Tickets still available for BBQ & Brew

Event not only offers high-quality Iowa pork and Iowa-brewed beers, but it’s also a chance to raise funds to help food banks statewide.

June 23, 2023

2 Min Read

The inaugural BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark—hosted by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Iowa Cubs, and Cactus Cares—is set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at Principal Park in Des Moines. Attendees can sample delicious Iowa pork from 30 different backyard barbeque experts and 15 craft beers from Iowa's top breweries.

Full-price BBQ & Brew tickets cost $25, with $5 from every ticket purchase supporting local hunger relief. Those interested in the barbecue experience without the brew can attend for $15. Kids ages 5 and younger are admitted free of charge. Purchase tickets and learn more here.

The event not only offers high-quality Iowa pork and Iowa-brewed beers, but it's also a chance to raise funds to help food banks statewide. According to the Iowa Food Bank Association, 7.3% of Iowans are struggling with hunger. That translates to nearly 229,500 Iowans, including 80,190 children.

"Iowa pig farmers care about the people of this state and the animals we raise," said Trish Cook, a pig farmer in Winthrop and IPPA president. "This fun event will provide some delicious pork not only for attendees, but also for food-insecure Iowans in our communities."

One of the highlights of the event is a Backyard BBQ Competition. More than $10,000 in cash prizes are available and attendees can help determine the winners of the charity competition. All 30 slots the Backyard BBQ Competition are full. The meat for the competition will be provided by Berkwood Farms and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Fareway Stores will be providing numerous resources for BBQ and Brew at the Ballpark.

In addition, a free pork barbecue bootcamp will be led by Speed "The Sauceman" Herrig, of Iowa-based Cookies Food Products, and Joe Osbrink, from the Iowa Barbecue Society. They will offer tips for prepping, seasoning and cooking the perfect pork.

Music, food vendors, door prizes and other entertainment are also planned for this family friendly event. Emceeing the festivities is Jackie Schmillen, a former Des Moines-area television personality who is now the director of public affairs for the Iowa National Guard and promoter of all great things happening in Central Iowa.

While no baseball game is scheduled at Principal Park that day, the stadium will be open for the event.  

"We love when the ballpark can be a gathering place in the community for fun events that everyone can enjoy," said Randy Wehofer, assistant general manager of the Iowa Cubs. "We appreciate the partnership with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Cactus Cares to create something that combines great food, great fun and great service to our community."

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