Johnsonville World’s Largest Brat Fest to Sizzle and Set World Record

Volunteers to Attempt Selling More Than 200,000 Brats – a World Record for Brats Served During a Single Event

Memorial Day Weekend Event Raises Funds for Numerous Groups and Charities

MADISON, Wis., May 23 /PRNewswire/ — Grilling is more popular now than ever. In fact, according to the NPD Group, outdoor grill use is nearly twice what it was 20 years ago. This Memorial Day weekend, thousands of Americans will put their grills to good use, some gathering in the Brat Capitol of the world to kick off the summer grilling season.


The 2008 Johnsonville World’s Largest Brat Fest — the ultimate “thrill of the grill” — kicks off today in Madison, Wis. The Memorial Day weekend event features volunteers attempting to set a new world record of serving 200,000 brats while raising funds for more than 70 groups and charities.

“We are excited to welcome brat-lovers from all over the country to this fun-filled and record-breaking event,” said Tim Metcalfe, owner of Metcalfe Sentry Foods and son of the founder of the Johnsonville World’s Largest Brat Fest. “We know that 200,000 brats is a lot to serve during one event, but we’re confident that with the combination of juicy Johnsonville brats, hours of free live entertainment, and some good weather, we’ll have no trouble breaking the record.”

According to Metcalfe, the fest goal is to break the current record of 189,432 brats sold. To do so, volunteers need to ensure approximately 88 brats are purchased each minute during the four-day festival. If stacked end-to-end, the total number of brats served would measure the distance of nearly 280 football fields!

Key to the record-breaking effort is the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill. The Big Taste Grill weighs 53,000 pounds and is 6 feet in diameter, 20 feet tall and 65 feet long. It has the ability to satisfy about 2,500 brat-lovers each hour. The Big Taste Grill will be joined by about 20 other 6-foot grills at the event.

Johnsonville has been making brats for more than half a century, with a tried-and-true recipe proven to be the best flavor on the grill. In fact, a taste test conducted by Tragon showed more people preferred the taste of a Johnsonville brat — even without their favorite condiments — over other popular cookout foods, including a chicken breast sandwich, hamburger and hot dog.

“Last year’s event was a great success, the perfect way to kick off the summer and an event Johnsonville was proud to sponsor,” said Jim Mueller, general manager of fresh brats for Johnsonville. “This event is exactly what our company is about — getting together with family and friends, enjoying great food and giving back to the community. We’re looking forward to another successful event, where we hope to again help raise more than $100,000 for more than 70 different charities.”

For more information about the Johnsonville World’s Largest Brat Fest, visit For grilling tips, recipes and more to help make your Memorial Day cookout a success, visit

About Johnsonville Sausage

Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the number one national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville Sausage products are available in 27 countries including France, Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and the United States. Johnsonville employs 1,300 members. Each of them takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and “Big Taste” of Johnsonville Sausage. Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. & Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today.

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CONTACT: Christine Wallace, +1-312-397-6012, mobile, +1-414-559-4500,
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