The Story

It’s downtown Chicago at the height of prohibition…1926.  The city is governed by feared Mob Bosses and their lethal gangsters, with bootleg liquor the only currency anyone cares about.

In the crime-ridden Levee District, two brothers work long hours helping their father’s butchery make and sell the finest meats available to the city’s crème de la crème. Their succulent strips of dried beef jerky covered in secret exotic spices that tingle the tastebuds are renowned throughout the state as irresistible but, when a package destined for a client falls into the hands  (and onto the tongue) of the most notorious Mob Boss on the South Side, the brothers find themselves reluctant fulltime employees to the city’s most infamous bootlegger.

With only a small butchery to work in and a fear of disappointing their new boss, the brothers handcraft the jerky in small batches themselves, trusting no one with their secret recipes to protect themselves and their family. Their jerky is sold alongside the finest bootleg liquor at the classiest of Speakeasies, and their flavours are whispered about on the streets of South Wabash long after prohibition is but a distant memory.

Today, those recipes live again at the hands of two Kiwi brothers, using only 100% grass-fed air-dried New Zealand beef to complement spice mixtures with no artificial preservatives, colours, nitrates, MSG or ingredients you can’t pronounce. 

Our recipes swap out the preservatives and artificial flavours for real ingredients, blended perfectly to create unique, bold flavours. Our marinating process is simple :  meat + marinade + time (lots of time)…simple! The small batches are hand-turned multiple times before they are pulled out of the baths, inspected and slowly dried in a purposebuilt drier. 

Bootleg jerky is then hand-cut into bite-sized pieces after drying and then hand-packed – no need for noisy machines that’ll alert the ‘Fuzz’. Our runners then take it off us and, if no one has ratted them out, drop it off to you to devour. Bootleg Jerky is good for three (3) months unrefrigerated - we use water activity levels instead of artificial preservatives to make our products shelf-stable. We may not get the crazy long shelf-life of cheap traditional jerky, but who wants to eat meat that’s been sitting on the shelf for a year anyway?

We have spent countless hours perfecting these recipes and processes to create what we think is the best jerky around, so get in on it before it is outlawed.