Region: Leadville BBQ and Brew Fest draws top pit masters |

Region: Leadville BBQ and Brew Fest draws top pit masters

Town Cavalry is one of a handful of bands that will perform at the inaugural Leadville BBQ and Brew Fest on Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27.
Special to the Daily |

If you go

What: Leadville BBQ and Brew Fest

When: Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27

Where: Downtown Leadville

Cost: Admission is free

More information: Entry forms and more details can be found by calling (855) 488-1222 or at

On Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27, the inaugural Leadville BBQ and Brew Festival will attract some of the country’s best pit masters to this historic Colorado mountain town. Microbrews, performances by local bands, a shine-and-show area for motorcycles and a family-fun zone round out the two-day festival.

“This will be the highest-altitude sanctioned barbeque event ever held,” said Jeff McGuinness, one of the event organizers. “We’ve planned something for all ages. Whether you come up for the food, the beer, the music or our beautiful mountain views, this is going to be a lot of fun.”

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, the highest-elevation city in North America.

Pit masters will vie for a $10,000 prize purse and, for those who also compete in Frisco, the rights to the Top of the Mountain award. As many as 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 barbecue to the public.

In addition to barbecue, the event celebrates beer, with Colorado microbrews from Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista, Echo Brewing Co. in Eerie, Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield and Westminster Brewing in Westminster. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Leinenkugel’s also will have beer on tap.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 26, with the national anthem on the stage at the south end of Harrison Avenue, between the historic Silver Dollar Saloon and the Tabor Opera House, followed by the start of the barbecue competition. Live music begins at noon and continues until 9 p.m. There will be a shine-and-show area for motorcycles at the north end of Harrison Avenue, providing riders with parking and the chance to show off their bikes throughout the event.

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.

“This event is a great way to bring folks into Leadville in the month of June,” said Carol Glenn, president of the Leadville-Lake County Chamber of Commerce. “We’re sure it will show off Leadville at its very best.”

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