Johnsonville, Delaware North Grill a 367-Foot Bratwurst
Special event celebrated new tailgate season and centennial milestone
Nothing says the start of football season more than the smell of sizzling sausage over a hot grill. In the parking lot at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Sept. 13, Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage attempted to set an (unofficial) U.S. record for grilling the longest bratwurst – the length of a football field plus both end zones.
This epic attempt was also part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Delaware North Sportservice, which manages the general concessions, restaurants and catering operations at Lambeau Field - and other such facilities nationwide. Hundreds of Delaware North associates and family members attended the event.
About 150 Delaware North and Johnsonville associates helped transport and prepare the gigantic brat outside Lambeau Field, a couple of hours before the Packers kicked off the 2015-16 season against their division rival in Chicago at noon (CT).
Assembly of the massive custom-made grill – consisting of 3,300 pounds of stainless steel and constructed by Badger Sheet Metal Works – began the day prior in the stadium parking lot. On that Sunday, it took approximately 30 minutes to light the entire 120-yard grill and another 30-40 minutes to grill the giant brat - which finished at 367 yards just slightly longer than the 120-yard attempt. About 220 bags of Kingsford® Match Light® Charcoal (11-pound bags) and 600 cinderblocks were necessary to grill the 225 pounds of Johnsonville’s Original Brat recipe, served nearly 750 people.
Joining in and witnessing the grand grilling event was Harley Morenstein, who produces and hosts the YouTube show, Epic Meal Time.
Heath Barbato, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice at Lambeau Field, collaborated with Johnsonville’s team of food scientists to create the giant sausage. Together, with Johnsonville’s meat scientist Jonathan Pleitner, they served as lead grillmasters. Barbato and Pleitner guided the volunteers as they carefully hoisted the brat onto the grill and coached them through the grilling process, which required the brat to be rotated every four to five minutes until grilled to perfection.
“There’s no better way to kick off football and tailgate season – especially in Wisconsin – than with a giant Johnsonville brat,” said Barbato. “When we originally talked to Johnsonville about the idea of creating a brat the length of a football field in recognition of our centennial celebration, they upped the ante by offering to make it that length – plus both end zones.”
After 70 years in the sausage business, crafting 367 feet of bratwurst is just another day, though a bit unusual, at Johnsonville. According to Nielsen POS Scan data, approximately 360 million brats are sold annually in the United States, including an estimated 23 million, or nearly 10-million feet worth of bratwurst, in Chicago and Milwaukee alone. Johnsonville also recently marked their 20th anniversary on the road with their Big Taste Grill, which measures 65 feet long and can keep 12 grillmasters busy cooking more than 750 brats at a time.
About Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville employs approximately 1,600 members. Each member takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and “Big Flavor” of Johnsonville Sausage. Founded in 1945 by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today. For additional Johnsonville company information, the latest recipes, contests and the Big Taste Grill tour schedule, visit www.johnsonville.com.
About Delaware North Sportservice
Delaware North Sportservice is one of the nation’s leading food, beverage and retail management companies. Delaware North provides concessions, gourmet catering and fine dining operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues, entertainment complexes and convention centers across the United States and Canada. Delaware North Sportservice is the provider of choice for an impressive client roster, including the World Series, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball’s All-Star games, Stanley Cup Championships and the Olympic Games. For 100 years, the company has demonstrated that it knows what it takes to effectively develop, operate and manage multi-faceted kitchens, restaurants, suites, fine dining and retail facilities in order to meet the changing demands of today’s fans. From introducing new healthy, organic food selections and creative cuisine for twists on the traditional fare, Delaware North Sportservice continues to innovate and enhance the fan experience.