Blues, Brews, and BBQ Wrapped Up

The third-annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ rocked the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek this Saturday, dropping more than 100 beers, plenty of great tunes, and lots and lots of smoked pig on the sizable crowd. With live music sets from Bonerama and the Radiators, the sectioned-off tent outside of the casino was lively and evocative of a N'awlins Bourbon Street party. The food was great too, with booths from Cajun crawfish house Rosey Baby, backyard barbecue joint Rock 'N' Roll Ribs, Bru's Room, and Hurricane Wings. The casino's culinary team also threw down with plenty of stellar barbecue of their own, including a whole smoked pig and -- get this -- Kool-Aid-soaked pickles.

Kool-Aid pickles? Heck yeah. The casino made these homemade cucumber pickles by marinating them for two days in dill, spices, and Kool-Aid. They were salty, sweet, crisp, and cool -- and, of course, bright red. They were actually pretty darned good.

BBQ brisket sandwiches and smoky spare ribs rounded out the offerings. I sampled a good bit of both, along with some spicy gumbo from the Babe and a couple of slices of smoked pig. We were told the pig was "for show," but my friend and I insisted on not letting it go to waste. The booth's workers carved us off a couple of slices from its shoulder. My friend Joe also asked for the ear, because, as he put it, "How can you look at that pig and not want to bite off its ear?"

Among the beers available were offerings from Bell's Brewery, including Two Hearted Ale (my favorite of the day) and Oberon. Sierra Nevado had a booth with ultrahoppy Torpedo IPA, and Sam Adams had a showcase of about ten beers, including a cream stout and pale ale. Brooklyn brought down plenty of its lager and brown ales, and Abita threw down some Turbo Dog and Purple Haze. The only local beer at the event was Holy Mackerel.

All told, the fest was a great, indulgent time. The tunes, the beers, and the eats all conspired to form one helluva afternoon. Here's hoping the event will be back next year with even more craft beer selections as well as local showings.

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