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Recap: 2014 Iron ChileHead Competition

Chile Fest ’14 was a blast this last weekend. Starting Saturday, setting up the area for the Iron ChileHead Cookoff and Brewoff first thing in the morning to taking down the shade structures late in the afternoon, it was non-stop. We’ve had Chile Fest at the stores for several years, and last year invited food trucks to serve their best green chile dish. This year’s competing trucks were BS Sandwich Press, Chino’s Parrilla, Let’M Eat Brats and Park ‘N Pork .

Last year we provided River City Brewing Company, Walnut River Brewery, and Wichita Brewing Company with green chile for the Midwest Beerfest for their own green chile Brewoff. For Chile Fest ’14 we provided these breweries as well as Central Standard Brewing, Hopping Gnome Brewing and Wheat State Distilling with some Hatch green chile to make their version of a unique green chile beverage to sample the day of the Iron ChileHead Competition.

Because we would be having a beer sampling at the event, we ordered 288 (4 cases of 72) beer sampler glass to give away to the first 200 people wanting to sample some great locally produced craft beer and spirits. Unknowing how many people would show up, my intention was to save one box for friends and DOTA, but only 15 minutes into passing out the sample glasses, we had already gone through 3 cases and I was forced to turn over my case. We ended up going through 8 more cases of plastic cups. Needless to say, the turnout was fantastic. Thankfully I’ve been told we’ll be reordering glasses – hopefully soon!

At the end of the day Chino’s Parrilla and Central Standard Brewing were named the winners. The competition was fierce, and everyone brought their ‘A’ game. Thanks to everyone who beat the heat and came out to join the fun.

Another fun aspect of Chile Fest is when the Johnson’s employees bring their favorite green chile dishes. This year we tasted Joyce’s green chile sauce, green chile cheese ball, stuffed green chile peppers and other dishes. Be sure to stop by the stores anytime and get a sample of green chile, we’ll be roasting for the next few weeks. In fact, this week we are going to go pick up our 3rd load of Hatch green chile. We will also be stocking up our freezers so green chile is available until it’s sold out, often lasting through the fall.