Hoptoberfest/Chili Cookoff

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Food Journal, Restaurant Reviews

Hoptoberfest/Chili Cookoff


Last Saturday, my husband Xavier and I loaded up the kids and went to the Hoptoberfest and Chili Cook-off. I have to say that when we left, we were expecting a typical festival where there are lots of families and tons of people walking around. Well, when we got there, from the parking lot, it appeared to be an empty festival with lots of tents set up and a rock – and – roll cover band playing. We debated for a few minutes going somewhere else and in the end decided to at least check it out.

I’m glad we did, because first of all it wasn’t empty. It just looked that way because everyone was in the tents trying to stay out of the sun - this is Phoenix  after all. Also, under the tents is where all the food, drinks and tables were.

Secondly, we ended up meeting some really cool people.


I have tried beer several times in my life, but have never really developed a taste for it. I always say though that you should try everything, even if you’ve had it in the past and didn’t like it. Your taste buds grow and change all the time, plus I’m not a big baby when it comes to tasting new things. Also, it was Hoptoberfest so we headed over to the beer tent.

The girls that we’re passing out the beer were very sweet and helpful. I tried one that was full of hops, not a good choice for me, but my husband liked it. One of the girls suggested that I try the one called “orange blossom”. She described the taste as an orange creamsicle. One of my favorite childhood treats. With a small amount of reluctance, but a bit of excitement I took a sip. Wow, the first beer I’ve ever liked! I have to admit though that when I finished my 2 oz sample, I went back to my beloved water.And what would Hoptoberfest be without some silly contests? In this one you had to hold a 40 oz glass mug full of beer straight out at a right angle – no bending that elbow! The announcer said the world record is 5 minutes but I didn’t look that up so we’ll have to take his word for it.

That’s my husband, Xavier, on the left. I had to coax him, although not very hard, into entering because he was sore from the previous days’ workout. About one minute into the contest, arms started shaking spilling drops of beer and eliminating the contestants. The ones remaining dropped out one by one, each rubbing their shoulder as soon as they sat their mug down.Three seconds before the four minute mark, Xavier’s arm started shaking too and down went his mug, putting him in third place. Not bad!

And the winner at four minutes and 37 seconds “The Mad Hatter”! This of course was not the only contest. They also had a charitable “bra walk” going on for The Susan G Komen foundation. This event entailed men walking around in bras and collecting dollar bills in them. It was quite funny. I have a great picture of one of the men in a black lace bra, a mask and shorts. I decided not to post it though because even though he was agreeable there at the celebration with a few beers behind him, I didn’t know if he’d feel the same in the morning. I would like to say to all that participated in this event a great big thank you though. It was for a wonderful cause. I think the guy who collected the most was at $57 at the 1 hour mark. So again, thank you guys for sporting your woman’s bra for the day in the name of charity.
Now, the reason we were there – the chili cook-off. They had some really great chilies to choose from. Everything from mild, to white to light your mouth and lips on fire spicy. After a few samples, I have to say that my absolute favorite was the White Chicken Chili put out by The Hungry Monk restaurant in Chandler, AZ. Very tasty. I went back three times. By the way, the rock-in-roll cover band, they rocked! They played all of our old favorites from Guns & Roses to Aerosmith. All in all, we had a great time. Hope to see everyone there next year!

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