Enjoy country and classic rock music while chowing down on some of the best smoked ribs and BBQ specialties. Wash it all down with a cold beer and you've got one of the tastiest events at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. This delectable fun is included with your park admission. Visit SeaWorld.com or BuschGardens.com for ticket information. Are you an Annual Passholder? Then you're in luck - you get a good discount on the food & beer.

Weekends from February 1 - March 9, 2014

2014 Band Line-Up  |  SeaWorld  | Busch Gardens  | 2013 Review & Photos2012 Review & Photos

Friday
Feb152013

2013 SeaWorld's Bands, Brew & BBQ Review & Photos

It's time for another round of Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld Orlando. They changed it up this year by including the beer booths in the mix of the food booths, instead of in their own beer garden. In the former beer garden, you'll now find a ton of seating - there will be no complaints this year that they need more seats. In addition to SeaWorld's own BBQ specialties, they have invited a few BBQ restaurants to set up booths including Cecil's Texas Style BBQ, Tony Romas and Sonny's Bar-B-Q. All of this tasty goodness can be found along the waterfront path.

Bar-B-Q Booths
The food booths have a variety of items for you to enjoy, from pulled-pork sandwiches to ribs to sausages. View each booth's menu by clicking on the photo below. 
 
 
 
 

BBQ Food Reviews

2/9/13 - On our first visit to the event, we tried SeaWorld's Rib Platter (pictured below). The ribs were tender, and just enough fall-off-the-bone perfect. The SeaWorld sauce was simple, not very spicy, and suitable for every palette. The Platter included your choice of two sides and a biscuit; we picked the fries and mac & cheese. Both sides were good, hearty additions to the ribs. This platter is more than enough for two people to split, which we did, and we were stuffed. We'd like to see a single rib option for smaller snacking options. There were multiple stations set up with SeaWorld's sauces, napkins, forks, etc. for you to get what you need.

We also enjoyed the Brisket Sandwich from Cecil's booth. The brisket was delicious, not too fatty, and the sauce was spicier and had a richer depth of flavor. They have a sauce station of their choices, so you can choose your level of heat. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of that plate, as one of us began chowing down before the camera was out. Don't worry - we'll probably get it again. 

BBQ Seating Area
They turned the previous year's Beer Garden into a "Seating Garden". In here you will find multiple tables, chairs and a few high-top tables. There's even an area for kids to play, and at unscheduled times throughout the afternoon, the animal handlers appear with some special animals to check out. There is a cart where you can purchase aluminum bottles of Budweiser products (Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime & Michelob Ultra), soda, water and 3 choices of wine. The closest restrooms to the event are located in here as well.
 
 
 

Beer Booths
This year the beer booths are scattered throughout the festival area instead of secluded in their own beer garden. We're split 50/50 on this change. Half of us liked the secluded, adult area of the beer garden, but the other half likes that it's included in the mix of the event and you don't feel left out. Either way, there's still beer! Click here to view the full list of specialty brews. There's too many options to do a review of each beer, but there's enough of a variety that everyone should find a few they enjoy. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Beer Pricing
You can get a Beer Sampler Lanyard for $21 that gives you 10 samples (about 4oz. each) of beer of your choice. If you want a single 12oz. serving of one of the specialty brews, you can get one for $7.43. Aluminum bottles of Budweiser, Bud Light & Bud Light Lime ($6.49-$6.99) are available at the food booths and in the seating area.

Wine
Three varieties of wine are available at a cart in the seating area. Chardonnay,White Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are $6 each. (Nifty little to-go cups, aren't they?)


General Atmosphere
Food, beer, dancing and fun. Be sure to stop by the smaller stage where you'll be encouraged to join in on the line dancing. Even the Groove Chefs don their BBQ attire and get in on the country party. There's merchandise to buy and games to keep the kids busy (or kids at heart, we won't judge). There's a decent amount of seating in the main pathway and off by the waterfront to relax and enjoy the scene. If you're lucky, you'll find Shamu and Dolphin dressed up in their country attire enjoying the festivities - and posing for photos.
 
