Bread tests and sausage sampling at Lewis Barbecue sneak peeks

Vernon (from left), Anita and Sam Bowen and Heather Pruitt. The mural is the work of artist Chris Kemp. Revelry Brewing Co. is on Conroy Street, between Meeting Street and Morrison Drive downtown. Wade Spees/Staff

Pitmaster John Lewis won’t go on the record about which cut of meat he likes best. But let’s just say it behooves his customers to venture beyond brisket at his upcoming weekly pop-up, which will function as a testing lab and promotional campaign for Lewis Barbecue.

Lewis, who made his name at La Barbecue in Austin, this fall is opening his first restaurant at the North Morrison development that also houses Edmund’s Oast. Starting June 6, he’ll be warming up on Saturday afternoons at Revelry Brewing, serving brisket, pulled pork, hot guts and side dishes.

Unlike most pitmasters, Lewis makes his hot guts from scratch. The sausages are a blend of ground brisket, beef heart and beef liver, moistened by beef fat and embroidered with spices. “There just wasn’t one that seemed right,” Lewis says of his decision to produce sausage instead of purchase it.

Most Charlestonians who’ve tried the hot guts “love it, love it, love it,” but Lewis allows there’s a subset of eaters who are overwhelmed by the heat; he’s considering making a mild version for the restaurant menu.

Just like at the forthcoming restaurant, pop-up patrons will order by weight, and the barbecue will be served with pickles, onions and white bread. Over the course of the summer, Lewis hopes to experiment with breads and buns from various bakeries. He wants “something more substantial than Wonder Bread,” which is the house loaf at many of Texas’ better barbecue establishments.

Revelry Brewing is located at 10 Conroy Street, just two blocks from the Lewis Barbecue location. Barbecue service starts at high noon.

For more information, follow John Lewis or Revelry Brewing on Facebook or Twitter.