Image for Local Profile: Gerhard’s Brats

Gerhard’s Brats has been crafting small-batch, handmade bratwursts since fall of 2012 and selling them wholesale to co-ops and groceries for the past six years. During their first three years in business, Gerhard’s Brats were sold exclusively at local Twin City food co-ops, supported by shoppers like you who value small, local, family-owned food producers, makers, and farmers. Today, because of increasing consumer demand, their delicious brats can be found in 11 states.

Co-founded by Rob Lee and namesake Gerhard Riautschnig, these authentic Vienna-style sausages are created using simple ingredients, including all-natural pork casings, antibiotic-free pork sourced from a collective of farmers in Northern Iowa, and simple seasonings including salt, pepper, and garlic. The pork they use comes from Duroc hogs raised outdoors, not in enclosures, that are fed an all-vegetarian diet. Since they only use high-quality pork fat, 75-percent-lean meat, wholesome ingredients, and no fillers or preservatives, Gerhard’s Brats have a higher nutritional content than much of the competition. They also contain no wheat, no sugar and one-third of the typical sodium found in conventional brats.

When creating their original recipes, Gerhard and Rob developed products they wanted to eat themselves. In fact, it was the lack of clean-ingredient brats in the market place that led them to create their own. All Gerhard’s brats are made using an authentic Austrian recipe passed down from Gerhard’s grandmother. They are sold fully precooked, ready to reheat and eat with your favorite sauerkraut, condiments, and sides.

As a young child, Gerhard grew up in rural Austria, making bratwurst by hand with his parents who raised and slaughtered hogs on their family farm. By continuing this tradition, Gerhard brings a wealth of Old-World techniques and the lost art of home-cured meats to his local food business. No matter how you decide to enjoy them, Gerhard’s Brats can’t be beat!