Old Irving Beer & BBQ Challenge

July 26 2015 - 9:51 AM

Summer is at its zenith.  Each of these precious, warm and sunny Chicago weekends during the sun’s Midwestern sojourn warrants rejoicing.  And there’s hardly a better way to celebrate summer’s glory than with some barbeque and beer.  Both entities take center stage on Saturday, August 1, as brewmasters and pitmasters unite for the second annual Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ challenge.

This special event will feature 15 local brewers, each bringing two event-exclusive beers, one for pairing with a specific BBQ pork dish, and the other for entry in the Best Beer competition.  If you’re following, that’s 15 BBQ dishes and 30 special beers, all from some of the city’s most outstanding brew- and pitmasters.  Breweries in the mix include DryHop Brewers, Off Color, Half Acre, Begyle, Haymarket, Solemn Oath, and Revolution.  Pitmasters will represent kitchens such as 4Boys BBQ, Estrada, Los Banditos Guajillos, OL’ No. 7, Up In Smoke, and Porknado.

Event attendees will not only be treated to mouthwatering pork and exceptional beers, they’ll also get to vote on their favorite pairing and favorite beer. As an added bonus, a roster of celebrity-chef judges will be part of the electorate, too, including Stephanie Izard of the “Goat” restaurant series, Barry Sorkin of Smoque BBQ, and Joaquin Soler of Smalls.  Attendees can mingle with these Chicago cuisine superstars while overindulging in gobs of pork and lakes of beer.  Good luck topping this.

Ticket prices start at $50 for general admission ($60 at the door), and $75 for VIP ($80).  VIP’s are rewarded with early entry, 12 p.m. as opposed to 1 p.m. for others, plus the chance to mingle with the celebs. Now’s your chance to snob out on beer and barbecue in front of Izard and Sorkin – admit you know you’ve always wanted to.

All event proceeds benefit St. Viator Parish & School in Old Irving, whose pupils have included Haymarket owner and event participant John Neurauter and three other generations of his family.   You can find more event information, including a full roster of participating breweries and pitmasters, here at the website.  I hope you can attend.  Meanwhile, my mouth waters.

Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ Challenge

St. Viator School Parking Lot

3644 N. Kedvale Ave.

Chicago, IL

–          M. Sheppard