LYNCHBURG, Tenn. – A popular St. Peters barbecue joint has claimed its second world championship in less than a year, as the St. Louis area lays claim to having the best barbecue in the nation.

Heavy Smoke BBQ took home top honors—and $25,000—at the 33rd annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. Chris Schafer and Chad Brewer partnered in 2017 to launch Heavy Smoke BBQ, and opened their first brick and mortar location in 2020.

A total of 85 barbecue teams from around the world competed at this year’s event, competing in seven categories: pork ribs, pork shoulder/butts, beef brisket, chicken, dessert, cook’s choice, and Jack Daniel’s Sauce. To qualify for “The Jack,” a team must win one of the following: a state championship with at least 25 teams, a competition of 50 teams, or one of the premiere barbecue competitions in the country.

“This feeling is like nothing else. We’ve been chasing this title for years and years, and it’s just huge for us to get this win today,” Schafer said. “The Jack is so prestigious, and it’s so hard to even qualify for the chance to compete here. To get here and have this result is just amazing for us.”

Last November, Schafer won the grand championship and the Wells Cup at the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s World Championship event.

Good Googly Goo BBQ of Mitchellville, Maryland, was named the Reserve Grand Champion and took home the second-place cash prize of $10,000.