The first annual Rocky Mountain Burger Battle will serve the best beefy creations in the valley
The inaugural Rocky Mountain Burger Battle, set for Thursday, June 20, will feature the valley’s best burgers. The event is a kickoff event for the Vail Craft Beer Classic this weekend – because after all, the second-best pairing to pizza and beer is burgers and beers.
“We’re hoping that this first year gets a lot of exposure and we can show what the event’s about,” said Ryan Slater. “We’d love to see it grow and have everybody be into it so much that we can make it a standalone weekend event.”
Slater, who coordinated the event with Team Player Productions, has been organizing the Denver Burger Battle for 10 years, and thought it would be a great idea to expand the festival into the Rockies after last year’s Vail Craft Beer Classic. He envisioned it as a sister festival to Denver’s burger battle, and has been planning it since.
He asked around in Vail which restaurants would be the best competitors, and after reaching out to those establishments and gaining traction for the event, he started receiving applications from other places as well. He encouraged contenders to make creations that festival-goers could also order in the restaurant, but the menu will feature new concoctions and current favorites.
Vail Brewing Co. and Bonfire Brewing Co. will be serving a new collab beer – a hazy pale ale – as well as pouring their own suds. VBC is also hosting an after-party, and burger battle wristbands get wearers $1-off beers.
“We’re happy that the first year – trying to convince people is a little tough – but we’re happy with the lineup. We got a good array of what eagle county has to offer,” Slater said.
Slater said a couple hundred people have already purchased tickets to try the valley’s best burgers. Tickets are still available for online purchase, and can also be bought at the door day-of. For entry into the event, which runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m., patrons pay $45 plus fees. There are also several packages available, but those close online on Thursday.
The Double Double package grants admission to the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle and the Denver Burger Battle on Aug. 1 for $125. The VIP Double Deluxe package grants the same as the Double Double, but with VIP entry in Denver. There’s also a Vail Craft Beer Classic package. For $170, the Beer & Burger Weekender Package holders get entry into the burger battle, and two Craft Beer Classic events: Sip at the Summit and VIP Toast of Vail.
Here’s a list of the competitors, and what they’ll be serving, per the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle website:
Backcountry Wings | Minturn
The Backcountry Burger
The Backcountry Burger consists of hand-pressed locally sourced certified Black Angus Colorado beef topped with bacon-onion jam, distinctive Tillamook white cheddar cheese and Back Country’s own sauce. With a finishing touch of sliced pickles and served on a buttery brioche bun, this burger is an experience not to be missed.
White Bison | Vail
White Bison Burger
Hailing from the heart Vail Village, the hearty bison burger from White Bison is topped with delicious caramelized onion, cheddar, and house pickles. All of this comes together with smoked tomato aioli on an English muffin.
Illegal Burger | Multiple locations, flagship in Denver
Off the Record
The Off the Record burger is served with a legitimate all-natural Never Ever Beef patty, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato topped with Daikon sprouts and our creamy delicious avocado jalapeño aioli all served on a butter toasted brioche bun.
Craftsman | Edwards
The Schmidt Mac is made up of grass-fed Colorado beef from Colorado Meat Co., garnished with Nueske’s bacon, American cheese and shrettuce – short for shredded lettuce. It’s topped off with special sauce, thyme onions, and spicy dill pickles, all on a toasted sesame seed bun.
Hotel Talisa restaurant | Vail
Talisa Grass Fed Beef Burger
The Talisa Grass Fed Beef Burger prides itself on being 100% local grass fed beef raised Eagle, Colorado. Topped with shallot marmalade, onions, pickle chips, sharp cheddar, and lemon aioli, this juicy burger is sure to make your mouth water.
Bully Ranch, Sonnenalp Hotel | Vail
South of the Border Burger
The Bully Ranch South of the Border Burger takes beefy goodness to the next level with seven times the beef, smoked gouda cheese and tasty smoked bacon. Topped with traditional lettuce, onions and tomatoes, it gets a modern twist with addedhomemade guacamole, pickled onions and a little kick of pickled jalapeño.
Bol | Vail
Eaton Ranch Bol Burger
The Eaton Ranch Bol Burger is created with an Eaton Ranch – located in Edwards – beef patty and Haystack Mountain – located in Fort Collins – goat Monterey Jack cheese. It’s topped with poached egg, crispy shoestring potatoes, arugula and served on a house-made English muffin. Tender belly bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, L.T.O. and mayo on a brioche bun.