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Downtown Spirits beer expert, Jon, pours beer samples at the Growler Station

Ever since the state run liquor store on 7th Ave in downtown Seattle privatized and morphed into the family-owned Downtown Spirits, we’ve been attending their weekly Friday night wine tasting and plethora of other fun wine/food related activities. On Saturday, we stopped in for our final Seattle Beer Week event — Kick the Keg BBQ featuring Campfire BBQ and a growler bar full of local Seattle beer to taste. As an added bonus, Jules Taylor was visiting from New Zealand and pouring her  delicious Jules Taylor Wines.

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Campfire BBQ brisket sliders on pretzel buns

We decided to start with the wine tasting, so as not to influence our palates with smoke and BBQ sauce, but it wasn’t an easy feat ignoring the plates of brisket and pulled pork sliders that were being consumed around us.

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Jules Taylor Wines from Marlborough, New Zealand

Not to be overshadowed though, Jules Taylor was in town from Marlborough, New Zealand, and was pouring several of her wines, including a couple of Sauvignon Blancs, a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is exactly what I love about New Zealand Sauv Blancs. The fresh grass and green pepper notes were prevalent, but mellowed by a hint of tropical fruit and jalapeño. We’ve been wine tasting in New Zealand and a sip of that wine took us right back. The Pinot Gris was bright and fruity, not as dry as we are used to with Washington Pinot Gris. We loved them all.

After the wine tasting, our stomachs were definitely grumbling for some BBQ. Campfire, a popup run by Stefan Giles, can be found at Downtown Spirits on the last Saturday of every month for the Bourbon and BBQ event, and believe me, you don’t want to miss out. We weren’t sure what to expect from a BBQ popup serving from a wine tasting counter, but oh man. The drooling began the second we spotted the sliders they were serving — brisket or pulled pork piled high on a pretzel bun and topped with a heaping handful of cole slaw. Who could resist?

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Campfire BBQ Combo plate with brisket, ribs and pulled pork, plus tasty sides

Best Seattle BBQ? I don’t know – if not the best, it surely beats most of what we’ve tried in Seattle so far. The meat was incredibly moist and flavorful and the sauce was just the right amount of tangy and sweet. As a bonus — their homemade sauce was made especially for Seattle Beer Week using a local favorite, Two Beers Fall Line Imperial Stout. We had the combo plate with pulled pork and ribs slathered with a spicy rub and smoked to perfection. On the side was a warm dill potato salad, cole slaw and bacon cornbread. And perhaps one of the best things on the plate was the whipped Saison (yes, beer!) butter that was light and airy, and a little bit sweet and salty. We’ll definitely be coming back for seconds…and thirds.

They don’t have a brick and mortar location, but they can be found at various locations in the city. Monthly at the Bourbon & BBQ event on Saturdays, Judkins St. Cafe on the first Sunday and BARCA on the third Sunday of every month. They also make it out to local events now and then, so who knows, maybe you’ll stumble upon the best Seattle BBQ like we did and fall in love.

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