Hundreds converged on the Brownwood’s Depot Civic and Cultural Center Saturday night for Corks and Caps to taste the finest food, beer, wine and cigars area vendors had to offer.

The Brownwood Chamber of Commerce hosted its fourth annual Corks and Caps event in the Depot Plaza, with hundreds gathering to sample from area vendors.

“I’ve been over this event every year. This being the fourth year, it usually comes together fairly easily, although it does take a lot of hard work,” Brownwood Chamber of Commerce Director Sunni Modawell said. “That always goes into any event we do. Each year it always gets a little easier, but we always try to add in a component to make things more interesting and give the people something to look forward to.”

One addition this year was Red Gap Brewery, which supplied visitors with samples of various beers along with standard favorites. For Jay Smith, a third-year veteran of Corks and Caps, he believes the inclusion of Red Gap was a welcome addition.

“We’ve been to a couple of these things. It’s always been a great turnout and a lot of fun,” Smith said. “We meet a lot of people and have some great drinks. It’s very important. You’re not going to be able to try things like this unless you come to something like this or you travel … The IPA was great over there at [Red Gap]. The band was great and they’ve been playing some good music. It’s always been a fun atmosphere.”

For Spirit of Texas Winery Co-Owner Brian McCue, events such as Corks and Caps are invaluable because they allow him to meet and interact with potential customers, which allow them to build a greater relationship.

“It’s been pretty busy, a great turnout again. This is nice because it usually brings people from out of town into Brownwood,” McCue said. “We had people that might not have tried our wines before to come out. We’re excited about it. It’s been a good turnout with a fun atmosphere and everybody seems to be having a good time.”

Modawell believes Corks and Caps helps area wineries, breweries and restaurants because it gives visitors an opportunity to sample products not available in other retail markets. For many in attendance, they finally get to try a product from a place they drove by on hundreds of occasions but may not have had the time nor inclination to stop in and visit.

“It’s incredibly important for us to allow them to get this kind of exposure,” Modawell said. “They’re going to be tapping into a crowd they might otherwise not be tapping into. If people are going out of our region to try other wineries, they may not try the ones that are local. This gives them an opportunity to try something a little more local or close to home and maybe they will pick a great night where there is a great event and go out and visit it.”