Living in Old Town Fort Collins has spoiled me. It takes me less than 10 minutes to get (almost) wherever I want to go, on my bike. I even sold my car, because I drove it so infrequently. Needless to say, because of this I do not make it down to Loveland as often as I want. When I was given the opportunity to help judge a BBQ and beer pairing event to help kick off Loveland Loves BBQ Bands and Brews, I jumped on the chance to travel a little south.
The kick off event was held at Loveland Aleworks. Being able to oogle their new taproom and sip on some of their suds before they were open was enough to get me their on its own, but a head to head BBQ competition was thrown in as well. Bedrock BBQ and Bottlecap BBQ battled it out to take the prize. Each dish was paired with a beer and judged on over all taste, over all pairing, presentation and how well beer was used in the sauce. Each BBQ joint paired up with a brewery, either Grimm Brothers or Loveland Aleworks, to use in their creations. The winner of each category was separated by one point, with Bedrock taking a victory for their ribs, and Bottlecap sealing the deal with the sauce on their pork. All of the dishes and beers served will be available the weekend of the event.
Loveland Loves BBQ Bands and Brews is Loveland’s summer festival. In its inaugural year, it is a combination of the Loveland Loves BBQ and Summerfest celebrations that previously had occurred separately, but on the same weekend. Engaging Loveland and the Sertoma Foundation came together to strengthen both of their festivals. Organizer Kristine Koschke anticipates 30,000 people will attend with the festivals being combined. This years event held on July 13-14th in downtown Loveland on Railroad Ave at 4th street will feature more than just music, beer and delicious BBQ.
Along with a vendor market place will be a car show and interactive art exhibits. The Big Snow Melt and living sculpture will entertain guests of all ages, while a Welded Art and Assembly show will keep people on the edge of their seats. Contestants have 9 hours to turn a pile a junk into a sculpture that will be judged and auctioned off. For more information on this contest visit AssembleLoveland.com. You can find a schedule of bands including Johnny Johnston, The Honey Gitters and headliner That 80s Band on the Engaging Loveland blog.
I left the kick off event stuffed, but excited for the festival weekend to arrive. With plenty of BBQ, beers flowing from local breweries, and amazing bands hitting the notes, it is not an event to miss. Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands and Brews will benefit the House of Neighborly Services and the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County.