I am in love with all things food, wine, and good times, and have an allergy friendly blog and website aimed at educating people about food intolerance. Check it out here: www.allergyfriendly.com.au
Beer and BBQ in the middle of winter
I was excited to attend the first annual Beer and BBQ festival on the 12th July 2015. It sounded right up my alley. Held in the historic dairy pavilion of the Adelaide Showground, I envisioned a romantic, rustic, barn shielded against the cold weather by brick walls, tasting beautiful food and drinks, surrounded by friends.
I opened the website to buy my ticket for $20 plus booking fee. The site said the online tickets were 'sold out', so undeterred, I made my way to the Showground to see if I could still buy a ticket at the door. The tickets were $30 at the door, so I forked over my ticket money, grabbed my glass, and made my way in.
For some reason, cash has become unpopular at festivals, and at this one, it was replaced by $2.50 tokens, with a $3 transaction fee for each token purchase.
Tokens in hand, I made my way to my first stand hoping to taste what they had on offer. The price for a tasting was one token, and full glasses cost 3 or 4 tokens. In my experience a small tasting is usually complimentary, with the hope of drawing you in for a purchase. Not so at this festival.
I purchased a glass of cider and sat down with my friends. It was 10°C and raining outside, we're drinking cold beverages, and it was then I noticed that there was no heating. The doors to the pavilion were kept open for foot traffic, and the cold wind was biting. I was chilled to the bone, but in high spirits, enjoying my beverage surrounded by wonderful friends.
After a few libations, I start to hear my stomach rumble, so leave the 'comfort' of my table to source some delicious BBQ. I walked into the tent where the BBQ was being cooked and made my way along the line of vendors. Some were notifying their customers of a 30-minute wait for food, some 45 minutes, and one was shut for the next hour to source more supplies. I decided to wait until the lunch rush was over, and headed back to the beer pavilion.
I tasted a number of ciders throughout the day. My favourite was the Sidewood Estate Apple Cider; it is made from 100% locally grown fresh apples, instead of concentrate, which makes it dry and refreshing. I will definitely be purchasing a couple of cases for summer. The Kangaroo Island Ciders also get a special mention. Their Colony Cove Cider was very dry, the driest cider I've ever tasted, and delicious. Perfect if you're not a sweet tooth.
A few hours and drinks later, I returned to the food tent. The wait had not reduced, and dishes had been crossed off the menus. I found a friend in the line, and agreed to keep her company. We listened to the music and watched the footy on the big screen until her food was ready.
At this stage, it was getting later in the afternoon, and the temperature started to drop. I decided I'd had enough of being cold and hungry, so said goodbye and made a bee-line for home, and a hot bath.
In total, it cost $80 to drink 6 glasses of cider in a cold shed. I'm not the authority on festivals, but I won't be rushing back to this one. If you plan on attending in 2016, I suggest rugging up and taking plenty of snacks.