Back for a third year, Q for a Cause is bringing out even bigger guns this time around for its annual charity barbecue event at Cottonwood Bar. Legendary third-generation pitmaster John Mueller will be on hand this year as he has at the last two Q for a Cause events, and he's bringing a few friends: Ronnie Killen, of Killen's BBQ in Pearland; Wes Jurena of Pappa Charlie’s in Houston; and Neil Strawder of Bigmista’s Barbeque in Los Angeles.

Getting barbecue from these four greats is no easy task for your average Houstonian: getting Mueller's meat usually requires a drive to Austin; the lines at Killen's (one of our top five new restaurants of 2014) are infamous; Pappa Charlie's mostly provides its championship barbecue via catering gigs; and Neil "Bigmista" Strawder usually only brings his LA-based barbecue to Houstonia once a year, at the annual fundraiser for his childhood church in Galveston, St. Augustine of Hippo. It goes without saying, then, that having all four 'cue champs under one roof (or tent, in this case), is no small thing.

This Saturday starting at noon at Cottonwood, come and taste them all while you chow down for a good cause. All of the proceeds from the big event go to the United States Veterans Initiative, which provides a range of services for newly returned, homeless, and at-risk veterans. In addition to the barbecue, there will also be a silent auction as well as T-shirts and koozies for sale; proceeds from these sales go to benefit local Houston vets.

Mueller and his army of pitmasters will be smoking over 1,500 pounds of brisket, beef ribs, sausage, boudin, and turkey on Saturday, though this doesn't mean there will necessarily be enough left if you wait until 3 p.m. to arrive. The barbecue will be served starting at noon, and you can bet your brisket there'll be a big line of 'cue hounds queued up before then. So get there early, and plan to spend your afternoon soaking up the gorgeous fall weather and the intoxicating scent of smoked meat.

Q for a Cause, Oct 25, noon, Free (barbecue sold by the pound), Cottonwood Bar, 3422 N. Shepherd Dr., facebook.com/eatforacause

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