After two cancelled editions, Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival finally returns to the Wayville Showgrounds this week. And with more than 100 brewers, distillers and winemakers from across the country, there’s a lot to see and do. But not all the flavours are on tap; some of the nation’s finest exponents of barbeque are also getting a chance to flex their muscles. Here are five dishes you shouldn’t miss, along with beer pairings suggested by the festival’s beer consultant (and Adelaide hospo legend) Chris “Fu” Rumere.

The Umami Bomb
A fixture in Melbourne since 2012, it’s hard to believe this is the first trip to South Australia for the Huxtaburger crew, but they’re making up for it in a big way with an over-the-top creation they’ve dubbed “the umami-est umami burger ever”. Think grass-fed beef mixed with truffle oil, XO mushroom sauce and nori roll, topped with grilled onions, double cheese and barbeque sauce for “one hell of a flavour-filled burg”.

Beer pairing: “This Umami burger will be a rich explosion of flavour and the perfect way to complement it is with a clean, crisp lager like Pirate Life's Rice Lager.”

Cheesy Pork Rib
There’s a reason these pork ribs have been chef Seth Park’s signature dish since the early days of BA:M (the restaurant has since closed and Park has opened So Urban BBQ on King William Street). Sides of short ribs are rubbed in traditional Korean chilli and soy paste and slow-cooked for eight hours until they’re almost falling apart, then finished on a charcoal grill and covered in a thick blanket of smoked American cheddar and mozzarella for an epic collision of flavours.

Beer pairing: “This dish has a lot going on and the only thing that will cut through the incredible depth of flavour is a sour – go for Little Bang Brewing Co's Face Inverter Citrus Super Sour, which is one of the sourest going around.”

Hickory-Smoked Jackfruit Tacos
Barbeque doesn’t have to mean meat, as Mark Polst knows well. The man behind Riverland-based El Gringo’s Mexican Food Truck specialises in vegan Mexican options and is bringing his A game with these flavour-packed tacos that look as good as they taste. Whole jackfruit is smoked intensely over hickory for an hour then cooked down with a house chipotle sauce and stuffed into soft corn tortillas alongside pickled red cabbage and jalapenos, crispy fried paprika corn kernels and zesty avo sauce.

Beer pairing: “The fresh flavours of the jackfruit tacos can stand up to a robust beer that’s equally vibrant, like Fox Hat Brewing's Metric IPA, a bitter and piney West Coast-style IPA.”

Charred Venison With Pearl Couscous
Challenging the outdated gender stereotypes that are still all too prevalent in barbeque culture, Big Bad Wolf pairs rockstar Adelaide chefs Alana Brabin and Sarah Turner (ex-Enoteca, Botanic Gardens Restaurant) to hero ingredients from female producers. This dish uses a rich Barossa shiraz and pomegranate molasses marinade to pack even more flavour into Birdwood venison, which is then cooked over seasoned redgum and served with foraged salsa verde, minted labneh, pomegranate pearls and homegrown garden goodies.

Beer pairing: “You need a strong acid line to cut through the rich flavours of the venison, and Dollar Bill’s Learning To Breathe barrel-aged golden sour has the perfect level of tartness.”

Brisket Birria Tacos
Melbourne barbeque institution Fancy Hank’s has been dishing out tender, slow-cooked meats for over a decade now, and because collabs aren’t just for the brewers, they’re teaming up with local experts Sneaky Pickle this year. Together, they’ll give Adelaide a long overdue introduction to birria, swapping out the traditional goat for Sneaky Pickle’s famous 10-hour brisket that’s cooked for a further eight hours in an aromatic Mexican braising stock and served alongside the rich, earthy broth.

Beer pairing: “The smokiness of the brisket calls for nothing other than a good old pale ale and you can’t go wrong with Suburban Brew's No 2 Pale Ale.”

Beer & BBQ Fest takes place at the Adelaide Showground from Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17.

beerbbqfest.com.au