This Saturday, March 22 the fifth annual Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival will hit the streets of downtown Chandler, bringing together pit masters and craft brewers from around the country for a celebration of all things grilled and meaty.
And organizers HDE Agency promise this year's event will be the biggest yet, with more than 100 exhibitors and 60 pit masters putting forward their best 'cue. In addition to thousands of pounds of pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken attendees can look forward to two stages with live music, eating competitions, and more.
The lineup of pit masters includes local names such as Joe's Real BBQ, Bourbon Jacks, Chandler BBQ Co., and Sweet Magolia Smokehouse. They'll be joined by out-of-town barbecue experts including Big John's Texas BBQ from Page; Montana Bar-BQ Co. from Prescott Valley; and AZ Barbecue Catering from Casa Grande.
Adventurous diners can seek out interesting eats such as bacon-wrapped fried alligator from Raging Cajun Smoking BBQ and bacon-stuffed brisket courtesy of Montana Bar-BQ Company. Tom's BBQ from downtown Chandler will serve their famous BBQ sundaes and ribs, while Hillbilly Grill dishes up bacon-wrapped sausage on a stick, jumbo turkey legs and green chile cheese fries.
Other vendors will include Frost Gelato, Paletas Betty, Pea & Pa's Kettle Corn, Sugarlips Cakery, DGP Gourmet Fry Bread, and Rita's Italian Ice. And for fans of SanTan Brewery's summer seasonal brew, look forward to the official launch 2014 Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer.
The festival will also include live performances from Blues Traveler, Craig Campbell, Georgia Chrome, and Laura Walsh. There will also be four eating contests -- the "Can't Stop Smokin' BBQ Rib Eating Contest," "Tastebuds Pie Eating Contest," "Hungry Monk Wing Eating Contest," and "Von Hanson's Brat Eating Contest." You can register for any of the contests on the festival website.
Tickets to the festival cost $8 when bought in advance at any Valley Bashas' location or $10 if purchased online or at the gate. VIP tickets are also available for $125 a person and includes six alcoholic beverages, unlimited soft drinks and water, catering from Porkopolis, and other perks.
The event begins at noon and will run until 10 p.m. For more information visit the The Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival website.