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June 16, 2013

Pitmasters face off at smokin’ showdown

JEFFERSONVILLE —

Barbecue pitmasters from across the country converged at the corner of Spring Street and Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville once again to season and smoke up pork perfection at the fifth annual Smokin’ on the River BBQ, Blues and Brew Festival on Friday and Saturday.

Around fifty professional teams vied for the grand championship trophy and a share of $8,500 in prize money, while about twenty backyard amateur teams competed for bragging rights in four categories: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. 

Smokin' has drawn attention from professional pitmasters nationwide after becoming an official Kansas City Barbecue Society, or KCBS, contest. KCBS is the world’s largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts. 

The overall professional team grand champion, winning a trophy and $2,000 prize, went to “Que’n, Stew’n and Brew’n”, a father-and-son team from Acworth, Ga.

Scott Smith and his 14-year-old son, Christopher, hauled their Southern Q Smoker and trailer into town last week as they found a parking spot next to other barbecue trailers and RVs preparing for competition along Riverside Drive. As Christopher dragged his grand championship trophy, which was almost as big as him, to his trailer, local residents rose from their porches to congratulate him and snap photos of the Smokin’ champions. Scott said while it is his first time to Smokin’ on the River, he’ll definitely come back.

“The people here are so friendly, even though we come here and park our trailers in front of their houses for several days,” Smith said. “In return, I try to support local business when we come into small cities like Jeffersonville, like eating locally and buying tools and equipment locally.”

Scott said the father-and-son duo, with the help of others throughout the school year, compete in about 17 KCBS competitions annually and their team Que’n, Stew’n and Brew’n is overall placed in the top 25 in the country out of 7,000 teams. While Scott shows his passion for barbecue through owning and building Southern Q Smokers, his son Christopher shows his passion for the pit through extracurricular activities. 

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