Food Review: 'GWAR-B-Q Sauce'


My first exposure to GWAR was waaaaay back in October of 1997, where I saw them spray gallons of fluid across the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT.  It was a gloriously offensive experience, complete with mutant penguins being flayed alive, Marilyn Manson being dismembered, and the recently-dead Princess Diana showering the audience with blue blood (ha!).  I had an awkward high school kiss at that concert, which has forever changed how I feel about “Attack of the Penguins,” and the evening ended with a cocktail table overturning a warm beer onto my lap and filling me with every teenager’s worst fear: what was I going to tell my parents?

15 years later, GWAR is still going strong, destroying eardrums and pop-culture icons at their inimitable live performances, including the annual music festival/barbecue, appropriately called the GWAR-B-Q.  This year’s festival will be held on August 17th (which is also my mother’s birthday, making this the least appropriate gift I could possibly get her), and GWAR has released their own signature barbecue sauce, called GWAR-B-Q Sauce (natch) to mark the occasion.

Shockingly, for a band so dedicated to the pursuit of bad taste, GWAR-B-Q Sauce is genuinely delicious.  It’s certainly not a typical, off-the-shelf sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s fans need not apply), but it’s no less worth a taste.  Shipped in a simple glass bottle labeled with a vomiting Scumdog (way to make it appetizing, guys), popping the cap reveals a thick, strangely chunky brown liquid that is really like no sauce I’ve tasted before.

I’ve eaten it on everything from crab cakes to cheese sandwiches to vegan “chicken wings” (because irony is the most delicious of all), and it’s a gastric delight on them all.  It’s not as tangy as other sauces, but it’s sweet and very smoky, with a wonderful burn supplied by jalapenos and beer.  The beer, a craft brew called Lil’ Lucy’s Hot Pepper Ale, adds a lot of extra depth and heat.  This heat is gently dulled by a lot of molasses and soy sauce (fair warning: if you don’t like soy sauce, don’t bother), which only adds more depth and texture to the already fascinating sauce.  With grilling season coming up, I foresee this bottle being empty sooner than I would like.

The sauce is available for purchase at, although it’s temporarily out of stock.  If you’re going to be in the Richmond, VA area on August 17th, I certainly imagine that they’ll have plenty for sale at the GWAR-B-Q.  Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to the Ring Dog Rescue because “GWAR hates humans but loves pit bulls.”  Huh.  Maybe this won’t be that bad of a gift for my pit-owning mom after all…