Fireman by trade and passionate barbequer, Fred Brewer’s love for cooking began when he was a child. Fred could be found in the kitchen helping his mother, and as he grew, he would cook nightly dinners while his parents worked. During high school and college Fred worked at Friendly’s as a server where he became fonder of the food service. In 2009 Fred received his first smoker as a Christmas gift. It was a rough start, but with patience and practice, he refined his smoking.
By 2012, Fred honed the art of smoking and started making his own rubs and sauces. He adapted family recipes and gave them a southern twist. He regularly cooked for family and friends and dreamt of one day smoking up delicious BBQ for others.
In the winter of 2016, Fred built a new smoker and decided to share his love of smoking with the public. With his family and close friends, the Duffield’s, he started Fireman Freddie’s BBQ. By 2017, Fred found out that the small smoker that he had built could not keep up with the demand of the local food scene.
In late 2017, Fred attempted to have an extra-large smoker built for his operation, but after a year wasted on three different builders and nothing to show for, he decided to do it himself. Fred brought in his good buddy Matt who did all the welding while he cut and ground all the metal. After 18 months the new trailer was operational, but only for the 2019 season.
At the end of the 2019 season Fred was dreaming bigger and better again. After much thought and even throwing around the idea of a brick and mortar, Fred decided to stick to what he loved, small and personable. Around Thanksgiving Fred came across a huge company that specialized in BBQ trailers, Southern Dimensions BBQ and Concession Trailers in Southern Georgia. They even built one for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ Guy Fieri. The new 24′ trailer would be top of the line, sparing no expense- truly the dream trailer. In what seemed to be no time at all the trailer was under contract and being built. In the first week of March 2020 Fred drove the beast home from Waycross, GA.
Unbeknownst to Fred, the world would be shut down just 5 days after driving the trailer home. At the time he wanted to be optimistic for his business but was unsure if this would end up a good idea or a crippling purchase. Through the struggles of the world closing and the huge challenge of sourcing meat, Fireman Freddie’s BBQ prevailed through the pandemic by serving wherever would allow. Fred came out on the other side ready to take the business to the next level.
After the lockdowns ended and things reopened, Fred strived to build the best food truck he could. Fireman Freddie’s BBQ won numerous “Best of” awards and was highlighted in several publications. Fred was even featured on a bbq podcast. Watching his crowd grow, things felt like they were going smoothly until another huge hit came to the industry. In December 2021, the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) shut down the ability for food trucks to serve at breweries in the state of NJ. These being some of Fireman Freddie’s BBQ’s biggest events, the business again needed to adapt to the changing times.
We are happy to say we have adapted to the change and have expanded our business to events at festivals, farmers markets and weddings, for example. We love seeing all our regular customers and meeting first timers who are having their first taste of delicious NJ-style BBQ.
Fred could not have done this without the support of his wife, children, family, friends, and loyal customers. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram and come join us at the next local event or book us for a private party! We look forward to serving you soon!