Our annual Brew & Q World Pork Steak Championship is this weekend and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. For those uninitiated to the ways of Brew & Q, it’s essentially a 2-day BBQ blowout at Schlafly Bottleworks over Memorial Day weekend featuring live music, great Schlafly beer and a no holds barred “World Pork Steak Championship” where 30 different amateur teams duke it out for bragging rights and prizes in the categories of Best Pork Steak, Best Appetizer Paired with a Schlafly Beer, and my personal favorite…Best Booth.
All fanfare aside, the real star of the show is the Pork Steak, a delectable cut of meat as uniquely St. Louis as Toasted Ravioli, Gooey Butter Cake, Peanut Butter (darn right we created peanut butter), The Slinger, Provel Cheese, TUMS (these should come in really handy this weekend) and good old Schlafly Beer.
Not familiar with Pork Steaks? That’s ok. Maybe you’re not from St. Louis or maybe you just grew up cut off from the world living in small, dusty cupboard under some stairs with lots of spiders. There are certainly any number of logical reasons why you might be in the dark about the tastiness that is Pork Steaks, but the time for Pork Steak ignorance ends now. Memphis has pork ribs, Kansas City has Burnt Ends, but the barbecued meat of choice in St. Louis is the most definitely the Pork Steak.
The Pork Steak is a staple of St. Louis-style barbecue that’s typically cut from the shoulder part of the hog (the Boston butt) and tends to be a pretty fatty cut of meat. These one-inch shoulder cuts are usually either slow cooked in barbecue sauce or smoked for several hours. Regardless of your preparation method, most connoisseurs will then slather them in a St. Louis style barbecue sauce (like Mauls), which tends to be thinner and not as sweet as KC or Texas-style sauces. But don’t take my word for it, if you really want a proper Pork Steak initiation, make sure to get yourself to Schlafly Bottleworks this weekend and wash one down with a Summer Lager or Dry-Hopped APA.
As an added bonus, Schlafly Beer has once again partnered up with another local St. Louis company to bring you a very special snack to enjoy with your barbecue and beers this weekend… Old Vienna Pork Steak BBQ Potato Chips!
That’s right, everything that is succulent and flavorful about Pork Steaks has somehow been reverse engineered by Old Vienna’s potato chip scientists and made into chip form. This isn’t a joke. This is happening. THIS WEEKEND! When we first got wind of these pungent marvels of modern potato chip ingenuity, we knew we needed to bring these to the people at this year’s Brew & Q World Pork Steak Championships. After tasting the new Pork Steak Potato Chips, Schlafly Tap Room Chef Andy White was overheard commenting the he could “actually taste the lighter fluid.” Now there’s an endorsement! The fact that Old Vienna was local was simply the icing on the potato chip, so to speak (note to Old Vienna - create icing covered potato chips).
The next thing I knew I was driving around with Ben Jones (our graphic designer) and Stewart Wolfe (our events and tours director), completely lost somewhere in Fenton, MO. searching for the Old Vienna World Headquarters so we could pick up our 15 cases of Pork Steak BBQ Potato Chips that we were intending to unleash upon you, good people. So get ready and make sure to grab a bag of Pork Steak Potato Chips this weekend.
As a side note, readers may also be interested in knowing that this is not the first time Old Vienna has found itself at the cutting edge of the culinary scene. St. Louis’s own, rapper Murphy Lee was at one point so completely smitten by Old Vienna’s best selling Red Hot Riplets that he not only recorded a hit single entitled “Red Hot Riplets”, but went on to re-brand the potato chip style for his own entry into the Rap Snacks lineup. When attempting to reach Murphy Lee for comment, I found out that Mr. Lee is, in fact a vegetarian and therefore can’t get down with Old Vienna’s latest offering.