Blues, Brews & BBQ’s, Mt Maunganui 2011

As an annual favourite for any self-respecting Western BOP resident (or ex-pat), Blues, Brews & BBQ’s (BB&B’s) has been around for over 15 years and, in the most simplest of terms, basically involves two rugby fields surrounded by a ring of stalls selling beer and food. Believe it or not, these just so happen to be two of my favourite things in life and, upon finding out that this year’s event was to be held on a Saturday (BB&B’s has historically been on a Thursday), the decision to buy a $25 ticket was a no-brainer.

The basic strategy behind BB&B’s is to get in early, find a nice spot where you can situate your $10 Mitre 10 Mega fold-out camping seat (any more extravagant expenditure on said chair will ultimately prove worthless as the day progresses due to drunken reveling), spread your picnic blanket/towel/large bed sheet out to accommodate your late-arriving friends (as space around you will quickly pack out), mind the “site” while others go and exchange their cash for “beer bucks”, wait some more, realize that those “others” have already acquired their beer bucks and are, in fact, in the process of drinking their second beverage (acquired with aforementioned beer bucks) – and feasting on a large spicy chicken-filled pita, exclaim “bugger it”, leave the minding-the-site responsibility to some BB&B’s first-timer and then follow the lead of the first group… get into it!

Reasons why BB&B’s is good fun:

1. The Brews.

The range of delicious beer at BB&B’s is awesome. Beer and I are as acquainted as Charlie Sheen is with ugly, short-sleeved shirts and the chance to try new, yummy beers is something I very rarely pass up. Years ago, this event was dominated by Lion Red tents, whitebait fritters and the obligatory drunken bogans. In an attempt to raise the profile of BB&B’s the organizers have focused on the more boutique breweries and I reckon this is great. Pick of the day for BB&B’s 2011 was the Mata Brown Boy Amber Ale. A close second would have to have been the Tuatara Ardennes.

2. The BBQ’s.

Everyone loves food. Apart from anorexics (But they don’t usually come to these types of events so that’s a moot point). The “BBQ’s” portion of the day is arguably as good as the “Brews” portion. BBQ Ribs from Lone Star, Paella, Fresh fish burgers, salads (haha… wrong target market for these people), the list goes on. Needless to say, no-one can complain about not being fed well enough. Unless, of course, they’ve gone and spent all their beer bucks on beer… which is quite probable.

3. The Blues.

The “Blues” portion is the MOST under-rated part of the day. Many people don’t quite grasp the intricacies behind a modern blues tune and dismiss the genre totally. Blues is a hugely entertaining form of local music for “Taurangians” and should be more respected… haha, yeah right. The music is not the greatest but it does provide some atmosphere in which to enjoy your many beers and feed your face.  Better than complete silence I reckon.

If there is another BB&B’s next year (there is some controversy around the event following drunken idiots and raucous behaviour), get there.

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