Carthage, N.C., Musician Expresses His Love for Brats Through National Karaoke Contest

Johnsonville awards Sawyer Frye with $5,000, a year's supply of brats and ultimate bragging rights

Sep 10, 2013, 08:00 ET from Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnsonville announced today that 25-year-old Sawyer Frye of Carthage, N.C., is the grand prize winner of the company's national "Don't Pierce the Brat" karaoke contest. Sawyer was awarded $5,000 and a year's supply of brats. An additional top five contenders also received a year's supply of brats.

The Johnsonville Brattender kicked off the online competition in July by recording his first song and music video, titled "Don't Pierce the Brat." The humorous love ballad brought a cardinal grilling rule to life – never let the juices and flavor run out by piercing the brat. Johnsonville invited grillmasters across the country to join the Brattender in song.

"We were blown away by the creativity and passion demonstrated in the 'Don't Pierce the Brat' submissions," said Fabian Pereira, vice president of marketing at Johnsonville Sausage. "From rapping sock puppets to 'hipster' duets, everyone truly made this song their own. Sawyer's interpretation was catchy, current and well-produced. But what really set his entry apart was the celebration of family and friends. The entire video conjured up feelings of nostalgia and pride surrounding grilling brats."

In the video, Sawyer composed his own melody to the company's original "Don't Pierce the Brat" lyrics, and played the harmonica and guitar, while also appearing in the video along with his family members. "When I think of brats, I think of family celebrations and cookouts. So I got my mom, dad, sisters, nieces and nephews together at my parents' home and asked them to be in the video with me," said Sawyer. "I knew I couldn't make my version any more humorous than the original video, so I decided on a laid-back, summertime melody and visual to go with the original lyrics. It was so much fun creating this."

The "Don't Pierce the Brat" contest was hosted on Johnsonville's Facebook page for six weeks. Vistors were encouraged to watch the original "Don't Pierce the Brat" music video, download the song lyrics, and then record and submit their own version to the Facebook application.

Sawyer was selected from 35 online entries. Submissions were evaluated on style, creativity and passion. Visit Johnsonville's Facebook page to view Sawyer's winning entry and those of the top contenders.

Grand Prize Winner:

  • Sawyer Frye of Carthage, N.C.

Top Contenders:

  1. Michael Gaethke of Milwaukee, Wis.
  2. Mike Hickey of Fishkill, N.Y.
  3. Paul Theodoroff of Sheboygan, Wis.
  4. Jeff Brasher of Denton, Tex.
  5. Will Jones of Moncks Corner, S.C.

About Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville employs approximately 1,400 members. Each member takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and "Big Flavor" of Johnsonville Sausage. Founded in 1945 by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today. For additional Johnsonville company information, the latest recipes, contests and the Big Taste Grill tour schedule, visit


Sarah Schmidt

Stephanie Dlugopolski

C-K on behalf of Johnsonville

Johnsonville Sausage

(414) 227-1535

(920) 453-4826

Video with caption: "Don't Pierce the Brat." Video available at:

SOURCE Johnsonville Sausage, LLC