KCBS Teams



Welcome to Wine Country Big Q – Sonoma County’s Premiere BBQ Event. Sonoma County is a mecca of great food and world-class wine and until now has had very little barbecue influence. We hope you will join us in our efforts to showcase great barbecue with this Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition at our new location (with no stairs) at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma.  In an effort to educate the public, we  strongly encourage that all teams participate in the Public Tasting. KCBS Rules and regulations will be enforced. This is a ToY (Team of the Year) Event!

General Information and Requirements: Registration

  • Registration fee is $275 if we receive your application before May 1, 2018, and $300 after that, and includes entry into all four barbecue categories. Plus the mystery meat competition (we supply the mystery meat)! You must compete in all four categories to be eligible to Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion.

Prizes and Awards More than $9,000 will be awarded at Wine Country Big Q. The following cash payments will be awarded in each of the four entry categories:

First Place: $500

Second Place: $400

Third Place: $300

Fourth Place: $200

Fifth Place: $100

Overall Grand Champion will receive $1,000 plus a trophy Reserve Grand Champion will receive $500 plus a trophy Mystery Meat first place receives $250 plus a Boos Board from John Boos Company. People’s Choice Award winner will receive a trophy plus bragging rights!

BBQ Public Tasting/People’s Choice Sampling

  • It is strongly encouraged that each team provide barbecue sampling to the public. It is important that we educate the consumer and therefore we need this to be a public tasting. At this point we expect 1,500+ consumers and ask that each team provide at least 500 total samples of one or more of the four meats prepared for the competition. Each sample should be a two (2) ounce portion.
  • The Public Tasting will begin at 1 pm. Please contact contest organizer if you need volunteer assistance for the Public Tasting.
  • Tasting tickets will be included in the ticket price and sold at the event. Tickets are $2 each. Teams will turn in their tickets at the end of the event and will receive a 50% payback about 30 days post event.
  • Each guest at the Public Tasting will receive a ballot to be used for voting for their favorite KCBS barbecue meat, Winery Big Beef Challenge tri tip, Bold Bean Challenge, and Bakin’ for Bacon Challenge.
  • If you have an item other than one of the four barbecued meats that you would like to sample or sell please contact event organizer.
  • Teams may sell merchandise (t-shirts, bottled sauce, etc.) for cash – not tickets (tickets are for barbecue samples only).
  • Paper napkins, forks, spoons and sample cups will be provided. Any other item needed to serve the public must be provided by the team.
  • All Sonoma County Health Department requirements must be followed. Click here for the health department’s recommendations. No permit is required.


  • Each team will be allocated a 20 feet wide by 20 feet deep space on lawn. Additional space is available for an additional charge. Contest organizer reserves the right to assign spaces. Need more space – please contact contest organizer.
  • Pits, cookers, props, trailers, tents or any other equipment including generators, may not exceed the boundaries of the team’s assigned cooking space. No staking allowed on the lawn.
  • Each cook team must have an approved fire extinguisher on site.
  • Receptacles for ashes will be available for dumping hot ashes at the end of the contest. Please dump hot coal only in the marked receptacles.
  • Please provide your own trash receptacles for your booth. Dumpsters will be conveniently located for trash dumping.
  • A security guard will be present overnight.
  • No pets permitted in the food booth, except service animals.
  • 20 amps power/110v is available for $25.

Overnight Accommodations

  • There is space just a short distance from the competition area for RV Parking at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma but there are a limited number of electrical hook ups. For more information about space availability please contact contest organizer.

Turn in Times:

11:00 am — Chicken
11:30 am — Pork Ribs
12:00 pm — Pork
12:30 pm — Beef Brisket
1:15  pm —Mystery Meat




Click here for the health department’s recommendations.