The craft beer craze has caught Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and the whole midwest in a very big way. We’ve seen a midwest culinary trend towards both southern cuisine and southern smoking expand into our brewery kitchens, leading to a new menu favorite: Smoked Brisket.
This trend should come as no surprise: Beer and Beef are a perfect pairing, with both beer’s versatility and diversity providing culinary contrast to well-prepared complementary proteins.
Mike Moore, Center of the Plate Protein Director for CW Midwest, observes, “As we’ve watched this trend grow, we’ve found that this unique restaurant category, once comprised of commodity buyers, with commodity pricing structures, is breaking from those structures due to consumer demand. Today’s end-user is more educated on farm-to-table and they want the story behind the animal and the food on their plates. With our Allen Brothers Angus Program I think we have a unique product that rivals the best. It’s turning heads.”
The Midwest beef trend we’ve seen over the years is a growth away from the traditional middle meats. Ribeye, strips and the like, that were made popular during the renaissance of French cooking in the late 1800s during a trend where Chefs bypassed the expensive cuts similar to our culinary behaviors during and after our World Wars.
Now we see our young, talented, entrepreneurial Chefs getting creative and learning how to expertly utilize and prepare these lesser cuts. When prepared properly, a brisket, short rib, or tri-sirloin can have equal texture and depth of flavor as the finest cuts of beef.
But when it comes to translating the Angus product story to the restaurant consumer, it takes more than the Chef in the kitchen; it requires the coordination of the entire team, from the engagement of the restaurateur/owner to the education of the serving staff to know, then communicate the products’ benefits.
So what is Mike’s quick elevator-pitch snapshot on the virtues of Allen Brother’s Angus?
Mike states, “The Angus breed is well known for its flavor and texture; I’ve seen first hand the Allen Brothers’ Dodge City plant where these cattle are raised. After 20 years of experience it’s humbling to see how revered these animals are treated. From start to finish the process is very humane, and the end user gets all the flavor profile benefit from how well the Angus is treated.”
Beyond the flavor, Allen Brothers’ cattle ranchers select the finest genetics from their herds for their Angus program. All of the cattle are pasture and ranch raised with minimal processing and no foreign agents added throughout the process. They are then finished on a minimum of 180 days on high quality corn feed to insure that the marbling and flavor will be present in every bite. AB Angus requires the highest marbling standards of any Premium Beef Program.
Essentially, the experience and care of these expertly raised cows, “Is the combined efforts of one big consortium that translates to your end-users happy experience.”