Enjoy BBQ & Brew for a good cause this Saturday in Des Moines

June 20, 2024

The 2nd annual BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark takes place this Saturday, June 22 at Principal Park in Des Moines. Attendees can consume numerous offerings of delicious Iowa pork, sample Iowa craft beers and ciders, learn barbecue tips from a grill master, vote for their favorites in the Backyard BBQ Contest, meet local celebrities, and enjoy live music performances.

Your purchase of a ticket gets you all of that, and you’ll also be helping fight food insecurity in our state. Proceeds from BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark will benefit Iowa food banks, who are struggling to keep up with demand from families in need.

“In the state of Iowa, we have an increase in food insecurity,” said Linda Gorkow, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association. “Pork is a very valuable protein and every ounce makes a difference. 10 percent of Iowans are food insecure. The Iowa Food Bank Association works with 1,200 pantries across the state of Iowa and six food banks. We all work to help serve, and we couldn’t do it without friends like the Iowa Pork Producers and every individual that donates.”

Advance tickets cost just $20 at IowaPork.org.

The second Annual BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark begins at 2pm Saturday. It is guaranteed to be an afternoon of fun for the whole family. Brought to you by the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa Cubs, there is something for everyone at this event.

30 backyard barbecuers will be competing for more than $10,000 in cash prizes. For attendees, you get to sample the competitors’ delicious pork, plus Smokey D’s BBQ & Berkwood Farms will provide grilled pork loin sandwiches, and you receive 15 samples of beer from Iowa’s top craft breweries. Netflix Barbecue Showdown Champion Thryon Mathews, an Iowa resident, will be offering grilling tips in his Barbeque Boot Camp.

WHO-TV Chief Meteorologist Ed Wilson will serve as emcee of the event, and a panel of celebrity judges will pick their favorite pork offering from the 30 competitors. Celebrity judges include:

  • Keith Murphy, WHO-TV
  • Tawinee Bunnell, Star 102.5
  • Lou Sipolt, We Are Iowa
  • Bob Quinn, WHO Radio
  • Jeff Angelo, WHO Radio
  • Jeriney Fulcher, 93.3 KIOA
  • Dustin Lechtenberg, Fareway Stores
  • Nicole Tam, KCCI-TV
  • Jackie Schmillen, Iowa National Guard

The Iowa breweries and cideries participating in the event include:

  • Adventurous Brewing
  • Single Speed Brewing
  • Gezelling Brewing Company
  • Confluence Brewing Company
  • Exile Brewing Company
  • Fire Ciders
  • Jefferson County Ciderworks
  • Central Iowa Home Brew
  • Big Grove Brewery

Iowa musicians Jordan Beem, Neva Alden and the Midlanders will be performing throughout the event. Raffle prizes, including a Traeger grill, a Blackstone grill, Iowa Cubs package, and more will be available.

Attendees who prefer not to partake in the “brew” portion of BBQ & Brew can get in for just $15. Kids 5 and under get in free.

One of the pillars of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s We Care principles is caring for the community. Events like BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark are a fun way to celebrate pork, while also showing that pork producers care.

“Food insecurity is a major issue in Iowa and this event is one way we can give back to the community,” said Iowa Pork Producers Association President Matt Gent, a pig farmer from Wellman, IA. “Pork producers care about Iowa.”

Fareway Stores is also serving as a sponsor of BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark and will provide resources and support for the donations to local food pantries.

Visit IowaPork.org to purchase your ticket today. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door.