6/27/2013 11:42:00 AM

A Day in the Life: Drew Thornley of the Man Up Texas BBQ Blog

If you want to know about Texas barbecue, talk to Drew Thornley. The UT McCombs School of Business professor’s extracurricular activities include running the Man Up Texas BBQ blog with his friend and business partner Brad Istre, taking barbecue enthusiasts on tours (check out our experience of the Lockhart tour), organizing the Gettin’ Sauced barbecue sauce contest and festival in town and more. As you can see below, in writing Thornley is concise and to the point. That’s necessary, given his busy schedule as a law professor and barbecue connoisseur, blogger and entrepreneur. In person, though, his Southern charm shines, with a big smile and open attitude that has won him many friends in the barbecue world, where his word is trusted and respected. Here’s what his typical day looks like.

7:30-8AM I start each morning by posting on my blog, which I have done at least once every single day since starting the blog in August 2008. The posts range in content from news about BBQ joints to pictures from visits to questions of the day to features such as "Texas BBQ Wannabes" (my ongoing list of BBQ joints outside of Texas with a Texas-themed name and/or joints that serve Texas-style BBQ). I also keep up with our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

8-8:30 AM Commute to UT Austin’s law school.

8:30-9:30 AM Office hours.

9:30 AM-1:45 PM Teach three sections of business law to UT upperclassmen.

2-4 PM Grab lunch before office hours.

4-5 PM Swim laps at UT. With all the barbecue I eat (and think about eating), exercise is an important part of my routine.

5-7 PM Head home, make and eat dinner (not barbecue).

7-9 PM Emails, business development, tour logistics. Most nights, I work on some or all of Man Up Texas BBQ's various ventures. There’s Gettin' Sauced (an annual BBQ-sauce contest and festival in Austin), the Q Card (a savings-card program for all things Texas BBQ), Texas Q Tours (which runs public and private Texas BBQ tours) and All-Star Sauces (a membership-based program for award-winning BBQ sauces). A typical night consists of phone calls and double-digit emails, as I reach out to potential businesses for each of my ventures, either as participants or sponsors.

I spend a good deal of time planning itineraries for BBQ tours, which range from small, private groups that get customized, guided tours to public tours, which are one-off tours that are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tours involve booking transportation, setting up meals for each stop, and organizing itineraries that flow well, based on, among other factors, geography.

9-11 PM Relax, read, watch TV.

11 PM Hit the hay.


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