They came. They saw. They ate, and they drank!

From pumpkin soup to Imperial Pumpkin Ale, the 9th annual Upper Bucks Foodie provided local food and drink purveyors with enthusiastic tasting patrons at a harvest evening event inside the Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Quakertown auto dealership on Thursday, Oct. 16.

Upgrade tickets to sample local and regionally-made spirits featured inside the first time, VIP distillery tent, sold out ahead of the event.

Sue McManus, of Expos Events Etc., LLC, based in Chalfont, said the VIP Distillery showcase was an innovative twist on the traditional Foodie theme.

“Ideally with a food tasting you’d have local distillers, so they can educate people (about) their spirits,” McManus explained of the choices, which ranged from clear or “white” to amber hard liquors.

Tara King, Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce executive director, said she was impressed by the high quality of the local liquors, along with education on how it was made.

“It was nice to learn about how, for example, Philadelphia Distilling uses citrus in their gin. It’s great to learn about what you’re drinking and that this is manufactured locally- it’s a whole new market,” King said.

There was no shortage of other comestibles to enjoy at this year’s Foodie, either.

Porter and mango wheat beer featured at Free Will Brewing Co.

There were duck rolls, pork ribs and wings. Buttery pulled pork BBQ offered up with or without a bun from Spinnerstown Hotel.

Diminutive cupcakes and confections loaded onto pedestals from Amy’s Creative Cakes.

Pumpkin spiced soup and pumpkin cheesecake squares carried through the harvest theme.

Creamy pumpkin yogurt was scooped out by Yogurtree.

Crostini and hummus from Perkasie’s recently opened Bread Box & Bakery, Unami Ridge Winery offered chardonnay and other varietal wine samples, and outrageously delectable grilled cheese sandwich bites were hot off the grill from McCoole’s Red Lion Inn.

This year’s Foodie brought out about 300 visitors.

Proceeds from the Foodie benefit students through scholarships to Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, a summer program for high school students to explore what it means to run a business.

“This is a cause, which aligns with the chamber’s mission,” King said.

“It’s great for kids to learn what goes into running a business,” said Sue Quinque a retired Quakertown High School art teacher and a Foodie event volunteer.

For more information or to support PFEW, visit the organization’s website at https://www.pfew.org/

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