 
 

Concerts
The concerts begin at 4pm in the Bayside Stadium. People will begin claiming their seats as early as 1 hour before the event - even earlier if the act is more popular. If you don't want to watch in the stadium or get there too late for a seat, you can watch it on multiple TVs spread throughout the pathway and back in the BBQ seating area. Click here to see who's playing this weekend.


Overall
This is a must-do event for anyone. Yup. Anyone. Find us someone who doesn't like BBQ...or beer... or fun times. Tip: The best time for shortest lines at the food booths are during the concert, so if you don't mind missing the show, it's prime time to grab some food. 


We'll be posting more reviews and photos throughout the course of the event, so bookmark this page and come back later.


Don't forget - if you have an Annual Pass you get a 10% discount on food, beer and merchandise purchases at the event. There are VIP tickets available as well, visit SeaWorld.com for more information. 


Disclosure: We were invited to attend opening day as media and received 2 free entree coupons. 

Saturday
Feb182012

SeaWorld Bands, Brew & BBQ 2012 Review & Photos

2012's event brings us new food booths - Bubbalous Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Sonny's and Wesley's along with SeaWorld's own BBQ crew, and a few different brews from last year as well. Be sure to read our review of last year's event for full commentary & more photos. This post will show what's new & changed from last year and our thoughts of the event.

Click here to see BBQ Menus, Beer Menus & more photos!


The restaurant food booths are along the main path, but be sure to check out the smaller cottage-style booths set up in the interior for unique tasty treats like sausage, jerky & chili. The Beer Sampler area is only in the Beer Garden, however you can purchase Bud, Bud Light, Shock Top and wine in the main event area. Budweiser products are not available inside the Beer Garden. Concerts are scheduled to begin at 4pm.
 

 

Monday
Feb142011

SeaWorld Bands, Brew & BBQ 2011 Review

SeaWorld has really stepped up the level of Bands, Brew & BBQ for 2011. There are more food booths, drink booths and overall entertainment than ever before. In addition to their own BBQ specialties, they have invited a few BBQ restaurants to set up booths including Texas Cattle Company, Smoky Bones and 4Rivers. All of this tasty goodness can be found along the waterfront path.

Food
2/19/11 We returned for another round of bbq, beer and Willie. On the food side, we tried the SeaWorld Ribs again and found them fatty and tough . . . again. Zambia Smokehouse over at Busch Gardens has some of the best ribs around; SeaWorld's team could learn a thing or two from the guys under Sheikra. We also had SeaWorld's Pulled-Pork Sandwich which was tender, juicy and delicious - but remember to throw some sauce on or you'll miss out because it's served without. The hands-down best item was the
4Rivers Brisket Sandwich. Whew, this boy's tasty! The little bit of crispy bark on the outside of their sliced brisket and beautiful pink smoke line is exactly what every BBQ enthusiast wants to see. As you're probably already thinking, this stuff's gooood. You'll also want to top it with their signature BBQ sauce, available in regular or hot. While the hot won't make you sweat, it's got a great sweet and smoky flavor and a nice kick from black pepper - we'll be asking if they sell it by the bottle (or 55 gallon barrel) next visit.

2/12/11 We only tried a few items our first visit, including SeaWorld's Ribs, Buffalo Chili and homemade Jerky. The Ribs w
rere OK, but a bit fattier than we prefer. We'll give them another chance. The Buffalo Chili is a unique surprise, nicely flavored and a good amount of food for the price. The big winner of the day by far is the homemade Jerky. You get about 5 pieces in a bag for $4, and we went through 2 bags! It's a great snack to bring back to the Beer Garden. If you love jerky, heck, even if you're not a big fan, you've just gotta give it a try.

Our complaint about the food so far is that they no longer have the 'sampler' option and now if you feel like ribs, you'd better feel like a biscuit, beans and slaw too. They're all fine but we'd much rather just get a few ribs for a few bucks less like in past years. We ended up tossing the unwanted sides - beer money down the drain. By being froced to purchase the platter it discourages the type of grazing from multiple stands we always enjoyed. Food & Wine seems to do it awfully well over at Epcot; I think it'd work here too.


