Adelaide Beer & BBQ Fest 2018

Three epic days of beats, BBQ and beers just wrapped in Adelaide and if you missed it, perhaps you shouldn’t read much further. The FOMO will be real.

Frontlining the event was foodie bad a** and Viceland star, Canadian Matty Matheson. But stardom hasn’t changed this charismatic entertainer much, as Matty himself came to the showgrounds in the early morning to personally smoke some of the meat patrons would later enjoy at the festival.

Friendly and laid-back, Matty could be seen chatting with fans or cooking up a storm as though he was just a regular chef working the event. His inclusive attitude stood out to me and was something to appreciate.

And he was in good company, with Sydney’s Wes Griffiths (Bovine & Swine), eastern-state burger institutions Belles Hot Chicken and Mary’s, Tassie local Analiese Gregory (Franklin), Shannon Martinez from Melbourne’s vegan haven Smith & Daughters and local faves like NOLA all delivering some over the top flavours.

As we entered the showgrounds we were tangled in the smell of delicious BBQ and rich smoke. Ahead was a stage where local artists played catchy beats, and the super cool, laid back aesthetic was elevated by metal barrels containing crackling fires to keep festival goers warm. All this before we even got to the beer!

60 vendors, local, interstate and international, came together with collaborations, new brews, and so much selection, one particular beer lover struggled to know where she should start. Psst, I’m talking about myself.

I all but closed by eyes, spun around, and picked my first glass at random. I finally decided on Boston Brewing Co, who had friendly staff smiling at me with such enthusiasm, I couldn’t not stop for a pint.

Boston Brewing Co. is from Western Australia and is a brew pub dedicated to sustainability and supporting their local community. Their beers also had super fun name, like Afterglose Raspberry Gose, Little Feller Mild Ale, and Tingletop Ginger Beer. After deliberating for a hot second, I chose their Shark Eye Oak Aged Stout. A super smooth dark ale which was roasty and delicious, with a touch of sweetness. A perfect way to kick off the festival.

Next we headed to my all time fave, Sparkke Change Beverage Co. Their bevvies are not only delicious, but pack powerful political messages. Like their What’s Planet B? New England Pale Ale or their Consent Doesn’t Come After You Do Apple Cider. They had a new brew for the event, so I obvs had to try a pint! Another incredible dark beer, their Dirty Chai Stout was a decedent brew which balanced between bitter flavours and gentle sweetness perfectly. A spicy aftertaste of chai smoothed over my tongue after each sip. A real stand-out for me!

On our way to find some eats, we were side-tracked by a particularly unusual beer at Tiny Rebel & Friends Canavan. They had an international brewer on tap, Mad Hatter Brewing Company from the United Kingdom. With a neon green label which featured a rather eccentric rabbit staring me down, the beer of theirs which stopped me in my tracks was their Tzatziki Sour. This was such a refreshing break from my dark brews, with a gentle sourness elevated by bright cucumber and fragrant mint. It was definitely a little bit weird, but the good kind of strange. 10/10 would drink again.

By this point I was getting, how the kids say, tipsy. However, there was one more brewery I wanted to check out before we called it a night.

Woolshed Brewing is a South Australian fave of mine, creating unique beers and really delivering on flavour. I asked the woman working their taps to surprise me and, after consulting with a coworker, she quickly poured me their Rude Ruby, a grapefruit hard lemonade. A fruity beverage with a beautifully tarte nature, this one is a little dangerous as it’s mega crushable, but rings in at a heavy 8.1%.

Filled to the brim with delicious beer and bevvies, Lee and I stayed for a little BBQ and to enjoy the beautiful night. If you attended this years Beer & BBQ Festival, I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did. And, if you missed it, mark your calendars for 2019. It’s a must-attend event for beer lovers and foodies alike!

Words by Jamieson Eileen

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