901 Popper Throwdown This Weekend At High Cotton
Ed. Note: Start festival season off the right way at this Sunday’s free event at High Cotton. Michael talked with 901 Popper Throwdown founder Seth Agranov to get all the info. All photos provided by Seth via Popper Throwdown.
Everyone sit down for a second. I have some amazing news for you. This Sunday, March 25 from noon to 6 p.m. at High Cotton Brewery on Madison, the 2nd Annual Popper Throwdown is going down!
Why should you come to this jalapeño popper contest? Because not only can you watch teams compete for the title of “Best Popper”, but it’s family-friendly, with live music and activities, it’s free to get in, and there will be plenty of food and drink for sale.
Here’s my Q&A with the creator of Popper Throwdown, Seth Agranov.
Michael: Popper Throwdown…what? How did this event come about?
Seth: A few friends and I kept making tweaks to a recipe I posted years ago about making the most delicious Jalapeño Poppers. We battled back and forth with social media pictures about who had the best popper. Based on my experience with putting on Burger Fest, competing in the Southern Hot Wing Festival, Memphis in May, and other small local cook-offs, it made sense to turn this into an official competition.
Originally, we wanted to do this in someone’s backyard, but none of our wives wanted 20 guys drinking beer trekking through the houses to use the kitchens and bathrooms. The wives brought up the idea of beer and from there, we took [the idea] to a couple local breweries. High Cotton stepped up and together we came up with the full concept for the 901 Popper Throwdown.
Michael: Why should people come to the Popper Throwdown this weekend?
Seth: Popper Throwdown is obviously being held at the brewery, but we’re also blocking off the street outside (Monroe Avenue) and making it a proper festival. There will be music all day provided by Outer Ring. High Cotton will have beer for sale and Edge Alley will have food for sale. We’ll have some corn-hole boards setup, a face painter, sidewalk chalk, and more.
Most importantly, this event will benefit Memphis Paws, Inc.**, a 501C3 charity that makes donations to animal organizations and rescues. Over the past six years Memphis Paws has donated about $50,000 to local animal care organizations.
Michael: Who should come to this Sunday’s Popper Throwdown?
Seth: Popper Throwdown is a family-friendly event. It’s early in the spring season and we encourage people to come get outside end enjoy some great local food, music, and each other. We are kid- and pet-friendly, but we always ask people who plan to bring their dogs to use good judgement.
Michael: How do you compete in the Popper Throwdown? Is it too late to register a team?
Seth: It’s not too late. We will accept teams up until the start of the event, provided they meet the requirements and arrive with their entry free. It’s $120 per team to enter the competition. That fee includes a lot of fresh jalapeño peppers to use and lots of beer provided by High Cotton.
In addition, teams will compete for prize money, trophies, and of course, bragging rights. They will compete in two popper categories. One is “Anything Goes” and the second must include one of the three High Cotton canned brews in the recipe – Scottish Ale, Czar IPA, or ESB.
Michael: Everyone wants to know: will there be samples and will there be anything other than poppers to eat?
Seth: Besides teams handing out some samples to raise additional money for Memphis Paws (so bring some dollar bills) – Edge Alley and Mempops will be setup outside selling food.
Michael: Thank you Seth! This sounds like an awesome event, and I will definitely be in attendance.
Edge Alley will have a limited brunch menu served inside: avocado “toast” (on biscuit, I believe), meatloaf biscuit, and pimento cheese biscuit, plus some salads and a few other items. Outside, Edge Alley will have a tent selling these three items for $5 each:
– High Cotton beer brats with beer mustard
– Classic cream cheese fried jalapeño poppers
– Vegetarian red beans and rice
Click Menu to see the full menu.
Think you have what it takes to take the Popper crown? Need more info? Head over to http://jalapenothrowdown.com/ for more info and rules. Sign up your team today! They really are still accepting cooking groups.
** Memphis Paw, Inc. benefits organizations like Spay Memphis and rescues like Street Dog Foundation, Tunica Humane Society, Fayette County Animal Rescue, Alive Memphis Rescue, Hearts of Gold Pitfall Rescue, Memphis Pets Alive, Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, Desoto Animal Rescue Society, The Savior Foundation and Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue.
2nd Annual 901 Popper Throwdown
March 25, 2018, noon to 6 p.m.
High Cotton Brewing
598 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
free to enter
About The Author
Michael Butler, Jr. is a native Memphian, blogger, photographer, and United States Navy veteran. He loves the food, people, and scenery of Memphis and wants to showcase all the city’s great things. Michael loves to spend free time with his daughter, hanging with friends on local restaurants, or playing a game of cornhole. He’s an urban explorer who believes that life is for living. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or his blog.