Windsor-Essex craft beer, premium spirits, wines, food, and entertainment at the $6.5-million Event Centre at LaSalle Landing.


It was the first major event at the former dry boat storage facility, which the town acquired in 2018. It boasts 21,500-square-feet of indoor space and another 15,000-square-feet outside. All of it was used for the Last Call event.


It was the first such event in LaSalle since the 2018 LaSalle Craft Beer Festival.


“A new facility, a new property. But we added wine, vendors, and distilleries. So, if you’re not a craft beer fan, there [was] something for everyone,” LaSalle Supervisor of Recreation, Owen Stichhaller, said before gates opened on Saturday.


Four breweries, five wineries, and a distillery from across Essex County participated. Another four food vendors served up everything from waffles to Mexican-style dishes.


Around 800 of the 1,000 available tickets were sold Friday, while all 1,000 were purchased for Saturday. Stichhaller credited the new facility for some of the interest.


“There’s a lot of interest in this event and people are coming in to see the facility,” he said. “It’s mostly an indoor event. When we previously had it in 2018, it was under a tent. So, come rain or shine, we’re hosting this event. Weather’s not a deterrent for us anymore.”


Amherstburg’s Wolfhead Distillery and Frank Brewing Co. of Windsor each ran out of select products, due to demand.


“I think it’s great when they incorporate all of us. So, I really love the fact that they opened it up,” Daniel Moldovan, Director of Marketing and Events at Wolfhead, said of the expanded format. “It’s great when customers can come and they can try different things.”


The event also featured local musical acts. Big Wiggle performed Friday, while Melissa Megan and Harrow’s own Buck Twenty took to the stage on Saturday.


“Windsor-Essex has so many great artists and talents here, and we want to highlight that,” Stichhaller said. “We’d much rather work with local people than not. It’s important for us. And, I think it’s important for the community, as well.”

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