Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Archive for June, 2007

Make Your Own Chelada Pops Video

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 28, 2007

You might recall an earlier post about the Rustico Restaurant in Alexandria, VA and its problems selling beer popsicles. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says the “beersicles” run afoul of rules governing the serving and pouring of beer.

I’ve also noticed an unusual amount of hits on this blog for anything pertaining to Miller’s Chelada-styled Chill beer…and that got me thinking.

So what I’ve down is taken the idea and the interest in Miller Chill and put them together for my version of a Chelada Pop.

Chelada Pops ala Bob

1 12-ounce bottle of Miller Chill
1/4 teaspoon of finely grated lime zest
Juice from one small lime
3 packets of Splenda (or 3 teaspoons of sugar) or more to taste
2-3 drops of green food coloring

Pour Miller Chill into container, add the remaining ingredients and stir. Using frozen treat containers (I found mine at the local Jewel Store in the “Seasonal” section), pour the liquid into the containers. Don’t fill to the top since the liquid will expand as it freezes. Don’t worry if you find the liquid a bit too sweet. It should be. As the Chelada Pop freezes, the sweetness will become muted and will balance out.

Put the Chelada Pops into the freezer overnight and enjoy.

Since I’m cutting back on the carbs and calories, my 4-pack of Chelada Pops comes out to 2.38 carbs and 26.5 calories each. Of course, this depends on the size of the containers you use, but hey…how can you go wrong?


Posted in Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer In Food, Beer Nutritional Info, Cooking With Beer, Video Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

THE BEER NUT: Ye olde beer recipe book; Review of Beer & Food: An American History

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 27, 2007

bf_front.jpgBeer and food they seem to go together like…well, beer and food.

Although many do not know that beer can be used for cooking more than bratwurst, people have been cooking with beer for centuries.

Chicago beer writer Bob Skilnik wanted to chronicle recipes using beer in the United States, and in so doing, presents a fascinating history of beer from colonial times to the present in his latest book, “Beer & Food: An American History.”

“I’m not sure if I should call it a history book or a cookbook,” said Skilnik, who has authored several beer-related books and appeared on numerous national television shows. “I just call it a culinary history book. It is more of a historical cookbook than a cookbook, per se.”


Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer History, Books & Beer | Leave a Comment »

Nutritional Info For Three Floyds Gumballhead

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 25, 2007


Gumballhead               12 oz     21.00 g carbs    195 calories     4.90 abv

     Get The Nutritional Values Of More Three Floyd Beers Here

Posted in Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info | Leave a Comment »

Food Recipes Using Malt Syrup (Extract)

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 25, 2007

New Englanders have made Boston Brown Bread a nostalgic part of their culinary history, but it wasn’t always so. Sometime after wheat’s abundance, and the resultant light-colored bread that became common in New England, a longing for the coarser breads of harder times inspired the creation of this dark bread. The combination of rye and cornmeal or Graham meal and cornmeal, plus the addition of molasses—cooked by steaming—are the keys to making authentic Boston Brown Bread. Malt syrup, however, pushes traditional molasses aside in this next recipe. 

Boston Brown Bread

1 cup rye-meal

1 cup granulated corn meal

1 cup graham flour

½ cup Schlitz Malt Syrup (hop flavored)

2 cups sour milk, or 1 ¾ cups of sweet milk or water

¾ tablespoon [baking] soda

1 teaspoon salt    

Method: Mix and sift the dry ingredients, add the Schlitz Malt Syrup (hop flavored) dissolved in a little hot water, and the milk. Stir until well mixed, turn into a well buttered mold and steam for 3 ½ hours.

Posted in Beer History, Cooking With Malt Extract, Malt Extract | Leave a Comment »

William Dowd; Book Review: A tasty brew of history

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 23, 2007

beerandfoodfrontcoverwebforum.jpgBeer & Food: An American History. By Bob Skilnik. Jefferson Press. 246 pp. $24.95 U.S., $28.95 Canada.

When the history of American whiskey is written, again, George Washington will have to play a more important role than ever. The recent opening of his Mount Vernon, VA, distillery that was rebuilt 200 years after fire destroyed the original brought back to public awareness what a major distiller he was in the new United States.

However, the history of American beer — and its relationship to food as well as to society — has been written, by beer writer and historian Bob Skilnik. And in this arena, Washington also plays a major role.


Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer History, Books & Beer | Leave a Comment »

Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Questions Beer Popsicles

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 21, 2007

popsicles.jpgIs it one of the great alcoholic innovations of the 21st century — or an illegal way to serve beer? Frank Morales, the owner of the Rustico Restaurant in Alexandria, is selling the adult frozen treats in flavors like “Raspbeer-y” and “Fudgesicle.” They cost $4 for the 6-ounce size, shaped like a traditional Popsicle, and $6 for a larger “beer cone.”

