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Oyster Cook-Off Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend @ The Hangout
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12th Annual Oyster Cook-Off Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend @ The Hangout

Celebrating the Best of the Gulf Coast Foodie Festivals

There is always something to celebrate along the Gulf Coast. Our sun-drenched shores are home to some of the most well-known festivals, often attracting out-of-towners from near and far. Between our sandy white beaches, fresh seafood, and carpe diem ways, Gulf Coast festivals are unique in their own right. We do them big – we do them right.

When the creative minds of those at The Hangout come together to plan and prepare for the 12th Annual Oyster Cook-Off Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend, we end up with more events packed inside of one epic weekend than many regions host in a year! “This year, The Hangout is doubling the number of celebrity chefs, including several recognizable food network stars and James Beard award winners. One of which is world-renowned BBQ Pitmaster Chris Lilly,” says Derek Rowan, marketing director for The Hangout.

Friday, November 1st: Kick-Off Party

The celebration kicks off on Friday, November 1st, with craft beer tastings, Brew B’que, and live music. Ticket holders will get a chance to taste craft beers and rare spirits, with more information on the line-up to come. “On September 18th, The Hangout will announce additions to the Friday Kick-Off Party along with an exciting music talent lineup,” says Rowan. The show will kick off with Crawford & Power, followed by Boy Named Banjo, who will play an energetic blend of rock, country and folk pop that will be sure to keep listeners smiling, clapping and dancing along.

American country music singer and songwriter, Caroline Jones will take the stage on Saturday during the festival followed by Boy Named Banjo. Jones is best known for her recent hit single, Gulf Coast Girl, and has collaborated with artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and Lukas Nelson. The show is free to all festival attendees and will take place on The Hangout main stage in the courtyard.

Saturday, November 2nd: Oyster Cook-Off

Of course, there will be thousands of delicious oysters to sample, and now there is something for food lovers and oyster lovers alike! Throughout the event, guests will enjoy live music, oyster tasting, barbecue, desserts, adult beverages of many kinds, an oyster shucking competition, cooking demonstrations, and more!

The Oyster Cook-Off is all about competition. Professional teams from area restaurants will serve oysters prepared in three different categories: Raw, Rockefeller, and Gulf Coast Cajun. Taste testers (Cook-Off Tasting Tickets required) are invited to sample the shucked samplings and cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award. Professional judges will vote for The Critic Award and the Overall Oyster Cook-Off Champion Award.

The entertainment continues with the annual Shucking Competition, open to chefs, shuckers, and amateurs alike. This is an incredibly fast-paced competition where judging takes longer than the shucking. The fun and excitement continue on the Celebrity Chef Cooking Stage presented by Big Green Egg. Watch celebrity chefs interact with each other and the audience while demonstrating their favorite oyster recipes.

Be sure to stick around for the hands-on cooking demonstrations presented on the Publix Hands-on Demo Stage. James Beard Award-Winning chefs provide the instruction; The Hangout provides the recipes and ingredients. Learn how to prepare what is sure to be a few new favorite dishes. The learning continues at the North American Raw Oyster Showcase, a raw bar, where visitors learn about and taste the best farmed oysters from across the continent.

The Cook-Off is not only about oysters “The Oyster Cook-Off is expanding into a Gulf Coast Foodie Festival! For the first time in 12 years, the Oyster Cook-Off is adding specialty dishes, featuring different types of delicious cuisine from each restaurant,” Rowan continues. Participating restaurants will prepare Best of the South Tastings that include barbecue, vegetarian dishes, and decadent desserts. Celebrate the art of tailgating and sample a variety of great eats during the Tailgating Experience. Fifteen nationwide “Eggheads” will prepare samplings of their favorite eats cooked on “Big Green Eggs.”

These are not your ordinary festival-type adult beverages. Sample Craft Beers from one of the largest selections of southern-brewed specialty beers. Fill your glass in the Champagne Lounge, or head over to the Bloody Mary Invitational where The Hangout’s Bloody Mary’s are a Cook-Off tradition. Mixologists from across the region compete with innovative hand-crafted concoctions to win the title for the most beloved brunch cocktail in the country. The fun continues with Cocktail Demos provided by professional bottle spinners and award-winning mixologists. Watch as they share a crash-course in mixing some of your favorite, or soon to be favorite, cocktails.

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Ticket packages include:

Weekend VIP Ticket: $150 (early bird price)

Single Day Ticket / Nov 1 – Craft Beer Tasting: $40 (early bird price)

Single Day Ticket / Nov 2 – General Admission / Oyster Cook-Off: $10 per person, free for children under 12.

Oyster Cook-Off Tasting Tickets: $30 for 15 tickets (pre-sale price)

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