Charcoaled smoke was rising from Bristol harbourside on Saturday with the return of Grillstock festival. The annual thanksgiving for all things meaty was packing an even more pungent punch, with a sell-out crowd and stalls churning out barbequed flesh slathered in sauces and chili relishes.
Hillbilly beards and checked shirts were everywhere. Despite it being a locally organised event the crowd was embracing Americana with the kind of carnivorous lust last seen on Man V Food. The hot wing and hot dog eating contests were mostly male affairs, while burly geezers skulked backstage of the barbeque competition stands where the meat definately wasn’t for sale. Upbeat Levi Roots kept it light on stage, managing not to slip on the remnants of cayenne sauce from the hot wing devourers who’d been chowing down in the spotlight moments before.
There were whispers of halloumi cheese being available, and the crayfood stand tried to tempt, but most were here for the turf not the surf. A brick-sized beef burger sweating between a mattress of cheddar and a luscious mop of pulled pork was washed down with two rum chilli cocktails. Whether you’re a hog lover or only occasionally flirt with the fillet, Grillstock will leave you beaming with pleasure and screaming in pain the next morning. It’s eye-wateringly worth it.