But the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says the “beersicles” run afoul of rules governing the serving and pouring of beer. Special Agent Philip Disharoon said the law requires beer to be served in its original container, or served immediately to a customer once it is poured from its original container.

Amber Pfau, a restaurant spokeswoman, told Express today that Rustico is “following the letter of the law” when it comes to the frozen treats. According to Pfau, the restaurant’s legal counsel says that because Morales is keeping beer that is being used for cooking — in this case for the popsicles — separate from beer that being served at the bar, the “popsicles are an extension as a food item.”

Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer In Food | 1 Comment »

Nutritional Info For Yuengling Traditional Lager

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 18, 2007


Yuengling          Traditional Lager                  12 oz        12.00 g carbs               150 calories        4.4% abv

   Get The Nutritional Values Of More Yuengling Beers Here

Posted in Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info | Leave a Comment »

Maltose & Malt Extract-Glazed Pork Ribs

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 14, 2007

bbq-ribs.jpgMaltose is a syrup (or powder) that can be made from wheat, rice, barley or other grains. I recommend the barley malt syrup in this rib recipe. The chemical structure varies slightly with which grain is used, but the end product will be similar. You can find maltose at any local homebrew shop or go online and do a search for a mail order homebrew shop. Homebrewers who brew malt extract batches sometimes like to use maltose to add body or “mouth feel” to their beer, something that might be lacking when making homebrew from malt extract and not from grain.

Even Amazon carries maltose made from rice, but it comes from China. After poisoning dog food and contaminating cheap toothpaste with anti-freeze, I’ll personally take a pass on the Chinese stuff. But I digress…

Maltose & Malt Extract-Glazed Pork Ribs

1 rack St. Louis-style or baby back ribs

1 cup of beer, preferably a dry beer such as a Japanese beer. I’m thinking Sapporo, but even a domestic ice beer will do. I know, this doesn’t follow the philosophy of using only craft beer, but you need the dryness here to balance the sweet maltose and malt extract sauce. Trust me…

2 teaspoons Szechwan peppercorns

4 quarter-size coins ginger root

6 to 8 cups unsalted chicken broth (enough to cover ribs)

Maltose & Malt Extract Sauce:

1 teaspoon corn or peanut oil 3 firm plum tomatoes, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

3 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked until soft, drained, then chopped coarsely

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

¼ cup of a dry beer

2 tablespoons packed dark malt extract powder or brown sugar

1 heaping tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chili sauce

¼ cup maltose

1/3 cup thin-sliced green and white scallion rings

1 tablespoon fine-minced garlic

1 tablespoon fine-minced ginger root plus diagonally sliced green and white scallion rings, for garnish

To make ribs: Peel the translucent skin from the backside of the ribs. Cut the rack between the ribs into 2 or 3 pieces and place in a nonreactive large pot where they fit snugly. Add the beer, peppercorns, ginger and enough broth to cover the ribs by 2 inches.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, partially covered, about 1 hour or until the ribs are very tender. Remove the ribs to a baking sheet and allow them to cool in a single layer. Discard the cooking liquid. Ribs can be cooked a day or two ahead, great if you don’t want to fuss too much with company on hand. Now I’m usually dead set against boiling ribs, but simmering them in this spicy mixtures adds a definite depth of taste to them.

To make sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the plum tomatoes and toss briskly 1 to 2 minutes, or until seared and browned in spots. Scrape the tomatoes and any juices into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and process until smooth.

In a nonreactive pan, combine the tomato mixture with all the remaining ingredients except the garnish. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the maltose dissolves. Let cool to room temperature.

Either throw them on the outdoor grill to finish them off or keep inside and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you’re going with the oven technique, place the ribs, curved side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and brush with about two-thirds of the sauce. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven about 15 minutes or until glazed. Personally, I throw them on the grill and cook them on indirect heat while basting them with the maltose glaze, just enough to get some carmelization on them.(Can be cooled at this point and refrigerated for up to a day. Let come to room temperature before finishing.)

About 30 minutes before serving (if necessary, preheat the oven again to 375 degrees), cut the rib racks lengthwise into individual ribs. Glaze the top and sides of each with the remaining sauce and put the ribs, curved side up and not touching on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until well glazed and hot. Serve at once heaped in a tangle and garnish with a thick sprinkle of ginger and scallion rings. Makes 4 servings.

