Boston Lager 12 oz. 18.00 g carbs 170 calories 4.90% alcohol by volume (abv)
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 31, 2007
Boston Lager 12 oz. 18.00 g carbs 170 calories 4.90% alcohol by volume (abv)
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 30, 2007
I’ve done a few freelance articles for the Chicago Tribune’s “Good Eating” food section in the last couple of years. Two years ago, I approached them about an article about beer in ice cream (the concept actually helped inspire Beer & Food: An American History).
They rejected it.
And so here I sit, reading more and more examples of beer being incorporated into ice cream. Here’s one more using Hawkshead Brewery’s Red Ale (U.K.) as a flavouring. I think we’re going to have to make a beery ice cream in the next few weeks and film it (What do you think?)
In the meantime, read more about Hawkshead Red ice cream.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 28, 2007
POTTSVILLE, Pa. – Dick Yuengling Jr., fifth-generation owner of the brewery that bears his name, called his employees together a few weeks before their labor contract was set to expire to talk about the future of the business.
“Read between the lines,” he told them at one point, according to government documents on the management-union feud that followed.
Depending upon whom you ask, Yuengling’s speech was either a pep talk to urge employees to work harder or an ultimatum to dump the Teamsters union, which is what they did.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 28, 2007
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 27, 2007
26:51 minutes (9.23 MB)
This Interview is with Bob Skilnik, author of Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago. First let me say that this book is not only for Chicagoans; if you are interested in beer history this is a great book as well.
CBR Listeners can purchase the book at a 40% discount from the publisher Barricade Books by calling 201.944.7600.
Click on the link below, listen to the interview and call the publisher’s telephone number as indicated.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 26, 2007
Here’s an article from the Pioneer Press news group, part of the Sun-Times, about a presentation I recently did in Elmhurst, IL.
I nominate the picture of me as first prize for the “Most Unflattering Picture A Newspaper Could Run” award.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 23, 2007
A free slide show, “Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago,” will be presented by author and beer expert Bob Skilnik at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the library, 1501 Ellinwood St. Registration is required. Call 847-376-2787 or visit www.dppl.org and click on Events.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 19, 2007
May 14-20 is American Craft Beer Week and to celebrate we are starting the Beerfly Alleyfight. The Beerfly Alleyfight is a new event that will not just pair, but tri-pair, beer, food, and art. Ten Home Brewers will be given basic ingredients to brew a beer for the May 19th event. They will pair it with a food they make (or they have someone make) and then they will be paired with a Chicago artist (could be a writer, a painter, musician, a dancer…) who will interpret the pairing in an ass-kickin’, alleyfight way like you’ve never seen.
Artists include Neo-Futurists Diana Slickman, Jay Torrence, and Mary Fons, dancer Mindy Myers, photographer Tracy Hurst, Mucca Pazza drummer Brent Roman, and more to come (I’ll be there too).
When is this Beerfly Alleyfight
Saturday, May 19th from 1PM to 5PM at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, 1 E. Grand Ave., Chicago.
Tickets are $10.00 and include food, home brew, and performances. Pints of Rock Bottom beer will be available for a mere$2 each.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 17, 2007
Elmhurst Historical Museum – Tea Time Tour – Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago. Author Bob Skilnik presents an intoxicating look at Chicago’s brewing history. Book signing to follow. Info: (630)833-1457
Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 1 p.m.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 14, 2007
Last week, I was bitching about Democratic legislators in Oregon who wanted to raise the state’s beer tax.
Guess what? This time it’s Wisconsin, and true to form, once again its Democratic politicians who are leading the charge. Democratic Rep. Terese Berceau of Madison (figures) says that the proposed increase would raise the tax on a six-pack from 3.6-cents to 18-cents. Overall, it would cost beer drinkers between $40 million and $48 million more a year, she said.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 12, 2007
Sauerkraut has a long history, including as a staple for Revolutionary War soldiers — both sides. But other ethnic groups ate it too: during the winter of 1775/76, British forces in Boston allotted 1/2 pound of Sauerkraut per man and week; in neighboring Rhode Island a soldier was to get as much as 2 pounds per week. Their Sauerkraut was shipped all the way from England and Ireland, but it was of course available in America too, where the Continental Congress in July 1777, ordered the Board of War to procure Sauerkraut for the soldiers of the Continental forces.
Sauerkraut was also stored on ships during the 1700s as a preventative against scurvy and probably washed down with “Ship’s Beere.”
