Updated: Apr 28
Special Release #2 is finally here! We’ve been working on this breed and finish combination since early 2019 and we’re pleased to finally announce it. Without further ado, Special Release #2 is: Grass Fed and Finished American Wagyu.
This is one of the rarer breed combinations out there. Mostly because Wagyu is a rare breed that’s hard to procure here in the US.
The best part? We just picked up the beef from our butchers and it’s beyond what we had even hoped. The marbling is outstanding for grass finished cattle. Though we don’t have our beef inspected for marbling scores, we estimate that we’ve reached high Prime on the scale. We couldn’t be more excited!
Wagyu has been produced in Japan for centuries, but not for meat. Before 1868 they were bred as draft animals with a focus on endurance. This breeding led to inadvertently selecting cows with large stores of fat inside the muscles, which gave the working animals easy stores of energy to access. When Emperor Meiji publicly ate beef for the first time in 1868, beef consumption in Japan went from rare to popular.
Four bulls were imported to America in 1976, but no females. This allowed for half breed offspring…what we refer to as American Wagyu. Years later in 1993, females were imported for the first time, allowing for the first domestically raised fullblood Wagyu. However, shortly after in 1997, a permanent ban was placed on exporting Wagyu from Japan. All of our Wagyu animals in America are descended from the original stock.
If you’ve eaten fullblood Wagyu before, it’s quite an experience. It’s best described by our Craft Master Ben as “rich…maybe too rich.” Though Wagyu steak can be amazing, people typically only eat one or two thin sliced ounces at a time in Japan. It’s more of a delicacy than a meal staple.
Here in America, steak often forms the core of a meal. American Wagyu are typically crossed with other British or Continental breeds like Angus to create a best-of-both-worlds experience that can be enjoyed in larger quantities.
The uniqueness of our Special Release #2 doesn’t stop with just the American Wagyu breed, though.
Wagyu are traditionally finished on a diet high in corn. Though this is great for marbling, it’s not so great for flavor. However, since American Wagyu are bred to finish on corn based diets, it’s extremely difficult to finish a Wagyu on pure grass to get a superior flavor and marbling combination.
But not impossible.
Some consider a grass finished Wagyu steak as the “Holy Grail” of beef. Marbled, tender, but robustly flavored. And it’s exactly what we’ve done at Hi Brau Beef.
It took a long time and we used our finest grasses that we saved specifically for finishing this steer, but we believe that this is an experience that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. It wouldn’t even be possible to finish an animal like this in most parts of the US. But what we end up with is marbling superior to most Angus animals with the flavor of grass finished beef.
That leads us to our main problem: we only have one steer. That means very limited quantities of this Special Release. We’re also at least a year from having another steer like this.
We hope you’ll join us in trying this unique eating experience. Our Special Release #2 can be found in the breed drop down of your favorite cut or in our signature Beef Flight Boxes. Please note that we’ve already sold a huge amount of beef to people that reserved beef out of this steer and certain cuts are already running low. Please order soon if you’d like to try it!
Cheers to good beef, good drinks, and good company. Enjoy!