Steve Usery

BeerSauce Shop Ballwin owner Steve Usery (Source: Provided)

Beer, sauce and barbecue, America’s triple culinary crown, is venerated seven days a week at BeerSauce Shop Ballwin. A unique concept that Steve Usery discovered as a customer. 

“I was a regular customer at the original St. Peters’ store. When the opportunity presented itself to become an owner at the Ballwin store I took it,” Usery said. He took the reins in Ballwin in 2020. 

Home to hundreds of varieties of beer and sauce, along with whiskeys, wines, ciders and seltzers, BeerSauce is all about the flavor experience.  

“That’s why we offer the opportunity to taste the beers on tap, our whiskeys, and the sauces at the sauce and beer bar,” Usery said. “I’ll pour you a sample of anything you like because you can’t tell what something is going to taste like by holding the bottle in your hand.

“We’re always looking for something new and fresh. That’s why you won’t find the big boy brands here, like Budweiser, because that’s not what we do.  What we do is focus on local and a lot of craft things from all over the planet.”  

To find your way through the hundreds of bottles, beer styles have been broken into sections such as Lagers, Sours, Stouts and Browns, and IPAs – currently, the most popular beer style. With people going “hoppy,” Usery dedicated more space to satisfy the demand. He stocks around 200 different IPAs.  

But if you’re not a fan of IPAs don’t worry. There are plenty of other tastes to try. Connoisseurs recommend, and the curious may wish to try, a sour beer style. Most of the time sours are fruited. Some can even be made with enough fruit pulp in them that it’s almost like a slushy. 

Then, there are nitro brews, a style of beer made with CO2, or carbonated using nitrogen. Many nitro brews are wildly flavored. One currently on the shelf is Key Lime Pie. Also sharing the shelves with beer are ciders, CBD drinks, Delta Eights, seltzers, wines and whiskeys. And for those who don’t imbibe, or for the kids, there’s a craft soda section.  

After working through the beer and beverage aisles, head to the sauce bar located under the shop’s widescreen TVs. When shopping for sauce, pay attention to the color-coded labels that define the flavor and heat of each of the more than 250 sauces and rubs currently available. 

“We have tasters out for everything on the sauce and rub bar,” Usery said. “Work your way from left to right. The blue labels are sweet, yellow is mild, orange and red are medium and hot, and the black labels are extreme heat. My three hottest ones I don’t keep out because they’re made to go into things like chili instead of on things.”

Opposite the sauce bar is a 24-tap beer bar. If that’s not enough choice, pick any of the beers on the shelf and ask to have it rapid-chilled. It only takes about 2 minutes. So instead of selecting from 24 choices on tap, your next cold beer could be selected from over 600 in-store. 

Pair your cold brew with a sandwich or snack from BeerSauce’s barbecue-themed menu, provided by Big V’s Craft BBQ. Succulent smoked meats make up a small, yet mighty, menu featuring brisket, pulled pork and chicken along with beer brats. The menu standout are the Squatch Nachos, a big meaty beast that begins with a mountain of nachos topped with chili, cheese, baked beans, brisket, pulled chicken, jalapenos, onions, sweet slaw, and crowned with a sliced-up brat. Customers are encouraged to sauce their food as they like using any assortment of sauces from the testers at the sauce bar.  

“It’s all about the flavor, that’s why we call our employees flavor guides,” Usery said. “Just tell us what you like, including the style of beer you like. We’ll guide you to the flavors you like. It’s part of the experience.” 

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