Enumclaw hosts Pacific Northwest’s best BBQ and beer

The first BBQ, Brews, and Brats bring together families to enjoy BBQ, beer, games, music, and a soda bar

By Joshua Solorzano, freelancer for the Courier-Herald:

BBQ ribs get sticky, but the beer glass won’t mind.

The Enumclaw Expo Center and Visit Rainer teamed up to put on the first BBQ, Brews, and Brats at the Enumclaw Expo Center on September 31, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and October 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Although the event sports beer as one of its main attractions, the Enumclaw Expo Center general manager Rene Popke said there’s fun for the whole family like free kids games, live music, and a chance to talk with Rigs and Adventures, a group focused on bringing people from all walks of life offroading.

BBQ enthusiasts can enter their dishes into the BBQ competition put on by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association, and will be judging the competing BBQ based on the type of meat and the criteria.

Popke said all competitors must be registered participants, so don’t just bring your own dish. Pork, brisket, chicken, and ribs are amongst the meats that people will serve up to judges to compete for winnings.

The total prize purse is $6,000.

Event Coordinator Jaclyn VanHoof said that Casting Iron will serve up BBQ side dishes for event-goers to enjoy, and there will be other food trucks and typical fair food to munch on.

To wash down the meats, beers from local brewers will be available for adults to enjoy the weekend, but Vanhoof said Non-alcohol drinkers can enjoy the soda bar presented by Simple Goodness Sisters.

VanHoof said the brewer lineup is currently Headworks Brewery, Griffin Brewing, Cole Street Brewery, Half Lion, Narrows Brewing, and Lost Woods, but they hope to have around ten brewers in total. Multiple brewers will be on-site, but there’s also the opportunity to do some additional beer tasting apart from the original taste tickets.

There are a few different price points to enjoy this event, each with its own perks. VIP Early Access and Fresh Hop Beer ticket is $50, which includes an 11 a.m. event entrance, a commemorative tasting glass, five beer tasting tickets, access to Fresh Hop Beer selections, and two barbecue tasting tickets.

The Full Tasting Experience ticket is $30 pre-sale and $35 on-site and includes a commemorative tasting glass, three beer tasting tickets, and two barbecue tasting tickets.

No Beer Here tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 on-site and includes an event entry and two barbecue tasting tickets.

Tickets for kids 3-years-old through 12-years-old are $5, and kids 2-years-old and under have free entry.

Additional tasting tickets will be available on-site for an extra $2 each, redeemable for a five-ounce beer taste and one to two tastes per barbecue item.