The Beer & BBQ Festival (BFF) is Australia's second largest celebration of ales, and for the first time it's coming to Sydney. The Adelaide-born event is a big deal, and you can 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.
Last year saw renegade Canadian culinary star Matty Matheson at the festival. He's back for another year and he’s in fine company.
The visiting chef (and host of Viceland series It’s Suppertime) will be joined by the crews from Bovine & Swine, led by pitmaster Wes Griffiths; Nashville-style fried chicken institute Belles Hot Chicken and burger legends Mary’s.
The Unicorn Hotel, Lansdowne Hotel and P&V Wine Merchants will also be there. And revered chefs Shannon Martinez, co-owner of Melbourne’s vegan juggernauts Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli, round out the all-star line-up.
More than 60 brewers will join the party (the full line-up will be announced next month). A highlight of the weekend will be a series of collaboration brews between Scottish brewer Jason Pond (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, Maddy Jane and Gooch Palms. More bands will be announced soon.
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.
BBF will debut in Sydney in late June before returning to home ground in early July. “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.”
Sydney Beer & BBQ Festival is on Friday June 29 to Sunday July 1 at the Show Ring and undercover market area at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. Tickets are on sale from April 24.