Two of Miami's premiere spring events are moving from their original home in Coconut Grove to Wynwood.
Sprung and Grillin N Chillin (formerly Grillin' in the Grove) will take place this weekend at the RC Cola Plant at 550 NW 24th St. Tony Albelo of Swarm says the move to Wynwood just made sense. "Don't get me wrong, the Grove was a phenomenal place for the events, but who can argue that Wynwood isn't the most up-and-coming place for young, vibrant people?"
Albelo says that he had the opportunity to move the back to back beer and barbecue festivals to Wynwood, the only issue was securing the right venue."We didn't want to do it at the usual food truck lot. The RC Cola plant is perfect. It's across the street from Wynwood Brewing, which is a nod to how important craft beer is to Wynwood. There's so much to do with craft beer and craft brewing. It just worked out perfectly."
Sprung, Miami's celebration of lighter beers for spring and summer, takes place Saturday, April 2, and features the usual mix of games and brews, including local favorites such as M.I.A., Spanish Marie, Gravity, and Concrete Beach. Albelo says to look out for IPAs with lover ABVs made for porch-pounding in warm weather. "There are a lot of lighter sessionable IPAs coming out — I'll call them hybrid beers. I've also been seeing fruit-flavored IPAs. Just think about having a grapefruit IPA on a boat in Miami. I think it's going to be very, very exciting."
This Sunday, the RC Cola plant will also host the Grillin N Chillin BBQ Fest, featuring 100 dishes in barbecue styles from around the world. "This is what I'm most excited about," Albelo says. "This year, we will have double the barbecue in different styles. We'll have Korean, Brazilian, Southern. That, to me, is the best part — to have so many varieties."
Pressed for his favorite style of barbecue, Albelo admits he's a fan of a sweet, tomato-based sauce. Asked for his preference of meat, he says, "I'm a huge fan of baby-back ribs. People like Texas beef ribs because they're big and they're meaty, but I just love baby-backs."
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In addition to offering guests the chance to stuff their faces with all manner of meat, Grillin N Chillin will feature music, a pop-up sports bar, and entertainment. The event will also host Burger Beast's backyard burger battle.
Sprung happens at the RC Cola plant Saturday, April 2. General admission ($40) runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and includes unlimited sampling. The Beer Socialite ticket ($70) includes early admission at 3 p.m., unlimited beer sampling, a souvenir pint glass, and a backpack. VIP tickets allow entrance at 2 p.m. and include unlimited sampling, a souvenir pint glass, a T-shirt, and access to the VIP area, with separate entrance and bathrooms. Purchase tickets at igotsprung.com.
Grillin N Chillin takes over the RC Cola plant Sunday, April 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $20 at the door; children under 12 get in free. A family pack is available for $15 and includes two adult tickets. Admission includes live music, the backyard burger battle, and other entertainment. Pay as you go for food and drinks. Purchase tickets at wynwoodbbqfest.com.