Anderson Chamber of Commerce scored a perfect “10” on its debut of NovemBEER, a fundraiser that had 12 two-person teams competing in a double-elimination Corn Hole tossing tournament as well as 11 other teams grilling chicken, pork ribs and beef tri-tips for cash prizes, trophies and bragging rights in Anderson River Park Saturday, Nov. 2.
There were also eight different varieties of ice-cold and tasty beers on tap for adults to sample and enjoy.
Organized by the trifecta of Rich Buchanan, Tyler Spencer and Trevor Duggan, the 10 a.m. event kicked off smoothly under a high layer of gray clouds that, by 11 a.m., had pretty much burned off giving way to perfect fall sunshine and blue skies.
“I don’t think we could have asked for nicer weather,” said Chamber Manager Debe Hopkins as she poured another customer a plastic beer mug filled to almost overflowing with a pale brown brew.
“We’re hoping that some of the soccer moms and dads will come over and join us as their matches end,” Buchanan said as he prepared the Cornhole tournament brackets.
Cornhole tossing is similar in concept to horseshoes, where individuals or two-person teams take turns, each throwing four brightly-hued cloth bags loosely filled with hard corn kernels at a slanted board some 30 feet away.
Each target boards has a six-inch in diameter hole near the top center through which tossers try to send their corn bags for three points per cornhole. However, any bag remaining on the board also scores one point, Buchanan said.
Only the difference in points scored are actually added to the top scorer’s total.
The first team to 21 wins the match and moves on to the next round, he explained.
“It’s a popular east coast and midwesterner game that is just starting to catch on out here in the west,” Buchanan said as he watched David Redlich of Happy Valley and Robert Garcia of Redding, members of a team called Liquid Courage, take a few warm-up innings against a pair of 13-year-old cousins, Austin Peoli of Redding and Trent Buchanan of Anderson, competing as Corn Supremacy.
The tournament’s first-place winning team was promised a purse of $200 while second-place earned $150. The third-place winner took home $50.
“It’s a beer-drinking game for sure, especially as the day goes on,” Rich Buchanan said.
Barbecue cook-off winners were:
Ribs – 1st) Applejacks; 2nd) BC Stoneage; and 3rd) KY Grillers
Tri-tip – 1st) Dube’s Deli; 2nd) Grill Billies; and 3rd) D&D
Chicken – 1st) BBQ Hazard; 2nd) Blasta; and 3rd) Pit River Casino
Will George of Hat Creek, marketing director at Pit River Casino, teamed up with the casino’s food and beverage manager, head chef Ramon Alvarez, to prepare entries for the grill-off.
“We douse our chicken in a special sweet and sour, chile-flavored marinade for at least 30 minutes,” said George, careful not to reveal the team’s secret ingredient.
Clinton Nash and Barry Hanes, the B and C of BC Stoneage, have been competing at various barbecue cook-offs for the past four years now, Nash said.
“I entered the first Pros and Joes competition put on each Memorial Day weekend by VIVA Downtown and I took fourth place. The next year, I placed third. By the third year, I won two second-place trophies and this year, my ribs took first place,” Nash said.
For his marinade, Nash said he uses a little Apple Pie Moonshine on his trimmed chicken thighs.
“It puts a little smile on your face,” he said of the 80-proof taste bud stimulator.
The team of John and Penny Feddema and Tom Orr, all of Anderson, and collectively known as KY (Killer Yummy) Grillers represented the South County well, placing third in the pork ribs category behind BC Stoneage.
“We’re locals so we are supporting the local contests,” said retired general contractor John Feddema, who placed second in the Joes category for his chicken thighs.