Throwdown Rules


  1. Team registration fee is $120 ($125 w/ credit card fees) and is NON-REFUNDABLE – Event is March 25th Rain or shine.
  2. Teams must check-in upon arrival at with the festival organizers in front of High Cotton Brewing Co. A contestant number and a cooking area will be assigned. If you have any special requests, please submit them in advance to
  3. Teams will compete in a cooking space large enough for a single 10 x 10 Pop-up tent and a moderate sized cooker. We cannot accommodate food trucks, trailers, flatbeds or BBQ Rigs.
  4. Electricity & Running Water will NOT be available in cooking area.
  5. GENERATORS MAY NOT BE USED! No exceptions!
  6. Teams must have a fire extinguisher of a 2A, 40bc rating. Please check and make sure they are charged. All tarps and tents must be fire retardant with certification stating so.
  7. Each contestant must comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department including, but not limited to the following:
    • Any meat must be stored at 35° F or less before cooking. Coolers with plenty of ice will keep it cold enough.
    • Cleanliness of the cook, assistants, and contestant area is required.
    • NO live animals are allowed in the cooking area. This is grounds for disqualification.
    • Each team MUST have hand-cleaning capabilities. Soap and water or waterless hand cleaner is acceptable.
  8. Teams may compete with the following: charcoal, propane, flattop, skillet, smoker, Fryer, Egg, oven, etc., are all legal. Remember there is no electricity and no generators.
  9. Teams are to provide their own trash contains and liners for their area and are responsible of getting their trash to the dumpsters located at the festival.
  10. Each team is liable for any bodily or other harm as a direct result of negligence on the part of that team. With your registration you and your team members have read and agree to comply with all the Throw Down Rules and Regulations. You and your team members also agree to not hold Memphis Paws, Inc., Best Memphis Burger Fest, High Cotton Brewing Co. or the City of Memphis responsible for any accident or injury that may occur while at the event.
  11. Because of the hospitality and generosity of High Cotton Brewing Co., teams are asked to not bring any outside beer, wine or alcohol to the Throwdown.


  1. Poppers may be cleaned, seeded and prepared offsite.
  2. Competition Popper ingredients may also be prepared offsite, but assembly and cooking must occur at the Throwdown.


  1. Chefs, restaurant staff, cooking hobbyists, backyard Joe’s, tailgaters, etc. may enter the 901 Popper Throwdown. Best Memphis Burger Fest & High Cotton Brewing Co. reserves the right to deny any team entry into the cooking competitions and event.
  2. Each competing team shall supply all of their own Jalapeño Peppers, cooking ingredients, individual cooking devices, utensils, preparation tables, etc.
  3. Team space is limited in size to a 10′ x 10′ pop-up tent and a cooker. With that in mind, teams should be no bigger than 4-6 people. Space is not expandable.
  4. The focus of all turn in entries should be a Jalapeño Popper featuring a Jalapeño Pepper. The Jalapeño Pepper ranges from 2,500 – 8,000 Scoville units in heat. Under no circumstance should any pepper hotter than a Jalapeño be used or served to our judges. Any team that violates this rule will be immediately disqualified. Hot sauces added to recipes should only be used with the intention of increasing flavor. Burning up a judges’ taste buds or throat should never be done intentionally.
  5. There will be two turn in rounds.
    • Round 1 will turn in 12 poppers at 2:30 pm. Round 1 will be an anything goes turn-in, meaning, do whatever you want. You have e complete freedom on this entry. Literally, No Holds Barred!
    • Round 2 will turn in 12 poppers at 4:30 and must feature either High Cotton Scottish Ale, High Cotton ESB or High Cotton IPA in your recipe and turn in.  
  6. Contestants are expected to turn in at least 12 of the same Jalapeño Popper for each category they are competing in for blind judging. Teams who submit different style poppers in the same entry pan will be disqualified immediately.
    • Two 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.6 inch aluminum half pans will be given to each team. One pan should be used for each competition round.
    • Garnishing is allowed without restriction and will only help a team’s Appearance & Presentation scores.
  7. Judging will be blind. There are to be no markings, symbols, or attempts made by a team to link their entry or turn-in pan back to their team name. Any violations of this rule will result in disqualification.
  8. Poppers will be judged on APPEARANCE & PRESENTATION, USE OF INGREDIENTS, STRUCTURE OF ENTRY, OVERALL TASTE and OVERALL IMPRESSION using whole numbers between 2 and 10. A 10 would be perfect, 9 is beyond excellent, 8 amazing, 7 above average, 6 average, 5 below average, 4 poor, 3 bad, and 2 inedible.
  9. The three teams will the highest cumulative scores will place 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
  10. All results are final. Teams are reminded that this is friendly Popper Throwdown and cooking competition. Sportsmanship is required at all times.
  11. Additional rules may and will be added as necessary.