Warm, summer weather and bright sunny skies made Saturday, Aug. 7, a great day to sample regional beer and Okemo Valley’s best chicken wings at Okemo Mountain Resort’s Hops in the Hills Beer Fest and Chicken Wing Championship. Nearly 800 people sampled beers from ten breweries and chicken wings from seven local restaurants. In the end, it was Tom’s Loft Tavern that reigned victorious with their “everything wings.”
The competition brought out the best in wing sauce recipes and preparation techniques. From wood smoked to deep fried; dry rubbed to battered; spicy maple to Jamaican jerk, there was a would-be winner for every wanton wing whim.
Nearly 4,000 chicken wings were consumed during the event and attendees could purchase a judging package, providing them with enough wing tickets to sample every entry and a single ballot for selecting their favorite. Tom’s Loft took top honors, but the competition was close with other restaurants finishing strong: Cool Moose Café, Outback Pizza, Squeels on Wheels, The Killarney, The Pizza Stone, The Sitting Bull.
Breweries represented were: Harpoon, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Otter Creek, Sam Adams, Serenac, Smuttynose, Switchback, Trout River, Woodchuck Cider. Cabot Cheese was also on hand to offer samples of award-winning cheddar cheese.
Plans are already underway for Okemo’s third annual Hops in the Hills Beer Fest and Chicken Wing Championship next summer.