Andrew “The Beer Guy” Tessmer first met Rick “The Sauce Guy” Duree while doing marking work for Duree’s tech startup. The duo eventually left the tech world and opened BeerSauce Shop in June in St. Peters, Missouri, which offers about 500 craft beers, 30 small-batch whiskeys and 250 hot sauces, barbecue sauces and rubs. Along with running the shop on a taste-before-you-buy philosophy, the duo collaborate with other local businesses to host community classes on barbecue, beer and whiskey at the shop.
What inspired BeerSauce Shop? I had the idea to do a bottle shop featuring only craft beers; Rick was a big sauce guy at the time. Really, it’s just a combination of our passions. He loves sauce, I love beer. We said, “Hey, barbecue and beer makes a whole lot of sense, especially here in St. Louis.” Fast forward eight months and we’re here.
How does the “taste-before-you-buy” philosophy work at the shop? We have eight beers on draft: Folks can belly up to the bar and order tasters, full pints or a flight of any four beers. Every time you come in, we’ll have something new on draft to get a taste of. In addition, you can grab any bottle off the shelves. On the sauce side, we worked with a variety of manufacturers to come up with some recipes of our own and got those all house branded. Around 50 of them at any one time will be available for tasting at the bar.
What do you look for in a beer or sauce? No macros. Take beers for example: First, and foremost, we look at the flavor and quality. Then, the company must be fiercely independent, brewing in small batches and honoring its tradition of beer. It must look at the base brew style to figure out how to make it new, unique and fun. As far as the sauces go, I couldn’t tell you how many sauces we tasted through until we got to 250. Judging from the amount of Tums I had in my stomach, I would estimate we tasted around 600 bottles of sauce.
Tell us about the classes you offer. For barbecue school, we work with the guys at Sugarfire Smoke House at the location in St. Charles, Missouri, to get one of their pitmasters in. We also have whiskey school, which Adam Stumpf from Stumpy’s Spirits in Columbia, Illinois, will be coming out for. Wood Hat Spirits in New Florence, Missouri, is going to come out to do a wood tasting, [to] show how different oaks add different flavors. For the beer school, we have different local breweries come out to tell the story of their brand. One of the things we found fascinating as beer aficionados is how these people get passionate, turn it into a business, their philosophy on brewing and why they’re doing what they’re doing.
318 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., Suites C and D, St. Peters, Missouri, beersauceshop.com