BEAVER CREEK — Let the smells of sweet and tangy barbecue, the soulful melodies of blues music and unique flavors of craft beers get your summer started at Beaver Creek Resort over Memorial Day weekend with the 11th annual Blues, Brew and BBQ Festival May 24-26. As the unofficial launch of summertime in the mountains, top barbecue chefs from around the state join local chefs in serving up mouth-watering barbecue complemented by thirst-quenching microbrews at one of the largest Colorado microbrewery beer tastings.
Submit your special sauce
New this year, locals have the opportunity to participate in a barbecue sauce competition, where top contestants will win event tickets. To enter, participants must submit their barbecue sauce recipes and a sample of the sauce in a mason jar to the Vail Daily office by noon on Wednesday; one ingredient can be kept secret. Judging will be based on appearance, texture and taste and there will be two categories: spicy and mild. Winners of each category will be contacted and announced in the Vail Daily the weekend before the event. Winners will win two tickets to the microbrew festival on May 24 along with $20 in Blues, Brews & BBQ vouchers to spend throughout the weekend.
Best of the blues
The Blues, Brews & BBQ weekend’s free concert highlights include Grammy Award winner Charlie Musselwhite, New Orleans star Mia Borders and the Chicago blues, swing and boogie specialists Erik Boa & The Constrictors, all performing live on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25. Musselwhite recently performed with Ben Harper at the 2014 Grammy Awards and together they won Best Blues Album. Borders is known for combining energetic blues, funk and rock with emotional lyrics and a deeply soulful voice. Erik Boa & the Constrictors won the 2010 Colorado Blues Society International Blues Competition and are based out of Denver.
On Saturday, May 24, the professional barbecue competition consists of barbecue masters who will artfully smoke, grill and roast succulent meat and vegetable creations and compete for bragging rights with $10,000 in cash prizes on the line. A panel of professional judges will rate pork ribs, chicken and sides based on appearance, taste and tenderness and the winners will be announced on the main stage in Beaver Creek Village later the same day. The public also can join in the judging and text their vote on Saturday and Sunday to determine the people’s choice winner for best barbecue vendor. Winners of the people’s choice competition will be announced on Sunday, May 25 on the main stage in Beaver Creek Village.
Kids can come too
A kids zone will be open from 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25, providing activities and arts and crafts designed for kids 12 and under. At noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Beaver Creek’s culinary demonstration series kick off for the summer season, providing complimentary barbecue demonstrations from guest and local chefs.
Rookie grill contest
Sunday’s Big Green Egg backyard BBQ amateur competition returns for its second year. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 15 teams of one to three amateurs will receive a mystery grilling meat and side dish items to design and prepare in three hours using a Big Green Egg grill. A panel of professional judges will determine the winner. The event takes place at Centennial Park behind the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa. The winning team will receive a Big Green Egg grill valued at $1,049. Registration for the amateur competition is $75 per team and teams can sign up online at www.beavercreek.com/bbb.
The Blues, Brews & BBQ event offers free admission to Beaver Creek Village and food and beverage are available for purchase. Ticketed events include the following:
Enjoy one of the largest exclusively Colorado microbrewery beer tastings in the state from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 24. The Microbrew Festival features more than 80 special concoctions from 30 Colorado-based breweries. Guests can purchase advance tickets online at www.beavercreek.com/bbb for $40 per person or at the door for $50 per person; participants receive a commemorative tasting mug and all beer tastings are included. The event will be held outdoors at Centennial Park behind the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa.
Cut and Slice Golf Event
Back for its third year, the Cut & Slice Golf Event takes place on Monday, May 26 at the Beaver Creek Golf Club from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A shotgun start opens the day and golfers also will enjoy barbecue and craft beers around the course. Multiple competitions will take place along the golf course including longest drive, closest to the pin and a hole-in-one challenge. Rates are $125 per player, and include greens fee, golf cart, practice balls, tee gift and barbecue and beer on the course. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Can Do Multiple Sclerosis’ lifestyle empowerment programs for people living with MS and their support partners. Reservations can be made by calling the Beaver Creek Golf Club at 970-754-6212 or golfers may register online at www.beavercreek.com/bbb.
For more information about Blues, Brews & BBQ and to see additional events at Beaver Creek this summer, visit www.beavercreek.com.