A Little Bit Country

Ace barbecue might not be the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning Chicago, but the Windy City Smokeout will leave you thinking of the Midwestern metropolis as a meat mecca. Unfolding July 14-16 at Grand Avenue and the Chicago River, the three-day festival is a celebration of 13 BBQ havens from the around the country, including local favorites Lillie’s Q, Bub City, and Smoke BBQ turning out specialties like their Memphis Walking Taco, bbq nachos, and jalapeno-cheddar sausage. Salt Lick BBQ out of Driftwood, Texas, will be serving up its legendary sliced brisket, while South Carolina favorite Rodney Scott puts whole hog in the limelight and Ubons BBQ from Mississippi proves that chicken also shines brightly in smoked form. Expand your barbeque savvy by sitting in on a class from star Georgia pitmaster Myron Mixon, take a seafood break at the bountiful crawfish boil, and cool off with Mai Tais from the Three Dots and a Dash bar or Lickety Split’s chocolate frozen custard. With carnivorous cravings sated, turn your attention to the Smokeout’s rousing lineup of country musical performances. More than 30 artists will take the stage over the weekend, from Brandy Clark and Ryan Hurd to Muscadine Bloodline and the Eli Young Band. Naturally, beer is also a large part of this big ol’ music and meat shindig, with breweries such as Chicago’s own Pipeworks Brewing Co., Moody Tongue, and Burnt City Brewing pouring their sudsy creations alongside Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm Brewery, Against the Grain from Louisville, and big gun Brooklyn Brewery.

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