Eat Real Festival Taking Over Oakland September 21st-23rd

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John Harley Richter of Harley Richter Meats and some serious pork action. Photo courtesy of Molly DeCoudreaux Photography/Good Eggs via Facebook.

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Flickr photo by Kostas Pagiamtzis.

The ~EAT REAL FESTIVAL~ is coming to Oakland’s Jack London Square, and bringing with it all sorts of wonderful things: artisanal food, local businesses, DIY crafts, food contests, and drinks. Oh, and did I mention entry is free? Yep, pretty freakin’ awesome. The festival kicks off Friday September 21st at 1pm and will last until Sunday September 23rd at 5pm.

There will be more than 50 vendors selling food, and no dish will cost more than $5. Participating vendors include 4505 Meats, Rice Paper Scissors, and Cholita Linda, among many, many others. There will be cocktails by local bartenders at the Jam Bar, where you can learn about mixing for yourself while getting your drink on. There will be beer from more than 15 local breweries including Lagunitas, 21st Amendment, Linden Street, and more. Or, if you prefer, you can sip wine from a variety of yet-to-be-announced California winemakers. For those of you not boozing, you’ll find locally crafted sodas and aguas frescas from the likes of Taylor’s Tonics, Soda Craft SF, and Hella Vegan Eats.

You can also hit up the marketplace for locally made take-home crafts and food products, like charcuterie, jams, pickles, sauerkraut, pies, cakes, bread, chocolates, kitchen supplies, and more. Worried about carting all your finds around and still being able to stuff your face? No problem; there’s a complimentary bag check, so you can shop with no fear of schlepping or dropping your precious goodies.

Want to get hands-on? Check out the DIY foods, where you can learn about bread baking, preserving, churning butter, and more. The schedule of workshops hasn’t been announced yet, so check the festival’s schedule for emerging details. You can also visit with local backyard farmers, like goat farmers and beekeepers, and find out what it takes to do cool stuff like raise your own chickens. There will also be state fair-style contests in categories like jam, pickles, and beer brewing. It’s too late to enter, but you can check out the winners at the festival.

And that’s not all! Meatopia, New York’s merry band of meat gurus, will be in town sharing all sorts of meaty events with their West Coast brethren. Check out their demonstrations and events on each day of the festival; the schedule can be found here. You can let out your inner butcher at the Butchery & BBQ contests and demonstrations, where local butchers will compete in a variety of events, like pig and steer butchering, as well as a barbecue face-off with both professional and amateur pitmasters working the fire. Meatopia will also be hosting an opening night party, which is a ticketed event. Tickets are $50, and include two drinks and unlimited meat samples from the Meatopia chefs.

The festival begins Friday September 21st and goes from 1pm-9pm. It goes all day Saturday, from 10:30am-9pm, and then Sunday, from 10:30am-5pm. Lots more details can be found at Eat Real’s website. It’s all happening at Jack London Square, at 65 Webster St. at 1st St., Oakland.

Event Info

Friday Sep 21, 2012 – Sunday Sep 23, 2012
Fri 1pm–9pm, Sat 10:30am–9pm, Sun 10:30am–5pm
Free admission; Meatopia opening party is $50
Info and schedule
Jack London Square
65 Webster St. at 1st, Oakland