Thanks for the welcome replies, guys!
I'm planning to fire up the smoker for the first time this weekend. I'm sitting at work right now trying to find a place that sells charcoal at the end of December in Chicago. Apparently it's not "grilling season" here at the moment.
Looks like my local Home Depot has Royal Oak lump, Kingsford mesquite lump, and a few Kingsford briquette varieties.
My understanding is that lump is generally preferred since it burns longer and hotter with less ash.
Anyone have any experience with the Brinkmann Gourmet? Since there is no adjustable damper on the air inlet, will the lump burn too hot? I may work on a mod for the airflow as I've seen this is a good idea with this smoker. Not sure I'll get to it before this weekend, though, and I'd like to give the smoker a try.
Right now I have the smoker (along with welding gloves, tongs, charcoal chimney) plus some applewood chunks and hickory chips. The last thing I need to pick up is a bag of charcoal. Leaning towards the Royal Oak lump, but open to suggestions - or anything else I may have forgotten.