Exploring DC’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

June 6, 2012 6:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The name pretty much says it all. This is a festival for Washingtonians that want to try more than 60 beers, 40 bourbons and lots of BBQ. The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival will be making a stop in the Washington, DC area on June 15 and 16 at National Harbor, MD’s waterfront.

The festival is a great place to come and relax. The price includes all you care to taste of beer and bourbon. BBQ delicacies for sale include whole-hog pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chickens, sausages and everything you’d ever want to pile on these meaty dishes. The fun includes seminar tastings, live rock and blues music and contests.

Local brews from the Washington, DC area will be on tap from breweries such as Loose Cannon and Heavy Seas, Lancaster Brewing Company, Forham and Starr Hill.

ribs thinkstock Exploring DCs Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Live Entertainment Schedule

Friday, June 15

Showtime: 6 to 6:45 p.m.
Performers: Phillip Bray, Looking for Lester and Honky Tonk Confidential

Saturday, June 16
Showtimes: 12 p.m. – Music by Phillip Bray

1 p.m. – Music by Looking for Lester

3 p.m. – World BBQ Bean Eating Championships
If you think you can devour the most beans in a limited time, sign up for the World BBQ Bean Eating Championships. Winners get a “redneck-sized” beer mug and $100. Sign ups must be done in advance by calling (800) 830-3976.

3:30 p.m. – BBQ Babe Daisy Duke Contest
Made popular by “The Dukes of Hazzard,” Daisy Duke shorts will be on show. Washingtonians who think they have what it takes can don their costume in the hopes of winning a “redneck-sized” beer mug and $100. Contestants will be judged on their costume and knowledge of beer, BBQ, moonshine and redneck history.

4 p.m. – The Kelly Bell Band
Local Baltimore band, The Kelly Bell Band has been voted “Best Blues Band” for 10 years in a row. Come see what all of the hype is about.

The Tasting Theater

The tasting theater allows patrons to enjoy a few special selections. There will be bourbon tastings by Heaven Hill Distillery’s where Rob Hutchins will walk patrons through the importance of the aging process of the distillery’s award-winning bourbons. Not familiar with bourbon? Check out the “find your bourbon common denominator” tasting where you can sample four different bourbons and understand what your palate prefers. Chef Jim Benson of BiRite Foodservice Distributors, will be on hand offering up some of his tastiest treats for you to enjoy as well.

Related: Best Beer Selection/Beer Halls in Washington, D.C.

beer bourbon and bbq festival Exploring DCs Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

Photo Credit: Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival

Tickets/Pricing Info

VIP Friday Night Whole Hog Session
Price: $65
Hours: Friday, June 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In addition to the usual festival activities, the Friday Night VIP Session includes a BBQ dinner with pulled pork, access to the VIP tent with beer and bacon tastings and access to the VIP washrooms to clean up the sticky sauce that will surely be covering your hands and face. This event is limited to 1,500 guests, so advance tickets are a must.

Grand Poobah 2-day all access pass
Price: $85
Hours: Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Grand Poobah is a must for any beer, bourbon and BBQ lover. It allows access to all the events happening on both days from the BBQ dinner to all of the live entertainment.

VIP Admission and Tasting Glass
Price: $60
Hours: Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The VIP admission gives you two extra hours of tastes, access to the VIP areas and washrooms and all of the live entertainment you can handle. These types of events can be crowded, so if you’re interested in really spending some time with the distillers, the VIP access comes highly recommended.

Regular Admission and Tasting Glass
Price $35
Hours: Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Regular admission includes all you can handle in terms of beer and bourbon as well as all entertainment. For an extra two hours of fun, check out the VIP admission.

Designated Driver Ticket
Price: $25
Hours: Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

With no metro stop near National Harbor, many festival goers prefer to drive. Having a designated driver is imperative and they can attend and enjoy the BBQ, contests and live entertainment as well.

Although kids 12 and under are free, bringing kids is discouraged, as there will be no youth activities.

Related: Best Barbecue In Washington, D.C.

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamies traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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