WACO, Texas It was a day filled with music, barbecue and beer, as hundreds of people attended “Pints in the Park” at Brazos Park East in Waco on a warm Sunday afternoon. The event featured food and beer from local vendors as well as vendors from all across the state.
“It's all about creating a culture in Waco of different things to do,” said Jonathan Cook, Interim Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Waco. “And anytime you have local businesses pop up and young professionals, it's really one of our goals as a city. “
One of those young professionals is Chuck Deason, a pit master at Guess Family Barbecue. He says events like this are evidence that the barbecue and restaurant scene is on the rise in Waco.
“It's fantastic,” said Deason. “When I first started here there was nobody. Now there's three restaurants and food trucks that are on the current mid-term list for Texas Monthly. And that's happened in a matter of two years. So it's been fantastic.”
Barbecue and beer seem to go hand in hand, but while barbecue has seen a quick rise in the city, craft breweries in Waco are trying to continue their steady climb. Events like “Pints in the Park” can make a big difference in these businesses' brand recognition.
“Not everyone has come across us yet,” said Andy Soukup, an owning partner with Bare Arms Brewery in Waco. “So I'd say for us and the other craft breweries in town, we're not trying to fight over the same costumers, we're trying to bring people over that don't know about us.”