Silver Linings

25 years of blood, sweat, and beers

Grinder's Hot Sauce putting 2014 fest-goers through the grind (Photo by John Anderson)

Hi-Yo, Silver! For 25 years, folks have been braving steamy summer days to burn their tongues, drink some brews, and provide thousands of meals for neighbors in need through the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. In the process, we have seen individual competitors start their own businesses, musical guests gain national recognition, and the festival founder, Robb Walsh, pick up a few James Beard Awards. And we've seen the festival itself grow into an Austin institution – the largest of its kind in the world.

But some things haven't changed; we still have a cadre of celebrity fire-breathers working their taste buds to determine who has the hottest stuff. You still have to make the difficult decision of who will be crowned the people's choice. Our Hot Sauce team (special events guru Dan Hardick, Marketing Director Sarah Wolf, Marketing Manager Dallen Terrell, and Digital Coordinator Tamar Price) have worked day and night to turn up the heat. The look of the fest's logo, posters, and merch (by Creative Director Jason Stout and graphic designer Zeke Barbaro) is typically on point. And Claudia Alarcón and the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts have brought you yet another cooking demo tent packed with culinary talent.

Oh! And one more thing is the same – we still have plenty of beer and ice cream to help douse the hot sauce flames.

Some of you have been there since the beginning and some of you are younger than the festival itself, but we feel the fire has bred a certain kinship. From our family to yours: Welcome.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

MORE Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
2018 Hot Sauce Contest & Festival Facts
2018 Hot Sauce Contest & Festival Facts
Everything you need to know

Aug. 24, 2018

Welcome to the 28th Annual Hot Sauce Festival
Welcome to the 28th Annual Hot Sauce Festival
The heat is on

Jessi Cape, Aug. 24, 2018

More by Brandon Watson
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
Escape via the long gay tradition of diva worship

Sept. 15, 2017

Review: Holy Roller
Review: Holy Roller
The personal is edible at Callie Speer’s new hot spot

Sept. 8, 2017


25 years of blood, sweat, and beers

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle