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University of Missouri

The Boss of Sauce

MU professor will be remembered for his Show‐Me sauce.

Harry and Lina Berrier

Harry and Lina Berrier, his surviving wife of 62 years, mixed and bottled Show‐Me sauce in their basement starting in 1975. The operation still produces about 14,000 gallons of sauce a year. Photo by Rob Hill.

show-me bar-b-q sauce

For many Columbians, it’s a mid‐Missouri cookout staple alongside the tongs, charcoal and billowing smoke.

Harry Berrier, BS Ag ’41, MS ’60, first concocted what would become Show‐Me Liquid Smoke Bar‐B‐Q Sauce in the 1970s. The small batches, whipped up before dinner guests arrived, were a hit among family and friends.

There wasn’t anything available on the [grocery] shelf that was fit to eat because it was all full of junk,” Berrier told MIZZOU in 2010. “Tapioca, water, guar gum, xanthan gum — they don’t add a thing to flavor, just bulk. So I made my own.”

Berrier, professor emeritus of clinical pathology and toxicology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, died March 10, 2013, at age 95.

Born in 1917 on a farm near Norborne, Mo., the 37‐year veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force founded the American Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathologists in 1965.

He and Lina, MA ’61, his surviving wife of 62 years, mixed and bottled Show‐Me in their CoMo basement starting in 1975. Now, with a part‐time staff and an industrial mixer, the operation produces about 14,000 gallons of sauce per year. It’s available at local grocery stores and many out‐of‐state restaurants and meat shops. Show‐Me has mail‐order customers in all 50 states.

Lina and Harry have established a trust with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Profits go toward the ultimate purchase of prairie land to be named after the couple.