Brew Crew BBQ

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The Wyoming State BBQ Championships were held August 16th – 18th in Worland, WY.  Early this year, Grand Teton Brewing had been asked to sponsor the event.   We said that we’d be happy to sponsor the event if we were allowed to compete in the BBQ competition.  Our proposal was quickly accepted.  With the BBQ trailer in tow and beer samples in the cooler, we were off to Worland.

The event began with a beer tasting and live music on Thursday night.  This was the first year a beer tasting was involved and judging from the crowd response, it won’t be the last.  Cooking began on Friday with 30 BBQ teams from 10 different states.  Our team was labeled Brew Crew BBQ (led by sales director Chuck Nowicki) and was the only amateur team in the competition.  We started cooking at 7:00am Friday morning and continued through the night until the judging Saturday afternoon.  Teams competed in Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken, Ribs and BBQ sauce.  Awards were given in each category, best overall and people’s choice.  Although we scored well in several categories, we didn’t end up on the podium for any individual category.  However, after all the votes were added up for the People’s Choice, it was Brew Crew BBQ by a landslide!

We plan to come back in 2013 to defend our title.  It was a fun event with great camaraderie.  After two days of solid cooking there were a few leftovers.  Upon returning home, the entire brewery crew was treated to an all you can eat BBQ brisket lunch.

Butternut Sweetgrass Soup

I have been making this soup every fall (about four times a season) for the past three years and every time I make it a little different.  In fact I am notorious for not following the recipe. So this time I decided to add a little beer to the pot.  My key ingredients are always curry, chili and sherry vinegar.  Combined with the buttery squash and cream these flavors shine.  So have fun with this one and feel free to stray…

1 large (2 med) butternut squash
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 fresno chili
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1 bottle of Sweetgrass APA
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tblsp butter
sherry vinegar to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash in half and remove seeds with spoon.  Rub BOTH outside and insides with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Set halves face down on baking sheet and bake for 45 min to 1 hour, until pokes soft with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot (or crock pot) combine onions, carrots, garlic and spices (including generous pinches of salt and pepper).  Cover with apple juice, water and beer and slow cook on med/low heat for 2 hours (or until vegetables are tender) and liquid has reduced by1/3.

Add roasted squash without skin.  With hand blender puree with milk, cream and butter.  Add tablespoons of sherry vinegar to taste.  As well as s&p.

Garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup and crushed pecans, or thinly diced chives and olive oil.  Serve with a glass of APA
(at the risk of sounded redundant this month) pair with a glass of Coming Home 2011.  The sweetness of this beer balances the spice of the soup the same way the hoppy APA does.


Julie Levy