Love BBQ? What to eat, see and do at Chandler's 'Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival'

Love BBQ? What to eat, see and do at Chandler's 'Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival'
Posted at 10:06 AM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 13:06:30-04

If barbecue-topped mac-and-cheese, pulled pork or smoked beef sliders tickle your taste buds, then you probably want to know about the Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival.

More than 30 barbecue aficionados, pitmasters, and food trucks will be whipping, saucing and serving up napkin-requiring dishes like barbecue-topped mac and cheese, barbecue nachos, and Santa Maria-style tri-tip, on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in downtown Chandler.

Here's a quick look at some of this year's food highlights, including local favorites:

  • Different Smokes BBQ: Pulled pork, BBQ Tacos, giant BBQ nachos, and "My Fat Neighborhood sandwich, which is a green-chili cornbread waffle topped with smoked pork, BBQ chili beans, cheese and roasted green chilis.
  • Mr. Wonderfuls Chicken and Waffles: Waffle and chicken wings, chicken dirty fries, and banana pudding
  • Thrill Your Grill: Bison, antelope, elk, rabbit and venison burgers; wild boar ribs, grilled quail and Rocky Mountain oysters.
  • Porkopolis: The local BBQ restaurant will have brisket burnt ends, red neck tacos with pulled work, and baby back ribs.
  • Tom's BBQ: Another local restaurant, Tom's BBQ will have its brisket, pork, chicken, hot links, ribs and tri-tip, as well as bacon or lobster mac and cheese.

For dessert, there will be sweet treats like cupcakes, waffles, caramel apples, snow cones, churros and ice cream for sale.


General admission is $25 a person at the gate, but you can buy pre-sale tickets for $10 at Bashas' grocery stores (and save $15). Veterans and military members can get discount tickets for $15 at the gate.

Admission gets you into the festival and the concerts, but you will want to have extra cash on hand for food and drink. Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult.


The festival will once again have food-eating contests. This year's categories include wings, brats, ribs and pie. Those interested can sign-up at the northeast entrance from 12 p.m - 4 p.m.


Country singer Rodney Atkins will headline the festival's main stage. This year, festival organizers added a second main stage which will be headlined by Russell Dickerson, the singer behind the song, "Yours."

SanTan Brewing Stage

  • 12:30 p.m. - Honeygirl
  • 2 p.m. - Georgia Chrome
  • 5:30 p.m. - Jordan Davis
  • 7 p.m. - Jerrod Niemann
  • 8:30 p.m. - Rodney Atkins 

AK-CHIN Pabst Stage

  • 12:30 p.m. - Jim Bachmann and the Day Drinkers
  • 2:30 p.m. - Pick & Holler
  • 4 p.m. - Laura Walsh
  • 6 p.m - Ryan Sims
  • 7:30 p.m. - Russell Dickerson

Visit for more information.

The Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival, March 24
Where: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225
Time: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Admission: $10 at Bashas, $25 at the gate.