Crowds come for barbecue

By Jeff Smith

Tyler Johnson, 12, puts the finishing touches on his jalepeno burgers on Aug. 25. Thirteen kids participated in Kidsque and were judged on their final product like regular barbecue competitors.

Passing through Hill City this past Saturday it  was almost impossible not to get a taste of some type of barbecue.

The different flavors that go into the meat were palpably wafting through the air.

The barbecue and the sounds made it hard to resist staying in Hill City, even if it was just  for a little bit.

Bob Stanfiel, organizer of the event, said this year’s Wine, Brew & BBQ was great; there were 26 teams this year. They came from close by cities in South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Minnesota. 

There were 37 different craft beers and four wineries were represented.

Stanfiel said it was hard to say if there was an increase in attendance this year.

“It was a huge event and it was a huge crowd for people’s choice,” Stanfiel said.

“We almost completely sold out of tokens during the People’s Choice event.”

According to Stanfiel, the preparation of the event is a lot of work done by very few.

He said if it wasn’t for Shane Alexander, Rob Livingston, John Knapp, Mikal Lewis and Monika Matush, supporting his crazy habit of love of barbecue, he would never be able to do what he does.

Matush and her mother Wally Matush gave all the BBQ teams a gift.

Stanfiel was pleased overall with how the fifth Wine, Brew and BBQ transpired.

“The good Lord kept the rain away and people kept coming,” Stanfiel said.

Justin Rhodes, with JR’s Rhodehouse BBQ Pit, said this year was another great experience.

Rhodes and his team has been involved in the competition since it started.

“It’s close to home being in the Heart of the Hiills, a lot of good teams and a great organizer,” Rhodes said.

He said the event organizers should keep doing what they’re doing.

Rhodes won the people’s choice award by having the most tickets given to his booth on Saturday afternoon.

New this year was the Kidsque. There were 13 entrants who participated in it.

Gene Goycochea, one of the volunteers helping out with the event, said it was included this year because it allows children to be a part of the the Wine, Brew and BBQ.

The youngsters were judged on appearance, taste and tenderness of their meat creations. The barbecue items scored were from two to nine. 

Josh Davis of Rapid City had two sons participate in the Kidsque. He said it was a good time and good learning experience for the kids.

“Even the community among the kids seemed pretty good. They were all wishing each other good luck and stuff like that. I thought that was pretty awesome,” Davis said.

Beth Kenaston said her three children never get to cook on the grill and they really wanted to take part in the Kidsque.

Her son Jonas chimed in as he was grilling his cheesy bacon meatballs.

“I’ve never grilled before. It’s been pretty fun,” he said.

Kenaston said she would like for her children to take part in the Kidsque again.