The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Spirits and Seminars Added to Big Q Barbecue Festival


Spirits and Seminars Added to Big Q Barbecue Festival

You are going to want to be where the action is as the competition heats up for the 6th Annual Wine Country Big Q - Sonoma County’s ONLY National Barbecue Competition and Festival on Saturday, July 9 from 1 to 5pm at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California. With over $9,000 in cash and prizes, Pitmasters from throughout the country are signing up to see who will rule the grill as the Grand Champion and move on to compete at the Kansas City Royale and Jack Daniels Classic, two of the “big daddys” of barbecue competitions. 

Take your food and drink tasting experience to the next level by purchasing VIP tickets to The Bull Pen! You’ll get complimentary Lagunitas beers and Geyser Peak wines, plus local spirits tasting provided by Alley 6 Craft Distillery, American Craft Whiskey Distillery, Graton Distilling Company, Siddiqui Rums Corporation, and Sonoma County Distilling Company. Spirits tasting only happens in The Bull Pen!

For those who just can’t wait for delicious barbecue, choose the Early Bird Entry where you get all of the perks of The Bull Pen ticket, but a whole hour before anyone else! Included is a special seminar with Executive Chef Mark Johnston from Petaluma Poultry – Home of Rocky the Free Range Chicken. Chef Mark will demonstrate how to break down and brine your bird.

Need a break from sampling all that good barbecue? Before the “meat sweats” set in, check out the seminar tent with experts on hand throughout the day to help you brush up on your barbecue skills! G&G Supermarket will show you how to make chimichurri sauce and rubs perfect for beef; and Laurie Figone of Cooking with Laurie will give you perfect sides for the grill. Seminars are included in the price of your ticket. 

The Wine Country Big Q is a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) nationally sanctioned barbecue competition and festival and has its own special twists added into the contest. The “Big Beef Challenge” sponsored by Harris Ranch Beef provides teams the opportunity to show how well their pairings work as they sample out wine, beer or cider with their beef. There is also the “Bold Bean Challenge”; “Bakin’ for Bacon” competition for the dessert dish that best showcases bacon; and the Tailgater Team Challenge – an opportunity for backyard barbecuers to compete with chicken wings.

The Big Q gives you a rare opportunity to taste some of the most mouthwatering barbecue that you can find this side of the Rockies as you graze your way through the festival sampling slow-cooked barbecued meats prepared by some of the best Pitmasters and teams in the country. Cast your vote for your favorite barbecue treasures - in addition to cash, teams will compete for a People’s Choice Award and points to qualify for select national competitions.  

For the second year, Wine Country Big Q will participate in the 250KCBS Meals Mission, a program in which our Barbecue Teams cook up delicious ‘que which is donated to local food banks. The goal of the 250KCBS is to donate at least 50,000 pounds of food to help feed the homeless and hungry in the U.S. Participating competitions also collect non-perishable food. 

Entertainment at this year’s Big Q will feature tribute bands playing the music of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Sponsors of this year’s Wine Country Big Q include American AgCredit, Fishman Supply Company, G&G Supermarkets, Harris Ranch Beef Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, John Boos Cutting Boards, Mountain Mike’s, Sonoma County Meat Company, Sonoma County Harley Davidson, 106.3 The Bull, 97.7 The River and Petaluma Poultry – Home of Rocky the Free Range Chicken. 

Wine Country Big Q is a benefit for Sonoma County Vet Connect. Presale tickets for adult admission are $45 each and include a pound of award-winning barbecue, wine, beer and cider tasting and live entertainment. Tickets for The Bull Pen are available by advance purchase only for $75 for adults and include the benefits of general admission plus entry into The Bull Pen and a special spirits tasting. Adult ticket prices are $50 on the day of the event, so purchase your tickets early. Youth tickets are also available. The Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds is located at 175 Fairgrounds Drive, in Petaluma just a minute off of Highway 101. For more info visit our web site at or call us at 707-837-1928.