The warm weather has finally arrived. Which means it’s time to remove those grill covers and get barbecuin’. It just so happens that one of the first great food events of spring – the Beer, BBQ & Bacon Showdown in Morristown – took place during National Barbecue Month, kicking off the glorious season in Central New Jersey.
On May 20, Lewis Morris Park was home to the 3rd Annual Beer, BBQ & Bacon Showdown. Though the skies briefly opened up for a bit of light rain during the VIP early hour admission, the day remained dry for the remainder of the outdoor event, which featured a massive cookout along with live entertainment and unlimited samples of some of the area’s best local brews.
This year’s pet-friendly event attracted patrons from all over the Garden State who were looking for some savory barbecue and refreshing craft beer, all in support of a good cause; the 2017 festival benefited the Chester First Aid Squad. The long lines moved fast as each gourmet food truck banged out mouthwatering plates of ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, hot dogs and more.
Guests gathered around the grills and smokers, watching their favorite southern eats being cooked to perfection. Whether you grabbed some food from Bearded One BBQ, Hot Rods BBQ, Texas Smoke Barbecue, or any of the other vendors in attendance, you could not go wrong. And after lunch, you would be remiss if you didn’t find yourself waiting in line for some decadent cupcakes or mini doughnuts.
Upon entering the festival grounds, general admission guests were given a souvenir mug and towel. Throughout the Beer, BBQ & Bacon Showdown’s five-hour run, guests put both to good use. In addition to the BBQ, around 30 New Jersey-based breweries set-up shop for the day, providing samples of their craft brews to hundreds of attendees. Brewers like Ewing’s River Horse, Hillsborough’s Flounder Brewing, Somerdale’s Flying Fish, and Hackettstown’s Jersey Girl Brewing were elated to share their best drafts with those who patiently waited in line.
Among the numerous food and beer vendors were a variety of different merchandise vendors, which offered eclectic items ranging from delicious sauces and spreads to original clothing, and jewelry made from guitar strings. Guests flooded the stands to help support local small businesses and take home something unique.
While this year’s Beer, BBQ & Bacon Showdown emphasized local barbecue and brewers, it never wilted in its mission to provide a fun, entertaining atmosphere for those in attendance. Throughout the day’s event, friends roamed the park, conversed, ate delicious food and then washed it down with ice cold beer, resulting in a true American tradition that no one will want to miss when it comes back around next spring.
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- Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