Johnsonville's Big Taste Grill Marks 20 Years On The Road
World’s Largest – and Longest Running - Touring Grill Celebrates 20 Years Serving Brats, Benefitting Charities
Officially launched in 1995 for Johnsonville’s 50th anniversary, this year’s Big Taste Grill tour also marks the 70th year for the company.
Providing more than just tasty-tailgate sausages at special events and retail locations across the country, the 53,000-pound grill also raises money for local charities. To date, the Big Taste Grill program has raised nearly $4 million for charities nationwide, many of them local community organizations. In 2014 alone, the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill raised more than $136,000 and served more than 100,000 brats.
“I remember when we fired up the Big Taste Grill for the first time,” said Ralph Stayer, “Sausage King” and Johnsonville chairman. “It has fed – and helped – a lot of people in the past 20 years, bringing the great taste of Johnsonville sausage to communities that we can help all over the country. We’re proud to continue that tradition on this, the 70th anniversary of Johnsonville.”
The Johnsonville Big Taste Grill is not your average backyard barbecue. Measuring 65 feet long, this giant grill can keep 12 grillmasters busy cooking more than 750 brats at a time. A semi-truck pulls the grill cross-country and the whole system is self-sufficient with hot and cold running water, electricity, sound system, a prep station, and refrigeration.
For the 20th year, the Big Taste Grill will visit nearly every region in the continental United States. Upcoming events include:
· Charlotte Auto Fair – April 9 - 12 in Charlotte, NC
· Bristol NASCAR Race – April 17 - 19 in Bristol, TN
· Goodguys Florida Nationals Car Show – April 24 - 26 in Kissimmee, FL
· Tennessee Craft Fair – May 1- 3 in Nashville, TN
· Wildflower! Music Festival – May 16 - 18 in Dallas, TX
In the history of the tour…
- Number of brats grilled & served on the Big Taste Grill since 1995: Approximately 6 million
- Number of attendees at a Big Taste Grill event: 110 million
- Number of charities which have benefitted from the Big Taste Grill proceeds: 1,000+
- Dollars raised for these organizations: Nearly $4 million
- Number of appearances at NFL games: 41 (including 4 Super Bowl games and 2 Pro Bowl games)
- Provided assistance in disaster relief efforts: Galveston hurricane (2008), Hurricane Sandy (2012) and Hurricane
- Katrina (2005), and in the communities devastated by tornados in Moore, OK (2013), and in Tuscaloosa and Joplin (2011). A fund-raiser brat fry from the Big Taste Grill also took place at the Pentagon, to raise money for the Pentagon Memorial Fund, established after the 9-11 attacks.
- Movie Appearance: In January 2005, the Big Taste Grill appeared in the Dukes of Hazzard movie.