Free the Hops would like to thank all the folks who made this year’s Stokin’ the Fire team a success! First of all, we couldn’t do anything without our many volunteers whose efforts ensure every Free the Hops event runs smoothly. This event was no exception and the guys who spent the weekend at Sloss Furnaces smoking, grilling and pouring were able to promote the mission of reforming Alabama’s antiquated beer laws to quite a few friends, both new and familiar.
Despite this being only our second year of competition, and having over 80 teams with which to contend, FTH garnered Top 10 finishes in two of the five food categories: 4th place for burgers and 8th place for butts!
Through the generosity of the J. Clyde the team had more than enough pork, chicken and beef to feed attendees, volunteers and, of course, enter the various competitions. Enough food was left over to make a substantial donation to the Jimmie Hale Mission, a charity that cares for homeless men located near Sloss.
Our thanks also go out to Bradley Webb, owner of an awesome smoker who allowed us to borrow it for the weekend, and to Scott Holmes, owner of Charlie’s BBQ in Odenville who introduced us to Bradley when our smoker plans fell through at the last minute.
Did we mention pouring? Thanks to the generosity of Good People Brewing Company, now in their glorious new brewery at 14th St and 2nd Ave S, and Birmingham Beverage, we were able to slake the thirst of many an attendee with samples of Good People’s Hitchhiker IPA and Brown Ale. Quite a few eyes were opened to good beer and the need for continuing reform of Alabama’s beer laws at Stokin’ the Fire this year.
We also want to thank Kimbellee Fipps and all of the other wonderful folks at Sloss for putting this great event on every year. We had a great time and look forward to doing it all over again next year!