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Grillstock sizzled back to the Bristol harbourside this past weekend, delivering meat, music and a deliciously smoky setting filled with grills and thrills. It was an extraordinary trip to the wild wild south west with all the sticky ribs, spicy sausage and hot chicken wings we could manage in two days. Lucky for us, the hip drink brand Jerimiah weed was on hand to cool our palettes with iced ginger and bourbon.
We rolled in on the Sunday to experience the tried and hard classics that make this festival a favourite on the Crumbs calendar: The King of the Grill BBQ competition, the sleek Airsteam food trucks, and of course, the infamous chilli eating contest which this year, was won by a female spice enthusiast. A first for the short but sweet Grillstock history books.
The Newman’s Own BBQ academy was also up and running, with demonstrations from some of the world’s finest BBQ chefs including legendary Dr BBQ and Jackie Weight, the only non American to ever be crowned grand champion at the Jack Daniels world invitational. Tom Herbert, of Hobbs House Bakery, was on stage to show off a spot of homegrown BBQ talent, sharing knowledge of all things meat and bread.
People flock to Grillstock each year for the wide variety of stands and products on offer. With pitches selling hard-to-find condiments like Caribbean coconut chilli sauce, and stands serving freshly cooked Argentinean ribeye steak, the choices in char-grilled and spicy consumption were endless. A stand-out product available this year was the Eco-Grill, a natural disposable BBQ made from a cross section of tree trunk, hollowed out and filled with coal. The grill can easily be set up anywhere your fancy, and gives even heat for over two hours – ideal for those impromptu BBQs.
One of the biggest pulls for this year’s festivities was Charles Bradley, a funk and soul singer best known for his track, “The world is going up in flames” (which we featured on our summer BBQ playlist last month). Known as the screaming eagle of soul, Bradley kindles an emotional delivery some compare to the late Otis Reading. Don’t believe us? Check out one his soulful tunes whilst grilling some meat and sipping on a cold brew and tell us how you feel.
For those of you who missed this year’s Grillstock, you can still get a taste of the festival. The official Grillstock hot sauce – expertly blended and bottled by local chilli farm Upton Cheyney – is now available online on their website (www.uptonchilli.co.uk), and is a deep, rich and smokey concoction with a kick.
We picked up a bottle to remind us of the good times, and to take us back to that warm Sunday full of spice, sun and soul.
By Rich Stapleton
Images by Rich Stapleton
It was an extraordinary trip to the wild wild south west with all the sticky ribs, spicy sausage and hot chicken wings we could manage in two days. Lucky for us, the hip drink brand Jerimiah weed was on hand to cool our palettes with iced ginger and bourbon.
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