Inland Empire News | Horse Town Brew N' Que Festival

By: Jonathan Yost, Editor of Racket Magazine

Horse Town Brew N' Que Festival — Southern California has seen a surge of amazing restaurants featuring locally grown vegetables, organic, grass-fed livestock and molecular gastronomy. We have also seen San Diego’s innovative craft beer scene spread like wildfire throughout the Inland Empire. (See our list of IE breweries HERE) We can grill a ribeye with the best of them, and throw some kind of kumquat chutney and bleu cheese on it, but for that fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking BBQ, we need some help. Luckily, help is on the way.

This weekend, the Horse Town Brew N’ Que comes to Norco’s George Ingalls Equestrian Center. Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (a big deal, in case you didn’t know), the cook-off portion of the event features competitions in brisket, pork ribs, chicken and pork, also known as the four food groups. Probably. I’m fairly certain that’s correct. Featuring TV celebrity pitmasters such as Myron Mixon and Big Moe Cason, you’re probably going to want to taste as much as you can, so come hungry. If you want to come a day early, Friday’s reception at 6:30 p.m. includes an option for a VIP meet and greet.

Saturday is BBQ/brew day (hence the name Brew N’ Que). Get down on some tasty morsels, and cleanse your palate at the microbrew tasting. The list of “microbreweries” isn’t available, but based on the “sponsors” listed, you can bet that Hangar 24, Oak Hills Brewery, Inland Empire Brewing Co., Stone, Brew Rebellion, Bootlegger’s Brewery, Dale Bros Brewery, and Coachella Valley Brewing will be there, as well as Heroes Restaurant & Brewery, a welcome addition to the scene (insider tip: get a half-order of nachos, share with a pal, and you will be full well before you finish. You’re welcome).

Sunday’s portion of the event is anchored by the Brew 101 class, held by master brewer Luke Martin of Green Valley Home Brew. Martin teaches you the difference between an IPA, a lager, a red. and a stout. I mean, if you’re a home-brewer, you SHOULD know this already, but if you’re hiding this dark secret of ignorance, now you have a chance to correct this, for $75. A separate class is available on becoming a certified BBQ judge, which sounds like one of the best jobs I have ever heard of. Looking for a career change, and think you have what it takes? Click HERE to book now. Tickets range from $10 for general admission to $25, which includes 10 beer samples in addition to admission. BBQ tastings are available via script packets purchased on site.