The Jack returns to Lynchburg on Saturday

The 2022 Jack winner Heavy Smoke BBQ
Heavy Smoke BBQ will return to Lynchburg this weekend to defend their Grand Champion title at the 34th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. (Photo Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Lynchburg is home to the Jack Daniel Distillery and famous for its world-renowned Tennessee whiskey. But each year on a crisp October Saturday, the small town turns into the barbecue capital of the world – attracting teams and enthusiasts from across the country and around the globe. The 34th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue returns to historic downtown Lynchburg and Wiseman Park this weekend.

Judges and thousands of fans will join competitive barbecue’s best of the best as they compete for the coveted top spot in what is widely considered the world’s most prestigious barbecue competition.

Barbecue teams from around the world are preparing to smoke, season and sear their way towards a chance to be named the Grand Champion of The Jack. A total of 81 teams from the United States and as far away as Australia, Estonia, Italy, Mexico and New Zealand will compete in seven categories – Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.

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 2022 Jack Daniel’s Grand Champion and this season’s grand champions from Memphis in May, The American Royal World Series of Barbecue Open, and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest.

“Growing up in Lynchburg, this competition has always been a special tradition for me and my family and an opportunity for old and new friends of Jack to come visit our hometown,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher. “This year’s teams share the same passion for barbecue that we have for whiskey-making. They are truly masters of their craft, and I can’t wait to taste what they cook up.”

Event activities will include original games such as the Country Dog Contest 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 34th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a voluntary donation to the Moore County school system. To learn more, check out The Jack’s Facebook page for news and updates. Or stay tuned to The Lynchburg Times this week as we publish our annual Insider’s Guide to the Jack Daniel’s Barbecue. •

{The Lynchburg Times is a nonpartisan, independent community newspaper serving Lynchburg, Tennessee and the surrounding counties. We are dedicated to public service journalism for the greater good of our community. You can support us, by clicking here.}