Beer Garden
We ended up spending most of our time in the new Beer Garden (shocking, right?) To take part in the Beer Sampler, you purchase a lanyard for $20 (or $18 with an annual pass) and receive 12 3oz. samples of your choosing. Let me tell you, that is a lot of variety in one afternoon! The Beer Garden is located just off the path of the main event in one of their special event areas. Back in the Beer Garden you'll find several beer booths set up, along with a few high-top tables and a few benches. There are restrooms back here as well. There are plenty of places along the main path to purchase the Beer Sampler lanyard, but only one booth set up back in the garden itself. Obviously, pick one up before you get back there and save yourself 10 minutes of standing in line. The lanyard is not required for entry and beer may be purchased individually as well.

We decided we're not going to do a full beer-by-beer review, there's quite simply too many to keep track of - over 60. What we will say is that there's clearly something to satisfy everyone's beer palate here, we had some that were sweet and light, and some very hoppy and bitter. Dark beer, blueberry beer, ciders, IPAs...you name it, you'll find it! Our stand out favorite is the V-12 by Victory. But don't expect to sample any typical Bud products here. They're for sale out on the main event pathway. If you are a beer person or want to expand your beer horizons, this is a great opportunity to do so.





Throughout the afternoon, the Beer Garden stayed moderately busy, but we never waited behind more than 3 people to get our next sample. However, as the weather warms and draws out the locals, longer lines will be expected. You are more than welcome to bring in your BBQ and eat in the Beer Garden, and children are allowed in as well. Read over the full list of craft brew options here.

If we could change one thing about the Beer Garden it would be having actual beer representatives (or at least people that are knowledgeable of the beer) doing the pouring. We asked a few employees pouring the beer for a recommendation and they would say they didn't know - haven't had the beer. Something to think about for next year, SeaWorld.

Drinks Available
If you aren't a beer fan, don't worry because out on the main BBQ path there are a few booths with hard liquor and wine available.
Cocktails - $6  |  Budweiser, Bud Light - $5.50  |  Bud Light Lime - $6  |  Wine - $6



Concert
2/19/11 The venue for Willie Nelson began filling up very early, so if you want a good seat get over to the stadium at least an hour ahead if not more. They should start at 4:30, but check the times when you arrive. We decided to avoid the big crowds and enjoy Willie Nelson from the back of the stadium. He delivered a great show to a very enthusiastic audience. Hearing "On the Road Again" made us happy campers.

Another performer who was at the smaller stage deserves a big shout out too - Suite Caroline. This 13 year old girl has an amazing voice and performance talent. This young lady could very well be the next Taylor Swift! We're not sure if she'll be returning the next 2 Saturdays, but if she's performing while you're there be sure to stop and watch.

2/12/11 We enjoyed the sounds of Huey Lewis & the News from the BBQ area and the Beer Garden. Next week we'll be getting seats to see Willie Nelson, so more photos to come. Click here for the full line-up.


General Area

Once the concert started at 4:30, the main BBQ pathway and Beer Garden thinned out considerably. We remained out on the pathway and watched one of the big screens showing the band. There are also monitors in the Beer Garden showing the concert as well.




Here are photos of just a few menus. The smaller booths have various items as well, like the chili, jerky, roasted corn and more.


Before the main concert begins you'll find some ho'down fun over at this smaller stage on the pathway. Country line dancing is pretty much a requirement for this event, and you'll find plenty of hot cowboys and cowgirls encouraging onlookers to join them. Want a souvenir to remember this event? They've got T-shirts and pilsner glasses for sale.


Now this is a Beetle that we would drive! Not only is it sportin' the mohawk, but there is a tap coming out of the trunk!


Overall we are pleased to see how much bigger they made this event this year. If you have always thought about coming to one of their events, this is the time. We'll be trying more food & beer over the next few weeks as well, so new updates will be posted.

Wednesday
Feb022011

Bands, Brew & BBQ at Busch Gardens

©Busch GardensSaturdays & Sundays from February 8 - March 9, 2014 

What goes together better than BBQ and beer? Not much, and you can eat and drink to your heart's content during Bands, Brew & BBQ.

