Thursday, August 27, 2015
By Carol Walker
Reflecting on the turnout for the third annual Wine, Brew & BBQ last weekend, Bob Stanfiel was smiling from ear to ear and summed up the weekend in two words, “absolutely phenomenal.”
He and his sidekick, Shane Alexander, and a group of dedicated volunteers brought world-class barbeque to Hill City for this Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event.
The Kansas City BBQ-sanctioned event brought in 26 competitors from not only South Dakota, but from seven other states including California, Montana, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming and North Dakota.
The smell of barbeque wafted through the streets, drawing in a crowd eager to taste the unique recipes concocted by the contest participants. When the meat was gone and the votes were in at the end of Saturday afternoon, Big Daddy Q got the most votes, garnering the People’s Choice award.
The official judges had their work cut out for them, taste testing chicken, beef and pork from all the contestants. The overall top BBQ winner was Parrothead Smoker. Completing the top 10 list, in order, were Spitfire, Bad Draft BBQ, Rooftop BBQ, Joe Bawbs BBQ, Charqueterie, Smokin’ Hot BBQ, Sin Circle BBQ, Big Daddy Q and finally Scrumdown Smokers.
When it came to the four categories of meat, Rooftop was deemed the winner for their chicken barbeque and Backdraft came in number one for their pork ribs. Spitfire took top honors with pork shoulder and Scrumdown for their beef brisket.
On Saturday afternoon when the tasting was going on, a parking place was not to be found on Main Street in Hill City. Vehicles were parked on both sides of Railroad and Pine Avenue and cars were lining the shoulder of the road heading up Museum Drive from the Slate Creek Grille.
Stanfiel said the ads were huge in drawing in the people, but he said, “Hill City sells itself” when it comes to both the tasters and the BBQ creators.
“It’s a unique venue, the town, the friendly people, the accommodations,” he said. “It is the total package for people. Many of the Kansas City BBQ events are in parking lots.” There were many repeat teams from the previous two years. Had all the contestants returned this year, Stanfiel said there would have been 35-40 teams.
Mixing with the BBQ was the sound of music broadcasting from the big tent between Rico’s and Twisted Pine Dakota’s Best, as well as in the Wine and Brew Village across the street. There was generally a festive air on Saturday afternoon as people sampled the barbeque. but according to Stanfiel, the streets were busy on Friday as well, as people bought food and drink from local vendors.
Jerry Cole, chamber executive director, predicted that the crowds would come and that “people would be amazed at what Hill City has done with this event.”