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Battle of the BBQs

Posted on: March 9th, 2011 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

In case you haven’t been paying attention, there is a storm a brewin’. A saucy and tasty storm filled with all the beauty and glory that any decent BBQ beholds.

On March 26th there will be 2 opportunities to get your fill of all the meaty goodness. To be fair, both events have some major draws and something for everyone – honestly. It’s going to be a Barnburner of a Battle.

Here are the Fight Card Stats:

Fighting out of Chandler, AZ you have The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival happening from noon-8pm.  Boasting over 30 BBQ restaurants, eating contests, all day Kids Zone, Custom Motorcycle Show, live entertainment from 2pm-8pm and a healthy dose of Arizona crafted beer for the Liver Punch, proceeds to benefit the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation.

And fighting out of Scottsdale, AZ you have the 2nd Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival.  This festival is weighing in with over 40 BBQ teams from around the country for a KCBS sanctioned competition for cash prizes, Whiskey Row tent complete with cocktail creation competition, Cooking Demos, live music and several craft beers.

I went to the event organizers with strict instructions not to hit below the belt to find out why each thinks they are better than the other.

Landon Evans, HDE Agency, Great American BBQ & Beer Festival:

The Great American BBQ & Beer Fest has signed Arizona Top BBQ Restaurant & BBQ Catering Companies – we have over 30 BBQ restaurants and 20 Fair Food vendors to accommodate the BBQ food Frenzy. At the end of the day, all any event goer wants is plenty of good BBQ and thirst quenching beer to wash it down while they are serenaded by amazing entertainment like we have locked in.

The Great American BBQ & Beer Fest highlights many elements- we structure our events to be about community and to maintain happy patrons. We offer many activities to keep the crowd intrigued and flowing. From a free Kids Zone to our Custom Harley Bike Show. We have eating contests for CASH and have live entertainment. Our line-up is solid and has been voted the best festival line-up in 2011 by X103.9 – Real Big Fish and the Expendables (The fans are going crazy and ticket sales are exponentially growing).

Rick Phillips, EaterAZ:

The greatest and most important difference is that we are hosting a National BBQ Competition sanctioned by the KCBS with a $20,000 cash prize. Chandler is a “bbq food festival”. They will have bbq chains serving their chain food to the attendees. Not saying that’s bad, but you can go to Famous Dave’s any day of the week and I can guarantee you that the food won’t come close to the BBQ our championship teams will be serving. The public gets to sample the same food that the KCBS judges do. Truth be told, our event really is completely different from top to bottom except for the theme of BBQ and live music.

When asked of the major highlights of the Arizona Barbecue Festival, Rick Phillips noted the following:

  • Over 40+ Professional BBQ Teams competing for $20,000 cash and bragging rights
  • Whiskey Tent with over 30 different boutique brands of whiskey, bourbons, single malts, etc…
  • Mechanical Bull
  • Kids Zone
  • VIP Tent
  • Main Bar hosted by Revolver Lounge in Scottsdale
  • The Agency Arizona Daisy Duke Beauty Pageant
  • Sub Zero Celebrity Chef Cooking Demo Stage
  • Mark Taylor Communities BBQ Patio Party
  • Craft Beers (Santan, Blue Moon, Fat Tire)
  • Live Music

If forced to declare a winner – I would have to call this fight a Draw! There is something for everyone at each location and definitely enough time in the day to get to both. So get out there, enjoy the weather, a cocktail (not too many, it’s a bit of a drive from Scottsdale to Chandler – be responsible) and have a fun BBQ filled Saturday! We hope to see you all at both festivals!

About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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