Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Jack

(This is a little late.  I started composing it before going to Oklahoma, and then tried to finish it while there, but I'd already loaded my pictures to the home computer.  Those puppies were worth another 5,000 words, you know.)

Saturday, Oct. 22, was the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue.  This is one of the, if not the, biggest BBQ competitions in the country.  Teams must qualify to enter by winning another major competition.  It's not like anyone can just show up with a little Coleman grill, and a couple of racks of ribs, and their grandmother's "secret" sauce (that she probably got from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook anyway).
Me with a Jack Daniel's themed Barbecue Grill

There were teams from all over the world.  40 United States were represented.  Squeal-on-U-BBQ came from Alaska, and Up In Smoke made it from Hawaii.  There were 18 international teams.  The largest contingent was from our neighbor to the north, eh.

Walking around and seeing the names of all the crews was half the fun.  We got to see teams like I Smell Smoke!!! (Malden, MA), Hog Tide BBQ (Bentonville, AR), - they had both University of Arkansas and University of Alabama banners hanging from their tent - 4 Smokin' Butts (Millstadt, IL), and Chix, Swine & Bovine BBQ (Jessup, MD).  The last one's logo is a chicken, a cow, and a pig all dressed like businessmen.  This is serious stuff, but they have a  lot of fun doing it.

This overgrown house was interesting.
That's not a trellis next to the satellite dish.
That's a flag pole.

My favorite team had to be Motley Que Crew from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI.  They by far drew the largest crowd of the day.  One of their crew members is Guy Fieri.  If you don't know Guy, you need to.  He has a couple of shows on the Food Network.  My favorite is Diners, Drives, and Dives.  He puts a rockin' spin on cooking.  His spiky blond hair, two-toned gotee, and his tattoos and bling let you know he's not another Emiril or Julia.

Guy Fieri and the Motley BBQ Crew (he's drinking the water)

I don't think we'll be on TV since we were behind them.
 The highlight for me, though, was visiting the Squire "tent" at the Jack Daniel's Distillery. 
My son and me at the Squire Tent
 It's a privilege to be a Tennessee Squire. Jack Daniel's definitely treats their squires right. One can only become a Squire by being nominated by another Squire. It has nothing to do with how much you partake of the golden liquid. My predecessor (? sponsor? nominator? Squire Father?) only tasted JD for the first time last year. His predecessor, on the other hand, well, we joke with him that he doesn't need to be embalmed after he dies. Also, we all know it would be catastrophic if he were to be cremated.As for me, I imbibe every once in awhile.  I'd much prefer a glass of Dr. Pepper, but Jack and Coke, or even better, Lynchburg Lemonade, definitely have their times and places.

The trip was a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to going back next year.  BBQ anyone?


  1. That post made me want barbecue! or BBQ! Or Bar-B-Q.....

  2. That looks like a lot of fun. Where did this shindig go down?

  3. Doh! Left out a critical piece of info, didn't I? This took place in Lynchburg, TN, where the Jack Daniel's distillery is located. It's a lot of fun. For Lynchburg, it's a big crowd. Compared to a state fair, or maybe even a county fair, it's not so bad. I think the longest line was at the root beer stand, where you buy a tankard and then get free refills all day.