Over 600 Minnesota meat lovers came together May 15 for our first annual Best of the Wurst festival, a celebration of charcuterie, craft cider, and Ranked Choice Voting.

The slate of candidates proved as diverse as it was delicious. Festivalgoers got to taste and evaluate the original sausage creations of two dozen local restaurateurs, butchers, and caterers, then used RCV to elect the very Best of the Wurst.

The event highlighted the talent and inventiveness of some of the Twin Cities top chefs and it was the perfect showcase for Ranked Choice Voting, demonstrating how RCV:

  • Yields winners with broad consensus support
  • Promotes choice and inclusivity
  • Fosters civility purveyors enjoyed the competition, but spoke positively about competitors offerings

Frankly, these scrumptious sausages were all winners, and the tight races most of which went to four or five rounds of counting reflected the universal high quality of the entrants. But guests had a blast ranking their top choices to come up with some favorites:

Northeast & Friends: 

#1 Curious Goat

#2 Gold Nugget 

#3 Pork & Pickle

Mpls Southside:

#1 Blackbird

#2 Revival

#3 Pats Tap

Butcher Shops:

#1 Wedge 

#2  Lowry Hill Meats

#3 Red Table Meats

Greater Downtowns:

#1 Borough

#2 Happy Gnome

#3 Ox Cart/Salt Cellar

Overall Best of the Wurst:

Borough won big at Best of the Wurst, also emerging on top in the celebrity judge competition.

#1 Borough

#2 Kramarczuk's 

#3 Ox Cart / Salt Cellar

Huge thanks to all the participating chefs/businesses, as well as the Belfast Cowboys for providing the perfect soundtrack to the proceedings. Thanks also to chef Geoff Hausmann of the Pork & Pickle for providing a special VIP demonstration and meal, and to our expert panel of celebrity judges: Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey; St. Paul City Council Member Amy Brendmoen; WCCO's Matt Brickman and Kylie Bearse; WCCOs John Williams; author and chef Beth Dooley; Mpls/St. Paul magazine food critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl; and City Pages food critic Mecca Bos.

Finally, hats off to our terrific FairVote Minnesota volunteers, who made Best of the Wurst such a fun and successful celebration.