Bratwurst Festivals

Bratwurst Festivals

Brat fans in the U.S. can enjoy several different bratwurst festivals each year, with the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival, Brat Days festival in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Brat Fest in Madison, Wisconsin a few of the largest. As you might expect, you’ll find plenty of bratwurst to eat at big brat festivals as well as live music, contests, games, activities for the kids, and arts and crafts and other merchandise for sale. The big festivals often compete each year for various titles such as most bratwurst consumed, with some seeing hundreds of thousands of brats eaten over the course of the festival. Festivals such as Brat Fest also double as fundraisers, with money raised going to local charities and non-profits. While many of the big brat festivals are held in the heart of brat country in Wisconsin and Ohio, you’ll find some big festivals in other locales such as Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas. 2015 Bratwurst Festivals Brat Fest: May 22-25, 2015, Madison, WI 10th Annual Michigan Beer & Bratwurst Festival: May 23, 2015 – Thompsonville, MI Poconos’ Wurst Festival: July 18-19, 2015 – East Stroudsburg, PA Brat Days: July 30-August 1, 2015, Sheboygan, WI Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival: August 13-15, Bucyrus, OH Wurstfest: November 6-15, New Braunfels,...
Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Bratwurst and sauerkraut is a perfect marriage for most brat fans — although in Sheboygan you better not pile the sauerkraut on top of your brat as a topping! The strong, sour taste of sauerkraut pairs up nicely with the juicy goodness of bratwurst. Add in some popular side dishes like German potato salad or Spaetzle and you’ll have a simple, hearty meal that’s always a crowd pleaser. You can serve up sauerkraut in several different ways, from opening a can of store-bought sauerkraut to whipping up your own homemade sauerkraut. There are many different recipes for bratwurst and sauerkraut and we’ve listed just a few of our favorites below. What is Sauerkraut? Sauerkraut means “sour cabbage” in German and that’s exactly what it is — finely chopped or shredded cabbage that has fermented. Aside from tasting great with your brats, sauerkraut is actually very healthy for you, along with other fermented foods such as kimchi. Sauerkraut is high in fiber and the fermentation process promotes good bacteria and probiotics that aid digestive health. Raw sauerkraut is best if you’re primarily eating it for digestive health and you can find several different guides online to making your own raw sauerkraut: How to Make Raw Sauerkraut — the Detoxinista Raw Vegan Sauerkraut Recipe – About.com How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar – the Kitchn Bratwurst and Sauerkraut If you’re looking for the perfect sauerkraut to go along with your brats, you’ll have plenty of solid options. Many grocery stores stock authentic German sauerkraut from makers such makers such as Gundelsheim and Kuhne and many are available to buy...
How to Cook Sheboygan Brats

How to Cook Sheboygan Brats

Sheboygan takes its brats seriously and for good reason — it’s viewed by most as the birthplace of the American-style brat beloved by so many. Several Hall of Fame bratwurst makers hail from the Sheboygan area and the town and citizens take their brats very, very seriously. Spend any time in the city and you’ll quickly learn that they fry brats, serve them on a hard, round semmel roll, insist on certain toppings, and require all visitors to swear the bratwurst oath. We’ve outlined all the steps below to cook up your own Sheboygan-style brats at home — i’s up to you to follow them EXACTLY or incur the wrath of a horde of angry Sheboyganites! Sheboygan Brats Sheboygan brats are typically made of pork, with Miesfeld’s and Kewaksum Frozen Foods two of the long-time sausage makers in the area. There’s not much difference in Sheboygan-area brats compared to other brat makers in Wisconsin, with many relying on salt, pepper, and nutmeg as spices, with varying amounts of mace, garlic, sage, and ginger also sometimes added. So don’t despair if you can’t find Sheboygan brats to cook, as you’ll be in the general ballpark with any quality pork or beef/pork bratwurst that you have on hand. Frying Your Sheboygan Brats You never “grill” Sheboygan brats, you always “fry” them. Don’t break out the deep fryer just yet, though — in Sheboyganese it means exactly the same thing when it comes to brats, so yes, you’ll be grilling them and that’s how we’ll refer to the process for the sake of simplicity. While we recommend that you simmer your brats in beer...
Best Bratwurst Toppings

Best Bratwurst Toppings

Once you’ve grilled up the perfect brat, it’s time to top off your masterpiece. Like many things related to bratwurst, you’ll get many different answers when you ask brat fans what the best bratwurst toppings are. Some insist that you keep it very simple — with just stone ground mustard added to brats and nothing else — while others pile up raw onions, pickles, mustard, and ketchup on their sausages. Believe it or not, sauerkraut isn’t an automatic addition; for some brat fans it’s actually heresy to add sauerkraut as a bratwurst topping! The “Do’s” of Bratwurst Toppings Mustard is a definite “do” for brats and the only debate is whether it has company or not. But all mustard isn’t created equal. Always top off your brats with a coarse stone ground mustard like Inglehoffer or Plochman’s and save the cheap yellow mustard like French’s for hot dogs. Ketchup is one of the most popular bratwurst toppings in Sheboygan but not necessarily in other areas, so consider it perfectly acceptable but not required. Onions are also widely used but you’ll encounter some debate as to whether they should be grilled first before adding them as a brat topping. Sheboygan-style brats call for only raw sliced onions, while other brat lovers add onions but prefer to grill them first. Dill pickle slices are also acceptable on a Sheboygan brat, although relish and sauerkraut — popular toppings outside of Sheboygan — are considered no-gos there. The “Don’ts” of Bratwurst Toppings While purists like to debate the finer point of topping etiquette, in the end we’re talking about what tastes good with grilled...
World’s Best Bratwurst – Battle of the Brats

World’s Best Bratwurst – Battle of the Brats

One of the few things that bratwurst fans love to do more than eating brats is to argue about the best way to cook them and debate who makes the best brat. We have our own bratwurst Hall of Fame but we thought we’d try to settle the question of World’s Best bratwurst by letting YOU answer the question! Cast your vote in our “Battle of the Brats” contest and the ground rules are simple: you get one vote to pick who you think makes the world’s best bratwurst. Choose wisely — your vote might be the one to decide who is declared the Grand Champion bratwurst! Who makes your favorite brat?Carle'sJohnsonvilleKlement'sLouie's Finer MeatsMiesfeld'sRJ's Meats and GroceriesSchwai's Meat & SausageUsinger'sResultsVote April 2016 update: RJ’s Meats & Groceries jumped out to an early lead when we launched our Battle of the Brats contest back in 2015 but there’s a new boss in town — Louie’s Finer Meats! A big push in early 2016 has vaulted Louie’s into the lead, so we’ll see if RJ’s can respond. Those two are head and shoulders above the rest of the field, combining for nearly 90% of all votes cast so far! Louie’s Finer Meats: 2,643 votes RJ’s Meats & Groceries: 2,047 votes Johnsonville: 310 votes Usinger’s: 75 votes Schwai’s Meat & Sausage Market: 68 votes Klement’s: 29 votes Miesfeld’s: 28 votes Carle’s: 16 votes We’ll provide periodic updates on the race but there’s no deadline to get your vote in, with only the toughest and most dedicated bratwurst makers with legions of fans able to survive this slugfest! If you have a favorite brat you’re rooting for, be sure to share this...