As my mother-in-law points out in the video, sauerkeraut is good for you. Fresh, raw cabbage is very rich in Vitamin C; one cup or 200 grams contains a whole day’s supply. Sauerkraut, which is also an excellent source of Vitamin K, has about half as much Vitamin C as raw kraut. Sauerkraut is also rich in cruciferous phytochemicals, long known for their disease-fighting powers. Recent research has shown moreover that the process of fermentation of the raw kraut produces a substance called isothiocynates, which prevent cancer growth, particularly in the breast, colon, lung, and liver.
20 lbs. raw cabbage, chopped thin. You can also downsize this by working in 5 lb. increments.
3 level tablespoons kosher salt per 5 lbs. of raw cabbage
For each 5 lbs. raw cabbage (per layer), you can add
1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds
1/4 small green apple, peeled and seeded and finely chopped
2-4 dried juniper berries
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and finely chopped
In a clean and sterilized food grade plastic container (with lid), layer in 5 lbs. of raw cabbage.
Sprinkle 3 level tablespoons of salt over each 5 lb. layer, and if desired, add caraway seeds, apple, juniper berries, and/or carrot. Repeat for each 5 lbs. Sofija likes to skip everything (caraway, apple, etc.) except the necessary salt and pour about a 1/2 cup of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice over the last layer of cabbage. I think this helps quicken the fermentation.
Make sure you FIRMLY PACK each layer. I actually pound it down with my fist and pretend it’s a book critic.
After adding your final 5 lb. layer of raw cabbage, cover with a sturdy plate that covers all the cabbage. If there’s any on the side of the fermenter, push the pieces back down under the plate. Take a weight (or brick) enclosed in a sealed plastic bag and place on plate. Cover. If you’re going to use a fermenter as I have, put in an air trap and fill it with a little vodka.
Keep at room temperature and in about 48 hours, you should see liquid in the container. The salt draws out the water from the cabbage and sets up wild fermentation. The salt actually helps to inhibit any mold as the cabbage begins to ferment. After a few more days, check to see if there’s any foam on top of the liquid. If so, use a clean spoon to remove.
Place fermenter in a cooler area, about 65 F or so.
Depending on how sour you want the kraut, you can let it go 2 weeks to a month. Taste to make sure. If the kraut is a bit salty, before you prepare it for the table, you can drain and store the liquid and thoroughly rinse the kraut. Then very gradually, keep adding back some of the liquid to taste.
Serve hot or cold. While we customarily seem to always cook sauerkraut, it’s excellent served as a cold side dish and is actually more healthy in this form. If you go “cold,” start enjoying in 7-10 days. Lotta crunch and really fresh tasting. Its amazing what lactobacilli can do, that is, aside from ruining beer or making Belgian brewers wealthy.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 10, 2007
In 1978, the United States Brewers Association learned of an on-going study in Germany in which traces of nitrosamines (DMNA) had been discovered in some European beers at an average level of 2 or 3 parts per billion (ppb). Some nitrosamines had been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. The USBA immediately informed appropriate US federal agencies and issued a public release to that effect.
Researchers had found that DMNA could be formed in the malting process, causing a complete revamping in how barley would be malted for American beers. This new malting technique included the use of sulfur during the malting procedure to inhibit the formation of DMNA. So spooked was the American beer industry that consumers would stop drinking beer that brewers, like the Coors Brewing Company, took out full-page ads extolling the fact that their original and costly processing of malt insured the fact that “There are no detectable nitrosamines in Coors beer.”
The Food and Drug Administration had been randomly testing beers manufactured in the United States and foreign imports as soon as the nitrosamine scare had begun. Their results were startling. Of the 30 American brands of beers tested, none of the domestics were found to have exceed the 5 ppb level that the FDA had established as the the maximum accepted level of DMNA in beer. Some domestics did, however, test very close to the acceptable level but the government refused to say which ones. What’s interesting about this FDA test, however, was that 3 import brands were named as exceeding the 5 ppm level. India Beer, made by Cerveceria India of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, San Miguel Dark Beer of San Miguel Corporation of Manila, Philippines and Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale from Tadcaster Ltd. Of Yorks, England.
WLS-TV in Chicago, IL decided to do their own testing of beers while the very real scare was building in intensity. Thermo Electron Laboratory in Waltham, Massachusetts came up with some startling figures for the beers that they had tested:
Domestics Brand of Beer with Nitrosamines in PPM in 12 oz.
