The Making of a Steer Roast in Algoma
Ample beef, engineering goes into BrewVino’s name change.
It didn’t take Brad and Aric Schmiling long to realize their new event was mis-named. “Meet the Makers” was created to introduce a new product at their vonStiehl Winery in Algoma.
“People didn’t care a lot about the makers and our brewmaster and wine makers were too busy serving people,” said Brad. And then there was the food. The food proved to be so significant that it kind of overshadowed the wine and beer.
These are a couple of bright guys so the brothers embraced it, quickly realizing that whatever it takes to draw people is most important so “meet the makers” has evolved into “meet the steer.”
The new name has been changed to BrewVino Steer Roast and one look at the new logo and it’s obvious there is lots of emphasis on the steer for this year’s event scheduled for Saturday, June 18, at the winery.
“The steer roast was the big attraction,” said Brad. And how could it not be when you consider that pig roasts have become a popular draw and now you take a 1,500-pound animal and roast it over a pit.
It’s not something you see pop up on the Food Network too often, if at all, and really challenged the ingenuity of the Schmiling brothers. You just don’t go over to the hardware store and find a steer roaster and it started to become obvious that this would become a community project. Aric and Brad approached Shawn Olson at Olson Fabrication to see if he could come up with a spit and pit that could handle such a beast.
A cement block pit was built to hold the specially fabricated spit. Brad admitted it was the first time he knew of that anyone tried something like this so Chef Chris, owner of the popular Skaliwag’s restaurant in Algoma, was asked to consult.
“Aric is a kind of closet (meat) smoker,” Brad said with a chuckle as he conceded his brother was the mastermind behind the event. It’s not that Brad didn’t chip in because he was at the controls of the forklift that was needed to hoist the meat-laden spit onto the pit. Despite the expertise of Aric and Chef Chris, this still was somewhat of a trial-by-error affair so prior to last year’s inaugural event a quarter-steer was obtained from Otto’s Meats in Luxemburg.
About 200 pounds went on the spit for an employee party and, much like those test Apollo moon missions, everything went well enough to launch the first event last year.
One large spit for man. One giant meat for charity.
By now you can kind of see why the beer and wine was beginning to take a co-starring role as more than 600 pounds of meat went on the spit, feeding 1,000 people. Proceeds from the event, which includes a $5 admission charge, benefits the Ribbon of Hope Foundation and its fight against breast cancer. Food and beverage is a la carte.
“This is a locally sustainable event,” said Brad, who has also employed Scott Jeanquart and his Bryersquart Family Farm in Door County to supply the beef which is a locally raised cross between a Texas Long Horn and a Guernsey. This year’s animal will be 1,500 pounds that will translate to about 800 pounds on the spit.
“Spent grains from the brewery are fed to the steer by Scott who is a genetic expert and is growing one of Door County’s finest herds,” said Brad. “Prior to the roast, the steer is bathed in a cherry wine marinade. This is a true farm-to-table experience,” he adds, again noting that Otto’s is handling the processing.
The carcass is marinated for 24 hours prior to the roast that begins at 3:00 in the morning of the event with serving sometime between noon and 2 p.m. There will be live music between 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
“It’s fantastic,” said Brad, who adds that the wine and beer will be pretty special too. “We’ll be offering a unique batch of wine and beer to complement the steer roast.”
The emphasis, of course, being on “complement.”
Waseda Beef Sales Reach Goal, Help Charities
The Waseda Farms “You Buy We Give Campaign” beat its goal of selling $15,000 in ground beef during the month of January. Waseda donates 100% of the proceeds of all ground beef sales during the month of January to its campaign partners.
According to owner Matt Lutsey, $17,000 is being split between this year’s four partners: NEW Community Shelter, Green Bay; De Pere Christian Outreach Food Pantry, De Pere; Boys and Girls Club of Door County, Sturgeon Bay; and Loaves and Fishes, Sturgeon Bay.
All purchases keep food dollars right here in this community, supporting local businesses, helping local families. Regarding the campaign, owner Matt Lutsey said, “Since we are a food company at our most base level, helping feed those in need locally and helping educate people to eat better, healthier, more nutritious food are some of our core beliefs.”
Waseda Farms is a family-owned Certified Organic farm located in Baileys Harbor with two retail locations, one on the farm and another in downtown De Pere. The farm humanely raises Black Angus beef, heritage Berkshire pork, poultry, eggs and has a garden in the summer.