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2012 Tour Stop #17 - Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge

September 7, 2012

Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge

Grand Junction, CO

It has been a couple of years since we last visited Grand Junction for the Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge. It felt like old times as we pulled into Lincoln Park. The city guys all remembered us and even brought along the special “electrical pigtail” that they built especially for us last time.

Larry and his staff do a wonderful job transforming the open field into a prime party spot for Grand Junction-ites to come out and party! Bill and Barb of Texas Rib Rangers along with Tom and his crew from Montana Q were on hand to vend to the crowd and cook for the contest.

This year, we were set up in a prime spot, right under the lights which illuminated the huge American flag.  We were greatly impressed with this year’s headliner act, Neal McCoy, who put on a fantastic show for the thousands in attendance.

There were 51 teams competing, including four or five first-timers. Saturday, the event introduced a People’s Choice contest, which the crowd really seemed to enjoy. This took away from our crowds early on Saturday, but when they did show up, they were still hungry.  We passed out tons of Reser’s®, Smithfield® and Castle Wood Reserve® samples. I love talking to folks about the new temperature guideline for pork and they are always happy to hear that it is lower than in the past. Plus, they love the tender juicy sample of 145 degree pork!

As Christine and I visited with teams late on Friday, we got to visit with the team of Hickory Dickory Hog and found out their last name was Shaw, which is Christine's maiden name. We figured they must be related somewhere down the line and we had such a good time visiting.  Plus they had real Pepsi, so there has to be a bloodline there somewhere…

Saturday was just as beautiful as Friday was. After turn-ins happened, people started loading into the park for the evening concert. This year’s headlining act was Neal McCoy, who certainly put on a fantastic show for the thousands in attendance.

At awards, IAB 30 BBQ won the Chicken category while Smokin' Triggers won Pork. Tom with Montana Q had brought me a couple of brisket slices after turn- in and just as I predicted, he did very well and ended up winning the Brisket category. Jo-Bawb's BBQ won Reserve Grand while Team Enoserve won Ribs and Grand Champion.

What a beautiful weekend of great BBQ and friends we had!

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