Saturday, March 30, 2013

Recap of Chilly, Blues & Brews at the B.O.B.

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Recap of Chilly, Blues and Brews at The B.O.B.

Put on by the Gilmore Collection, the Grand Haven Blues Festival has been going strong for two decades. This year a new “East”event Chilly, Blues, & Brews has been added and hosted by Grand Rapid’s The B.O.B. The chili cook-off is unique as each recipe in the competition features a Michigan beer, and a variety of breweries were on hand featuring their own entries. The B.O.B.’s own beers were featured in many of the recipes and other breweries on hand included New Holland, Rockford, White Flame and Schmohz.
50 cents tickets entitled you to a sample sized portion of chili. My own favorites included the Rockford Brewing chili featuring the Carriage House ale, and White Flame’s entries including a chili featuring their own Habanero Pale Ale along with dark chocolate. The People’s Choice award-winning recipe came from JoJo’s with their “Yummy in ur Tummy Chili” which included Cerise from Founders as an ingredient. A celebrity judges panel chose the 1st place winner and was awarded to Chef Alan with Grand Rapids Brewing Company - the prize being a trip to Gilmore Collection’s very own Redstone Inn in Colorado.

The Blues started at noon with Jimmie Stagger; was followed by Junior Valentine at 3:30 PM with national record artists Lil’ Ed headlining as well as the Crossroads Blue Band continuing into the evening right up until 1:30 AM and closing out the night. The music was featured on the stage of Bobarinos up on the second floor where live music is featured regularly throughout the week along with their wood-fire grilled pizzas and other menu options. In addition to the many excellent B.O.B.’s beers available here, additional drafts on hand for the event included selections from Bell’s, Brewery Vivant, and Perrin.

If you would like to experience the event that started it all off, the 21st Grand Haven Chilly Blues Festival is coming up on April 20-21st featuring local favorite blues artists such as Vincent Hayes and Big Daddy Fox as well as headlining national recording artist Larry McCray. Additionally, the B.O.B.’s Chilly fest served as a benefit for the MSU Grand Fondo cycling event for skin cancer research which is upcoming on June 29th and is open for competitors and amateurs alike.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.