^ The 2017 Wing Wars trophy atop the taproom bar at Homestead Beer Company in Heath.
Homestead Beer Company is hosting the 3rd annual Wing Wars challenge August 13, 2017 at their brewery taproom in Heath. Attendees will sample chicken wings prepared by six different food trucks while sloshing down fresh local Homestead beers. Each of those attendees will cast a single vote to determine the champion wing purveyor of the day. Unfortunately, you won’t be there.
The Homestead taproom and patio is a delight. But the space, and more specifically Homestead’s liquor license, restrict capacity to around 200 people. That’s sad for an event like Wing Wars 2017 because only 200 people even get a chance to attend. Tickets go on sale June 2 at the Homestead taproom and they will sell out within an hour or so, trust us.
^ Wing eaters and beer drinkers outside Homestead Beer Company.
For you and me, the ones on the outside looking in, we can only imagine what joys the privileged few will experience that evening. Tickets include three beers, eighteen wings and a souvenir pint glass. But, you know those greedy bastards won’t stop there. They will munch on more wings and beer long after their bellies are full. They will gloat while licking sauce from their fingers. ‘Haha’ we can hear them say, “I’m at Wing Wars and you’re not.’ Those lucking bastards.
GETTING WEADY FOR WING WARS
While the contenders are preparing for battle LickingEats.com spoke with the previous winners, and other competitors, to learn their strategies for success in the 2017 contest. Already accusations of lies, collusion, and favoritism are clouding the air like so much grill smoke.
^ Moe's Original Bar B Que wings.
The event promoters at Homestead reported that Mai Chau (Granville) won the first year of the contest and that Moe's Original Bar B Que (Granville) won last year. That’s not how Greg Tracey remembers it. “Moe’s won that first year,” screamed Moe’s owner Greg Tracey over the phone. “There were two awards that first year, a peoples’ choice and a judges’ choice. Moe’s won the one trophy that mattered, the peoples’ choice, then Moe’s won hands-down a second time in 2016” Tracey said. “F… Wilkins.”
Wilkins was a reference to Scott Wilkins, owner of Mai Chau on Prospect. “It’s not a lie that Mai Chau took the judges’ choice Wing Wars trophy in 2015,” Wilkins said. “I will be forever proud of that. Mai Chau should have won last year too if Moe’s hadn’t brown-nosed the event promoters by using Homestead Beer Company’s Tenpenny Ale in their brine. That was just plain dirty grilling,” Wilkins added.
^ Wings from Mai Chau on Prospect
Wilkins wing strategy this year is to focus on a “completely new”, “never been done before” recipe to take home the Wing Wars trophy. Tracey’s Wing Wars plan this time is to stick with Moe’s slow smoked wings then tossed in three distinguished pepper sauces, one a Fatalii pepper and garlic sauce featuring the southern Africa pepper and one of the hottest peppers in the world. Good luck gentlemen.
Dashing Diner (Johnstown) is sticking with the recipe they say should have won it for them last year. “We winged it our first year,” says owner Tiffany Hollis. “We would have won had we not run out of our secret bacon jam sauce.” Tiffany says she will not be making the same mistake this time by preparing enough bacon jam to fill a pool.
Aromaku (Columbus), Hogg Head's Blue Smoke Barbecue (Newark), and Philly Buster (Reynoldsburg) did not return our calls as of deadline.
Dashing Diner Uptown
Hogg Head's Blue Smoke Barbecue
Mai Chau on Prospect
Moe's Original Bar B Que
TICKETS ON SALE JUNE 2 AT HOMESTEAD
Wing Wars 3
Homestead Beer Company
August 13, 2017 5pm to 10pm
1 Souvenir pint glass
Homestead Beer Company
811 Irving Wick Dr West
^ Hogg Head's Blue Smoke Barbecue