Sugar Mt. summer events

Barbecue in the south is serious business and an inherent part of its culture. Sugar Mountain in North Carolina has bought into that concept and will offer its first barbecue boot camp, courtesy of the North Carolina BBQ Society, July 19-20.


“Barbecue is very big in our area,” Ski Sugar's Kim Jochl, a former U.S. Ski Team national alpine racer, told


“The president of the society (Jim Early) approached us. He does several of these boot camps in the state, and we thought this would be a good event in our area that would have great appeal. It’s a day and a half of learning how to be a barbecue pitmaster.” 


Events such as these sanctioned by a barbecue society and actually conducted by one promises to impart the kind of knowledge that will make a difference in the presentations of neophyte pitmasters when they return home. Sugar Mountain is preparing to host barbecue and food enthusiasts from around the world.


Jochl said Sugar Mountain will get a break before welcoming its own event on August 3. SugarBrew, now in its second year, is primarily a beer and wine-tasting event, washed down with burgers, hot dogs, sodas and, of course, local favorite Blue Ridge Ice Creams.


“Blue Ridge will make beer-flavored ice cream for SugarBrew,” continued Jochl. In addition a panel of judges will declare the best tasting beer; three regional bands will entertain; there will be a sale in the mountain’s sports shop; and ski lift rides will take patrons to the summit of Sugar’s 5,300 foot peak.


North Carolina neighbor Beech Mountain has Bikes, Brews ‘n’ Views July 19-21. This is a grand opening weekend of sorts for Beech as its public mountain biking park and disc golf course will make their debuts. Youngsters will enjoy the youth bike rodeo and inflatable kid’s village.


Meanwhile, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia has put its own slant on cooking the hot stuff as they offer their 22nd Annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Cookoff July 19-20.


The stakes will be high as the chili chefs battle for cash prizes and trophies, with the winner representing Snowshoe Mountain at the World Chili Cookoff Championship.


The best part of all may be the fact that these events occur in the crisper mountain air, a welcome departure for city dwellers, now in the midst of July heat and heading to the dog days of August.


Photo: Sugar Mountain summer events (Sugar Mt., N.C.)