Old Style 2.5
Lowenbrau Light 2.7
Miller High Life 2.8
Lowenbrau Dark 3.7
Schlitz Lite 3.8
Schlitz Malt Liquor 7.7
Old Milwaukee 9.2
Heineken Special Dark 23.4
American and foreign brewers were given 6 months to demonstrate that their beers contained no detectable amounts of DMNA.
Here it is, 2007, and the Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is still dragging its feet on a comprehensive labeling requirement that at a minimum, would tell the consumer how many calories, carbohydrates and various other nutritional components are in beer, let alone ingredients.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 9, 2007
CHICAGO, Ill. – May 9 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Like a grilled bratwurst and a satisfying brew, beer historian Bob Skilnik’s latest book, “Beer & Food: An American History” ($24.95, hardcover, 280 pages, Jefferson Press, ISBN: 0977808610) is the perfect complement to A&E’s recent television airing of “The American Brew.” From the quirky brews of the colonial era, the food rationing of world wars and the devastation of National Prohibition, Skilnik’s sixth book weaves a tale of beer’s movement from a homebrewed colonial staple, the key to saloons with their “Free Lunch” practice, and today, as a growing part of contemporary American cuisine.
“The convergence of centuries of brewing technology and the introduction of refrigeration into American households in the 1920s, plus the return of legal beer in 1933, probably led to the first brave man hollering out to his wife in her Repeal-era kitchen, ‘Honey, while you’re up; can you get me a beer from the fridge?’ While it’s an amusing anecdote, it demonstrates that historically, beer’s role as an everyday household commodity is a relatively recent occurrence.” Post-Prohibition is also the time when beer’s pairing with food became solidified, in large part due to the efforts of the now defunct United States Brewers Association. It’s not an accident that when we think of certain foods, we also think of enjoying a beer with them. The U.S.B.A. was responsible for one of the most effective marketing campaigns in U.S. history, promoting the idea that at home or away, “Beer Belongs.” The success of its post-Prohibition efforts helps explain why there might be a beer in your refrigerator today.
With a foreword by Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company and its growing portfolio of Samuel Adams beers, “Beer & Food: An American History” weaves a fascinating history of the evolution of American beer and its eventual pairing with food. The book also contains over 90 beer-related food recipes, including contributions from contemporary breweries, brewpubs and beer trade organizations.
About the Author
Bob Skilnik is an alumnus of Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology – the oldest brewing school in the U.S. – where he earned a degree in brewing technology. He is the former associate editor for the American Breweriana Journal, and has contributed to the Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating food section, trade journals, magazines and newspapers.
He has appeared on ABC’s “The View,” the Fox News Channel, ESPN2, and Chicago Public Television. “Beer & Food: An American History” is his sixth book. For more information about Bob Skilnik and “Beer & Food: An American History,” visit www.beerinfood.com.Text provided by the news source.
Story filed under: U.S. and World News : Entertainment : Books and Publishing
–>NEWS SOURCE: Bob Skilnik
Send2Press® is the originating wire service for this story.
# # #
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 7, 2007
In June of 1991, while the reorganized G. Heileman Brewing Company was once again trying to get back on its financial feet after a series of business setbacks, the brewery announced the creation of a new malt liquor called PowerMaster. This new brew would be added to its collection of other high-octane brews, including its best seller, Colt 45. PowerMaster would have an alcoholic content of about 5.5 to 6 percent, depending on the legal restrictions on alcohol content in beer by some western states.
“Upper strength malt liquors, those with a higher alcohol content, are growing,” noted a brewery spokesman, ” in an industry trade journal. Some industry observers, however, weren’t too sure about bringing one more malt liquor into the beer market, especially with the growing wave of neo-prohibitionism and a trend towards moderation in the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
“It’s a gutsy move on Heileman’s part,” said an industry observer, “but I’m not sure they can pull it off.” But one could also see Heileman’s logic in introducing yet another malt liquor. The national malt liquor market had shown increases of 300,000 barrels in each of the last two years to 6.1 barrels in 1990. In an otherwise stagnant market and in a rebuilding phase, Heileman was willing to bring on PowerMaster and pit it against the Stroh brewery’s Schlitz Malt Liquor, Anheuser-Busch’s King Cobra and Miller’s Magnum.