You can also follow the general directions and instead, substitute the oriental theme with a homemade BBQ sauce or mop, just be sure to incorporate the maltose into the recipe. Lucy Saunders, author of Grilling With Beer, has a plethora of recipes for making mops and BBQ sauces. Find one in her book and adapt it to this recipe, if desired.

Posted in Cooking With Adjuncts, Cooking With Malt Extract, Food That Demands To Be Paired With Beer | 1 Comment »

The Beer Man Gives Beer & Food: An American History, A Thumbs Up!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 13, 2007

beerandfoodfrontcoverwebforum.jpgTodd Haefer, Appleton, Wisconsin’s “Beer Man” for the Post-Crescent newspaper, did a nice review for my latest book. Maybe it’s just me, but the more print and blog reviews that are coming out for the book, the more it seems that the reviewers actually understand the book. It’s been a minor irritant to me that some bloggers fail to see what the book really is; it’s a culinary history book. Discussions as to whether it’s a cookbook or a history book have me deducing that none of them have ever picked up a book like A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Arts and Traditions of the Table) by James E. Mcwilliams, or three wonderful books by Mark Kurlansky, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, Cod, and Salt. Kurlansky’s book on oysters in America inspired me to write Beer & Food using the approach that I did.

Books like these take a look at why we eat what we did—and do today, or in the case of Kurlansky’s books, fix attention on the history of a particular food (oysters, cod, and salt). If you’re a foodie like me, who just happens to also like a good beer (or 2), you’ll understand Beer & Food: An American History without confusion.

Thanks Todd for being one of them.

Posted in Books & Beer, Plugs | Leave a Comment »

Nutritional Info For Leinie’s Summer Shandy

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 13, 2007

 leiniesummershandycropped.jpgNutritional Info for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry, the U.S. Federal Government, and Special Interest Groups Won’t Tell You






Leinenkugel Summer Shandy          12 oz.        12.00 g carbs  130 calories     4.20 abv

      Get The Nutritional Values Of More Leinie Beers Here

Posted in Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info | Leave a Comment »

Nutritional Info For A-B Bud Light Chelada

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 12, 2007

Bud Light Chelada    12 oz    15.6 g carbs     151 calories    4.2% abv

Get The Nutritional Values Of More Anheuser-Busch Products Here

Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info | Leave a Comment »

Miller Chill Gives Drinkers A Thrill

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 12, 2007

millerchill_bottle.jpgWith an annointment from The Wall Street Journal, Miller continues to roll out the 110-calorie Miller Chill to the last third of its marketing area. National saturation should be complete by early July.

Beer (& More In Food) made earlier note of Miller’s newest beer here.

Nutritional Info for Miller Chill beer.

News Release For Miller Chill.

Get The Nutritional Values Of More Miller Beers Here


Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer In Food, Beer Nutritional Info, Cooking With Beer, Video Recipes | Leave a Comment »

What About The Children? Nanny State California Demonizes Alcopops

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 12, 2007

Lord I hate do-gooders. The whole concept of National Prohibition began with one group’s insistence on telling others what they could and could not do…enjoy an alcoholic drink. California politicians, who never cease to amaze me in their need to regulate the lives of their voters, now want to require that malt-based beverages feature warnings and alcohol content on their labels, according to Beverage Daily.

With a casual glance, this might seem like a good idea. I’m the first to advocate more information on the labels of alcoholic beverages, including the alcohol content. But it’s the nonsensical arguments that politicians like to use to justify their nanny-stating regulations that bother me.

Jointly authored by Assembly Members Lori Saldaña and Jim Beall, the proposed bill aims to prevent the “deceptive” promotion of alcoholic beverages to younger consumers. According to Saldaña “many of these products are indistinguishable in color and packaging from sports or energy drinks.” Saldaña also cites a 2005 American Medical Association survey, which reports that a third of girls over 12 have tried alcopops, and 25 percent drove a car after drinking, or rode with a driver who had been. Notice please, that there are 2 claims being made here, but at no time do we see that the 25 percent who drove a car “tried alcopops,” and that’s where this argument can be seen for what it is—a first step in state prohibition in California.

Here’ some of my “favorite” claims in the A.M.A 2005 poll; ”

Nearly one in six teen girls who have drunk alcopops in the past six months have been sexually active after drinking.

I call B.S. I don’t need a poll to tell me that the chances are good that “…one in six girls…have been sexually active,” period, even if they just left the malt shop (well, there are no such things anymore like malt shops, but you get they idea).

Nearly half of all girls aged 16-18 report seeing alcopops ads on TV, compared to only 34 percent of women 21 or older.
Women 21 or older are usually too busy in the workplace or raising a family to sit in front of the TV all day and watch commercials.

