This is What to Purchase and BBQ at a Butcher in Denver on Father’s Day

Step up your summer barbecue game with all-beef hot dogs from River Bear American Meats of Denver. (Provided by River Bear)

A year after his flagship restaurant Old Major closed, Denver chef Justin Brunson is all in at another local food company, River Bear American Meats.

The butcher-turned chef has a new line of sausages – from salami to bresaola and guanciale – for the more adventurous dads out there, as well as new beef-only hot dogs for the classic dads with good taste. We asked Brunson for some Father’s Day gift ideas from his selection of local meats, as well as a recipe to impress Dad on Sunday. Here’s what he recommends:

1. River Bear Hot Dogs, uncured, all natural, 100% beef. Unlike most hot dogs on the market, these are made up of just five ingredients, Brunson explained: lean Angus beef, Pierce Wagyu beef fat, condiments, Colorado peachwood smoke, and natural lamb intestines. ($ 8.99 for six)

2. River Bear Calabrian Chile vermouth salami, antibiotic-free Berkshire pork mixed with Calabrian chillies and sweet vermouth – “cured and dried to perfection in Denver”. ($ 13.99)

3. Local River Bear steaks at Pasture Perfect Premium Beef in Pierce. Antibiotic-free, species-appropriate, black and red Angus cattle. ($ 21.99 to $ 46.99 per pound)

(All are available at the River Bear Butcher Shop in Leevers Locavore, Marczyk Stores, Tony’s Markets, and other specialty stores.)

MORE: Denver’s groundbreaking Old Major restaurant is closing amid the coronavirus

Grilled Green Chile Rubbed Chicken Wings from River Bear American Meats make for a great Father’s Day grill. (Johnny Fermento, provided by River Bear)

Recipe: Green Chili Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings

Green chilli dry rub
(From Justin Brunson of River Bear American Meats. Chef’s Tip: This also goes well with pork chops, french fries, and popcorn.)


2 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of white sugar
2 tablespoons of Bragg nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons Flatiron Pepper Co. Hatch Valley Green spice mixture or similar mixture
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 dozen chicken wings


Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Grilling wings

Heat the wings and place them directly on a charcoal grill until they are crispy on the outside at an internal temperature of 165 (approx. 10 minutes, depending on the heat).

(Chef’s tip: The grill is usually hot enough when the charcoal turns gray. If it flares up, it’s too hot. Grill the wings at 185 degrees so the wings are extra crispy.)

Once the wings are cooked, season with as much of the remaining dry rub as desired. Garnish with chopped coriander and spring onions.

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