AP News: California’s top-ranked barbecue shows off Santa Maria Style during National Barbecue Month

The Associated Press featured Santa Maria Valley and our award-winning, mouthwatering Santa Maria Style Barbecue in a story about California’s top-ranked, signature style for National Barbecue Month. Check out the excerpt below:


While the grills are always fired up in Santa Maria Valley, home to Santa Maria-Style barbecue, this May marks the return of the Santa Maria Barbecue Festival, now in its fourth year. Formerly known as Brews & Cues, this cornerstone event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14, right in the midst of National Barbecue Month.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the event will once again showcase the flavorful and distinctive Santa Maria-Style barbecue. Attendees will sample the barbecue fare and vote for their favorite “cuers,” while enjoying live music, games and a variety of beers from local brewery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. The festival will take place at Pioneer Park in Santa Maria and tickets are available, yet sell out quickly.

“The best barbecue in the world”

Santa Maria-Style barbecue started in the mid-19th century when the rancheros gathered to help each other brand their calves each spring. As a thank-you to fellow vaqueros – America’s first cowboys – the host would prepare a Spanish-style barbecue, consisting of beef barbecued over a red-oak fire, served with Pinquito beans, bread, salsa and homemade desserts.

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