Don’t they check I.D.s in California liquor stores? Don’t they stack and cool these products along with beer, wine, and liquor in, I don’t know, THE LIQUOR DEPARTMENT and not with soda? At least that’s what we do here in Illinois. Are people that stupid in California? (That’s rhetorical).

Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Neo-Prohibition | 1 Comment »

Green Movement Might Make Beer Drinkers Blue

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 11, 2007

The price of drinking could climb as farmers who grow blue agave, the cactuslike plant used for tequila in Mexico, and barley for beer in Germany, switch to corn and other biofuel crops to meet growing demand for ethanol. Prices have already gone up for beer in Germany, and American beer could follow if barley production keeps declining here.

“If the beer companies and malt companies need it to make their products, they’re going to have to pay more,” said Kelly Olson, administrator of the Idaho Barley Commission.


First it was the rising price on tacos, now this. Oh the humanity!


Posted in Beer & Food In The News | Leave a Comment »

How Much Alcohol Remains In Cooked Food?

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 10, 2007

Preparation Method Percent of Alcohol Retained
alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
alcohol flamed 75%
no heat, stored overnight 70%
baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:  
  • 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • 1.5 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 2.5 hours

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Joliet Herald: Beer hops into history of U.S. cooking

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 8, 2007

This summer, when you’re screaming for ice cream, try mixing up a batch of fresh berry sherbet — only make sure you have plenty of Samuel Adams white ale on hand since the sherbet recipe will flop without it.

Or, for a more adventurous barbecue treat, whip up a batch of Sauerkraut and Malt Extract Crunch bars. Local beer expert Bob Skilnik of Plainfield posted an instructional video of that delicacy at

“They’re actually very, very good,” Skilnik said. “People flip out when they’re told what’s in it.”

In his sixth beer-related book, “Beer & Food: An American History,” Skilnik documents the history of the brewing industry in the United States and illustrates though 90 recipes how Americans use beer as a key ingredient in cooking.

Skilnik will sign copies of his book from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 8 at Barnes & Noble, 2621 Plainfield Road, Joliet. For more information about the event, call the store at (815) 254-2253.


Posted in Appearances, Beer & Food In The News, Plugs | Leave a Comment »

FREE ADVERTISING/FREE BOOK!! How You Can Be A Star On Beer (& More) In Food

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 8, 2007

I’d like to feature videos here of beer related food recipes from household cooks to beer professionals. If you have a video segment of 10 minutes or less, drop me a line and I’ll arrange to put it up on the site; plugs for your products or business can be included.

If you run over 10 minutes, I’ll probably have to do some editing in order to keep viewers interested. You know how some beer drinkers can be! In addition, a few pictures would be nice and a detailed recipe (ingredients, procedure) and a few comments.

If you’re from a brewery or brewpub but don’t have time to make a video, no problem. Send a detailed recipe, two bottles of whatever beer is called for in your recipe, and some promo material that I can include in the posting. I’ll make the video; you take the applause. If you want to send some additional stuff to be included in the posting, please feel free to send me whatever.

At the end of each month, I’ll throw the name of all video participants on file into a hat. The winner will receive a FREE signed copy of Beer & Food: An American History, a $24.95 value. The site is currently getting 5,000 + hits a month. If you’re a brewery or pub, take advantage of picking up some FREE publicity and promoting YOUR business! There are NO strings attached

Posted in Plugs, Video Recipes | Leave a Comment »

We’re Here, We’re Queer and Now We’re Drinking Beer!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 8, 2007

queerbeer1.jpgIf you head over to eBay, you might run across someone selling VHS tapes or DVDs of old black & white beer commercials from the ’40s and ’50s. I’m a sucker for these video bits of breweriana, a reflection, I think, of simpler days. I’ve managed to put together a nice collection of them. One beer commercial in particular sticks in my head. With a pair of disembodied hands pouring a cold beer into a frosty pilsner glass, the rugged voices of men can be heard singing, “A beer is a beer is a beer is a beer…until you’ve tasted Hamm’s!”

It’s a great little ditty—simple, direct, with an underlying message that beer is a man’s drink, made by men, for men. Fast forward to the new millennium, when the idea of same sex marriages are being forced down our throats and public television has produced a children’s show that espouses two-mommy households.

Queer is in. “Will & Grace” was a long-running bona fide hit. NBC moved “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” from its cable network Bravo to prime time because it was trying to attract a larger gay audience than execs figured cable could. In a complete turnaround from the “Ellen” fiasco of a few years back, advertisers are now falling all over themselves to sponsor these gay-themed programs—certainly a different attitude than the simpler days of black & white TV.

