This Saturday we had the honour of being invited to judge the Freestyle portion of the #BurgerOff – a battle to win the bragging rights of being the best at burgers for a whole year. We took the judging seats along with some of Chester’s top online movers & makers: #Chestertweets, Chester Culture, Mark “Hoole” Williams and self proclaimed Disgruntled Typist Mark Walker.
Kash Chester, the formidable giant of American style brewing in our fair city organised the competition to run in conjunction with their annual October fest beer festival, this year hosted at the Hoole Community Hall. Ten of the bravest Chester pubs, bistros and restaurants went head to head in this meaty match to compete against each other to win the title of King of Burgers – and much like the proverbial Highlander, in the end, there could be only One.
There were two rounds of burger battling: Traditional and Freestyle. The Traditional round consisted of just the basic ingredients, a bun, a burger, onions and tomato, whereas the Freestyle round went by the “anything goes” mentality. And anything certainly did go, we tasted a Christmas burger with turkey and stuffing, an utterly smoked delight which got a little extra smoke on the table to go on top of the smokiness, a chilli burger… the talent was certainly tangible.
Maybe it was the realisation that there were only 82 days until Christmas, or maybe it was the fact that the turkey burger was just so darn juicy and lovely, but the panel crowned the Christmas burger from Luke’s Eating House the winner of this round. We personally tried to award the super smokey patty from Chef’s Table 11 points out of ten, but were told this was “cheating” and “not on” and some of the judges suspected we didn’t know our math. At least we got to give them an honorary mention for ingenuity and artistic presentation – because, honestly, no one has ever smoked our burgers at the table, if you know what we mean. Our friends at the Lodge Bar took third place. But, as far as we are concerned, everyone was a winner!
How about the beer then? Kash’s own Blueball Brewery had produced an Octoberfest tipple, a homage to the great Munich seasonal beers, and the good old Zeppelin had made a comeback as well. And it wouldn’t be an octoberfest without some classic German beers to along these tasty tipples, on keg you could find the Hofbräu, Löwenbräu and the classic Paulaner to tickle your taste buds.
Jolly good time was had by all. The only minus is that now we have to wait until next year for the next #Burgeroff.