Monday, September 12, 2011

Gettin' Sauced 2011 Recap

It was the hottest day* in the hottest summer in Austin, and I was planning to eat dozens of barbecue sauce. There was no air conditioning, but I was at least in the shade of an Independence Brewery warehouse drinking plenty of their cold brews.

Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, Austin

Caroline Thornley [Birmingham, AL]

In addition to plenty of sauce, there was a lot of barbecue to consume. Aaron Franklin of Austin's ultra-popular Franklin Barbecue was passing out Tipsy Texan sandwiches and John Mueller of the soon to open J Mueller BBQ had dozens of links of his special recipe sausage. I didn't get to try either, but John's sausage was gone in less than an hour.

Drew Thornley and John Mueller

Caroline Thornley [Birmingham, AL]

The event was the second annual Gettin' Sauced organized by Brad and Drew from Man Up Texas BBQ. This year was on a whole other level from the previous year with what seemed like ten times the attendance. I know the sauce entries shot up from 40ish in 2010 to 185 this year.

Brad Istre and Drew Thornley

Caroline Thornley [Birmingham, AL]

The judge's table was plenty of fun. I met a few new faces and saw some old friends.

Chris Reid, Drew and me

Caroline Thornley [Birmingham, AL]

Big Red was the official beverage of the event.

Judge Robert Sierra and a Big Red

Caroline Thornley [Birmingham, AL]

Across the table from me was the Daytripper himself, Chet Garner. If you haven't seen his show on PBS, then check it out. He travels around Texas to interesting destinations, and most importantly, enjoys a ton of barbecue along the way.

Judge Chet Garner

In all, I probably ate eighty or so samples of sauce. I was ready for some meat.

Sauce Fatigue

After several hours of sauce ingestion, the votes were tallied. Black's in Lockhart had a great showing as did Two Bros. Market in San Antonio.

Fresh Division Winners:
1. Black's Habanero
2. Black's Smokey
3. Two Bros. Sweet
4. Two Bros. Tamarind
5. Shiner R&B The Great White Hope - Alabama White Sauce

Bottled Division Winners:
1. Old Timer Gourmet
2. DennyMike's Carolina Style
3. Desert Smoke Sweet & Spicy
4. Grumpy's Black Label
5. Grumpy's Goodnight-Loving

For a full list of winners, check Man Up's site.

Event Photographer Caroline Thornley

Caroline Thornley [Birmingham, AL]

I'm looking forward to the event getting even bigger next year, and I know Drew and Brad are already planning 2012. I just hope they find a cooler day or an air conditioned judge's chambers.

*It was 110, and would be eclipsed by a 112 degree day the following day when I was judging a hot sauce festival, seriously.

- BBQ Snob

1 comment:

Drew Thornley said...


You're a trooper for enduring the heat and that many sauces. We truly appreciate your participation. And, no fear, the 3rd annual will be held in a cooler month.



Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.