Each weekend you'll be treated to some tasty eats from different BBQ restaurants.  

Busch Garden's own Zambia Smokehouse is, quite possibly, our #1 favorite place for ribs, and this festival kicks that experience up a notch or 12. Just watch your rib/beer intake before getting on Sheikra...

Just like at SeaWorld, our favorite part is the beer sampling. The beer lineup will showcase more than 100 imported, domestic and craft beers.

Click here to view the concert schedule. Visit BuschGardens.com for tickets and more information.

2014 BBQ Line-Up
Outback Steakhouse
Smokey Bones
Kojak's House of Ribs
Busch Garden's own BBQ Specialties 
 
2014 Craft Brew Line-Up

Select brews are available at each of the tents along the Bands, Brew & BBQ pathway, as well as in Gwazi Park. Unlimited sampling is available from noon to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday with a beer sampling wristband. 

Wristbands are $30 per person (ages 21+), or 2 for $50 for active Busch Gardens Tampa Pass Members, and also include sampling privileges at the Desert Grill restaurant, Crown Colony pub, Garden Gate Cafe and Zambia Smokehouse.

Magic Hat Brewing Co.
#9 | Pistil | Encore

Victory Brewing Co.
Hop Devil | Red Thunder | Swing | Dirt Wolf

Southern Tier Brewing Co.
2XMAS | Compass | 2XSteam | Krampus

Blue Point Brewing Co.
Toasted Lager | Hoptical Illusion | Mosaic Session IPA | Spring Fling

Kona Brewing Co.
Longboard | Firerock | Big Wave | Koko Brown

Redhook Brewing Co.
Longhammer IPA | Pumpkin Porter | Audible Ale

Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
Hefeweizen | Alchemy Ale | Hopside Down IPL

Omission
Lager | Pale Ale

Goose Island Beer Co.
312 Urban Wheat | Honkers Ale | IPA | Ten Hills

Green Flash Brewing Co.
West Coast IPA | Green Bullet | Saison Diego | Treasure Chest

SweetWater Brewing
420 | IPA | Blue | Whiplash

Capital Brewing
Supper Club | Hop Cream | Wisconsin Amber

Steven’s Point Brewing Co.
Pale Ale | Belgian White | 2012 Black Ale | Ciderboys First Press

Aviator Brewing Co.
HotRod Red | Hog Wild IPA | Devil’s Tramping Ground | Mad Beach

St. Arnold Brewing Co.
Elissa IPA | Fancy Lawnmower | Spring Bock

Florida Ave Brewing Co.
Florida Ave Ale | Florida Ave IPA | Florida Ave Blueberry | Florida Ave Betchy Brown

Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
Old Elephant Foot IPA | Midnight Crossing Black IPA | One Night Stand | Ole’ Hop Hoarder Imperial IPA

Big Storm Brewing Co.
Wavemaker Amber | Palmbender Pale Ale | Arcus IPA | Firestorm Black IPA

Bold City Brewing
Dukes Cold Nose Brown Ale

Pensacola Bay Brewing Co.
Lighthouse Porter | Banyon Brown 

3 Daughters Brewing
Summer Oatmeal Stout | Beach Blonde Ale | Brown Pelican Dunkelweizen

Vermont Cider
Woodchuck Amber | Woodchuck Pumpkin | Woodchuck Pear | Woodchuck Winter | Woodchuck Granny Smith | Woodchuck Private Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged | Magners | Hornsby Amber

InBev
Stella Artois | Stella Cidre | Hoegaarden | Leffe | Becks Sapphire | Becks Oktoberfest | Bass | Boddingtons

Anheuser-Busch
Budweiser | Budweiser Black Crown | Bud Light Platinum | Bud Light Lime A Rita | Bud Light Cran-Brrr-ita

Shock Top
Shock Top Belgian White | Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat | Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat | Shock Top Raspberry Wheat | Shock Top Chocolate Wheat

Michelob Brewing Co.
Rolling Rock | Landshark | Amberbock | Michelob Ultra Pomegranate

Crown Imports
Corona Light | Modelo Especial | Negra Modelo | Pacifico

US Beverage
Estrella Damm | Estrella Damm Daura | Estrella Damm InEdit

North American Beers
Labatt Blue | Labatt Blue Light | Medalla Light | Cayman Jack

European Beers
Tennent’s | Krombacher | Krombacher Dark | Staropramen

Coppertail Brewing Co.
tbd


* Beer selection and availability subject to change. 

