GREENSBORO—Thousands of folks were Greensboro, sampling some of the Tar Heel State's best beverages.
The first-ever Big Sip Expo at the Greensboro Coliseum featured dozens of vendors all under one roof on Saturday.
Wesley Dills works for Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level and said that buying local offers customers something they can't find anywhere else.
"The honey we use to sweeten some of our wines is made in Pine Level,” Dills said. “The fruit we use is within 50 miles of our winery. Our bottles, our labels, our corks - are all North Carolina products."
The vineyard is one of about 60 businesses at the Big Sip Expo.
"This, to my knowledge, is the first type of event like this,” said event founder Chris DeLauro. “It features mix beer, wine, spirits, coffee, and other non-alcoholics. It's shaped around better beverages."
Sarah Chapman just started her own tea business in Greensboro and said the festival is the perfect place to introduce her product:
"I saw a void,” Chapman, who owns Vida pour Tea, said. “I wanted to do something where people could get together and enjoy each other's company and meet new people."
Vendors at the festival said that when you buy products made in North Carolina, you not only know exactly where the products are coming from, but you're also keeping the money right here in our state.
"It's a concentration on a product that's not about the bottom line, but putting out extreme quality and focusing on local ingredients,” said Four Saints Brewing Company's Joel McClosky.
And for couples like Andrew and Kirstina Pisano, the festival is a perfect compromise.
"He's all about the beer and coffee and I'm all about the wine and tea, so it's a happy medium!” Kristina said.
Proceeds from the event go to the Be the Miracle network, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy families.