Well, we men still have our beer commercials, ya know, buxom beauties tearing off their clothes as they tumble into a conveniently located reflecting pool while they argue over whether or not their beers are “Less filling” or “Taste great!” Or so I thought until the Ottawa Sun reported that a Quebec firm marketing a beer called “Pride,” resplendent with a rainbow-colored label, was being sued by another gay group based in Toronto called Pride Toronto for using the word “Pride.”

Personally, I don’t care who won that legal battle (someone took it in the shorts), but all I kept on thinking when I read this story was “queer beer?” My God—what will they think of next? From what I understand, it’s really not a bad beer; holds a big head and goes down easy <rimshot>. But as I researched this story a bit further, I came to a sobering reality. Breweries and their ad agencies discovered decades ago something that other TV advertisers have been slow to recognize—gays are one of today’s most affluent consumer groups. The Miller Brewing Company was one of the first brewers to target the gay market back in the 1970s in the San Francisco area by advertising in local gay publications. The ads were sexually neutral in their tone, taken right from the pages of mainstream publications, but indicated that the Milwaukee brewery was willing to court this once-ignored but lucrative demographic.

Anheuser-Busch took a big step in also recognizing the potential of this niche market in Chicago back in 1987 when it started running ads in The Windy City Times, a local gay newspaper. At the time, a representative from the Lowe Marschalk ad agency questioned the wisdom of A-B advertising in gay outlets, opining that to do so would damage the beer’s macho image. Lowe Marschalk represented the Stroh beer brand at the time. Of course, A-B’s wisdom proved itself out: the Stroh Brewing Company closed in 1999 but Anheuser-Busch continues to dominate the U.S. beer market.

Advertising beer in gay-oriented publications with sexually neutral ads— ads that could also be run in the  Wall Street Journal or Forbes magazine without raising eyebrows—was a first step for America’s breweries in catching the attention of the gay community. However, the next step—sponsorship of events like a big city Gay Pride Parade, or even hinting at a homosexual relationship between beer drinkers in straight print or commercial ads— is another story.

And this is where a possible controversy arises: Are American breweries risking the loss of heterosexual beer drinkers who don’t want to see their favorite beer in a commercial with two guys, for instance, holding hands while chugging down a BudMillerCoors?

In a 1988 Wall Street Journal article, a Miller spokesman begged off on the idea of the brewery concentrating heavily on the gay market. Miller is now, however, open in its marketing to gays. In a sense, old Frederick Miller’s brewery has come out of the closet, but initially tripped over the threshold when it did. As recently as 1999, the brewery ran into problems with this approach.

There was little question what group of beer drinkers Miller was targeting with its ad featuring a shirtless muscle man. The spot was supposed to air on a cable program in San Francisco and feature a “Barechest Men” calendar for sale, the proceeds going to a local AIDS-funding group. The combination of Miller sponsoring a photo calendar of beefy hunks and indirectly raising funds for AIDS victims was too much for some straights in the San Francisco community. After loads of protests by conservative groups, the thirty-second ad was pulled. A Miller spokesman tried to lay the idea for the commercial at the feet of a local advertising agency and not at the door of the brewery’s Milwaukee headquarters. The idea of courting gays while possibly disenfranchising the much larger market of straight beer drinkers made Miller back off from openly advertising gay-themed commercials and ads for the next few years, except in gay publications.

However, maybe in a reflection of political correctness (and an almost stagnant growth in beer sales), a Miller commercial from 2001 had two women sitting at a bar, obviously on the prowl for some man-meat. In the TV spot, one girl has the bartender send a beer over to a man sitting alone. As he starts to acknowledge the drink, the women spot a better looking man behind him and have the female bartender go back and grab the beer from the poor slob who was about to sip on the bottle. “Sorry chief!” she says as she pulls the bottle from his hand and passes it over to the girls’ newest interest. Seconds later, another hunk joins the single man who is enjoying his free beer. “Jackpot!” one of the girls says, but she almost falls off her stool when the two men hold hands. “Well,” one girl declares, “at least he’s not married.”

