Meat Smoke and Beer Festival

The Wels Competitions Report

This is an event that has popped out at the last minute at which we were in doubt whether to participate, being our third competition in April. Luckily our choice was to go to Wels because otherwise we would have missed an experience that really we will long remember.

Imagine a Gothic town in the north of Austria with a modern exhibition center and a large public park near the center. Every year on the occasion of a dedicated Outdoor living fair in the adjacent park is set up a small Oktoberfest complete with funfair. Right there in the middle it was organized Smoke Meat and Beer Festival. In few steps you could go and see the rich outdoor furniture pavilions and then get yourself a beer mug and finally come back to check your smokers, just perfect. Next year I do strongly suggest anyone to sign up for this competition because it really deserves.

Sportingly speaking, it was a little competition, with only 14 teams, but with very high average level, including different winners of Grand Champions. We bring home three calls and a first place in Pork for a total placement of third overall. The Grand Champion goes to the talented Dragon BBQ and the Reserve Grand Champion to Salt and Pepper from Daniele Govoni to which we give our warmest congratulations.

We can only conclude with the usual 5 things that we take home from Wels

  1. Wels is a town of 60.00 inhabitants, thus certainly not great. Despite that the exhibition hall which hosted the fair is very respectable, worthy of a capital city with 20 spacious pavilions and the well known organizational level typical of these areas. The fair itself I think is the best organized and the most thorough I’ve ever seen in this branch. Just to give you an idea: in the pavilion of the swimming pools there was set one of the size of a tennis court used for free trials of diving courses and to test the canoes for sale. Or: on the outside there were simulated environments from which to take inspiration. Some of these were so hinged that were based on a cement poring made from scratch
  2. Close to the contest area there was a small lake, located on the center of the public park. I can not understand how they do it, probably the particular attention is due to the theme of the event but the perfection of this place is absolute: not a pebble out of place, not a piece of paper on the ground, not a yellow leaf. I swear that I had to go and touch the grass with my hands to see if it was real or fake
  3. I still smile thinking about it: the rigid rules KCBS want between 23.00 and 7.00 a quite time to be effective, a period of silence on the part of each team allowing other participants to be able to rest during night shifts. The teams were silent, but you can imagine in the middle of a beer festival with a carnival and a concert live just around the competition area and open until 2 am, how much silence there might have been. We preferred to pass the night with a mug in hand listening to beautiful music. We did not sleep much but we had surely lot of of fun more.
  4. On Saturday evening the excellent organization of Armin Oberndorfer has planned a dinner with traditional northern Austrian dishes. Among them there was what they call Bluatwurscht: roasted potatoes with grinded blood sausage and served with freshly grated horseradish. A simple dish, but really good. If you’re ever in the area I recommend it, of course accompanied by the classic beer mug.
  5. It ‘s always great to see how much the Tyrolean people keep to their traditions and how on festive occasions they love  wearing traditional clothes. The thing is not just about the beer festival, where the association is almost natural, but the whole event: it was very common to meet among the visitors to the outdoor living fair some couples or entire families wearing the traditional dirndl, of different colors or finishes.

Now two-week break and then two competitions in a row: BardoQ and BBQ Bulls.

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