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Derby Barbecue Sauce

Subject: 1948 Vintage Derby Barbecue Sauce
From: Brian
Date: 1/10/2019, 4:42 PM

On 1/10/2019 11:58 AM, Brian wrote:

Dear Phaedrus,

 I am looking for the recipe of a vintage BBQ sauce produced or distributed by Glaser,Crandell Co 
of Chicago, IL, it is called Derby Barbecue Sauce, see attached ad for your reference. It is no 
longer available so I hope you can help. It is used in a recipe to make a sandwich called the 
“Swiss Burger”. This sandwich was available only at one A & W restaurant in Fairmont, MN during 
the 60’s and early 70’s. It has taken me 30 years to obtain the original recipe from the owner, 
who passed away but his daughter was classmate of mine, who I meet at our Class reunion this past 
year. She had the recipe but said the BBQ sauce is no longer made but was the secret to this 
sandwich, we have tried other BBQ sauces but they are all too sweet. Hoping you can help locate 
the recipe or ingredient list so I can make the burger just the way it tasted 45 years ago!



  Hello Brian,

I spent a lot of time on this, but I did not have favorable results.

I found a lot of similar old newspaper ads for "Derby Barbecue Sauce" and mentions of recipe booklets featuring the sauce that were published by the company.

I also found a  recipe for "Kentucky Derby Barbecue Sauce", which is popular in Louisville, KY, and several mentions of Escoffier's "Derby Sauce" for which a substitute is Worcestershire sauce.

I did not find a recipe or ingredient list for Glaser,Crandell Co.'s "Derby Barbecue Sauce" or a recipe for the Fairmont, MN A&W's Swiss Burger. I did find a couple of mentions of the sandwich on Fairmont, MN Facebook nostalgia pages.

I could not find out anything about the current status of Glaser-Crandell Company. They bottled sauces and jellies and pickles, etc.  I could not find out if they were still in business or when Derby Barbecue Sauce was discontinued.

It's rare to find a recipe for a commercial barbecue sauce that is still being sold, and it's probably close to impossible to find a recipe for a sauce that had limited distribution and was discontinued years before the Internet came into existence. Glaser-Crandell Company, or whoever has their records, is probably the only source for the actual recipe.

I'll post this for reader input. Perhaps a former employee of Glaser,Crandell Co. will see it and respond. Maybe a former employee of A&W in Fairmont, MN will see it and have a suggestion for a substitute or a "tastes like." (Did they have a substitute bbq sauce that they used when they ran short of Derby?)  Sauces like barbecue sauce, with many ingredients, are very difficult to reverse-engineer, so I am doubtful that anyone has made a copycat recipe for Derby Barbecue Sauce.

You might try posting on the Fairmont, MN nostalgia Facebook page:  Fairmont, MN Memories

You might also try posting on one of the barbecue message boards. Perhaps someone who reads those will remember Derby sauce and can recommend a substitute or a recipe.


Hi Phaed,

Thank-you so much for your detailed and timely response, it’s refreshing to see someone take the 
time to help someone with more than a one sentence statement. I appreciate your time and research! 
I knew it would be a long shot in finding the recipe for Derby but the internet has a large audience 
and we may get lucky with a response. I visit your website when looking for hard to find recipes, 
so I’ll keep an eye out for any future posts. I looked at the recipe and it mentions Open Pit BBQ 
Original as their substitute, which is still available today. I think the trick with any of the 
current store shelf sauces is finding one without all the additives that weren’t used in the days 
when I was growing up. So finding an Open Pit recipe and making sure it doesn’t include the fructose’s 
may be the best solution. I’ll keep you posted if I come up with a good substitute.

Have a great day!



You might try these recipes: Hillbilly Housewife


Subject: Derby Bar B Que sauce
From: Diane
Date: 5/26/2020, 1:13 PM

On 5/26/2020 10:39 AM, Diane wrote:

My parents owned an A & W in Ohio three franchises made a Bar B Q sandwich 
like a sloppy joe that used Derby sauce  If I remember it was a bitterish sauce  
Wondering if it had bourbon in it .  back in early 60's it came in a jug shaped 
container  It made the best sandwich  Was a secret recipe  and was the best 
seller he offered

  Hi Diane,

I think that the sauce you mean was Glaser's Derby Barbecue Sauce made by Glaser Crandell Co.  There are some old Derby BBQ sauce bottles and other Derby collectibles for sale on the web, and magazine ads for it can be found. I did a thorough search for this about 1 1/2 years ago with no success. See: 1-11-2019

I searched again today, similarly with no success. I have never found any indication that bourbon was one of its ingredients, but without an actual ingredient list, who knows?


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