FORT BLISS, Texas – Live music coupled with the aroma of smoked barbecue filled the air at the 2nd Annual Bliss Brews and Cues held at Freedom Crossing here Oct. 11-12.
Approximately 25 professional and 15 amateur teams pitted their BBQ skills against one another to win $11,675 in prize money during the only Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event on a U.S. military installation.
With such a diversity of avid BBQ chefs vying for prizes and bragging rights, a large range of BBQ foods could be seen, smelled, and of course, tasted.
The different categories included beef brisket, pork ribs, pork loin and chicken, as well as side dishes, desserts and margaritas.
“Competition BBQ is a lot different from regular backyard BBQ,” said Madux Hobbs, a member of the Black Betty BBQ team, from Roswell, NM. “Anyone can cook ribs where it falls off the bone, but to get it where when you bite into it and it comes clean from the bone takes a lot of effort.”
The judges of the competition reviewed each entry on several aspects to include taste, texture, overall appearance and even smell.
“I had no idea how much detail they go into at these competitions,” said Robert Flowers, a member of the Black Betty BBQ team, commenting about the rigorous judging.
Although the competition was sanctioned by the KCBS, it was open to anyone who wanted to compete.
“You can go to the store and get a 20-dollar grill and come out here and have a good time,” said Hobbs.
Many of the competitors, including Hobbs, offered samples of their products to the people in attendance.
“We really wanted to give back to the military,” said Hobbs, who traveled more than 200 miles to attend. “We came to the Brews and Cue last year and really enjoyed the base and being around the military members and families.”
With great food, live music and numerous activities for children, the event truly offered something for everyone.
“We wanted to bring the experience of a real BBQ competition to Fort Bliss,” said Adeline Rogers, an event manager with Rave Marketing & Events.
Those who missed the food and fun this time around will have to wait, but can look forward to next year’s Brews and Cues.