MARATHON, Florida Keys — The third annual Florida Keys BrewBQ festival is to take place Friday evening and all day Saturday, July 14-15, in celebration of great craft beer and barbecue.
Organized by the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce, the popular festival is to take advantage of cooler summer evenings by opening 5-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Staged at the open-air Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49, the barbecue and craft beer festival boasts taste-tempting meaty goodness, live music, games for kids, retail vendors and barbecue and other food vendors.
Teams of amateur pit masters are to vie for cash prizes and top honors from a panel of official judges scoring their entries in two categories – Best Pork Belly Burnt Ends, with judging announced Friday at 8 p.m., and Best Pulled Pork, with judging announced Saturday at 7 p.m.
The competition includes a popular “People’s Choice” division to encourage hungry meat lovers to cast their votes during the summertime family event.
Tickets for beer and barbecue, including People’s Choice taste “tokens” for the amateur competition, are to be available for purchase. Individuals can vote for their favorite bites by dropping one or more tokens in a team’s ballot box. Announcement of the People’s Choice and Best Overall award winners takes place Saturday at 7:30 and 7:45 p.m., respectively.
In addition to the People’s Choice tastings, food is to be available for purchase from Battle Rig BBQ, Lazy Days South, Brutus Seafood, Sweet Savannah’s, Marathon Youth Sports Burgers & Dogs, and the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce smoker slinging barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches.
To wash down all the great barbecue, the latest lagers, hard ciders and hoppy beers are to be offered by the Keys’ own craft brewers: Florida Keys Brewing Co., Islamorada Beer Company, Hardbottom Brewing and Waterfront Brewery, as well as other Florida brewers. Frozen drinks and cocktails are to be available for purchase from Ultra Beverages.
Live musical performances begin Friday at 5 p.m. with the 79th Street Band, followed at 7 p.m. by Abstract Radio. Saturday’s music lineup includes John Bartus and Adrienne Z, the Lady A Band and, to close out the festival, the popular six-piece classic rock party band Apache Dragon.
Festival tickets are $5 per person each day; children under 12 accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free.
Event information: keysbrewbq.com
Craft beer and tasty barbecue are a winning combination at Florida Keys BrewBQ, July 14-15. Photo: Battle Rig BBQ
Florida Keys Brewing Co. will be on tap at the festival along with other Keys brewers and several from around Florida.