Sweet Smoke Q Wins Grand Champ Pro BBQ For 2nd Year At Rock ‘N’ Brews BBQ Competition
by James Coulter
Jim Elser and his barbecue team, Sweet Smoke Q, have been winning the tile of grand champion for the past seven years at various barbecue events. This year they attended the Rock ‘N’ Brews BBQ Competition for the second consecutive year and won the title of grand champ for professional barbecue.
Elser owes his success to having participated in barbecue since 2010. The past decade has conferred him the experience to make the best darned barbecue. That experience allowed him to win the grand champ title for the second year in a row at Rock ‘N’ Brews BBQ Competition at Camp Mack in Lake Wales.
“I have won grand champion every year for seven years…so I am happy to continue the streak,” Elser said.
Elser has been able to win the grand title for the past two years at Camp Mack and seven years at other competitions due to his consistency: consistency in quality, hard work, and passion. Such consistency allows him to make some of the best award-winning ribs and brisket.
Most of all, he loves being able to gather with family and friends in the great outdoor for good barbecue. “Barbecue is American food and we love to do it,” he said.
Sweet Smoke Q was one of 50 teams from across the county and state who participated in the annual Rock ‘N’ Brews BBQ Competition at Camp Mack in Lake Wales. The teams competed in various categories in both professional and backyard barbecue.
Sam Songer and his team, Done Right Smokin, won the grand champion title for the backyard division. As it was one of the last barbecue competitions of the year, he and his team were sure to attend, especially with many events having been canceled earlier this year, he said.
His own success he owes to a combination of practice and friendship, which allowed them to excel in chicken, ribs, pork butt, and brisket. To him, the best barbecue is prepared with the right combination of wood, rub, and especially meat.
“You need a good meat to get a good barbecue,” he said. As far as the competition, he claimed that, “it is a good crowd, big crowd. [There’s] a lot of people I haven’t seen for a long time.”
Aside from good old-fashioned barbecue, the annual event drew in a large yet “social distance-friendly” crowd that enjoyed live music, a fire show by a local performer, and a dedication ceremony inducting Camp Mack into the Historic Polk County Heritage Trail.
Several members of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society attended that afternoon to officially designate Camp Mack as a location along the Polk County Heritage Trail, which includes various other historic landmarks across the county.
The overall turnout more than met expectations, with 50 teams participating this year. More people and teams wanted to attend, but the campsite wanted to ensure that enough people were properly spaced out to help maintain healthy social distancing, explained event organizer, Kevin DeNell.
“It was a great event,” he said. “Teams were ready to cook, they were anxious to cook, they haven’t been able to cook for a long time, so we were glad to host this event safely.”
Camp Mack will be hosting a Bobby Lane Kids Fishing & Conservation Clinic on Dec 12. For $10, children and their families will have the chance to learn angling tips from Major League Bass Fishing Pro, Bobby Lane.
For more information about future events, visit their website at: https://guyharveycampmack.com/