Dead Bartenders, of Altoona, pictured at left, took home the Judges Choice Award, also known as the Best of Fest, dethroning Fred’s BBQ, of Stillwater, Minn., who won Best of Fest in both 2017 and 2018. Dead Bartenders returned to Brew & Rib Fest after a three-year layoff to grab the Judge’s Choice Award. 

It was another Saturday slam-packed with sunny skies, bottomless brews, delectable ribs and good music by the Jerry Way Band—their 22nd consecutive year of playing at the event—during Chetek’s 22nd annual Brew & Rib Fest at Phillips Park on Saturday, July 13. The 500 guests in attendance were treated to nearly 400 racks of ribs that were rubbed in secret spices and slathered in sauces by the six pitmaster teams vying for the coveted steel pig awards. Fred’s BBQ, pictured above, at right, won one of the People’s Choice Awards, while Because tickets are limited to 500 people and sell out in the first 24 hours of sales each year, the public is encouraged to visit the Chetek Brew & Rib Fest website at for updates regarding next year’s tickets.

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