How sausage links generations of one Texas family together.

bbq barn sign
Credit: BBQ Barn

There's an old quote about how families are like trees, they grow in different directions, yet their roots remain as one. While the author of that quote is unknown, it seems likely that whoever they were, they were not talking about sausages. And yet, in the case of Mark Albright, it fits.

Earlier this year, Texas Monthly wrote up a review of the BBQ Barn in Beasley, Texas, which included an anecdote that shows how family roots can produce unexpected fruit. It all started when Mark Albright was laid off from his job on an oil rig and decided to turn his passion for barbecue into a job. He decided to open his own barbecue joint in his hometown in Beasley, just southwest of Houston.

As he got ready for opening day, Albright started to put a menu together. He knew he wanted to serve brisket and ribs, because this is true Texas barbecue, but needed to find a sausage that was up to his high standards. He had won a few local barbecue competitions over the years and wanted his menu to live up to his customers' expectations. That meant finding a really tasty sausage.

After trying a few local options, he found a winner in the sausage made by the folks at Cernoch's Custom Caterers and Sausage in nearby Rosenberg. He added it to the menu and opened the doors to BBQ Barn in 2016. Nearly a year later, according to Texas Monthly, he found out that his love for that sausage flavor ran in the family.

Turns out that his great-grandfather, Frank Albright, worked for the Cernochs and developed a sausage that reminded him of the ones his own father had made when he was a kid. The sausage was spiced with black pepper, garlic, mustard seed, and salt and had even earned its own name, the Albright special. Of course, Mark Albright hadn't known any of that family history when he picked the sausage for his menu. He just liked the taste. Apparently, a love of the Albright special comes with the family name.

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That wasn't the only family connection to come from the BBQ Barn, though. After Albright opened the doors, his restaurant was a hit. While that was certainly a good thing, as he had reportedly cashed in everything he had to open the place, it was also a lot of work for one man. One day when the line was out the door and he was trying to get smoked brisket slices into the hands of hungry customers, he got a little help. A woman popped her head in the back to ask if he needed assistance, and Albright put her in charge of the register. Fast forward a few years, and they are engaged. Hopefully she likes the family sausage recipe.