One of the edgiest beer commercials featured Sam Adams Boston Lager, a brew that I frequently enjoy. The spot opened with a man and woman seen breathing heavily in a bed. The guy looks like he’s about to lift off the launching pad when the woman pushes him away, hands him a Sam and explains, “I’m a transsexual,” making a snip-snip movement with her fingers while a cat yelps in the background. “My name used to be Phil,” she continues while the guy laughs nervously. Once she points to her/his Adam’s apple, the guy takes a long swig from his beer and says, “Wow! That tastes great.” A moment later, he seems to have forgotten what had just transpired, so good-tasting is Sam Adams Boston Lager. “What was I saying?” he says as he turns back to her. “You were about to nibble on my ear,” she moans and he climbs back into the sack with her. I understand the idea of market segmentation in advertising, especially in beer advertising, but really, is it necessary to work the transsexual market right under our noses? What’s next, the S & M crowd?

The brewers of Bud, Guinness, Amstel, Moosehead, Coors, Carlsberg and Kronenbourg are all becoming much more open in attempting to attract gays to their products. No more beer ads in just gay newspapers, normally outside of the perusal of straight beer drinkers. American brewers are now holding the closet door open and welcoming new customers. But at what point does a gay-themed beer commercial send its core demographic running into the arms of a less socially attuned competitor who might exploit a possible straight backlash? (“Try Brand X beer. It’s not for sissies!”) Is your average, straight beer drinker ready for commercials featuring men holding hands, floats full of queens at your city’s Gay Pride Parade being sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, Miller Lite, Sam Adams and Pilsner Urquell, or transsexuals promoting one of my favorite beers?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

In the next few months, I’ll be adding more of my own videos, along with the self-made smattering that’s now posted at

Posted in Beer History | Leave a Comment »

Meet Me At The 3rd Annual Drinking & Writing Festival, June 9 At Hopleaf

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 7, 2007


June 9, 2007

12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

5148 N. Clark Street (@Foster)

Chicago, Illinois




We’re working hard to prepare for The 3rd Annual Drinking & Writing Festival.  This year the focus is on the man who inspired the creation of Drinking & Writing Brewery, Charles Bukowski.  We’ll have some special guests to talk about Buk and beer.  So far the lineup includes:

  • Northwestern University’s Bill Savage

  • Author Bob Skilnik (Beer & Food: An American History, Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago)

  • Journalist Bill Jauss will present fellow journalist Rick Kogan (Chicago Tribune, WGN, and author of A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the American Dream), last year’s winner of The Drinking & Writing Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drinking & Writing.  Rick won’t be there in person, but he’ll be there…

  • Beer from some great microbreweries and brewpubs including Dogfish Head, Flossmoor Station, Firestone Walker, Rock Bottom, and Goose Island, and lots of opportunities to sample the incredible beers at the Hopleaf.

  • The ever popular Two Drink Minimum Writing Contest.  For this contest, everyone who has been using their drink tickets is given paper, pen, theme, and two minutes to write a story related to that theme.  All legible and illegible entries will be judged immediately and the winner will receive a fabulous prize (last year’s winner won a tour and tasting for 10 at Goose Island Beer Company and the year before the winner received his weight in beer from Goose Island!).

  • Local homebrewers with tasty samples of their beer, including the winner of the Beerfly Alleyfight’s Best Beer and Best Pairing, Brian Schafer.

  • Twilight Tales (a small book publisher and reading series) will be there to show off some of their books.

  • The Book Cellar  will be on hand with some books on Bukowski, drinking, writing, and drinking and writing.Admission is $15.00 for tickets purchased in advance ( or $20.00 at the door.  Ticket price includes all events for the day and 10 drink sample tickets good for all the Hopleaf beers and the guest beers. Remember, it’s Bukowski and tickets may go faster than expected.

    Admisssion is $15.00 when you buy your ticket online (look up and to your left) or $20.00 at the door.  Ticket price includes all events and 10 drink sample tickets good for all the Hopleaf beers and the guest beers.

    You can also purchase tickets online for $20.00 and it includes a Bukowski poster (look above).

    Remember, it’s Bukowski and tickets may go faster than expected.

Posted in Appearances | Leave a Comment »

Is Anheuser-Busch Ripe For A Takeover?

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 7, 2007

Beverage Daily is fueling speculation that Anheuser-Busch might be targeted for a takeover. This adds to an earlier report by the New York Post that Hedge fund manager and activist shareholder William Ackman reportedly wants to invest in an iconic company, i.e., Anheuser-Busch. So far, Ackman has raised $2 billion “to invest in an unnamed company with a market capitalization of $30 billion to $40 billion with three divisions.” A-B could fit the bill.

As a result of all the buzz, call options traded on A-B have increased to a new high and A-B’s common stock is also rising. 

Anheuser-Busch had sales of $15.7 billion last year, almost 80 percent of it from beer. The company gets about 7.5 percent of revenue from the theme parks unit that includes Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, and about 11 percent comes from its packaging unit that makes aluminum cans for its own beer and soft drinks produced by PepsiCo Inc. bottlers. A-B also began importing InBev’s European brands such as Bass and Stella Artois to take advantage of demand for overseas brews, an acknowledgment that the brewery has become too dependent on the U.S., where growth has slowed.

