The concept seemed simple enough in a setting perhaps not foreign to a number of men. Two guys sitting in the garage, shooting the breeze and drinking a beer. Simple, right?
The not so simple and somewhat daunting part is how a simple late day beer drinking visit with a buddy a month and a half ago has now transpired into a highly talked about event. This was the beginning of Beards, Brew and BBQ, a first time event to be hosted on Saturday, July 15 from noon to 10 p.m. at Gene Bianchi Community Center.
The master mind/energizer bunny behind the debut event is Zachary Fisher, with much support and drive from wife Rachel. A Riverbank High School alum, Fisher began his own catering business, The Food Dude, in June 2016. Much of his life he’s resided in Oakdale. He was the ‘founder’ of the Bruin Bistro while a student at Riverbank High.
Fisher has now partnered with iHeart Radio, with radio spots blasting on a number of their six Valley owned radio stations.
“Everything that’s happening about this event should have happened a year and a half ago,” Fisher said, recognizing the pace at which it has all unfolded. “But it’s happening the way it’s happening because of the man upstairs. It’s odd to say that, but I truly believe that’s the only way it’s come together like this.”
Saturday, July 15 however, he will not be working the kitchen but rather playing host as he anticipates a crowd of close to 1100 for the all-day event.
“This thing just really took off,” Fisher said of creating the Facebook event page. “We’ve received 111,000 views already. I mean, who doesn’t like barbecue.”
Personal interest, as well as feedback from friends on other area festival events, aided with Fisher’s focus on who to contact.
The event will occupy the parking lot, as well as the indoor area of Gene Bianchi Community Center. Admission is free; however over 30 vendors ranging from food, beer, crafts and the like will entice attendees to not leave home without their wallets.
Events throughout the day will also be featured including: a beer pong tournament from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to close; live comedian; music and a beard contest from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (sign-ups begin at 2 p.m.).
The Food Dude stated that everyone he had contact with showed an interest in being involved.
“I’m most surprised that I can say, I did this and didn’t give up,” he stated. “It is a first time event. It’s a leap of faith for a lot of people.
“There’s so much potential for this that it’s exciting,” Fisher said.
To inquire on vendor space or for more information contact the Fishers at 663-1165 or 568-3505 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Event info can also be found on Facebook at Beards, Brew and BBQ.