Thursday
Jan132011

Bands, Brew & BBQ Concert Line-up

2014 Saturday & Sunday Concerts at SeaWorld
Feb. 1 - Alan Jackson
Feb. 2 - Kid Rock
Feb. 8 - Gretchen Wilson
Feb. 9 - Bill Engvall
Feb. 15 - Sister Hazel
Feb. 16 - Larry the Cable Guy
Feb. 22 - The Commodores
Feb. 23 - Justin Moore
Mar. 1 - Scotty McCreery
Mar.2 - Steve Miller Band
Mar. 8 - Hank Williams, Jr.
Mar. 9 - Alabama

Concerts begins at 4pm at Bayside Stadium.


2014 Sunday Concerts at Busch Gardens
Feb. 8 - Jason Derulo
Feb. 9 - Dickey Betts and Great Southern & The Marshall Tucker Band
Feb. 15 - Earth, Wind & Fire
Feb. 16 - Sugar Ray and Gin Blossoms
Feb. 22 - Justin Moore
Feb. 23 - Bret Michaels
Mar. 1 - Lifehouse
Mar. 2 - ZZ Top
Mar. 8 - Daddy Yankee
Mar. 9 - Steve Miller Band

Concerts begin at 5pm at Gwazi Field, which will open at 3pm for seating. 

**All performers, dates & times subject to change. See your park map for the day's event. 
Wednesday
Jan052011

Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld

©SeaWorld

Saturdays & Sundays from February 1 - March 9, 2014
Event Area Open at 11:30am • Concerts at 4pm
SeaWorld becomes the place to go for ribs, pulled-pork sandwiches and more. The food is smoked on giant grills right out in front, allowing the amazing aroma to waft throughout the park. Be sure to read our review of last year's Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld.

Our favorite part is the Beer Sampler where you get 10 samples out of 30 specialty brews for $24. Full beer list is below. Full sized individual servings are available at each booth as well. 

We consider this a must-do event and we don't even like country music! It's a great place to enjoy a weekend afternoon - good food, beer and fun atmosphere. They have several booths set up along the path from the Waterfront to Bayside Stadium selling food, drinks and merchandise. You'll find a small stage set up as well with local acts entertaining the crowds before the main perfromance (which often consists of hot country line-dance girls...and guys).

Click here to view the musical acts line-up. Visit SeaWorld.com for tickets, VIP ticket options and more information.


2014 BBQ Line-Up
Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ
Cecil's Texas Style Bar-B-Q
Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q
SeaWorld's own BBQ Specialties 
 
2014 Craft Brew Line-Up at SeaWorld

Florida Beer Co.
Florida Lager
Devils Triangle
Swamp Ape

Vermont Cider
Spring
Amber
Granny Smith

Orlando Brewery
Right on Red
I4 IPA
Orange Blossom Pils

Dogfish 
60 Minute IPA
Indian Brown Ale

Fat Tire Brewing
Fat Tire Amber

Green Flash Brewery
Hop Head Red
West Coast IPA
Lefreak

Cigar City Brewery
Jai Alai IPA
Maduro Brown Ale
Hotter Than Helles Lager

Guinness Brewing
Guinness Stout

Goose Island Brewery
IPA
Honkers Ale
Ten HIlls

Boulder Beer Co.
Hazed and Infused Ale
Sweaty Betty Blonde Ale

Rogue Brewery
Rogue Dead Guy Ale 

SweetWater Brewing
420
IPA
Blueberry Wheat

Oskar Blues Brewery
Dales Pale Ale
Mama's Little Yella
Old Chub

* Beer selection and availability subject to change.