Renegade Canadian culinary star Matty Matheson can’t get enough of Adelaide. He’s coming back to head the Beer & BBQ Festival for the second year running. And he’s in fine company.
The visiting chef (and host of Viceland series It’s Suppertime) will be joined by the crews from Sydney’s Bovine & Swine, led by pitmaster Wes Griffiths; local favourites Low’N’Slow, NOLA and Something Wild; and eastern-state burger institutions Belles Hot Chicken and Mary’s. Revered chefs Analiese Gregory from Franklin in Tasmania, and Shannon Martinez, co-owner of Melbourne’s vegan juggernauts Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli round out the all-star line-up, which is tightly curated by returning BBF ambassador Duncan Welgemoed (Africola). Expect all the hits of American-style outdoor cooking: rubbed, slow-cooked and smoked beast and bird, and trays of beef brisket, pulled pork, short ribs, chicken wings and charred and pickled veg.
More than 60 brewers will join the party including locals Pirate Life, Barossa Valley Brewing, South Coast Brewing Company, Uraidla Brewery, Big Shed Brewing Concern, Little Bang Brewing and Pikes Beer Company. A highlight of the weekend will be a series of collaboration beers between guest brewer Franz Horak (BrewDog) and Australian producers Batch Brewing, Capital Brewing, Green Beacon, Hop Nation and Mismatch Brewing. There are whispers of blends using jalapeños, raspberries, pineapple, chocolate and hazelnut; they'll be available exclusively at the BrewDog container bar.
Live music has always been a pillar of the Beer & BBQ brand, and this year the line-up is bigger than ever – including the addition of a second stage. The Preatures will headline a bill featuring Holy Holy, Bob Evans (alter-ego of Jedediah front man Kevin Mitchell), Jen Cloher and locals Grenadiers, Horror My Friend and Skin Contact DJs.
There will also be a slew of sideshows including live tattooing, a barbershop, a market and a vinyl record shop. There’ll be masterclasses for the beer geeks and novices alike, plus the return of the hotdog-eating and "beer-bod" wet t-shirt contests.
Year four is a big one for the team. Earlier this year, founders Gareth Lewis, Aaron Sandow and Marc Huber expanded the brand with a series of gigs at the Old Adelaide Gaol.
This winter the flagship festival will also debut interstate. “We’ve brewed up a festival of national proportion,” Lewis said in a press release. “In three short years we’ve become the second largest beer festival in the nation.” It’ll debut in Sydney in late June before returning to home ground in early July.
Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival is on Friday July 6 to Sunday July 8 at the Historic Brick Dairy Pavilion in the Adelaide Showground. Tickets are on sale from April 24.
This article was updated on June 16, 2018.