Sausage Fest warms things up in the middle of Western New York winter with competition, great eats, and local spotlight.

From the white, frostbitten winter landscape of WNY, a warm red glow emanates from the grills and fire pits at Rusty Nickel Brewing. Staff is preparing for Sausage Fest, an annual celebration of local and home-made sausages. The event takes place Saturday, January 30.

What You Need To Know

    • Rusty Nickel Brewing’s 6th Annual Sausage Fest returns Saturday, January 30th at 4350 Seneca St. West Seneca, NY
    • Special event food menu highlights locally-made sausages and cured meats; guests are encouraged to make reservations
    • Participants in the Home-made Sausage Competition compete to win great prizes from The Sausage Maker

​Each year, Rusty Nickel invites guests to enjoy a special menu of locally-made sausages and cured meats to pair with their craft brews. The event features specialty drinks, unique sausage samplings, music, outdoor campfires, hot cocoa, and friendly competition. Rusty Nickel teams up with area sausage makers, like Wardynski’s and Hanzlian’s Homemade Sausage, to offer guests some of the freshest and finest quality meats. This year, guests can expect creative charcuterie boards, traditional sausage varieties, and wild game sausages.

“Sausage Fest is an event stuffed with reprieve from the winter blues,” says Owner Jason Havens. “We put the focus on warm foods, creative drinks, incidental music, fresh air, and a spotlight on many of WNY’s local sausage makers and suppliers. For folks who make, or want to try to make sausage, our friendly sausage-making competition has great prizes. For those who are willing to explore with their palate, representatives from area sausage makers will be present with samples and other offerings. Who doesn’t love a good sausage?”

The homemade sausage competition is open to anyone who wants to put their grilling skills to the test. Points are awarded for flavor, texture, creativity, and presentation. Sausages are entered in five categories; Breakfast, Venison/ Wild Game, Freeform (non-cased), Best Sausage, and Best in Show.

Havens adds, “Competitors have really brought their A-game in year’s past. We’ve seen some incredible plating, unexpected flavor match-ups, themes, and impressive techniques. Some sausages are presented with parings like sauerkraut or jams. We even had a hunter serve elk in our first competition. On the other hand, we’ve had a lot of first-time sausage-makers enter and do very well.”

Competitors are encouraged to prepare their dishes in any method of their choosing, including grilling, pan-frying, baking, smoking, and boiling. Prizes include sausage-making equipment from The Sausage Maker, a family-owned business operating in Buffalo for over forty years. Competitors can register online, and entry is free. Judging takes place at 6pm.

Reservations for Sausage Fest are highly recommended and can be made by calling the Tasting Room at (716) 608-6155. More information can be found at or on Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.’s Facebook Page.

***Photos courtesy of Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.