Get To Know Your Butcher

Craft butcher shops are making a comeback. As key players in the path from producer to consumer, butchers are helping foodies learn more about what they’re putting in their bodies while also encouraging customers to try new delicious cuts of meat.

With abundant pasture lands and cattle ranches throughout Montana, it almost makes you wonder why someone wouldn’t buy their meat from the local butcher. Purchasing pre-packaged meat from a grocery store has been the standard over the past few decades. However, mom and pop butcher shops are experiencing a revival as people around the country take a newfound interest in knowing where their food really comes from.

“I love that trend,” says Colt James Ranch founder Colter Devries. “It continues my vision of being intimately connected to your food..”

As much as Colter believes you should know your rancher, he also believes you should know your butcher. A necessary component in bringing beef to the consumer, the butcher offers much more than just a commercial transaction.

Benefits of buying from a butcher

Craft butcher shops tend to have a broader, more premium selection than a standard brick and mortar type butcher shop. Passionate about meat, they stay up on the latest industry trends and are devoted to filling their butchery with the best quality meat possible.

When purchasing meat from a craft butcher, you not only get exceptional customer service, but also valuable knowledge about the beef -- things like how old it is, where it comes from, and how it was raised.

Furthermore, a butcher provides education. Your local butcher can teach you about lesser known cuts of beef that are typically less expensive but just as tasty if prepared properly.

Being open to trying new cuts of beef will surely make you a better cook in the kitchen and could also save you some money if you want to continue to support craft butcheries but feel like you can’t afford to buy beef tenderloin on a regular basis.

So while it may be more expensive than grabbing pre-packaged meat from a big box grocery store, it’s a heck of a lot more valuable.

“They’re quality-driven, passionate people,” Colter said. “They're providing immense value in the marketplace.”

Make it fun: Experiment with new cuts

Yes, walking into a butcher shop can be intimidating at first, but it can also be extremely exciting -- a new culinary adventure awaits every visit.

With countless options of meat available, butchers can help you mix up your cooking routine at home. All you need is to ask questions and have an open mind.