Once again year we are excited to have these beer & BBQ expert judges from the local area.  They will be the first to sample the beer and BBQ and cast their vote.  

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Phil Wingo - Pork Mafia

Phil is a veteran pit master,  owner of #porkmafia that’s been part of or won a variety of BBQ competitions all over the country, including the Culinary Fight Club, 2014 1st place ribs at jack daniels, 2015 2nd place whole hog memphisinmay, and 2019 1st place beef memphisinmay 

When Phil is not competing, he’s consulting restaurants on smoked meat, caters local events, and teaches BBQ classes in Europe. Phil also has developed an award-winning line of rubs, sauces, and other BBQ products that he sells in the US and Europe.

Barry Sorkin - Smoque BBQ

Barry Sorkin is the principle partner, founder, and chef of Smoque BBQ, a little BBQ joint that opened in 2006 in Chicago’s Old Irving Park neighborhood, and quickly developed a reputation for serving some of the best BBQ in Chicago and has garnered national attention for bringing real Southern BBQ to the big city.  In its first two years, SMOQUE was featured in dozens of media outlets including Bon Appetit, Gourmet, The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and The New York Times.  Smoque is still widely recognized as the standard bearer for Chicago BBQ and continues to receive recognition and accolades for serving some of the best BBQ in the country.

Mr. Sorkin is also co-founder of the Illinois BBQ Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting BBQ in Illinois and leveraging the local BBQ community to feed those in need.  


Jennifer Breckner - Beer Education Expert

Jennifer Breckner is a writer, educator, event producer and speaker at the juncture of slow food, craft beer, art and culture. Most recently, she taught a sold-out hop-focused beer tasting session at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. For the last five years she's conducted beer education workshops on behalf of Brooklyn Brewery in Chicago at venues such as Binny's Beverage Depot, Whole Foods and several restaurants, as well as team training sessions. She also assists in organizing the Chicago leg of Brooklyn’s international touring event, Beer Mansion. In 2017 she was thrilled to visit Elk Mountain Farms in Idaho to learn firsthand about hop farming and production. Selected as a 2014 U.S. delegate to Slow Food International's Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy, Jennifer participated in a host of international beer tasting workshops that initiated her interest in the culture, history and gastronomical potential of this beverage. What excites her most, though, is to engage the public through fun food and beer pairing events that focus on the culture, history, and taste of craft beer and where maybe, just maybe, she gets someone to try something new.