Smoke Freaks were born when captains Brian and Ann Neale got hooked on competition BBQ at their first backyard contest in 2014.
After entering with the hastily conjured name “Smoking Freaks,” a couple of beat- up WSMs and expectations no greater than having a good time, they ended up taking 1st place in Ribs. At the awards ceremony, they were mistakenly identified as “Smoke Freaks,” and the name stuck.
Since then, Smoke Freaks have been on a mission to spread their love of BBQ and their passion for living life to the fullest with the world.
When not cooking out of their Chicago headquarters, Smoke Freaks are busy designing Freakishly great BBQ experiences for their customers. They combine 50 years of professional business expertise with their passion for all things BBQ to offer a full range of BBQ e-commerce solutions, consulting services, classes & seminars and more.
Brian is Co-Founder and Pitmaster for Smoke Freaks. He's also founder of the Chicagoland BBQ Society Facebook group and a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge. He recently served as Competition Director for the Windy City BBQ Classic, drawing 64 teams from across the Midwest.
When he's not smokin', Brian is Partner & Product Principal at The Neale Group LLC, a customer experience consulting firm.
Ann is Co-Founder and Pitmaster for Smoke Freaks. She's also a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, an Operation BBQ Relief volunteer and administrator of the Chicagoland BBQ Society Facebook group.
Ann served as Event Director & KCBS/CBJ Director at the 2015 Windy City BBQ Classic.
Ann is also Partner & Marketing Principal at The Neale Group LLC, a customer experience consulting firm.