All summer long, I have been trying out some pork spare rib recipes and I finally think I have one that I like. I figured the best way to get real criticism on my BBQ skills would be to enter a competition. So I did. I entered the 2011 Smoke ‘Em If Yous Got ‘Em Beer Fest and BBQ competition at Yards Brewing Company.
The day started of pretty bad. As I pull up to the location, Mother Nature decided it was time to take a shower. The weather was tough, but I unloaded and set up my 2 tents. I got my pit stated at about 10:30 am. With all the rain and wind, it took a little while to get my pit up to temperature. And this was a battle I had all day. I learned a lot about my new offset smoker at the competition. I now understand the relationship between a man and his pit. You just don’t get that relationship with a digital electric smoker.
After about an hour, the rains stopped and cooking when on full swing. During the time leading up to the servings, I got to hang out and chill with some amazing BBQers. To the left of me were the Master Basters, who won the competition. Caveman BBQ and Crotchwood were on the right of us. All in all, I think there were about 15 BBQers of all types.
The doors opened at about 4:30pm and the crowds started to form. Since there was a constant threat of rain, I think the initial thought of 300 people crowd was not reached. It was closer to about 150 people. This was the perfect number. We had enough food to feed everyone. The 5 gallon keg of homebrewed Smoked Maple Porter I bought lasted right up until the end. It was a fast and furious pace from 4:30 until about 7:00pm.
In the end my team didn’t place, but we did learn a lot about what was expected at a BBQ Competition. I am happy that there were no major issues and we were extremely well prepared. I wish I had more time to go into the Beer Fest part of the event, but I wasn’t there to drink, I was there to Smoke ‘Em.
Here are some photos of the event.
Smoke ‘Em If Yous Got ‘Em – 2011