This past weekend thousands gathered in Chandler, Arizona for The 8th Annual BBQ and Beer Festival. Presented by the HDE Agency, the event was held at the Dr AJ Chandler Park and was filled to the brim with delicious BBQ from over 60 Pit Masters from across the nation serving up to 20,000 pounds of BBQ all to wash down with over 200 kegs of the state's finest craft beer.
Guests were in for a treat this time around. As the air filled with the sweet and smoky aroma of BBQ the park grounds filled with attendees who were anxious to try the latest and greatest. In addition to the delicious treats guests enjoyed treats from over 100 exhibitors, a March Madness lounge, grilling demonstrations, a kids zone, an eating competition, live cooking demonstrations, backyard beer games, and a farmers market.
The festival grounds quickly became a dance floor while attendees were treated to live music ALL DAY! Chauncey Jones, Jim Bachmann & the Day Drinkers, Honey Girl, Laura Walsh, Georgia Chrome, and Easton Corbin all took the stage. Easton Corbin closed the evening playing a few favorite tunes which surely got everyone up and at em'.
It comes as no surprise that it's highly sought after as it's one best craft brew and bbq festivals I have had the pleasure of attending. Being from the South BBQ plays a big part of my upbringing so I can be very VERY particular. One that spoke to me was Papa Jacksons.
With many years in the business Papa Jackson has created a brand that targets all of the key points of flavor. It has hickory, cherry apple, and a Texas mesquite pecan flavor to it. "It has a triple play. It has a Kansas City, New Orleans, and Texas bite to it," explains Papa Jackson himself. "I wanted to create something everyone would like regardless of where you are from. Those distinctions are Cajun, Italian, and Hispanic influence and my sauce represents all of that." In my opinion Papa Jackson had it all: ribs, chicken, AND peach cobbler - what more do you need?
For the attendees who weren't 100% into BBQ, there was plenty to devour. A few notables was the delicious stone fire pizza from Brick Oven that was almost too perfect to eat, as well as favorites such as tacos. For the adventurous eater gator, and frog legs were also on the menu.
The HDE Agency are the masterminds behind the fete. Although it was my first time attending, I am already looking forward to next year. Trust me you'll want to attend as well - just make sure you wear loose pants for all the delicious BBQ you'll consume!