By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 19, 2024 at 11:01 AM

For over 140 years, the wurstmachers (and elves) at Usinger’s Famous Sausage have maintained their tradition of excellence, producing their sausages from original family recipes. And – for the 17th year in a row – the City will gather to celebrate those efforts with a holiday unlike any other: Fred Usinger Day.

Special sausages!

On Friday, Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., folks of all stripes are invited to commemorate the day at the Old German Beer Hall, 1009 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. with the gift of one free Usinger’s Sausage per person, while supplies last.  This year's sausage is a special one: a reimagined Old German Beer Hall Brat. The new smoked bratwurst is made with Hofbräu Dunkel Lager beer and applewood smoked bacon.

“Usinger’s is an outstanding neighbor and supplier to the Old German Beer Hall," notes Hans Weissgerber III, founder of the Old German Beer Hall. "When the time came for us to reintroduce the 'OGBH Brat' with a new recipe, the Usinger sausage-making team rose to the occasion. This year’s celebration is one of history and the latest Usinger Sausage collaboration.”

But that’s not all.  The Old German Beer Hall will be hosting an all day celebration featuring live music from Kenny Brandt from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; a live broadcast with Mindy's Midday Show (102.9 The Hog) from noon to 3 p.m.; live music from Mike Schneider from 2 to 5 p.m. and a performance from the Squeezetes from 5:45 to 8:45 p.m.

At 6 p.m. Frederick "Fritz" Usinger IV will honor tradition by tapping a wooden keg of Hofbräu Munich beer, offering attendees 21 and over the opportunity to sample the celebratory brew (until it runs out, of course).

Sausage specials!

Of course, if you’re heading Downtown for that free wurst, it would also be worth your time to stop in at Usinger’s Famous Sausage, located just across the street from the Old German Beer Hall at 1030 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.  In honor of Fred Usinger Day, they will be offering a variety of specials to thank their customers for their patronage.

[Read more about the legacy of Usinger's Famous Sausage here]

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.