Each spring, more than 2,000 people flock to the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds for the annual Lodi Beer Fest & State BBQ Competition.
The event features a wide selection craft beer from local and national breweries, along with an array of entertainment.
“The Lodi Beer Fest is a great and fun event. People love the beer, music and games. It’s is a great party,” said Mark Armstrong, manager of the Grape Festival Grounds.
With the State BBQ Competition returning for the second year in a row, those attending the festival will also be able to indulge in award-winning barbecue.
The Beer Fest will be held in the Ole Mettler Pavilion, while the barbecue competition will take place outside on the festival grounds. In addition to great beer and barbecue, the event will also include a variety of activities, such as cornhole, bocce ball, giant Jenga, music and dancing, and giant beer pong. Stogie’s Cigar Lounge will also be on-site.
“We are expecting a great showing for this year’s event with around 40 breweries, 50 barbecue contestants, live music and the Ultimate Beer Basket raffle, where people will have a chance to win a huge variety beer collection and other prizes,” Armstrong said.
Raffle tickets cost $10 for one ticket or $20 for three tickets. Proceeds go toward the Raise the Roof project, a fundraiser to put a new roof on the Pavilion and other projects on the Grape Festival Grounds.
Breweries to be featured in this year’s festival include Blaker Brewing, Boochcraft, Figueroa Mountain Brewery, Last Call Brewing Co., Bootleggers Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Morgan Territory Brewing, Samuel Adams, Five Window Beer Co., Lodi Beer Co., Angry Orchard, High Water Brewing, Inc 82 Brewing, Indigeny Reserve, Lost Coast Brewery, Oakland United Beerworks, SLO Brew, Waterman Brewing Company, Dust Bowl Brewing, Idol Beerworks, The Dancing Fox Brewery, Shadow Puppet Brewing Company, Corona, Corona Especial, Modelo and many more.
During the barbecue competition, teams from all over the western United States will go head-to-head for the chance to compete at the American Royal Invitational and receive a draw to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational, also known as the World Series of BBQ.
The competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society and will be judged via blind tasting. Contestants will have to prepare four meats — chicken, pork ribs, Boston pork roast and beef brisket. Meats may be cooked using wood, pellets or charcoal. The dishes will be judged on appearance, tenderness and taste.
“This is the best barbecue you’ll ever try. The is not restaurant-level barbecue. This is championship-level barbecue. It’s the freshest,” State BBQ Competition host Ben Lobenstein said.
Admission to the barbecue competition is free and is open to all ages. Only those 21 and up will be permitted to attend the Beer Fest inside the Pavilion.
All tickets include a commemorative beer glass and unlimited beer tasting. Tickets are on sale at Stogies Cigar Lounge, Raley’s in Lodi and Morada, the Lodi Grape Festival office and Fat City Brew & BBQ in Stockton.