Food Event: Pork & Brew

Pork & Brew Is As Patriotic As It Gets

Dan Pennington
4 min read
Pork of July
This meat could be yours. Give in to meaty temptations. (Rio Rancho Convention and Visitors Bureau)
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Pork & Brew. Never has an event been so succinctly titled. Barbeque. Beers. Not sold yet? Then this event might not be for you. But just in case you need a little more arm-twisting, let me do a little selling for you.

For 16 years, the Pork & Brew festival has brought the love of drinking beers and eating roasted meats together, as God intended, under one roof for a three-day celebration of things that make life worth living. Happening the weekend of July 5 through 7, this is an event where you can let loose and enjoy the magic. For a $6 adult ticket, you are granted access to the magical wonders of the Santa Ana Star Center (3001 Civic Center Cir. NE) where a world of pure imagination will overtake you with the sights, smells and sounds of pork sizzling and brews pouring. The times of availability are Friday, July 5 from 2pm to 8pm, Saturday, July 6 from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday, July 7 from 11am to 5pm, so whichever day is best for you, you’ve got six hours to stuff yourself with abandon.

This year, over 20 different microbrews will be on tap from all your local favorites, like Tractor Brewing Company, Cazuela’s Brewery, Turtle Mountain Brewing Company and others. Bring cards or cash, and you can find yourself enjoying a cold beer on a warm day from indoor or outdoor seating, depending if you want a tan. Additionally, you can take part in the enjoyment of live music, featuring local bands, changing throughout the day. On top of all that, iHeartRadio is sponsoring a Battle of the Bands, so there’s some competition to go with your indulgences throughout the day.

For food, expect all the best styles of barbeque in the city to be on display. From food trucks to local restaurants, the meat masters of this state will be on duty, making sure that if you have a hunger, they’re ready to satiate it.

Trying to find something for the kids to do while you get down on said pork and brews? Not to worry, kids will struggle to keep up with all the activities available during the festival. Starting with bouncy castles, nothing seems like a better way to burn off excess pork in your system than by jumping to your hearts content in what are essentially castle-style moshpits for kids. Question: Can we get one for drunk adults with Sock Em Boppers? It seems like a great way to pass the afternoon.

Additionally, kids can take part in eating contests, which if you have a kid, you know they have a limitless appetite when it comes to eating. If your child is truly the unstoppable pit of hunger you lament about to your friends, put them to the test with a watermelon-eating contest, or if you are that pit of hunger, a pie-eating contest for adults. There’s no word on the pie yet, but if it’s a meat pie, you’re just getting more value out of your ticket.

It wouldn’t be a New Mexico event without a ton of arts and crafts vendors, so expect to see the local favorites on display, along with plenty of other local snack companies hitting the streets to get you hooked on their line of tasty.

So now you’re locked in. This is the big moment. You have a big three-day weekend coming up (or you don’t, and you should complain to your HR department). Are you going to spend it, wasting your time indoors watching YouTube and drinking Bud Light while the world passes you by? Or are you going to step up to the plate and go out into the city to show the world your love for our local craft beer scene, our extraordinary food culture, and gosh darn it, living your best American life on this, the weekend celebrating our independence from the British empire? Truly, nothing screams Fourth of July quite like drinking a ton of beer and eating barbeque in the company of others, but hey, it’s not up to me to tell you how to live your life. I can only offer to guide you to what’s going on and how to get involved. Speaking of, more on tickets and events can be found at So go out there and wave your American flag high and proud. This is your weekend to celebrate and shine (glisten?) as a true pork and brew patriot.
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