After a horrible nights sleep I woke up on August 2, 2008, showered, consumed mass quantities of protein and carbs, and left Cleveland at 5:45AM. The destination: Jungle Jim’s 2nd Annual Weekend of Fire in Cincinnati, Ohio! The largest growing convention in the Midwest of hot sauce makers.
Passow’s Weekend of Fire Ingredients: Gas, car, very little money, camera, beer, Imodium AD, and more beer.
I passed up Columbus and was making good time when I looked over to the right and a bumper sticker on a black jeep caught my eye. It was a dinosaur eating the Jesus fish. I laughed and then looked over to who was in the jeep….hmmm, that looks like Linda and that looks like! Hey! It is Joe and Linda Levinson! We waved at each other and semi raced the rest of the way to Jungle Jims.
Then I arrived at Jungle Jim’s at about 9:30 and I knew I was in the right place, for right out front was the Defcon Trailer! I had only seen pictures of the big beast but to see it in person was a sight to behold! After that I spent time walking around JJ’s and got absorbed in the enormous beer selection they had….I believed I shed a tear.
The front of Jungle Jims.
With press pass in hand, I got in early to the show and started to run amuck taking pictures and saying hi to old friends. Blair had a last minute thing and couldn’t make it to the show so guess who he called to run his booth? Joe and Linda! I was really hoping to see Blair so that was a little bit of a disappointment.
Joe (left) talking with Bret (right)
I’m now just going to get this out of the way. Here’s a ton of pics of people’s booths for you to look at. Defcon, as usual, had one of the best with his blacklights, lab gear, and Homunculi.
Our pals at Cin Chili
Jim Campbell’s Mild to Wild Pepper Co. Booth
The ever present Chuck Evans.
Whoa! Lots of sauces!
Speaking of Defcon and all his cool swag in his booth, he debuted his newest batch of Defcon Zero. Now I was a fan of Batch #3 because it didn’t have any bitterness, batch #4 had the bitterness and more heat, this one was an improvement. He’s kinda tweaked it so that the bitterness is now more of an earthy tone and there’s that brief sweetness in the beginning that is reminiscent of Batch #3. On top of that, the look of the glass dome and cool new bottles sends this over the top as a must have collectable. I don’t collect and I wanted it for my shelf of doom!
Stunning, absolutely stunning.
While talking with Defcon, I had a chance to ask him if he had any new products brewing. His response was an ominous, “We’ve got something in the works….it’s a little different”. He also said that it will be debuting at this years Zest Fest. Will it be a BBQ sauce, a mustard, an edible spicy t-shirt? Only time will tell!
A pleasant surprise was the rumored “Bloggers Booth” becoming a reality. It was an area that all the bloggers could get together and hang out at, sell their stuff, drink, be crazy…ya know, the usual stuff we do best. Plus it was a nice way to get free beer because vendors get free beer, well, if you could call Miller Light and Miller Chill “beer”. I call it fizzy yellow stuff. There was also sauces that were sold and all the proceeds went to charity.
The Blogger Booth Banner.
One of the new products that our buddy CaJohn brought out was the new Jolokia Fiery Sausage. They were handing out samples of this left and right and boy was it tasty! It comes in Hot and X-Treme and being the chili-head that I am, I went for two slices of X-Treme. A nice creeping heat with a sausage taste that was out of this world (and that’s coming from a German, so you know I’ve had my share of sausages). This thing killed my intestines though.
CaJohn shows us his sausage….*giggle*
Sauce after sauce was tasted and many a beers were had for the first two hours then it was off to locate lunch. I ended up at BJ’s Brewery for a few pints and some food. I met a very cool dude named Marty with whom I conversed and expounded on a very many subject and he bought me a beer. I ended up being gone for a few hours but it was all worth it
I returned to Jungle Jims and continued my ingestion of sauces and beer. Booth after booth I hit and discovered many new sauces. One such sauce was Chai Thai Teriyaki sauce by Intensity Academy. It’s basically a teriyaki sauce infused with organic Chai Tea and has Thai peppers in it as well. I just had to have a bottle so I purchased one for review. It’s one of the most interesting flavors of a sauce that I’ve had in a long time.
This day was mainly a meet and greet and get settled in day. So nothing completely spectacular happened. Nothing that is, until the Defcon Wing Eating Competition occurred! Be sure to stay tuned for the next installment which will include that competition, Jolokia Hell, and to learn just what Mississippi Sauce King (MSK) talks about in his sleep.
Taste: 10, Heat: 10