Brats, Brats, and More Brats

Mike’s Star Market has been kickin’ it for more than 30 years, and they offer more than 30 brat varieties

author & photos by McKenna Scherer

HERE, MEAT IS THE STAR. Mike's Star Market has been a longtime facet in the local biz community, first opening in 1990.
HERE, MEAT IS THE STAR. Mike's Star Market has been a longtime facet of the local biz community, first opening in 1990.

Summer in Wisconsin means crackin’ a cold one and bustin’ out the grill, and what better way to please the whole family than by choosing from more than 30 varieties of brats? Yep, you read that right: 30 different flavors of brats. Where in the heck can you find that kind of spread?!

Mike’s Star Market has been serving up top-tier meats to the Chippewa Valley since 1990, its longstanding place among the local biz ranks speaking to their reputation and high-quality grub. Among the array of steak options, pork sausage varieties, custom spice mixes, and so much more, are the brats.

And it’s not your basic lineup of brat varieties either; we’re talkin’ specialty flavor brats like the Sirloin Steak Brat, the Philly Cheese Steak, the Cheesy Tater, and more. If you’d rather stick to some classics – though why would you?! – Mike’s has that covered too, with brats like the Beer Brat, Cheddar, Garlic and Onion, and more.

“I’m guessing (we’ve sold) 100 different varieties here,” Mike Maier, owner of Mike’s Star Market, said. “But we make brats that we don’t sell here in the store too.”

So, it’s safe to say, Mike and the team are something of brat-makin’ geniuses. Who else can boast about having made more than 100 different brat varieties?

“Some people have requests for us, like, ‘Hey, have you heard of this?’ Or ‘Can you do this kind?’” He explained.

The best-seller brats are almost always the Beer and Cheddar brats, Mike said, but right now, the Char-flavored Dill Pickle brat is the hot seller. While Mike said he doesn’t have a personal favorite, he noted “The Hangover” brats and the Pineapple Teriyaki brats as other fun and hot-seller varieties.

Perhaps the key factor behind Mike’s Star Market’s standing resides in Mike and the team’s practices and standards. Mike’s prioritizes sourcing its meats locally and free of hormones and injections, boasting hormone and antibiotic-free beef, pork, and chicken. They purchase their beef from a farm in Colfax, lamb from local farms like a family farm in Jim Falls, and case their brats and sausages in-store.

“We make (the brats) ourselves; if we put any fruit in them, we cut them up ourselves; jalapeños and mushrooms too, we cut all that up here,” Mike said.

All their brats are MSG and gluten-free unless specified, and Mike’s offers sausage-making supplies like spices and casing if you want to give it a go yourself.

A true hometown meat market, Mike’s is a classic go-to for a lot of locals, but if this is your first time hearing of Mike’s Star Market, why not take a gander at the 30+ brat varieties ahead of grilling season?

Stop into Mike's Star Market today at 2238 Heimstead Road, Eau Claire, or give the store a call at (715) 552-3842. Head over to their website to see a roundup of food offerings and services.