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Southern Sauce

Beer, barbecue and bands abound as two popular Charlotte festivals merge into one.
Now in its 14th year, the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship brings some of the best pitmasters in the region to Uptown.
Now in its 14th year, the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship brings some of the best pitmasters in the region to Uptown.

Article by Adam Rhew

For two days this September, the smell of hickory smoke will waft between the steel and glass of Uptown Charlotte’s skyscrapers, leading people to a true Southern feast, cold craft beer and outstanding live music.

Beer & BBQ

This year, the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship and the Charlotte Beerfest are merging to create a unique experience called Southern Sauce. The two-day festival is set for Sept. 18 and 19 and will have something for everyone. You’d better bring your appetite!

Now in its 14th year, the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship brings some of the best pitmasters in the region to Uptown – and it gives you the chance to decide who’s ‘cue is the best. And the Charlotte Beerfest opened last summer to rave reviews from craft beer fanatics and offers plenty of samples of some of the best brews from North Carolina and beyond.

Organizers of the two festivals knew pairing barbecue and beer would make for an unforgettable experience, and this year’s location – Romare Bearden Park and BB&T Ballpark – is convenient, beautiful and great for the whole family.

Go Whole Hog

More than 10 vendors will participate in the barbecue portion of the festival, serving pulled pork, sides, festival foods and sweets. Barbecue will be available for purchase on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Diners can help pick the People’s Choice Award winner by purchasing a cup of tokens for $5 that can be exchanged for barbecue samples. Participants receive a ballot and get to vote for their favorite.

Hop To It

Charlotte’s booming craft brewing scene earns new converts every day, and fans of outstanding beer will have plenty of options to quench their thirst throughout the event. The Charlotte Beerfest portion of the festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 19 from 4 to 9 p.m. inside BB&T Ballpark. North Carolina favorites, including The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Foothills, Natty Greene’s and Oskar Blues will be on hand, as well as a host of national breweries such as Devil’s Backbone, Goose Island, Sweetwater, Stella Artois and Blue Moon.

The Beerfest requires tickets to enter, and attendees must be at least 21 years old. General admission tickets are $50 and include unlimited sampling of beers, a Charlotte Beerfest sampling cup and live entertainment. VIP tickets are $100 and include early admission, an expedited entrance line, VIP areas with exclusive craft beers, special restrooms and hospitality areas, as well as a VIP gift bag with a t-shirt and custom pint glass.

Rock Out

After you’ve filled up on pulled pork and craft beer, what better way to unwind than with some great live music? The Charlotte Blues Society will jam on the Romare Bearden Park stage all day Saturday, as local blues bands compete for the right to represent the Queen City at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.

Saturday night, inside BB&T Ballpark, local rock band Simplified will play from 5:45 to 7 p.m. They’ll be followed by a headline act to remember. Multiplatinum band the Gin Blossoms will take the stage at 8 p.m. and will perform some of their classic hits such as “Follow You Down,”

Southern Sauce Schedule 

Friday, Sept. 18
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Romare Bearden Park
Barbeque festival open to the public

Saturday, Sept. 19
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Romare Bearden Park
Barbeque festival open to the public

Kids activities
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Romare Bearden Park

Charlotte Blues Society/Blues Bands
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Romare Bearden Park

Arts and Crafts from the Carolinas
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Carolina Row at Romare Bearden Park

DJ Entertainment – Beerfest Main Stage
4-5 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark

Charlotte Beerfest
4-9:30 p.m
BB&T Ballpark

Charlotte Beerfest – VIP Admission
4-9 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark

Charlotte Beerfest – General Admission
5-9 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark

Simplified – Beerfest Main Stage
5:45-7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark

Gin Blossoms – Beerfest Main Stage
8-9:30 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark

This article ran in the September 2015 issue of Charlotte Happenings.

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