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Book Signing In Joliet, June 8, 6 P.M.

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 7, 2007

Join Chicagoland beer writer Bob Skilnik for readings from his latest book, Beer & Food: An American History.

June 8, 2007
6-8 P.M.

Barnes & Noble
2621 Plainfield Road
Joliet, IL 60435

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Corona Nutritional Info

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 6, 2007


Corona Extra      12 oz       
13.99 g carbs         148 calories     4.6% abv

In the next few months, I’ll be adding more of my own videos, along with the self-made smattering that’s now posted at

   Get The Nutritional Values Of More Corona Products Here

Posted in Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info | Leave a Comment »

‘Here’s to Beer’ Celebrates Fathers Everywhere

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 5, 2007

ST. LOUIS, June 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Power tools and paisley ties are gifts of the past this Father’s Day thanks to “Here’s To Beer.” Anheuser-Busch’s global industry development campaign is encouraging adult sons and daughters to give dad something he’ll really appreciate — a refreshing beer and a chance to get together to celebrate the day, share stories and create new memories.


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The Berghoff Is Dead. Long Live The Berghoff!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 5, 2007

berghoffcoaster.jpgberghoff-map.jpgI received a telephone call a few weeks ago from Dan Protess of Channel 11, WTTW. Dan’s a producer at the Chicagoland PBS station who works with Geoffrey Baer who’s featured in some great productions that deal with Chicago’s history, broken down into various areas of Chicagoland. We set up a meeting at the Berghoff on Adams in downtown Chicago to film a bit about Germans in Chicago, including the much-fabled Lager Beer Riot of 1855.

OK; before I go any further, I can already hear you saying, “The Berghoff? Didn’t it close awhile back?” If you follow the link to the restaurant and make a cursory look at the home page, you’ll probably see phrases like “…the final month of our operation” and “We thank you for the memories” from former owners Herman, Jan, Peter and Tim Berghoff, and never see the link above the farewell tribute to the newly-named 17 West Chicago.

Well, the bar and restaurant did close for a while, but the bar and some of the adjoining rooms are again wide open and waiting for your return. Apparently the word never got out, or more likely, people have turned a deaf ear to its reopening. As Carlyn Berghoff explained to me, “I’ve done five TV appearances talking about the fact that we’re open, but there was so much reporting of the Berghoff’s closing that no one’s really listening.” Reporting about a 107-year old restaurant makes better copy than running another story about its reopening, I guess.

So here’s the story in a nutshell. The operation is now headed by daughter Carlyn Berghoff, whose specialty is catering events. And while she continues this phase of the Berghoff business, most of the 17 Adams location is still running. In the short time they were closed, the west wall of the bar area was removed to open up the room next door and the floor was replaced with a new one.

So what’s open now? From the website;

The Berghoff Café.  Serving Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., The Berghoff Café is conveniently located in the heart of the Loop at 17/west Adams Street in the lower level of the historic Berghoff building.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hand-carved sandwich, a fresh salad, a Panini, one of our daily specials or other favorites from the Berghoff Café, we know there is something to please everyone at the Café.”

The bar area, now known as “17 West” is also open. From the website;

“We’ve taken the best of the former Berghoff bar and enhanced the environment, décor and created an expanded menu that includes many contemporary dishes that are sure to become future favorites.” And I might add, the corned beef and bratwurst and kraut sandwiches are still served at the bar.

I knew the bar was open, but when I told friends and family I was heading to the Berghoff for an interview, all I heard was, “The Berghoff? Didn’t it close awhile back?” Even one of the TV crew said he had no idea the place was open. The only rooms that are now closed, The Century Room, for instance, are being used for catered events, but I was told by one of the staff that they would reopen all the rooms for the Christmas season.

What’s on the menu?

At the Berghoff Cafe;

Berghoff Classics

Weiner Schnitzel 12.95
Choice of potato, creamed spinach and a pickle

Sauerbraten 11.50
With thinly sliced beef, sweet and sour gravy and mashed potatoes

plus sandwiches, salads, side dishes and desserts.

