Downtown brewpub ready to defend Burger Week crown. Have you tried ‘The Juliette’?

It’s almost Macon Burger Week and you know what that means? Beef on a bun and a whole lot more.

One downtown restaurant will be looking to defend its crown as the best burger of the week.

Last year, Ocmulgee Brewpub on Second Street put together the winning dish with “The Juliette” burger.

The base is their beef patty topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, a fried green tomato and a balsamic sweet onion remoulade.

Kaitlyn Kressin, director of marketing, Ocmulgee Brewpub, says that Burger Week is like a bar crawl and festival centered around unique takes on burgers in downtown Macon.

The week-long event is presented by the Georgia Beef Board and Visit Macon.

“All the different restaurants submit a burger of their choosing that kinda reflects their business and their style,” Kressin said. “Then participants are allowed to go around to all the different restaurants. There are 19 participants businesses this year. So that’s a lot of burgers to eat.”

The goal is to have customers try out as many of them as possible and cast a vote for their favorite.

Burger fans also get a passport to get stamped by the different restaurants for a chance to win prizes.

Thomas Hannah, an avid burger eater, says that he is excited to get to try all the different burgers for the week.

“Devoting a week to this pastime is a great way to celebrate this American staple,” Hannah said. “Plus it’s great to have a family-friendly event.”

Last year, Ocmulgee took home the top prize with Grey Goose Player’s Club and Tommy’s Bakery taking second and third.

Kressin says that last year’s burger was such a success they added it to their everyday menu.

“After we won last year we put that on our menu,” Kressin said. “We were overwhelmed with the amount of people that came in for Burger Week, but everyone had a really great response to our burger.”

When developing the Juliette, the restaurant took in a lot of ideas and started to narrow the field by trying a lot of different burgers.

“It takes a little while. Everyone kinda submits what they think is going to be the winning burger,” Kressin said. “We all try a lot of burgers and kinda decide what we like and don’t like from each one.”

Kressin says a major thing they wanted to do was partner with a local business, which they did for the remoulade.

“We partnered with Travis Jean (Emporium) downtown to get the jam that makes that remoulade,” Kressin said. “It was just really really good.”

One of the things that Burger Week also does is bring new people into the downtown area. Kressin said they saw a spike in tourism last year for the event.

“We had lots of parties who came from Warner Robins, Perry, Hawkinsville... so we gained a lot of new customers,” she said. “The increased tourism is really great that burger week brings in.”

The event is a chance to showcase a growing downtown scene, Kressin said.

“While they are down here they see other local shops or maybe go see a concert or get a bite of ice cream,” she said. “That’s just really neat that Burger Week brings all those people down and they end up pouring money back into the city and hopefully become repeat customers.”

This year Ocmulgee Brewpub will be looking to bring home the title again. But they are keeping the burger under wraps til the event kicks off.

“We are really excited about our burger this year. We are partnering with another local business,” she said. “I can’t tell you what the burger is yet but you will find out next week.”