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Bo knows Barbecue

John Stroud Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Local restaurant owner and master barbecuer Bo Balcomb is a state champion.

Balcomb, who owns and operates BB’s Wings ‘n’ Q with his wife Janet, won the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s Colorado state barbecue competition, held June 6 at the Boats, Bands, and Barbecue festival in Pueblo. A total of 65 teams of barbecuers competed in different categories. Balcomb won the sauce division.

BB’s Wings ‘n’ Q, located at 112 6th St. where the former Dairy Kreme was, specializes in barbecued cuisine.

Balcomb entered his Brick Oven Barbecue Sauce, and the win came as somewhat of a surprise, he said.

“I think the reason it’s exciting is that Glenwood, western Colorado, is not exactly a barbecue hotbed,” he said. “When you have your own homemade barbecue sauce, you can’t help but wonder how it’s going to stack up against the competition.”

Wife Janet had stayed home to run the restaurant while Bo was at the competition.

“We had customers here, and I started jumping up and down and screaming,” she said. “We knew it was good, but I guess we had never really imagined a first place win.”

According to Janet, he created the winning sauce when the two of them were working at the bowling alley New Castle.

Bo says that he has tasted a lot of barbecue, and that sauces tend to exhibit certain regional tendencies.

“I think that our sauce does a good job of taking the best thing from each region, and making it an American barbecue sauce instead of a regional sauce,” he said.

But he still won’t tell what’s in it.

“Of course, ultimately the real goal is to get a sauce together that can be bottled and sold,” he said.

It seems like he’s actually getting closer to that goal. Twelve of the sauces that his sauce competed against were bottled, and he has been talking with Nicholas Food service about a potential bottling contract.

The Balcombs are continuing to enter barbecue contests, including this weekend’s Frisco Barbecue Challenge, both for the prestige, and for the prize money that come with winning. Bo would like to be able to enter in more categories, including those involving cooking.

“You need to have a really elaborate cooker that’s portable,” he said, adding that all his proceeds from contests this summer will go toward a good portable cooker.

“You know,” he says, “I’m just a small-town guy who started in an ice-cream shop.”

But that’s not going to stop him from dreaming big, barbecue style.