Thursday, August 25, 2016
By Kacie Svoboda
Big flavor and big fun are back in Hill City with the fourth annual Wine, Brew & BBQ on Friday, Aug. 26 and Saturday, Aug. 27.
“We’re into our fourth year. We’re a proven, quality event and we have a venue unlike any competition that I’ve been to yet,” said event organizer Bob Stanfiel. “We’ve just got everything you need right here.”
The event will begin with the opening of the Wine & Brew Village and BBQ Alley each day and continue with live music in the afternoon. Both the village and the alley will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
BBQ Alley, located in the parking lot between Rico’s and Twisted Pine Winery, was created for non-profit groups to participate in the event and also to fundraise. The Hill City Masonic Lodge has been part of BBQ Alley since Wine, Brew & BBQ’s inaugural year, with proceeds helping fund the organizations high school scholarships, child identification program and other philanthropic endeavors.
The Wine & Brew Village is in a new location this year, next to the Farmer’s Daughter on Elm Street. Approximately 20 microbrews and 20 wines from across the state will be available. Attendees can purchase four drink tickets for $5 at the information tent in front of the Farmer’s Daughter, which can be cashed in for a glass of beer or wine of their choice or for four tastings.
Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday, a variety of live musical performances will be held on the stage in the parking lot between Twisted Pine and Rico’s. These acts were chosen for their excellence and variety, ranging from a cappella to country to rock ‘n’ roll.
“We want it always to be known as a quality family event,” Stanfield said.
The line-up will start with local talent Don Anderson on Friday, followed by Michael Shaw of Spearfish, the Men’s A Cappella Group featuring former Hill City major Pete Stach, Aces and Eights of the Northern Hills and Crash Wagon of Rapid City. Open Stage favorite and Steve Thorpe Awardee Paul Larson will lead off Saturday, followed by Mark Williams of Newcastle, Wyo. and the Hill City Slickers.
Teams will set up Friday on Elm Street and Stanfiel recommends attendees make time to mingle with these barbecue veterans.
“It’s a great place for the backyard barbecuer to come and visit with these teams,” he said. “They’re not going to give you their greatest secret. But they’re going to help you.”
As of Wednesday, Aug. 17, there were 29 teams registered from “California to Kentucky and everywhere in between,” with only one more open spot. Due to the limited amount of space available, the Wine, Brew & BBQ committee capped the entries at 30 teams this year. Last year, the event saw 26 contestants and Stanfiel attributes the bump to him and Shane Alexander taking their outfit, B – S BBQ Outlaws, on the road, competing approximately 11 times this year alone.
“Us going out and cooking promotes the town. Our trailer’s got Hill City on three sides and that is one of the big factors of why we have so many more teams coming,” Stanfiel said. “We felt that if we wanted to continue to grow this event, we had to go see what the teams were doing. Now we’re hooked on it. It’s our golf.”
Stanfiel and Alexander won’t be competing in the Wine, Brew & BBQ, as it’s against Kansas City Barbecue rules for a contest coordinator to cook competitively in the event. However, B-S BBQ Outlaws will be set up as a vendor in BBQ Alley to raise money for the Hill City Masonic Lodge.
Stanfiel anticipates there will be plenty of good competitors at the event, with “at least five teams that are ranked in the top 15 in the country.”
While not every team is guaranteed to compete in the Wine, Brew & BBQ’s main attraction, the People’s Choice contest, there should be plenty of competition-style barbecue from 1:45-3:15 p.m. on Saturday.
“That’s one thing people want is actual barbecue that the teams are cooking,” Stanfiel said. “People’s Choice goes hot and fast because people are hungry and the teams are ready to wind down and be done for the day.”
Because of it’s popularity, Stanfiel recommends attendees get their $2 tokens early but advises to take it slow.
“Pace yourself, not only on the beverages, but on the food, too, because you’ll be so fat you’ll be taking a nap,” he said.