CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Chamber of Commerce held its Burgers and Brews event at local Dreher’s Cocktail Bar & Restaurant Monday evening. While the $30 tickets were exclusive to Chamber members, this event was built around the idea of bringing people together for an evening of food, live music and networking. Live music was provided by Stephen McCullough and sponsored by Budget Blinds Serving Cullman. Richard Electric Co Inc. was also a sponsor of the evening, alongside Willoughby Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc.
With a custom slider, sides and cocktail menu, guests were completely provided for throughout the evening, with Dreher’s Head Chef Eli Russel sharing a little on the menu: “For the Chamber, I wanted to use a little bit of inspiration from within the restaurant, so, one of the burgers we did was the Buffalo Blue Cheeseburger. I made a house-made buffalo sauce, topped with fresh blue cheese crumbles and then torch them to add a little bit of color, and I made my own buffalo ranch seasoning over the weekend to season the patties with. Another burger actually came from Bob’s Burgers. It was called the ‘Little Swiss Bunshine’ and was topped with caramelized onions, confit mushrooms and a house-made truffle aioli.”
“My personal favorite,” Russel continued, “I took some inspiration from some West Coast chefs, including my old mentor, I have always called it the ‘Down South’ when I cook it. I did a bourbon and bacon reduction jam as well as a fresh tomato jam. It was to the point and simple, no lettuce, no tomato, just those two jams and it lights up and really highlights a lot of the local produce in this town.”
Dreher’s part–owner and bar manager Christine Chamblee also shared, “We have always enjoyed doing events for the Cullman community and surrounding areas. They [Cullman Chamber of Commerce] approached us asking if we would host their first After-Hours event and we were thrilled to be able to do it! We partnered with Sullivan Creek Ranch who was excited to supply the beef for sliders we did, and they were absolutely incredible!”
Willoughby Roofing and Sheet Metal announced their enthusiasm online just prior to the event in a post saying, “We are very excited to sponsor the Cullman Chamber of Commerce’s Burgers and Brews! The event is December 6 at Dreher’s. See you there!”
Dreher’s part-owner Kolby Lawrence shared with The Tribune on the event, “Ultimately for us, the partnership with the Chamber is to get people locally that are invested in Cullman, which are local business and obviously, it is good to get people here and bring them in. We had six or eight people out of 50 that came tonight that had never heard of or been to Dreher’s, so it is kind of a win for local and downtown.”
Cullman Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Event Operations Keith Varden said, “We are just trying to build things that when you are in the room, you are in the right room. So, the business walks away– and everybody is busy, you can find something to do every night—so we can find things that you want to give up three hours, but you walk away, and it benefits your business. The Chamber is not here to build the Chamber, it is here to build the local businesses. So, we have this event and Dreher’s wins, Willoughby’s wins, and everybody wins then we have done our job.”
He added, “We were sold out so we will try to do more events that have a cap. And so, when you sell out your first one no doubt, we are pretty excited. There are four or five local businesses that are in this room tonight that all made this possible.”
When asked of future partnering possibilities, Chamblee excitedly agreed, “Absolutely! We love being able to partner with them to bring exciting events to our community!”
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