The Brat’s Journey to America

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March 21, 2014 by Prost Brewing

Courtesy of: Kobako Under the license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en.

Courtesy of: Kobako Under the license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en.

If you have been reading the recent posts, you are now well versed on the history of the German bratwurst within the borders of Germany, but you likely do not yet know the story of how the beloved bratwurst crossed the great Atlantic to eventually find its integral place within American cuisine. Now found on every summer grill and in every baseball stadium, the bratwurst has long been a staple food in America, all thanks to the German immigrants who bravely journeyed to the new land of the free.

The first German immigrants began coming to America all the way back in the 1680s. Upon arrival, they founded Germantown, Pennsylvania in the year 1683. In this close knit group of German Americans, the Germans were able to retain much of their culture, including two of their most treasured foods, beer and brats. Choosing to remain together in numbers, many of the Germans immigrants would venture to find a home in the state of Wisconsin. By the 1860s, Germans comprised the largest group of immigrants in the state of Wisconsin. It was in this land now known as America’s dairyland that the bratwurst first gained its popularity outside of the German circles.

German Populations in the U.S. 1872

German Populations in the U.S. 1872

Officially, the bratwurst is said to have made its big debut into popular, mainstream American culture in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin in the 1920s. With the name “beer brat,” this sausage quickly became a regional favorite. Poached in beer (usually a German Pils) along with some butter and onions prior to grilling, no one could resist the temptation of a good “beer brat.” It was not long before the “beer brat” worked its way up in reputation to become known as Wisconsin Soul Food.

The next obvious step was to bring the brat to the stadium, that is the baseball stadium! A man by the name of Bill Sperling is credited with the ingenious idea. He first introduced the brat to the world of Major League Baseball at the Milwaukee County Stadium in the year 1954. Today, Miller Park in Milwaukee still sells more brats than dogs! The residents of Wisconsin are so proud of their brats that they hold what is said to be the “world’s largest bratwurst festival” in Madison, Wisconsin every year, celebrating a food that originated in ancient times in a land far far away.

Luckily, Denver-ites and visitors to the Mile High City always have their own supply of quality brats and beer at Prost Brewing! Available every day Prost opens its doors, you will never have to drink an authentic German Prost brew without its customary accompaniment–the brat! Brats, providing all Prost fans with another good reason to raise a “Prost!” to the Germans!

“Prost!”

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