Ed Bedford 2:59 a.m., May 22
A few months back, I mentioned the chilly beer cave at Mission Valley’s Iowa Meat Farms. Today, I’m happy to report the meat mongers in the back of the shop have upped their devotion to craft beer. Instead of just stocking it, they’re using it as an ingredient in their house-made bratwurst.
Their beer of choosing is Old Viscosity, a thick, roasty ale aged in oak barrels at the Port Brewing’s San Marcos facility. It’s mixed in with pork shoulder, marjoram, coriander, and a variety of undisclosed seasonings to create a $7.99 per pound brat that’s worth a slightly higher price in return for added quality.
I stumbled across the Old Viscosity Pork Shoulder Brats at Iowa Meat Farms’ booth at the San Diego Beer Festival last month. I was drawn like a moth to a flame by a bottle of Old Vis’ but happily stuck around to sample the sausage.
Usually, bratwursts have plenty of porkiness but don’t come through with the defined, potent flavor profile of stronger seasoned sausages such as linguica, andouille, or chorizo. By adding the beer and their blend of seasonings, they’ve created bratwursts that don’t need gussying up with mustard and 'kraut. They come on strong all on their own or in a bun and topped with condiments in traditional Oktoberfest style.
They’re also giving a nod to the county’s apple capital by mixing Julian Hard Cider into the blend for their wild boar sausages. Built to bring a good deal of autumnal appeal, they also incorporate dried apples, rosemary, and sage. The going rate for these links is $3.99 per pound. Not bad for wild boar.
The brats and the sausages are available at Iowa Meat Farms as well as their sister butcher shop, Siesel’s Old Fashioned Meats in Bay Park. Iowa Meat Farms is located at 6041 Mission Gorge Road and Siesel’s is located at 4131 Ashton Street.