July 4th is only one week away which means it’s BBQ time in the Hicken household! Pulled pork, BBQ chicken, brisket and of course ribs – we can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, our BBQ skills are pretty much limited to crockpot recipes so we often turn to local restaurants or markets when we’re jonesing for the best.
The good news is we don’t have to turn too far with many tasty options in the Cleveland area. I’m a personal fan of Bubba’s Q especially because it’s only 5 minutes from my house.
For my fellow summer BBQ lovers, there’s an event coming up that will showcase Cleveland’s sauciest BBQ, as well as plenty of wine and beer to help wash it all down.
On Friday, July 13, Progressive Field will open its doors starting at 6:30pm for Grapes and Ales. Featuring BBQ from restaurants like Hot Sauce Williams, Battery Park Wine Bar, Famous Dave’s, 100th Bomb Group and Progressive Field, as well as more than 200 wine samplings, it’s a great way to unwind after the work week (just don’t wear white if you’re like me because you’ll get bbq sauce on it).
ESPN 850 WKNR is also hosting a Market Pavilion beer garden where tastings from Great Lakes, Goose Island, Magic Hat, Pyramid Breweries, and others are available for 50 cents each. All of this is enjoyed against the backdrop of live music from Colin Dussault’s Side Project featuring Jim Tigue and Eroc Sosinski and Progressive Field’s Indians Hall of Fame exhibits.
However, Grapes and Ales is more than just a tasting event; proceeds from the evening go towards Our Lady of the Wayside. Based right around the corner from me in Avon, Ohio, Our Lady of the Wayside provides homes and services to more than 450 developmentally disabled children and adults throughout Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.
What started over forty years ago when a local family began to foster children with mental retardation and other disabilities has blossomed into the far-reaching organization it is today – offering residential services and wellness programming 24/7 for individuals with a variety of developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, behavioral issues, and significant physical disabilities.
OLW’s programming includes support for families with children who have disabilities; nursing and transportation services; and arts, aquatic and equestrian therapies. Their goal is to provide support so that children and adults can remain in a home environment away from institutional settings, thus building greater self-esteem, promoting a more independent lifestyle, and increasing their quality of life.
OLW has recently also focused their expertise into the field of Autism with two after-school social skills programs for children with moderate-to-mild autism and Aspergers.
Along with Giant Eagle, American Airlines, OLW and Progressive Field, Cleveland’s local radio and tv stations have come together to host Grapes & Ales with appearances from 105.7′s John Lanigan, Q104′s Tim Richards, ESPN 850′s Mark “Munch” Bishop and FOX 8′s Kenny Crumpton. (If my coworkers are any indication, I know there are more than a few people out there who would go just so they can “Kick it” with Kenny!)
General admission from 6:30 to 10pm costs $50 and includes a souvenir wine glass, wine samplings, BBQ, entertainment and a silent auction and raffle. Beer samples cost 50 cents each.
For $125, guests can attend the VIP Majic of Wine Blind Tasting from 6-7pm which features the “Best of Grapes” wine selection, free parking and everything else included in the General Admission ticket. And because every group should have a designated driver, tickets for anyone not drinking cost only $20 and feature BBQ, Aquafina and Pepsi products.
If you’re interested in joining me on July 13, tickets are available two ways: by calling 440-934-6054 or online at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e5u5re6o88cf79cf&llr=kjdaz5eab.
And if you want to say hi, keep an eye out for the couple camped by the BBQ.
Disclosure: Grapes and Ales logo and photos from last year’s benefit were provided by Our Lady of Wayside. In exchange for previewing the event on Clue Into Cleveland, I was invited to attend Grapes and Ales with a guest. However, as with any event I post about, I am sharing this event because I think it is something that would interest people who read my blog.