A lot of businesses start with a beer – sometimes a few beers. Gilbert’s Craft Sausages started with exactly 5 gallons of beer.
Way back in 2008, the plan was to launch a craft brewery. Chris Salm and Eric Romberg, two lifelong friends, had the brewing itch and spent just about every weekend perfecting their homebrews. Most people have fun consuming beer, but the real enjoyment for Chris and Eric came from experimenting with unique flavors, meticulously perfecting a recipe, and sharing the results with friends. To them, brewing was truly a “craft” rather than simply a “process.”
After a couple years of studying the industry and watching everyone with a mash paddle start a new brewery, Chris started thinking. He grew up around the meat business, and his father had recently started a sausage company focused on innovative new technologies and improving the quality of the foods we eat. Why couldn’t the same principles behind the craft beer revolution also work for sausage?
Both industries – sausage and beer – have historically been dominated by a few large manufacturers, all racing towards the same bland, mass-appeal flavors. This created a void of unique, small batch, high quality items that smaller companies could step in and fill. If it could work for Stone, Russian River, Dogfish Head, Goose Island, and countless other craft brewers, Chris had a feeling it could work for Gilbert’s as well.
In 2010, Chris left his job as a technology consultant (with his wife’s blessing, of course), and started Gilbert’s Craft Sausages. The first six months were focused on crafting batch after batch of test sausage until everything was perfect. The quality had to be uncompromising, and that started with the ingredients. Gluten-Free, No sodium nitrite, no MSG, natural cheeses, and better cuts of meat like beef sirloin were the rules. Chris decided to blend high quality traditional fare, such as Beer Brats and Uncured Beef Franks, with more unique items, such as Beef Smoked Sausage with Blue Cheese and Smoked Sausage with Chipotle, Mozzarella & Lime.
By 2011, Chris finally convinced his old brewing partner, Eric, to join him. They’ve been growing their business one happy customer at a time ever since.
Prost & Happy Grilling!