Thursday, August 28, 2014
By Carol Walker
The tantalizing aroma of barbecue wafted through Hill City last weekend as competitors in the Wine, Brew and BBQ, a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event, vied for top honors in Hill City that could propel them on to the national competition at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ in Lynchburg, Tenn. or the American Royal competition in Kansas City, Missouri. Lining Elm St. in Hill City from one end to the other were 25 booths with men and women grilling, smoking and barbecuing pork, chicken and beef for the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored event.
“It was an absolutely phenomenal event, partly because the South Dakota Beef Council donated brisket and Reinhardt Food Service donated pork shoulders for the People’s Choice competition. It was an enormous amount of food,” said Bob Stanfiel, one of the organizers for the event.
He said the participation by the public in the tasting event was great, and he did not hear one person say they did not have enough to eat. Members of the public lined up at the information booth to purchase tokens that entitled them to have a taste of each of the meats barbecued by 17 of the 25 contestants in the event. When all was said, done and tasted, the champion in People’s Choice for the second year in a row was JR’s Rhodehouse BBQ from Piedmont.
Justin Rhodes, owner of the Rhodehouse, has been in the BBQ business full-time for about a year and a half. In June a fire in his building in Piedmont slowed him down slightly, but he has been able to operate out of a tent in front of the building until repairs to the building are complete. He was featured in HOGG magazine as having the “Best BBQ in the Hills.”
To determine awards that would enable some competitors to move closer to the national competitions, 24 judges were enlisted to make use of their taste buds at the Hill City Senior Center. At appointed times, portions of chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket and pork ribs were carried to the judges from each of the 25 booths. When the two-day competition was complete and points were tallied, overall winners were recognized as well as teams with the most points in each category.
Overall, first place went to Parrothead Smoker, second place to Lonestar Smoke Rangers and third place was CharQueterie. Parrothead Smoker also won top honors for chicken, and Lone Star Smoke Rangers added a first in beef brisket to their record. Jo-Bawb’s BBQ was champion for ribs and Eggspert was first place for pulled pork.
A few other catchy names in the competition were Rowdy Hog Smokin’ BBQ, Papa Smoke and the Arriba BBQ Team, Sloppy Knuckles BBQ, Smokin’ Hot Butt BBQ and Backyard BBQ. Right from Hill City, Eric Lemke and his team from Three Forks called Smoke It Up took 18th place overall. Dale Schwochow, his brother Ted and his wife Patsy created a team called D and D BBQ and competed for the first time, making a great showing, according to Stanfiel.
In addition to the People’s Choice and the more formal competition, there were barbecued meats and other eats available to purchase as well as wine and beer at the Wine and Brew Village and other places. Music by Jeff Shannon, Michael Shaw, Brent Morris and the Western Acoustics, the Black Hills Woodshredders and Brandon Sprague provided music during the course of the two-day competition.
With another successful year of BBQ behind them, the chamber committee is looking forward to doing it again in 2015 for the third annual Wine, Brew and BBQ.
“As long as I am here, we are going to keep hosting this event,” said Stanfiel.