Cedar Point Brew and BBQ: Coaster Thrills and Foodie Delights

Cedar Point Brew and BBQ Festival

Five words: my family loves amusement parks. They’re a way to pull ourselves out of our normal routine and forget the daily grind exists for a few hours. There’s a huge bonus when a theme park has fun foodie offerings apart from chicken nuggets and fries. If there’s beer (and good, craft beer!)? Even better. So when you add all three of those together, what do you get? You get Cedar Point Brew and BBQ, of course! We headed up to Sandusky, Ohio for the third annual festival’s 2017 kickoff weekend and fueled our foodie fires along with our need for theme park thrills. Here’s the scoop.

Carnitas Nachos with Cheddar Sauce and Pickled Jalapenos at 2017 Cedar Point Brew and BBQ.
Carnitas Nachos with Cheddar Sauce and Pickled Jalapenos at 2017 Cedar Point Brew and BBQ. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Brew and BBQ is now in its third year at Cedar Point and it seems that every year it gets better. The event is a hard ticket one, meaning you’ll need to purchase special tickets for it in addition to regular theme park admission. If you purchase your tix online there’s a bit of a discount and ap holders get one as well. With paid admission, each event ticket holder will get 15 tickets to try a bit of everything. Each ticket is good for one 4 oz. sample of beer, food, or dessert. Want a full serving? You’ll need three tickets for each. There’s also 12 oz. fountain drinks available for one ticket each.

The BBQ

Yes, visiting Brew and BBQ at Cedar Point let us fill us stomachs with five different styles of BBQ from regions around the U.S. and. as a gal that knows her BBQ, I was seriously impressed. My only difficulty was narrowing down which was my favorite. For the 2017 Brew and BBQ event, here are the foodie offerings. A portion of Frontier Town is dedicated to the BBQ fun and stations with BBQ samples and over 100 craft brews are set up throughout the area. Sound like fun? We think so!

Carolina BBQ

Pulled Pork or Chicken Sliders with a choice of three Carolina-style sauces: Vinegar, Mustard, or Smokey BBQ.

I love vinegar based BBQ sauce so a chicken slider topped with cole slaw and a generous amount of Vinegar Sauce was the magical trio for me.

Texas BBQ

Smoked Sliced Brisket on Texas Toast and BBQ Carnita Nachos.

We tried both and they each was really good. With the Carnitas Nachos, there were options of Cheddar Sauce and Pickled Jalapenos. I know that brisket can get tough in a flash, but it was seriously good. Mr. Locke, a giant brisket fan, was really impressed with it as well.

Memphis BBQ

Pork Shoulder Sandwich with Smokey BBQ sauce and  Smoked Sausage.

I tried the Pork Shoulder Sandwich (so good!) and Mr. Locke enjoyed the generous sample of Smoked Sausage. The mini sandwich was so flavorful and, again, was cooked to perfection.

Kansas City BBQ

Smokehouse Ribs with BBQ Sauce or a Dry Rub. This was the station to try dessert as well: Pecan Tartlets and Banana Cream Pie is available.

This is the only station that we didn’t try the BBQ at, but the Pecan Tartlet and Banana Cream Pie was so good!

Nashville Blue Plate BBQ

This was the only fully indoor station but it needed the extra dining area compliments of all of its offerings. This is the spot where you can get a little bit of everything including Sliced Brisket, Chopped Pork, and Smoked Sausage. Side dish samples are also here and include Mac ‘n Cheese, Potato Wedges, and Cole Slaw.

The Brew

Listing the amount of craft beers available would take forever compliments of the 100+ offerings from both local and not-so-local breweries. If you are looking for local, you’ll have no problem finding them at Brew and BBQ. And if you want hyper-local, specialty brews made just for Cedar Point are available. Mr. Locke took one for the team regarding this part of the event (one of us is always designated driver) and sampled quite a few.

Special Events

Food Network star Damaris Phillips judging the BBQ Sauce competition at the Third Annual Cedar Point Brew and BBQ.
Food Network star Damaris Phillips judging the BBQ Sauce competition at the Third Annual Cedar Point Brew and BBQ. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

To kick off the Brew and BBQ Festival, we were lucky enough to watch Food Network Chef Damaris Phillips give us her super easy recipes for her favorite BBQ dishes. My favorite was a fun spin on traditional potato salad by adding in a mustard-based BBQ sauce for a fun kick. Damaris has a list of accolades as long as your arm  including winning the ninth season of “Food Network Star”. And, if you think she’s adorable on the tele, she’s a doll in person.

A BBQ sauce contest was also running and it was a hoot to see what the five selected folks added to their special recipes. I watched grape jelly, honey mustard, honey, and of course, ketchup go into the pots. The winner’s prize was a good one too: a platinum pass for all 13 Cedar Fair properties.

In a Nutshell

The Brew and BBQ Festival at Cedar Point is well worth the additional cost, in my humble opinion. If you pay the regular cost of $30 per ticket for the event, you’re averaging about $2 per ticket. Take into consideration that both the BBQ and brew samples are generous, I’d say it’s a no-brainer if you like both. The festival runs from May 19 – June 11, 2017,  and includes Memorial Day (May 29). It opens at 2pm on each festival day and runs through park closing.

Disclosure: As an official Cedar Point Blogger, I receive complimentary tickets to the park and its events throughout the year to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the park worthy of a visit. I’m never asked to give a particular opinion, either. I’ve got enough of my own to go around. 

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