This weekend, June 26 and 27, 2015, the inaugural Leadville BBQ and Brew Festival will attract some of the country’s best pit masters to historic Harrison Avenue. The two-day event will feature barbeque competitions, live music, local and regional microbrews, a Kids Q cook-off and a family fun zone.
Hosted by the Leadville-Lake County Chamber of Commerce, the Leadville BBQ and Brew Festival is a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event and a cup event for the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association. It’s the culmination of a rising-elevation Colorado BBQ competition that starts in Frisco and ends in Leadville.
Pit masters will vie for a $10,000 prize purse and, for those who also competed in last weekend’s Frisco BBQ competition, the rights to the Top of the Mountain award. According to organizers, up to 36 teams will compete in four categories — chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket. There are additional competitions for side dishes and desserts, a Kids’ Q cook-off and a Peoples’ Choice Award for competitors who are selling BBQ to the public.
In addition to barbecue, the event celebrates beer with Colorado microbrews from the Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista, Echo Brewing Company in Erie, Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield and Westminster Brewing in Westminster. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Leinenkugel’s will also have beer on tap.
And what’s BBQ and brews without some good live music. The two day festival has a musical line-up including Howlin’ Steve Howell and local favorites Leadville Cherokee. In addition, there will be a shine-and-show area for motorcycles at the north end of Harrison Avenue.
The Kids’ Q begins at 4 p.m. Friday. Children ages 5 to 15, accompanied by an adult, can compete by cooking a meat of their choosing on a small weber grill to be judged and scored for a chance at a trophy and cash.
Festivities continue at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 27, and culminate at 4 p.m. with the awards ceremony. Note that Harrison Avenue will be closed to thru traffic during the two-day event. The festival is also a dog-free event, no dogs allowed downtown during this event.