Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. hosts first Beer, BBQ and Blues Fest

Pearl Johnson, 2, of Los Angeles, California.

Pearl Johnson, 2, of Los Angeles, California.

About 1 p.m. on Saturday, people looking to size up competitors in a rib competition at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. were disappointed to learn they might never find out which barbecue team best knew its way around the smoker.

“We’re out of ribs, only riblets,” shouted Stephen Moran, a member of a six-man barbecue team that goes by the name “Smokin Irish,” to hungry barbecue fans.

The two-day Beer, BBQ and Blues Festival, which was a fundraiser for the non-profit veterans group Wounded Warrior Project, drew a larger crowd than organizers anticipated on its first day. Each competitor was given 12 racks, all of which were gobbled up by the more than 1,000 people in attendance just a few hours after the event started.

But that didn’t stop guests from enjoying a few brews and offerings from local food trucks while competitors restocked.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the turnout,” said Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. co-owner Rich Vandenburgh. “Next year it’s going to be way more. Hopefully those people who didn’t get a chance to sample any will give it another try next year.”

Still, he said, the event raised thousands of dollars for the charity, though exact figures were not immediately available.

Here’s how it worked: Voters purchased a five-ticket book for $10, which netted them tastes from five of the 21 competitors. Voters then cast their ballot with a sixth “golden” ticket. The pit master who amassed the most golden tickets is the champion.

Alan Goldblatt of Holbrook, another member of Smokin’ Irish, noted that the short supply just meant the goods were in high demand.

“For the people’s ribs [contest], if you’re doing it right, sooner or later you will run out,” Goldblatt said.

The results were not immediately available, though one participant had no qualms about revealing who got his vote.

“The sauce was awesome,” Hank Rodenburg of Farmingdale said of the team that calls itself “Stubborn Bull.” “And the ribs were tender.”

Vandenburgh said he was impressed with the barbecue teams.

“The competitors that come and participate are very serious about their craft,” he said. “It’s been amazing to see how a full-blown barbecue fest works.”

The festival continues today, with a competition determined by Kansas City Barbecue Society-approved judges, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

See photos from the event below.

Kevin Quirk and Alan Goldblatt of Smokin' Irish BBQ.

Kevin Quirk and Alan Goldblatt of Smokin’ Irish BBQ.

Tyler and Marisa Johnson of Los Angeles and Anna Berk and Ben Reichner of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Tyler and Marisa Johnson of Los Angeles and Anna Berk and Ben Reichner of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

(From Left) Katie Potenza, Mike Cawthor, Stewart Cawthor, Abby Potenza and Colleen Potenza.

(From Left) Katie Potenza, Mike Cawthor, Stewart Cawthor, Abby Potenza and Colleen Potenza.

Sean Brennan of Riverhead and Chuck Heilman of Mattituck of 'Mornin' Wood' Barbecue.

Sean Brennan of Riverhead and Chuck Heilman of Mattituck of ‘Mornin’ Wood’ Barbecue.

Joe Gallagher of Massapequa and Laura Glasser of Melville.

Joe Gallagher of Massapequa and Laura Glasser of Melville.

John Forgione of Rolling Grill Barbecue cleans off the grill.

John Forgione of Rolling Grill Barbecue cleans off the grill.

April and James Szafran of Mount Sinai.

April and James Szafran of Mount Sinai.

Debbie Griffin (bottom left) and friends.

Debbie Griffin (bottom left) and friends.

John and Bonnie Court of Farmingdale.

John and Bonnie Court of Farmingdale.

Gail Ritzert and Barbara Sellers of Huntington and Sandy Rave and Mary Tloczkowski of Peconic.

Gail Ritzert and Barbara Sellers of Huntington and Sandy Rave and Mary Tloczkowski of Peconic.

(From left) Joe and Debbie Scuderi of Farmingdale, Jim and Annmarie Loughren of East Northport, Hank and Tanya Rodenburg of Farmingdale.

(From left) Joe and Debbie Scuderi of Farmingdale, Jim and Annmarie Loughren of East Northport, Hank and Tanya Rodenburg of Farmingdale.

The tasting room at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

The tasting room at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

Michael Gutkowski of New Suffolk with Lucy and Gail Norton with Bella.

Michael Gutkowski of New Suffolk with Lucy and Gail Norton of Southold with Bella.