Nearly 100 domestic and international teams and 25,000 fans to ready to celebrate 28 years of competition
LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Barbecue teams from around the world are preparing to smoke, season and sear their way to a chance to be named the Grand Champion at the 28th annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in historic Lynchburg on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Judges and more than 25,000 fans will join competitive barbecue’s best of the best as they compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion in what is widely considered the world’s most prestigious barbecue competition.
Teams from the United States and international teams from as far away as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland and South Africa will compete in seven categories – Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.
Famous for its world-renowned Tennessee whiskey, Lynchburg is home to the Jack Daniel Distillery, America’s first registered distillery which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. But each year on the fourth Saturday of October, a small town tucked in the rolling hills of southern Middle Tennessee turns into the barbecue capital of the world, attracting teams from all 50 states and around the globe.
To qualify, domestic teams must have won a state championship with a minimum of 25 competing teams, or a competition with more than 50 teams battling in the categories of Pork Ribs, Pork Butts, Chicken and Beef Brisket.
The final competitors are then selected during a blind drawing of all eligible teams in August. Additionally, automatic invitations are given to the 2015 Jack Daniel’s Grand Champion, Cool Smoke, and this season’s grand champions from the Memphis in May, American Royal Open and Houston World’s Championship Bar-B-Que competitions.
“Every year, the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue brings out the best of the best in barbecue for a competitive, yet fun, weekend,” said Lynne Tolley, KCBS-certified barbecue judge and great-grandniece of Jack Daniel. “The town of Lynchburg sees thousands of fans descend upon it, and that’s when it all really comes to life.”
Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett continues to be impressed by the talent, focus and skill of the competing teams.
“The level of talent Lynchburg hosts each October for The Jack continues to amaze me,” said Arnett. “These teams have a sincere sense of passion for barbecue and respect for each other. It’s what makes this competition the best in the world.”
Other activities include original games such as the Country Dog Contest, Butt Bowling, and Bung and Bag Toss competitions. Games begin Saturday at 11 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Tours of the Jack Daniel Distillery from the Visitor Center will also be available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Barbecue judging starts at 11:30 a.m., and the awards presentation will take place at 5 p.m.
Admission to the 28th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a voluntary donation to the Moore County School system. For more information, visit <www.jackdaniels.com>.