The year of 2013 had a lot to live up to after 2012 provided so many memorable moments; Britain bursted with pride over the London Olympics, the world watched in awe as Felix Baumgartner performed a 24 mile free-fall from space, and Youtube phenomenon, Psy started a global Gangnam Style craze. Despite all this, 2013 delivered some fantastic moments once more, and to our delight we witnessed a fantastic revival in Great British grilling! Here are our top 10 BBQ moments of 2013:
Meatopia, the festival of meat, drink, fire and music, was created by acclaimed food writer and journalist Josh Ozersky in the USA nine years ago. Living its first seven years in New York as an invitation-only event, demand grew and it became a ticketed festival for the first time in 2010 with outstanding success. In 2013 Josh decided to expand the event to also launch into Texas and England, and so we saw Meatopia take over Tobacco Dock in London on 7th August. The event was sold out, had a great atmosphere and a fantastic line-up of chefs and entertainment. We’re looking forward to seeing whether the 2014 event becomes a top moment once again!
Budget supermarket Aldi had a great year in 2013 and with the help of a Which Best Supermarket of 2013 title, the quality of their own-branded food was recognised alongside their low pricing strategy, which they have pushed in TV advertising campaigns. But their year was to get even better as they took the title of Best Supermarket Sausage for their own-branded pork sausages, which topped the charts for taste and value for money in a Great British BBQ blind taste test on the BBQ.
In May 2013, two British designers launched a range of BBQs that contained a revolutionary and innovative cooltouch technology, which allows for the outer shell of the BBQ to stay below 37’c whilst the internal temperature can reach over 240’c. This makesit both safe and efficient, retaining internal temperatures. With its stability, attractive design and innovative technology we expect big things from the Halo brand in 2014.
After the coldest spring since 1962 with snow falling throughout March and April, it looked highly unlikely that we would get any sunshine in the summer of 2013. But much to everyone’s delight and surprise, a heat-wave hit British shores in July with temperatures soaring to 33’c, starting a BBQ revival, with supermarkets reporting high sales in BBQ equipment and foods throughout July and August.
With the Great British BBQ launching in the summer of 2013, it soon after began to drive a campaign to encourage Brits to BBQ all year-round by asking people to pledge to host a winter BBQ for the chance to win a selection of prizes. The Winter Pledge campaign had achieved over 2500 supporters by Christmas and will run until 28th February 2013.
In November, the guys who created Heavy Metal Bowling (ten-pin to the soundtracks of Black Sabbath, Metallica etc), teamed up with Bompas & Parr’s metal BBQ to create the most rock and roll BBQ event we’ve ever seen. Drumsticks from legendary drummers such as Lars Ulrich and Tommy Lee were sourced on eBay to break up and use for smoking the meat, and the mixture of hickory, Canadian maple wood and golden oak created an intense flavour - plus of course the fact that you could be consuming the toasted sweat of a metal god!
Another great barbecuing collaboration as a pop-up BBQ restaurant launched in London at Broadgate Ice Rink behind Liverpool Street Station. The memphis-inspired menu really brings some fire to the ice rink and provides a selection of great drinks and dishes for the whole family, which is ideal given their location. With venue hire, takeaway or dining in options available, it was one of our BBQ highlights of 2013, due to close on 27th February 2014.
Leading quality food assurance mark Red Tractor visited British soldiers on a German base in November to throw a special BBQ in celebration of 12 months fuelling troops with Red Tractor bacon and sausages. The supplier, the British Premium Sausage Company, were tasked with producing something to give soldiers a taste of home, and the BBQ was held with great success.
Google gave a nod to winter barbecuing in their Christmas campaign which sees a couple discovering how to barbecue a turkey after their oven blows up on Christmas Day. It was a great moment for British barbecuing as it shows that the mainstream are beginning to accept year-round barbecuing, despite the weather!
As expected, Grillstock 2013 was a BBQ highlight. With exhibitors such as Brew Dog’s, Reds True BBQ and Dr. Sweetsmoke, there was no shortage of delicious slow-smoked food available. All of which could be enjoyed whilst listening to the sounds of live British bands, cheering on competitors in the rib and hot wing eating competitions, shopping for BBQ must-haves, or watching in awe as the King of the Q team competitions took hold. Tickets for 2014 Bristol and Manchester events are available now!