This past week I was invited by the super nice people at Budweiser to join them at the Preakness to partake in their Bud & Burgers Competition. Basically this is a burger tournament where amateur cooks are selected to partake in a nationwide tournament to see who makes the best burger. Chef David Chang has joined them as a judge to help determine who makes the best burger.
Budweiser is behind this event because they think nothing goes better with a burger than a ice cold Budweiser. I’m not a beer drinker and but I will say having a frosty cold Budweiser was pretty satisfying with the hamburgers.
While at this event, I got a chance to sit down with the Budweiser brewmaster Daniel Westmoreland. Mr. Westmoreland was kind enough to fill me in on what it’s like to be a brewmaster for one of the world’s biggest beer companies.
Westmoreland who has a background in biology, most brewmasters do, oversees the entire brewing operation and takes pride in what he does. He’s crafted Budweiser so it feels smooth and refreshing, that’s by design people. When I asked him about home brewers or other microbreweries he said he was happy that people are doing that because it brings more attention to the beer drinking community.
He mentioned that technology has allowed him to be able to put an even greater attention to detail in the brewing process, brewmasters now have the ability to really get the beer right down to the last drop.
At the event I was able to sample the two burgers, I wish I could’ve had more, but alas others had to eat too. The first burger, called the Bud Bacon Burger, was made by Jordan Krantz of St. Louis, MO. This burger was more of a traditional burger on a toasted wheat bun. I loved the feel of this burger, all the components fit together nicely on the burger. The beef was well seasoned and cooked perfectly. The only drawback to this burger was that the sauce was too sweet. It basically was like a barbecue sauce on the burger, don’t get me wrong it was tasty but I would’ve preferred a more savory element.
The next burger was an unconventional burger, which right off the bat puts the competitor at a disadvantage. Why? Because everyone just wants a normal burger, not a burger served on a flatbread or a burger served on god knows what. But you know what? This unconventional burger was really good. So good that it shut that part of my brain right up and it said, “HEY you bite your tongue when you talk to me!”
This burger was called the Miami Sunday Burger, it was made by Katie Encina who is from Miami. The burger was a beef burger with onions, parsley, and garlic mixed in; it was served with a guava mayo and a specialty salad on a piece of pita bread. On the surface this all sounded to me like I wouldn’t really enjoy this burger. But I ended up liking this burger way more than the other one. The crispness of the specialty salad, the mild sweetness of the guava mayo gave the burger a light and crisp flavor that refreshed your palate.
Once all the votes were counted the winner was selected and it was…The Bud Bacon Burger. Predictably. It had mass appeal and it was well done. Both competitors did a great job and I was really impressed by the sheer amount of burgers they pumped out.
The winner of this challenge moves onto the final round where they will square off against all of the respective burger champs for a winner takes all grudge match.
I’d like to thank the kind folks at Budweiser for inviting me to partake in this fun event.