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San Francisco BBQ Festival: A Celebration of California's Top BBQ and Craft Beer

San Francisco is a getaway destination with something for everyone. Here you’ll find a wide assortment of fun things to do ranging from world famous attractions to some of the best restaurants in the entire country.


If you're a first time visitor to the city, let your journey begin with a trip to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This international orange (the official color of the bridge) colored structure stretches roughly two miles across San Francisco Bay and connects Downtown San Francisco with Marin. Sidewalks are open to the public during daytime hours and the bridge presents travelers with breathtaking views of the city and nearby area. While you're soaking in the sights and sounds on the bridge, you’ll likely see our next attraction suggestion, Alcatraz Island. This location was the first U.S. Fort and lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, when it opened in 1854. In 1934, the island took on a new identity when it was reopened as a prison specifically designed for high profile inmates such as Al Capone and George Kelly. Today, you can take comprehensive tours of the island and can even sit in the same prison cells inmates did over 50 years ago.


Once you get your fill of the historic and iconic attractions, then it's time to check out the city's world class eating establishments. Acquerello is a popular restaurant that tops Zagat’s list of the best restaurants in the city. This establishment has a two-star Michelin rating and features some of the best Italian food in the region. You’ll love their modern take on traditional Italian cuisine and luxurious dining experiences. Kokkari Estiatorio is a high-end eating establishment that comes highly recommended by The San Francisco Chronicle. This restaurant embraces a modernized Greek influence, taking classical Greek dishes and giving them a unique flair. If you're looking for delicious lamb, seafood and more, this is the location for you.


San Francisco is home to a diverse selection of events and festivals. The San Francisco BBQ Festival is back for its second year and is ready to build on last year’s successful first run. This event is a showcase for the best BBQ and craft beer producers in the state of California. Over 50 BBQ teams will be competing in an officially sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society competition, with a $10,000 cash prize going to the winner. You’ll also find 15 San Francisco craft breweries on hand serving up their tasty creations and talking with patrons about their beers. Take your next San Francisco getaway to a new level of fun and spend the day at the San Francisco BBQ Festival. We got the opportunity to speak to Mike Walsh, representative for the event, to talk about this great BBQ experience.  


RAL: How long has the event been running?

MW: This will be the 2nd Annual San Francisco BBQ Festival.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw and who are they demographically? Children? Families? Couples?

MW: Last year we had about 1,500 people attend the festival. The demographic is mostly Bay Area residents who enjoy good food, craft beer and music. However, we had quite a few out-of-state attendees from 18 different states in total! The age ranges from about 22 to 50 and last year a quarter of the attendees were families (Children under eight are free). The festival is also dog (on leash) friendly.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

MW: There are a number of things that make the festival unique, but the best part about the festival is that it brings all walks of life together around the common love of BBQ. There is something about BBQ that reminds folks of home, friends, and family. The Festival is the only BBQ and craft beer festival in San Francisco. It's a great opportunity for local brewers and competitive BBQ teams from around the state to showcase their meat and brews.  


RAL: Take me through the activities people can expect at the event.

MW: There will be a number of activities onsite for all age groups. We will have a 100-team cornhole tournament along with a game space for non-competitive cornhole fun. There will also be a raffle, BBQ giveaway, and scooter test driving. Two bands will be on hand to perform live music throughout the event: Mother Truckers and Bad Jones. Attendees will have the opportunity to eat oysters, taste competition BBQ, and enjoy local craft beers!


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

MW: Miss Bay Area will be attending and presenting the prizes for the BBQ competition winners.


RAL: What dining options will there be?

MW: Attendees will get to sample a variety of BBQ foods. We will also have a variety of craft beers and several other craft food vendors.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

MW: There are a number of lodging providers in close proximity to the event site. You won't have any trouble finding lodging in this area.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

MW: Yes, we are supporting and promoting local craft brewers, competitive BBQ teams, and small business owners. Everyone involved is gaining increased exposure for their products.


RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)

MW: Yes, we are proud to be working with our nonprofit partner, Not For Sale. This is an organization that protects people and communities from slavery and human trafficking.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

MW: This event will be a memorable one with over 50 competitive BBQ teams and 17 craft breweries. It’s a can't-miss San Francisco festival and a great reason to travel to the West Coast!

For more information about the San Francisco BBQ Festival, please visit their website.