Dining With Denise Neil

August full of Wichita eating adventures

Several local breweries, including Central Standard Brewing, will be providing beer samples at the Iron ChileHead Festival on Aug. 20.
Several local breweries, including Central Standard Brewing, will be providing beer samples at the Iron ChileHead Festival on Aug. 20. The Wichita Eagle

As fall approaches and the heat (occasionally) subsides, the calendar starts filling up with more food-related events, from beer tastings to wine crawls to wing cook-offs.

Several events are coming up in August. Here’s a quick roundup so you can mark your calendars and dig out your elastic-waist pants.

Drink with the Dinos: This event happens from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday at Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd. Attendees are invited to check out the traveling exhibit “Dinosaurs in Motion” while enjoying adult beverages from Hopping Gnome Brewing Company, Walnut River Brewing Company, Wichita Brewing Company and Nitro Joe’s. Tickets are $15, $12 for members, and include drink samples and one drink tickets. Snacks by Truffles Catering also will be sold for $6, and Xclusive Event Services will have a cash bar on site. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at www.exploration.org or by calling 316-660-0620. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Beer Chatter: You can learn about beer while you drink it at the Wichita Art Museum’s second installment of Beer Chatter, an event it introduced last year. It happens on Aug. 19, starting with beer tasting and food trucks from 6 to 7 p.m. and followed by a presentation featuring local brewers and breweries starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15, free for WAM Contemporaries. Food trucks also will be on site, including The Flying Stove, Funky Monkey Techies and Garden of Eatin’. Tickets are available at www.wichitaartmuseum.org/shop/event_tickets.

Iron ChileHead Festival: The fourth annual installment of this food and beer event happens from noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 20 at the Johnson’s Garden Center at 2707 W. 13th St. The event is designed to tie in with Johnson’s annual Chile Fest, during which the stores sell green chiles that owner Marty Johnson drives to Hatch, N.M., to retrieve each year. The chiles are a popular attraction, and customers can buy them by the bushel, half-bushel or bag and watch them being roasted on site. The event attracts several Wichita food trucks, who compete to make the best dish using Hatch green chiles. (I get to be a judge.) And people who attend also will get to try unlimited samples of beer from a long list of local beer makers, including Central Standard Brewing, Hank Is Wiser Brewing, Hopping Gnome Brewing, River City Brewing, Walnut River Brewing and Wichita Brewing.

Notable at this year’s event: The Wichita debut of the Surly Mermaid Food Truck, which is owned by Amand Hauge, the former chef and owner of Ad Astra in Strong City. Her truck has been open for a while but mostly operates in Emporia and nearby. Other food trucks and restaurants competing and serving: Noble House Hawaiian Plate Lunch, Chino’s Parrilla, B.S .Sandwich Press, Garden of Eatin’, The Anchor, Funky Monkey, Lil’Bit Burger. The event also will feature live music provide by the Bolzen Beer Band, a party punk polka trio from Lincoln, Neb. Tickets for the beer tasting are $15 and are available now at ironchilehead16.brownpapertickets.com.

Wingapalooza: Also on Aug. 20, Intrust Bank Arena will put on a second installment of Wingapalooza, a chicken-wing competition it debuted last year. It’ll be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the floor of the arena, 500 E. Waterman, and attendees will be able to sample all-you-can-eat wings from more than 20 restaurants, including The Hungry Heart, Oasis Lounge, Blarney Stone Pub, Gianni Bacci’s, River City Brewery and more. Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 in advance at selectaseat.com or by calling 316-755-7328.

Grub & Groove Festival: The second installment of the Grub & Groove Festival, which started last year, happens on Aug. 27 at Jabara Airport, 3512 N. Webb Road. Musical headliners will be The Zapp Band, Rose Royce, S.O.S Band, The Gap Experience and Angela Winbush, and several food vendors will be on site as well. Gates will open at 3 p.m., and showtime is at 5 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $75 and are available at eventbrite.com, PlatformPromo.com, at Wings and Things, 2800 E. Central, and at TOPS Steaks and Hoagies, 2241 E. 21st St. North.