Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Weston, WV

By Howard Poole, MABA Board Member and Pitmaster for Plum Crazy BBQ

If you were to look up the state slogan of West Virginia, you would find three words, “Wild and Wonderful”. After spending the weekend in beautiful Weston, West Virginia at the 4th Annual Almost Heaven BBQ Bash, you’d understand the state chose those three words.

Serving as Host to the West Virginia MABA Cup and State Championship, the stakes were high for competitors from near and far. Not only did Almost Heaven have their annual KCBS BBQ competition, but, they also hosted the first ever SCA (steak cook-off association) comp to be held in West Virginia. If that wasn’t wild enough, you should check out its location. For the past three years, the entire event has been held at the Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum. Tours were offered throughout Friday and Saturday, even late into the night. Although I haven’t taken a hard count, I am fairly confident that none of the BBQ teams were kept for further psych evaluations. Not only did the Asylum act as a great backdrop for the event, but it also pleased the historical and science fiction fans in us all.

For the competition portion of the event, we couldn’t have asked for much more. The staff was courteous and fun, the weather was fantastic, and the crowds were excited. Things started off strong on Friday with the wing competition and the SCA Cook-off. Congratulations to Convicted Pigs BBQ on their 1st place wings. And congratulations to Chiles Cridlin, of Wolfes Revenge, for 1st place in the SCA Comp. Chiles win qualifies him to compete in the SCA World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas. If I had to guess what got him first place, I’d guess he snuck a few of those world famous scotch eggs in the box. Those are winners for sure!!!

After all that excitement Friday night, it was time to focus on the big four meats. From the looks of the scores, it looks like a lot of teams had some fantastic cooks. Maybe there were a few BBQ spirits in the old Asylum that gave us all such good luck. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to who’s called last. That honor goes to Spittin Feathers BBQ. Congratulations to them on not only getting Grand Champion, but also getting an Auto Qualifier to the Jack Daniels Invitational Championship. A congratulations should also be given to Wolfes Revenge BBQ on receiving RGC. And finally, congratulations to WV Loc-N-Loaded BBQ for winning the West Virginia MABA Cup, you represented your home state well.

For all the teams that made it to Weston: I hope you had a geat time, and congratulations to all who heard their names called. To those who couldn’t make it this year: Make sure you add it to your list for next year, then maybe you could see why West Virginia is so “Wild and Wonderful”.

Full KCBS Results here.