About the same time that PowerMaster was making its debut in Chicagoland, Reverends George Clements and the bete noire of the Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Father Michael Pfleger showed up at Heileman’s La Crosse, Wisconsin offices and demanded to speak with the brewery’s president, Thomas Rattigan. The priests contended that the new PowerMaster with its high alcohol kick was being targeted at black communities. When the duo was informed that Rattigan was out-of-town and that no other member of the brewery’s management team was willing to meet with them, they refused to leave the company offices. Company officials called the police who promptly arrested the Chicago clerics for trespassing.
In the courtroom of La Crosse Municipal Court Judge Robert Joanis, the two priests were released on $85 signature bonds and admonished by the judge that any future protests could land them in jail. He also ordered that they return to La Crosse in late August to answer the trespassing charges. In typical defiant fashion, the priests vowed that they would return to the brewery and continue the fight against the marketing and selling of the new PowerMaster product.
Clements and Pfleger, however, were just a small part of a nationwide campaign to usurp the placement of PowerMaster in the retail beer market. Various black leaders, Surgeon General Antonia Novello and representatives of anti-drinking groups had caught the attention of Washington, and in doing so, stirred the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) into action. In early July, BATF representatives descended on the La Crosse brewery, and in a two-hour meeting, informed Heileman that they were pulling approval of the PowerMaster label. Citing laws established by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act of 1935, the BATF claimed that they were invoking a passage in the Act that forbade the labeling or advertising of beer as being “strong, full strength, extra strength or high test,” all words that could be construed as an indication of alcoholic strength.
After the United States brewing industry had lost its eight month exclusive right to manufacture 3.2 percent beer with the repeal of Prohibition on December 5, 1933, many breweries came out with a line of what were commonly referred to at the time as “headache beers,” malted beverages with a high alcohol content. These beers were brewed strong in an attempt to blunt a possible loss of market share to distilled spirits manufacturers. Claiming since the nineteenth century that beer was really a nourishing “drink of moderation,” the move by brewers to manufacture and advertise high alcohol products seemed a bit hypocritical and left the industry in a sensitive position. Still gun-shy that the federal government could giveth and taketh away the right to brew beer again, the United States brewing industry had grudgingly accepted the labeling restrictions.
Decades later, and following a very wide interpretation of these post-Prohibition guidelines, the BATF claimed that the word “Power” violated federal law. Heileman was allowed to sell its existing stock of PowerMaster for the next four months but would have to stop any further advertising of the product. In a statement by G. Heileman after the BATF’s decision, the brewery acknowledged the financial burden that continued litigation over the issue would entail. In the midst of reorganization, the brewery decided to take their medicine and move on. When pressed by reporters as to how the PowerMaster label could have been approved by the BATF and then suddenly pulled after lobbying by anti-drink proponents, Dan Black, deputy director of the bureau and associate director of compliance operations at the BATF explained away the action. “With upwards of 80,000 labels a year…sometimes these things happened.”
St. Sabina pastor Pfleger, was overjoyed by the BATF ruling. “When we are spiritually strong, there’s no problem we cannot overcome. We have a serious alcohol problem in the [Chicagoland African-American] community, and this means that something worse won’t be added to it,” said Pfleger, then added “Big business better watch out if it’s doing wrong.” St. Ides malt liquor was gaining popularity in the black community, especially after rap and movie star Ice Cube was making commercials for the beer. After the beer was highlighted in the movie, Boyz n the Hood, sales took off. “Get your girl in the mood quicker,” sang Ice Cube in one of the commercials he did for the powerful malt liquor, “and get your jimmy thicker with St. Ides malt liquor.” Today, the Colt .45, St. Ides and St. Ides Special Brew labels are owned by the Pabst Brewing Company. For you readers who have never succumbed to the ass-kicking qualities of this powerhouse genre of beer, I present the following qualities with one caveat. Though I use the word “ounce” in this article to describe the fluid amount of malt liquor in any given container, it’s customary to instead described the liquid measurement as oz., as in “O-O-O-Z-E-E.” Dead giveaway you’re a writer from the suburbs if you use the full-written word;
* Malt liquors range in alcohol content from 5.6 percent (Colt 45) to 8.0 percent (St. Ides) by volume. Regular beer averages 4.6 percent alcohol by volume.
* Four, 12-ounce cans of malt liquor can have as much alcohol as five to eight cans of beer. Malt liquor is often promoted, however, in single 40-ounce bottles. 24-ounce cans are also available and known as “shorty forties.”
