Nobody takes barbecues more seriously than our great nation, which is why we’re so incredibly excited about this amazing event that’s set to touch down in Melbourne next month. After a roaring success last year, the Yak Ales Melbourne Barbecue Festival is returning for a glorious celebration of all things grilled, smoked and down-right delicious.
The Yak Ales Melbourne Barbecue Festival takes over the ENTIRETY of Flemington Racecourse on Saturday 6 February, when the huge venue will be transformed into an all-day feast - complete with local barbecue heroes, award-winning American pitmasters (yup, that’s what you call a barbecue expert!) and heaps of tasty meats and veggies for you to wrap your mouth around. All this, in addition to a barbecue cook-off sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society?! This is one festival that’s set to be the biggest and best food-focused events of the summer!
Local heroes Bluebonnet Barbecue, Kong, Fancy Hanks, Ike’s Rack Shack and Burn City Smokers will all be on hand to serve up delicious barbecue dishes, showcasing the best of Australia’s take on the American delicacy. You’ll find expert smokers from each and every venue on hand to give you tips on how to perfect your favourite meats on the barbie, as well as heaps of samples to tuck into while you learn the ropes.
But this epic summer event isn’t just about sampling smoked treats from the pros. If you really want to get to grips with your barbecue techniques - and we mean more than knowing your brisket from your burgers - the Yak Ales Melbourne Barbecue Festival is hosting some fantastic master-classes where you can learn from world experts, including Jim Johnson, a barbecue master who has won over 76 Grand Championships throughout his 28-year career.
Jim has topped the Memphis in May World Barbecue Championship in EVERY category at the festival, making him the ultimate BBQ king - whether you’re looking for drool-worthy charcoal chicken or a sensational sausage sizzle. As part of the Yak Ales Melbourne Barbecue Festival, you’ll find him teaching a 4-hour Pit Masters Barbecue Class at Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint on Friday 5 February, where he’ll be teaching barbecue fans how to choose the right cuts of meat, equipment and fuel – which is crucial to the taste – as well as how to perfect chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder and beef brisket. Book your tickets now, and by the end of the session, you’ll be ready to smoke up a storm of your own!
But what does it take to make competition-winning barbecue? If you fancy your chances at becoming a world-class barbecue judge, the Kansas City Barbeque Society are running a master-class on Thursday 4 February where you can become an accredited master of the art. You’ll learn how to grade top-notch brisket, chicken and pulled pork - and at the end of the session you will receive your very own Certified Barbeque Judge certificate, allowing you to assess meats at professional-level around the world. That career change you were looking for? It’s right here!
While you’re at the festival, you can kick back in the sun in the Yak Ales Beer Garden, which is located right in front of the main events stage - an all too convenient spot for chilling out while picking up your barbecue tips. The Yak Ales team will be on hand to host tastings, games and giveaways right throughout the day, making for a food festival that's as much about delicious barbecue as it is having a laugh with a crowd of mates.
With heaps of live music, demonstrations and local food pop-ups to boot, the Yak Ales Melbourne Barbecue Festival is a bargain day out with tickets still available at $25 per ticket - and must for any self-respecting meat nerd or food fanatic living in the three thousands. Book your tickets now, and get counting down to this summer’s biggest and best barbecue day out.
Yaks Melbourne Barbecue Festival | 10am – 10pm, Saturday 6th February
Flemington Racecourse, Flemington | Book here
KCBS Certified Barbeque Judging Class | 12.30pm, Thursday 4th February
Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint, Melbourne CBD | $140 per person (plus bf)
Jim Johnson’s Pit Masters BBQ class | 12.30pm, Friday 5th February
Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint, Melbourne CBD | $175 per person (plus bf)
Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by The Yak Ales Melbourne Barbecue Festival and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Yaks Melbourne Barbecue Festival, Dexter Melbourne, Bluebonnet BBQ