Six Local Sausage Masters

The city has a rich history of meat makers, a few of which are still keeping the Porkopolis legacy alive.

BrewCity Sausage

Started: 2012   |   Best Known For: Craft beer–infused sausages, like Hop Wurst featuring MadTree Psychopathy   |   Local craft beer partnerships: 12 and counting   |   Retail outlets: Jungle Jim’s, Country Fresh Farm Market, Clifton Market, Avril-Bleh (Coming soon: Kroger and Remke)   |   Try this: Cider Wurst: bratwurst flavored with March First Brewing’s lime cider, lime zest, and lime juice   |   Production: BrewCity makes their sausages at Avril-Bleh, but both parties have an eye on expansion. —alyssa brandt

 

Avril-Bleh Meat Market & Deli

Started: 1894; owner Len Bleh took over in 1998   |   Known for: Brats, Hamilton metts, cheddar metts, Swiss brats, hot dogs   |   Volume: 1,700 pounds a week during summer, and up to 2,500 pounds during holiday weeks   |   Mm-mm-good: Lockhart Wurst—coarse ground brisket and Boston butt with salt, pepper, cayenne, and powdered milk   |   Sausages shall save the Republic: In March, Avril-Bleh became a federal inspected facility, allowing for interstate sales and shipping. —a.b.

 

Illustration by Nathan Yoeder

Kroeger & Sons Meats

Started: 1972; Essence Gannaway has been there since 2005 and sole owner since 2015   |   Volume: On a busy summer weekend, 2,500 pounds of 50 varieties of chicken, pork, beef, and lamb sausage—all made by hand at Findlay Market   |   Old Flames: Authentic German bratwurst using Paul Kroeger’s original recipe; beer metts with Moerlein OTR ale   |   New Loves: Chicken Parmesan links made with chicken breast, spaghetti sauce, cheese, and breadcrumbs—the whole dish in a sausage. —a.b.

 

Blue Grass Quality Meats

Started: 1867 (making this the 150th anniversary)   |   Located: Erlanger   |   What you get: All products are made with local meats and no fillers, and come skinless and ready to eat   |   Choices abound: With five wiener varieties in 19 different sizes, they make a dog for any bun   |   Local Flavor: If you prefer your coneys from Gold Star, Price Hill Chili, Dixie Chili, Camp Washington Chili, Empress Chili, or The Root Beer Stand, you already love Blue Grass Quality Meat’s links. —Jake Scott

 

Queen City Sausage

Started: 1965   |   by: Elmer Hensler, who is still owner and operator   |   Located: Camp Washington   |   Not Just Dogs: Try the natural casing smoked sausages, goetta, and chorizo   |   Home Team: The official sausage of the Cincinnati Reds. On average, the Reds sell about 75,000 pounds of Queen City bratwurst and mettwurst each season at Great American Ball Park  |   Old School: The business has expanded 12 times since it opened, but the original location has remained the same. —Ethan Rudd

 

Stehlin’s Meat Market

Started: 1913   |   The Go-To’s: Smoked yard sausage, Italian sausage, bratwurst, and mettwurst   |   Origin Story: In 1913, a flood stopped 21-year-old John Stehlin from walking cattle to Cincinnati’s stockyards. He convinced his boss to let him slaughter the cows himself, and a meat market was born    |   Family Links: Grandsons John, Denny, Ron, and Dick run the market today  |   Classified: The sausages are all made with Stehlin’s secret blend of spices, a mild combination that includes salt, pepper, sage, and mustard seed. —Maya Odom

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