Brewerks’ Glizzy Guzzler goes off with bang
Inaugural hot dog eating contest deemed success
It might not have been the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York, but Fort Wayne began its own Independence Day weekend tradition on Sunday, July 3.
The inaugural Glizzy Guzzler at Summit City Brewerks was won by Nathan Klein of Battle Creek, Michigan, who took home the $200 first prize by consuming 21 hot dogs, as well as a 16-ounce Old Crown Ale in 10 minutes, while Canyon Zwick of Fort Wayne put down 11 frankfurters, winning a $50 prize furnished by RUFENER Financial.
“I knew there were going to be a lot of good competitors, so I went with the dunking strategy,” Klein said of dunking his hot dogs, bun and all, into a furnished cup of water. “I had never dunked before, and I made a huge mess: I apologized to the folks sitting next to me afterwards, but that was the key to eating it quick. I had a big meal yesterday, and worked out today, and was ready to go.”
The idea for the competition struck Brewerks general manager Zach Bohner while working a slow Fourth of July weekend a year ago, when a lot of people leave the city to enjoy one of the many lakes in our area.
“Last year, we were open on the Fourth, and Cody (Jackson), our kitchen manager, and I were watching the Nathan’s (Hot Dog Eating) Contest, and we were just bored, because it was the Fourth,” Bohner said. “So, we were just talking, and were like, ‘Why don’t we do this? We’re known for hot dogs.’ So, it just made sense. We got online and saw that there aren’t any hot dog eating contests in our area. We couldn’t find any that were closer than Indianapolis.”
But what do you call it?
“Well, glizzy is slang for hot dog, and everybody likes alliteration, so it became the Glizzy Guzzler,” Bohner said.
The inaugural event featured those aiming high for the $200 prize, as well as those just seeking some fun, happy to pay the $25 entry fee for some dogs, a pint of Old Crown, and a t-shirt. For Bohner, a beautiful day under a cloudless sky was all he could ask for.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I hoped we’d get 10 people signed up, and we ended up with 15. We had some fantastic competitors, so I’m really happy with it.”
What was a bit unexpected was to see one of the smallest competitors putting down the most hot dogs, but that’s something Klein is used to, as this wasn’t his first eating competition.
“Five-foot-nine, 175 pounds, so, yeah, I usually surprise a lot of people,” Klein said about his stature.
And, yes, consuming that many hot dogs also surprised some the bellies of some competitors. Luckily, Brewerks wasn’t so surprised, as buckets were on hand, though sometimes ignored.