How to Survive the 2013 Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival

Beer Bourbon and BBQ FestivalWell folks, it’s back and I’m already hydrating in preparation. The Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival was easily one of top highlights of 2012 for me. Or at least I think it was (still a little hazy). After a sellout crowd in 2012, the show geniuses at BB&BBQ have upped the ante. In order to survive this year’s fest I have a few tips.

Tip #1: If VIP tickets are available,

BB&BBQ has expanded this feature of the show to include a bigger tent and more exclusive tasting opportunities. It wasn’t advertised on the site, but Pappy made an appearance in the VIP tent last year and several other “premium” whiskeys. There is also ample food choices/tastings in the VIP tent that are included in the price (outside the tent the food is for sale). All that is well and good, but the best part about being a VIP is being able to have two extra hours of tasting BEFORE the mass crowds show up. The extra price is well worth it.

Tip #2: Have a Game Plan

There is a TON of stuff to taste see and do at this festival an it can be a bit overwhelming. Show-goers will be treated to “60 beers, 40 bourbons, and lots of BBQ.” They said the same thing last year, but I would bet my paycheck that they over-delivered on this one. Check out the website and make a note of the brands you want to make sure you get to taste. Then go taste those first because after a while things start to run together and some of the smaller/higher end companies will run out. Here is is what I hope to taste.

The 2012 Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival Tasting glass. Cheers!

The 2012 Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival Tasting glass. Cheers!

THE ENTIRE HIGH WEST WHISKEY LINEUP: I’m excited about these and they are at the top of my list.
ALL THE FOUR ROSES STUFF: A chance to have them all back to back to back to back? Hell yeah.
CHARRED OAK BOURBON & RYE: This was recently suggested to me at Tower, but I passed knowing I’d get to try it here.
AMERICAN SPIRIT WHISKEY: Always good to see these guys.

INNIS & GUNN ORIGINAL & CASK: A highlight from last year and a new favorite of mine.
THE HEAVY SEAS LINEUP: I got around to these too late in the day last time.
GUINNESS BLACK LAGER: I want to see what this is all about. I’m skeptical.
OMMEGANG RARE VOS & 3 PHILOSOPHERS: These Yankees can brew some beer.

I’m disappointed not to see my peeps from LAZY MAGNOLIA BREWERY on the list. They have released some really cool stuff this year that isn’t available in GA yet and I want to try it. Hopefully I’ll be surprised. If not, I’m headed to Mississippi.

Tip #3: Pace Yourself

Again, there is a TON of tasting options here and it’s a long day. Alternate whiskey and beer both for your palate and sobriety. There is water available at most tasting stations. Take advantage of it and make sure you eat something. I didn’t start eating until late in the day and most of the good food (that wasn’t for sale) had run out. Mix it in there and drink responsibly. Having a cab on speed dial isn’t a bad idea either.

Tip #4: Take Notes

When you like something, write it down. At the end of the day, you will not remember a lot, much less how a bourbon you tasted at 1pm was. Last year, I used my iPhone. Also, most of the pourers are local reps, so they will be able to tell you where to get the product in your area if you want.

Final Tip: Stay in Touch

We appreciate our fans and love hearing from you. Let us know what you are looking forward to at the event. We would love to try and meet you all at the show and share some drinks. Drop us a line and we’ll talk three of our favorite subjects at one of our new favorite Atlanta events. Afterwards we want to see you pictures and get your input on the show. Head over to our Facebook page and share away.

We hope to see you there. Cheers Y’all.

The Where, When and How

March 2nd 2013 | Under the big tents at Atlantic Station


Last call is at 5:45. Tickets on-site are cash only.

Valid from Noon-6pm. Includes admission into the event, a souvenir tasting glass & lanyard, unlimited samplings of beer and bourbon, food tastings outlined above and bacon sampling from Noon – 3pm, TWO EXTRA hours of sampling, access to VIP restrooms and VIP tasting area, and all live entertainment.

REGULAR TICKET { $35 ADVANCE / $40 ON-SITE }: 2:00PM – 6:00PM

Valid Saturday from 2pm – 6pm. Includes admission into the event, a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited beer and bourbon sampling, and all live entertainment.

Valid during any Saturday session. Includes admission into the event only.

This event is not designed for children. They are welcome but you will find very little of interest to them.

About the Author Spencer

Spencer is a native "Atlantan" and the co-owner of The Trot Line. In addition to TL he writes for his own blog, Life Below the Line. He is a graduate of The University of Mississippi, loves sports, art, and any excuse to tailgate.