The formula behind Saturday’s third annual Pints in the Park event is relatively simple: Texas barbecue, craft beers, live Texas country or Americana music and a scenic setting by the Brazos River.
“We wanted to take the best of all worlds and combine them by the river . . . and we wanted to create a signature event for Brazos Park East,” said Jonathan Cook, city of Waco community promotions specialist.
That formula has drawn between 700 and 800 participants to the park the last two years and, judging from advance ticket sales, likely will do so again this Saturday with a few tweaks.
There’s more barbecue, for one thing, with seven vendors, up from last year’s five. There’s more Waco barbecue, with Guess Family Barbecue, Jasper’s Barbecue and the Honky Tonk Kid BBQ representing ‘cue in the ‘co, with Flores Barbecue from nearby Whitney.
High-profile reviews and coverage in Texas Monthly magazine and its online barbecue blog have brought attention to such Waco places as Tony DiMaria’s, Jasper’s and the Guess Family and Honky Tonk Kid BBQ food trucks. “Honestly, the Waco barbecue scene is heating up,” Cook said.
Rounding out the barbecue lineup is Austin’s Schmidt Family, Del Norte from Godley and BBQ on the Brazos from Cresson.
There’s more than barbecue for the afternoon. Del Norte will bring back its tacos while the Mad Hasher food truck will provide its hashes and sandwiches after 5 p.m., said Cook.
On the beverage side of things, 10 craft breweries, several from across Texas, will bring some 18 ales, lagers, IPAs, ciders and specialty beers.
Providing this year’s live music are Austin Americana singer-songwriter Paul Cauthen (“My Gospel”), picked by Rolling Stone magazine last year as a country artist to know, at 4 p.m. Headliner Texas singer-songwriter icon Ray Wylie Hubbard will follow at 5:30 p.m.
Pints in the Park also will offer games of tetherball, a disc golf challenge, a bean bag toss and ladder golf.
A $20 concert-only ticket allows access to both shows, but with no beer or barbecue samples, although food and drink is available for onsite purchase. A $45 BBQ and Beer ticket includes barbecue samples from 3 to 5 p.m., a tasting cup and beer card for 12 2-ounce samples and the concerts. Additional beer cards can be purchased during the event.
A $70 VIP ticket includes early entry from 2 to 3 p.m., barbecue samples and signature dishes, a beer card and rare beer samples, the concerts, VIP parking and a swag bag.
Some vendors will sell barbecue after the sampling ends at 5 p.m., depending on availability, and beer by the can and non-alcoholic beverages also will be sold.