Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard is a brown mustard made by Bertman Foods Company, a Cleveland, Ohio, food manufacturer and distributor which has produced several varieties of mustards since 1925, well known regionally because they are served at sports stadiums around Cleveland.

There is a version of Bertman's original mustard recipe sold by The Davis Food Company called Stadium Authentic Mustard, but the original recipe, made by Bertman's organization, carries the "Bertman Original" designation. Bertman's original recipe is still being made by his family business [1]

Bertman's Spicy Brown Mustard

Bertman's spicy brown mustard, has been used at sports stadiums in and around Cleveland for over 90 years, including League Park, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, and Progressive Field. Joe Bertman, who was known for coming up with food solutions for his commercial customers, created the mustard for League Park, one of his top accounts, in the garage of his home in Cleveland's Kinsman neighborhood.[2] Bertman's is well known to sports fans, and was declared the "signature concession item" by writer Jim Caple.[3]


Joseph "Joe" Bertman began the business in his twenties with a partner in a garage at the Bertman home at E. 147th near Kinsman, where spices and pickles were processed and packaged.[4] The partner was bought out during the first few years of the business.[5] Bertman expanded his sales territory from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After WWII he had negotiated exclusive distribution rights to many food products with a fleet of trucks and a large sales force.

The company moved to 653 E. 103rd by the mid-1930s, and changed its name to Bertman Pickle Co.. Not too shortly after that, the company moved again, this time to 2180 E. 76th.[4] The company changed its name to Bertman Foods Company, which is now located at 7777 Grand Avenue in Cleveland.

The company sold pickles, salad dressings, spices, coffees, teas, and canned and dried foods products to schools, hospitals, and other large-scale food operations.[4][6] His company supplied mustard to League Park (then the home of the Cleveland Indians) and the Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Known for coming up with products to meet the needs of his clients, Bertman invented his spicy brown mustard in 1921.[7]

His mustard, under the family label, is served at major sports venues in Cleveland to this day. The mustard branded by one of his former employees, Stadium Authentic Mustard, is sold in retail stores, supermarkets, and online, and served in over 150 stadiums and arenas throughout the United States, but not in most Cleveland sports stadiums, where the competing Bertman's Original brand continues to be sold.

Cleveland's mustard controversy

In 1966, Cleveland had one local brown mustard: Joe Bertman's. David Dwoskin, one of Bertman's sales reps, represented the Bertman brand to retailers throughout Ohio. In 1969, The Davis Food Company partnered with Joe to make "The Authentic Stadium Mustard" available for retail sales in supermarkets. In 1971, Dwoskin registered the name "The Authentic Stadium Mustard" for his new company Davis Food Company.[8] In 1982, Davis Food Company obtained exclusive rights to sell to both wholesale and retail markets as well as stadiums, arenas and other venues. In the early 1980s there was a disagreement between Bertman and Dwoskin. Dwoskin produced his own mustard under the Stadium brand through his own company. The Bertman Family continues to sell its version of the mustard through its Bertman Foods Company.[8]

Dwoskin told that his mustard is served in 150 stadiums in the United States. Bertman Original is served at all Cleveland sports stadiums. Bertman Original is licensed to feature the Chief Wahoo logo of the Cleveland Indians baseball club, and is served at all Cleveland sports venues save FirstEnergy Stadium, which serves Stadium Authentic.[9][10]

Both mustards are sold in grocery stores, specialty food shops, and online. The trademarked "Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard" is still sold at Cleveland sports venues, and as a competing brand to Stadium Mustard by the Bertman family.[1]


It's hard to tell Bertman Original apart from Stadium, a 2011 blind tasting revealed remarkable similarities, with Bertman, which has some sugar in it, being a bit sweeter, and Stadium being a bit more spicy.[1]


Bertman's Original Ballpark Mustard is still made in Ohio.[1][11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d - Battle of the mustards: Stadium vs. Bertman's - October 2, 2011]
  2. ^ Bertman Ballpark Mustard - Official Site
  3. ^ "". 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
  4. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of Cleveland History - Joseph Bertman
  5. ^ Bertman Ballpark Mustard - Official Site - About Us
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
  7. ^ "Bertman Ballpark Mustard".
  8. ^ a b "THE AUTHENTIC STADIUM MUSTARD Trademark of OTIS FOODS LLC Serial Number: 77564458 :: Trademarkia Trademarks".
  9. ^ "Battle of the mustards: Stadium vs. Bertman's". 17 August 2009.
  10. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
  11. ^ by Joe Noga, April 10, 2015