Eating grilled bratwursts on Labor Day weekend has been a Madison, Wisconsin tradition at least since 1983 when the first Bratfest charity fund-raiser took place in Hilldale’s Metcalfe Sentry parking lot. In the 80’s and 90’s, the three-day bratfest was held twice a year, – over Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Thus, Bratfest signified Madison’s start and finish of our all too brief, Wisconsin summer. The charity event grew so popular it recently had to be relocated to the spacious grounds of Madison’s Alliant Energy Center. Kid games and carnival rides joined the live bands and brats to make Bratfest a hugely successful festival. But making A LOT of something great takes A LOT of behind-the scenes work, -too much work in fact to do twice a year. So now Bratfest only rings in the summer on Memorial Day. If Wisconsinites want to party with their bratwursts they have to throw their own end-of-summer bashes. And that’s just what we do.
Our family kicked-off Labor Day weekend early. Last night we grilled Klement’s bratwursts. Yes, this is the brand of brats served at the 2008 Super Bowl. Our Green Bay Packers didn’t make it to Gillete Stadium, but our brats did! Recipes and methods for cooking bratwursts abound. And I chose the recipe out of the cookbook Drink Your Beer and Eat It Too! Click on “Continued reading…” for the recipe.