June 26, 2009

Brat makers compete for strawberry niche

Three separate vendors have announced plans to sell strawberry-flavored bratwurst at and on the sidelines of the Cedarburg Strawberry Festival in Wisconsin.

The strawberry brat market at the festival was for years cornered by Hoffmann's Market, but the owner of the business, Dave Hoffmann, retired and closed up his shop in November, leaving three sausage makers scrambling to fill the strawberry brat niche, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

Steve Biertzer, a former Hoffman's Market employee who was tapped as his former boss's official successor, will be selling the strawberry bratwurst -- in accordance with his predecessor's recipe -- at the festival's food court, while two others have announced plans to sell strawberry sausages elsewhere along Washington Avenue during the event.

The strawberry brat is a novelty available only once a year, Biertzer said. I'm sure there will be a few copycats on the street, but competition is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes.

The 24th Annual Cedarburg Strawberry Festival begins Saturday and closes Sunday.