Robert Gokey Earns Master Meat Crafter Certification



On Friday, January 22nd 2016, Robert Gokey, Owner of Karl’s Sausage Kitchen & European Market was awarded the distinction of Master Meat Crafter by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Science Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.  This was the third graduating class of the Master Meat Crafter program—a two year training course focused on meat science and specialty meat product manufacture.


The Master Meat Crafter commencement ceremony took place on the evening of Friday, January 22nd,  2016.  Featured speakers included Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Ben Brancel, UW College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean Kate Vandenbosch, and UW-Madison Department of Animal Sciences Chair, Dan Schaefer.


“Congratulations to all the Master Meat Crafters for their commitment to developing and perfecting their skills,” said Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel. “The breadth of projects completed by these graduates will benefit not only their individual meat businesses but the entire specialty meats industry.”


The Master Meat Crafter Training Program is a unique, one-of-a-kind program that provides participants with a well-rounded, in-depth, and comprehensive knowledge about meat science and meat processing principles. This unique program started with humble beginnings as a means to strengthen and improve the meat industry in Wisconsin.  As the initiative gained momentum, the Master Meat Crafter graduates have traveled from the East Coast and Canada to learn the latest in meat science techniques.  It was created and is currently organized by Dr. Jeff Sindelar, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor and Extension Meat Specialist.


The Master Meat Crafter program comprises several meat science short courses and workshops, an extensive mentorship program to share the knowledge gained with employees or coworkers, and individual research projects based in the candidates’ processing plants. Topics covered throughout the two year training course include general meat processing, fresh meats, curing, fermented & dried products, cooked & emulsified products, food safety & meat microbiology, and development/implementation of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points).


Bob Gokey completed a yearlong plant project that studied the effects of adding beer to emulsified sausages.  “We have passionate customers that love sausages and craft beer.  I was intrigued to see if I could combine them in a tasty sausage.” stated Bob Gokey.   Bob turned to a long term partnership with Sam Adams Brewery and produced over nine test batches using Sam Adams Boston Lager, Noble Pils and Boston Ale.   He then looked at the effects the beer had on the sausage’s ph, water activity and flavor.  The final test of the success of the sausage was a blind taste test by Sam Adams beer lovers at the Sam Adams Brewery.  The top favorites were  a new twist on a Karl’s favorite- German frankfurter made with Sam Adams Noble Pils Beer.


Karl’s Sausage Kitchen & European Market is well known throughout New England for its authentic, old-world European sausages, cold cuts and smoked meats, made on the premises with the finest meats and spices. We also stock imported products such as jams, chocolates, cheeses, pickles, cookies and bread in our grocery.  The move to the larger Peabody facility has enabled owners Anita and Robert Gokey to add a European Café, where customers can now enjoy sandwiches, grilled sausages, traditional German fare and imported beer and wine before stocking up on meats and imported goods to take home.

Photo: Dr. Jeff Sindelar, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor and Extension Meat Specialist awarding the Master Meat Crafter distinction to local sausage maker, Bob Gokey owner of Karl’s Sausage Kitchen and European Market, Peabody, MA.


For more information contact, Anita Gokey at 781-249-4366 or

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