Earlier today I received a horrible email. Here it is:
Unfortunately, the World Pork steak Championship will no longer be run or hosted by Schlafly Beer. While it was a fun event, it was not sustaining itself financially.
As a result, we have replaced it with another event on the same weekend. The new event will be hosted downtown, and it will not involve any competition.
[Schlafly guy’s signature block redacted]
What a horrible nightmare. Each year on Memorial Day Saturday, we would schlep up Big Bend and down Manchester to Southwest and visit the old Shop ‘n Save that The St. Louis Brewery turned into the Schlafly Bottleworks. In their parking lot we would engage in some competitive tailgating.
A few years ago, I bought a sixer of Schlafly and a little card was sticking out. Intrigued, I saw that I was invited to enter the World Pork Steak Championships. Each team needed to submit BBQed pork steaks and an appetizer, the app being paired with a beer. I tracked down a partner to handle the appetizer and we were off.
The first year we entered, we had no idea what we were doing. I finished a respectable 7th. Not bad for my first competition ever. Leading up to the event, we tried a half dozen recipes and practiced together for weeks. At the event, we snuck in a few cases of beer and cooked all day. What a great time.
In the following years, I tinkered with the recipe and never did very well. Despite my horrible showings, I still always placed higher than my appetizer partner. Now… nothing.
In fact, my logo for this blog was that first pork steak, right before I cut it up to serve it to the judges:
I will sincerely miss that event. We had already begun talking about practicing together. I guess we can still get together to grill on the weekend over the next two months, but it will be lacking the annual spring BBQ anticipation.
Damn shame. Heartbreak.