* One 12-ounce can of regular beer has approximately the same alcohol as a standard shot of whiskey. All have an average of a half-ounce of alcohol. Drinking one 40-ounce bottle of St. Ides is equivalent to drinking a little more than five shots of whiskey.
* Standard etiquette for drinking malt liquor in Chicago is to stand on a street corner with a menacing group of your friends and drink it from a new paper bag. No plastic bags, please! That would be gauche and so not “green.”
* It gets your jimmy thicker.
Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 2, 2007
In the 1870s, Chris Von der Ache, a saloonkeeper in St, Louis, noted that every time the St. Louis Brown Stockings pulled into town, sales of beer in his saloon skyrocketed. It didn’t take a genius to realize that there was something brewing between sports enthusiasts, in this case, baseball fans, and beer drinking. In 1880, he tried to get permission to sell his lager beer directly to fans in Sportsman’s Park, where the Browns played, but was rebuffed by the team’s owners. A year later, he purchased a controlling interest in the team and began selling beer directly to baseball fans at Sportsman’s. It was the beginning of an American duo that still reigns bigger today than ice cream and apple pie, ham and eggs or the double charms of Morganna, the “Kissing Bandit.” It began the courtship of baseball and beer.
Brewer Jacob Ruppert took the next step in bringing this duo together when he and Tillinghast L´Hommedieu Huston purchased the New York Yankees for $460,000. On January 3, 1920, just thirteen days before National Prohibition fell over the land, the Yankees purchased the contract of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $125,000 and a loan of $350,000 against the mortgage on Fenway Park. The engagement between baseball and beer had begun.
In 1953, the St. Louis Cardinals, descendants of von der Ache’s Brown Stockings, were in trouble. More precisely, Fred Saigh, the Cardinals owner was. Convicted of income tax evasion, baseball commissioner Ford Frick demanded that Saigh sell his team. Under the auspices of Anheuser-Busch, owner Gussie Busch and his brewery stepped forward and offered Saigh $3,750,000 for the team. This was actually about a half million less than had been offered by some out-of-town investors. Shyster that he was, the disgraced lawyer and Cardinals team owner still wanted the baseball team to stay in St. Louis under the control of a local investor and took A-B’s lower bid. It was a public relations coup for Gussie and his brewery. A-B had saved the St. Louis baseball team and kept them from the hands of “outsiders.” The brewery owner seemingly took the high road when it was suggested that the only reason Busch and his board of directors bought the Cardinals was to use the aging Sportsman’s Park as a conduit through which to pump out barrels of the “King of Beers” to St. Louis baseball fans. “I am going at this [the purchase] from the sports angle and not as a sales weapon for Budweiser Beer,” he told reporters at a news conference after the brewery had sealed the deal for the Cardinals.
Things became a bit rocky for Gussie a year later when a Colorado senator introduced a bill that would have made ownership of any sports team by a brewery or distillery subject to antitrust laws. The attack seemed to really be aimed at Busch, especially after Colorado Senator Edwin Johnson called Gussie “…a personable and able huckster” and accused the beer baron of not really understanding the history and tradition of baseball, but instead, charged that Busch looked at the sport as “…a cold-blooded, beer-peddling business…”Johnson was right. Shortly after A-B bought the Cardinals, Busch decided that it was time to get out of the aging Sportsman’s Park. He cut a deal with Bill Veeck, who owned the rival St. Louis Browns at Forest Park, to buy the Brown’s stadium for $1.1 million. Veeck grabbed the money and moved his team to Baltimore.
Gussie floored everyone when he announced that he wanted to rename the stadium at Forest Park to “Budweiser Stadium.” Baseball commissioner Ford Frick was furious at the idea of renaming the park after a beer brand, his opinion bolstered by a local Protestant church group that also found the idea of naming a ball park after an alcoholic beverage repugnant. Busch realized he had created a PR nightmare but admitted that it wasn’t until it was pointed out by his advisors that the Wrigley family hadn’t named the old Weegham Park “Juicy Fruit Stadium” but rather Wrigley Field, that he acquiesced to renaming Forest Park to “Busch Stadium.”
There was another problem that resolved itself at the end of the baseball season when the broadcast contract between the Cards and rival St. Louis brewery, Griesidieck Brothers, ran out. Busch demanded that all the advertising signs be stripped from Busch Stadium and ordered the erection of a single neon sign of the sprawling A-B eagle over the scoreboard. The marriage of baseball and beer had begun.