BBQ AND BREW: It's lucky that the tail end of the word "barbecue" rhymes so handily with the word "brew," right? Because that pair up has gone on to jumpstart a thousand cook-offs and tastings and events that riff on the meats and beer theme. 'Cue and brew is as common to food lovers as cheese and wine pairings. That's why we're always intrigued when the tall bottles show up next to the grill and the short bottles make a cameo next to the cheese board; why not have beer with a little Saga blue? And, indeed, why shouldn't wine country throw a smoky, savory, hoedown, and pour what it does best to wash it all down? That is exactly what will be happening on Saturday, July 14 at the Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa. It's the Wine Country Big Q, and all kinds of Kansas City-style sweetness'll be the rule of the day.
BUT DON'T FRET, FOAM LOVERS... There will be beer in addition to local wines to accompany the ribs and such, if you just can't part from barbecue tradition. There will also be a Firehouse Bold Bean Challenge happening during the day, for the legume lovers in the crowd. Whatever your pleasure, take heart that the goods'll be good: The Kansas City Barbecue Society is overseeing the "nationally sanctioned" event. A general admission is $45, and we'd look into this one before making for Santa Rosa.