The Tampa stop of the touring Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival is like a summer day party right at the end of winter. Set up next to the ocean, the aroma of wood fire and roasting meat imbue the festival air, accompanied by notes of flowing bourbon. Each ticketed guest receives their own complimentary glass for unlimited spirit sampling. Usually, you have to wait until June to feel this smoky and good.
The festival grounds play host to an array of vendors, from renowned distilleries to hand-rolled cigars and artisans crafting guitars from reclaimed cigar boxes. Past years have included craft distilleries like Dark Door Spirits, which brews the spirit of IPA, a marriage of beer and bourbon in a single bottle, and the award-winning Coconut Cartel and their 12-year Anejo Guatemalan rum blended with coconut water offer a tropical twist on whiskey. They’re joined by Raging Eagle which serves a mango beer that reportedly evokes the fizzy, summertime essence of mango soda. And Onda, a woman-owned distillery specializing in tequila seltzers, creates with flavors such as guava, coconut, pineapple and peach.
The culinary offerings are equally enticing, with “the red-neck nachos” stealing the spotlight — a combination of pulled pork, cheese and moonshine BBQ sauce that’s a must-try. It finds good company with other finger-licking dishes like BBQ’d gators, famous Southern brisket, and an assortment of ribs and sausages. Head to Shrine of Swine for the whole-hog experience.
For those seeking camaraderie, the Cochran Carnival beckons with Connect Four, giant Jenga, cornhole and more. And when it comes to the festival’s musical element, the main stage has soulful tunes of live rock and blues music.
As we said, this is a touring festival, so if you miss Tampa, you can get your Beer, Bourbon and BBQ in Atlanta, Wilmington, N.C., Timonium, Md., Charlotte, N.C., New York City, Richmond, Va., Cary, Del. and Wilmington, Del. on different dates.
- Around 4000 people attend the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival
- There are two categories of tickets. General admission costs $29 and includes a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited sampling of beer and bourbon, and all live entertainment. VIP costs $49 and includes two extra hours of sampling, a BBQ dinner plate and a special VIP only Lounge area.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Florida here. And here‘s our guide to Tampa.
What is the closest airport to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival, Tampa?
Tampa International airport is the closest to the festival, located a 16 minute drive from the festival venue.
Is parking available in the premises?
Yes, plenty of parking garage spaces are provided for parking with ease.
Is the festival ADA accessibile?
Yes, it does.
Can I book the service of a designated driver?
Yes, and those tickets are sold on-site for $25.00.