The 2nd Annual Rock ‘n Brews & BBQ Festival brought thousands of hungry and thirsty fans to the Boise Spectrum on Saturday, September 16. Forty-six teams competed in the KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) sanctioned event and Idaho State Championship, with the overall winner an auto draw invite to go to the prestigious Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbeque.
When the smoke settled, Got Smoke BBQ from Salt Lake City, Utah won the award, making Will Wilson and his team the Grand Champions. The runner up, winning the Reserve Championship was John Nilges and his Parrothead Smokers. The other major award, the Snake River Farms Brisket Challenge, netted Smoke 324 BBQ a cool $1,000 and a brand new Snake River Smoker.
Category winners included Chicken, which was won by Parrothead Smokers and Ribs, which was won by Got Smoke Bar-B-Que. In the Pork category, Smokey’s Barbeque with team captain James Jones travelled from South Cle Elum, Washington to not only win the Pork category, but win it with a perfect 180 score, the top score in competition barbeque. Smoke 324 won the Brisket category and since they used Snake River Farms Brisket, that made them eligible to win the Snake River Farms Brisket Challenge also.
After the competition, which for many teams began with setup as early as 9am on Friday, a crowd of BBQ fans who had purchased food tickets were allowed to go in, meet the teams and get samples of their delicious BBQ. Some teams, like White Cloud BBQ, Smoke 324 BBQ Team, Swine Stewards BBQ and Gourmet Grills had long lines waitring for their food.
During theRock ‘n Brews & BBQ Festival, Spud’s BBQ and catering out of Nampa had pulled double duty, with team captain Joe Wollman cooking both for the competition and for their catering trailer parked outside in the main area. Delicious BBQ sandwiches including the huge 2-lb. Bronco Nation Sandwich.
It wasn’t all about the BBQ, however. More than seventeen breweries participated in the Beer section of the Festival. Guests could buy passes for unlimited tastings, carrying around their tasting glass to try several beers from each brewery. Meriwether Cider even brought their apple cider to the event. Otherwise, you could sample from Boise Brewing, Edge Brewing Company, Cloud 9 Brewing, Laughing Dog Brewing, Powder Haus Brewing, Sockeye Brewing and many more. This was a very popular way to taste the beers you want and to see what each brewery had to offer.
Several popular local music groups also provided entertainment. Carlos Danger started the day with some great rock music, while later in the day, Plan 504 played a rocking set leading up to the awards ceremony. The Voltz played a rousing set, with their legion of fans wearing plenty of shirts with the band’s name emblazoned on them. Various vendors were in attendance, selling everything from dresses, jewelry, T-shirts to LulaRoe clothing. D & B Supply, one of the sponsors of the Festival, had a large tent filled with the full line of Traeger Smokers and accessories. Reps from Traeger were even there to answer questions.
With perfect weather, the day was great for everyone. The Rock ‘n Brews & BBQ Festival had something for everyone, and above all the aroma of slowly cooked delicious barbeque scented the air, giving the crowd something to look forward to even before they could taste. All in all, it was a great day for Idaho barbeque.
Photo gallery follows on next post HERE. All photos by Ed Simon for The Boise Beat.