By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Brenau Barbecue & Banjos comes to tasty finish
Charlie McKenna with Holy Sow BBQ of Chicago pulls off a piece of whole hog Saturday for judging. - photo by Tom Reed

Brenau Barbecue & Banjos

Division winners

  • Grand champion, whole hog, shoulder: Jack’s Old South
  • Ribs: Yazoo’s Delta Q
  • Backyard Braggarts: Big Al’s Pit Crew (ribs), Smokin’ Butts (Boston butts)

Both backyard braggarts and professionals at cooking barbecue came together Saturday at the Brenau University amphitheater to compete in the first Brenau Barbecue & Banjos festival.

The barbecue cook-off included different categories for the backyard amateurs and the pros to compete in. Along with the barbecue, live bluegrass music was played by several groups and vendors sold various items.

Winners were announced at day’s end. The grand champion in the division for the professionals was Jack’s Old South, which also won categories for whole hog and shoulder. Yazoo’s Delta Q won in the category for ribs.

In the Backyard Braggarts division, Big Al’s Pit Crew won in the category for ribs and Smokin’ Butts won for Boston butts.

The money from the cookout went toward helping college students.

"It was specifically for local students," said Jim Barco, Brenau’s senior vice president for institutional development. "We had a bunch of local students that volunteered left and right."

The cook-off was $5 a ticket for the public and drew a big crowd.

"It was so exciting," said Barco. "It was amazing how many young families we saw all day long."

Several teams showed up to compete in the cook-off. One was Rick’s Smokin’ Pig from Gainesville, run by Richard Shaw.

Shaw said that this was a hobby of his and his amateur team.

"We are working on doing some personal catering for friends and families," Shaw said.

His team made all of its own sauces and cooked pulled pork, sausage and salmon. They were offering samples of the pulled pork to the public.

"We knew that they were having this, and we decided to come out and help Brenau," he said.

Another team was the Smokin’ Chili Cops, run by Duane Fry, who said he’s been on the circuit four years.

Fry has entered in numerous cook-offs, including those in Stone Mountain and Cartersville. This was his seventh of the year, and he said he plans to compete in two more.

His barbecue was gone within the first two hours that the cook-off was open to the public. The event gave the cooks a chance to meet new people.

"I like this one because it is local," Fry said.

"I hope they do this every year."

"We hope Brenau does this on an annual basis," Shaw said. "We would participate next time."