By Jennifer Hazard
Photographed by Derek Bissonette
Last summer, Dana Masters sported a Crocodile Dundee hat while hovering over the wood-fired smoker in his driveway, and Buddy Welch, a member of his volunteer pit crew, misted a 15-pound alligator with what Masters described as a secret concoction. Masters, a Registered Maine Guide, started making his Beast Feast line of barbecue sauces and rubs in 2009. Now, he hosts free monthly open houses in his Bridgton backyard throughout the summer. Guests can tailgate, bring lawn chairs, or lay out picnic blankets, and they get to chow down on whatever Masters is serving up. Along with alligator, the menu on one weekend last year included smoked pork and goat, mac and cheese, shrimp, home-made stuffing, and bean-hole beans. Beast Feast sauces are always on hand for dousing the undressed meats, and they’re also available to buy on-site in the Sauce & Rub Hub shed, which Masters also stocks with house-made ketchups, mustards, hot sauces, and marinades. Gator goes well with pretty much any of them.
This year, Dana Masters is hosting barbecue open houses from 1 to 3 p.m. on May 30, June 27, August 1, and August 29 at 63 Burnham Rd., Bridgton. 207-647-2746.