At 17 West;



Alsatian Onion and Apple Soup 
Sweet Onion and Tart Apples in a rich broth topped with welted Muenster Cheese Crouton

Shrimp & Scallop Strudel 
Flaky Strudel dough rolled w/ sauteed shrimp & scallops, granished w/ petite greens & roasted garlic infused tomato coulis

Soup of the Day
Selection varies on daily basis. Please ask your server for details

Mini Brats & Knockwurst
Two mini sausages with Sauerkraut served on two Soft Buns w/Dusseldorf Mustard & German Potato Salad

Portabella Mushroom
Mushroom cap stuffed w/ wilted spinach, sun-dried tomatoes & kalamata olives, topped w/ herbed bread crumbs & drizzled w/ basil oil

Potato Pierogies
Sauteed dumplings filled w/mashed potatoes & served w/ chive sour cream & sweet potato salad


Alsatian Onion and Apple Soup
Sweet Onion and Trat Apples in a rich broth topped with melted Muenster Cheese Crouton

Mini Brat & Knockwurst
Two Mini Sausages with Sauerkraut served on Soft Buns w/Dusseldorf Mustard & German Potato Salad

Portabella Mushroom
Mushroom cap stuffed w/ wilted spinach, sun-dried tomatoes & kalamata olives, topped w/ herbed bread crumbs & drizzle w/ basil oil 

Shrimp & Scallop Strudel
Flaky strudel dough rolled w/ sauteed shrimp & scallops, garnished w/ petite greens & roasted garlic infused tomato coulis

Soup of the Day
Selection varies on daily basis. Please ask your server for details

Smoked Salmon 
Thinly sliced smoked salmon & herbed cream cheese, stacked between layers of crepes, garnished w/ salmon caviar & mixed greens

Potato Pierogies 
Sauteed dumplings filled w/ mashed potatos & served w/ chive sour cream & sweet potato salad

Chorizo Stuffed Dates
Plump dates filled w/ chorizo sausage, wrapped w/ bacon & served w/ spicy red pepper sauce & petite salad greens 

Bar Special Appetizers ~

Pretzel Nuggets

Onion Rings

Calamari w/ sweet chili sauce

Potato Perogi

Portobello Mushroom

Brat and Knockwurst

17 West Chili and Chips

Smoked Salmon Crepes



Wiener Schnitzel (Tradition with a Twist!)
Traditional breaded German Veal Cutlet w/ petite asparagus & Pepper Salad, served w/ Berghoff Chips

Lake Superior Whitefish w/ a fill-caper butter sauce on roasted vegetable napoleon & whipped potatoes

Sausage Trio
Sausage plate featuring grilled Bratwurst, steamed Knockwurst & smoked Thuringer w/marinated artichoke & red potatoes

Sauerbraten (Tradition with a Twist!)
Marinated Roast Sirloin of Beef in a delicious homemade Sweet & Sour Gravy, melange of vegetables and whipped potatoes 

Alantic Salmon
Pan roasted filet of salmon, accompanied w/ a heart of palm, asparagus & watercress salad, sauteed shrimp & organe/vanilla emulsion 

Penne Pasta
Roasted garlic, portabella mushroom & plum tomatoes tossed w/ whole penne & pesto beurre blanc

Alaskan Halibut
Pan seared filet of halibut w/ roasted tomatoes & zucchini, wilted spinach, pine nut relish & crispy pancetta strips

Grilled Hanger Steak 
Sliced Hanger Steak, grilled stack of polenta, portabella mushroom, eggplant, crispy fried leeks and madeira sauce

Barbeque Breast of Chicken
Oven roasted semi bonless breast of chicaken, on a bed of sauteed Savory cabbage, vegetable cousous & Berghoff darl beer barbeque sauce

Quiche of the Day

Deep Dish Quiche and Petit salad of mixed greens and vegetables tossed with Sherry vinaigrette

Veal Ravioli

Egg pasta filled w/fresh herbs & ground veal, sauteed w/ red pearl onions, roasted garlic brown butter & spring peas & prosciutto


Wiener Schnitzel (Tradition with a Twist!)
Traditional breaded German veal cutlet w/petite asparagus & pepper salad, served w/ Berghoff Chips

Veal Ravioli
Egg pasta filled w/fresh herbs & ground veal, sauteed w/ red pearl onions, roasted garlic brown butter, spring peas & prosciutto

Sausage Trio (Tradition with a Twist!)
Sausage plate featuring grilled Bratwurst,steamed Knockwurst & sauteed smoked Thuringer w/marinated artichoke & red potatoes

Sauerbraten (Tradition with a Twist!)
Marinated Roast Sirloin of Beef in a delicious homemade Sweet & Sour Gravy, melange of vegetables & whipped potatoes

Alasken Halibut
Pan seared filet of halibut w/ roasted tomatoes & zucchini, wilted spinach, pine nut relish & crispy pancetta strips

Ahi Tuna & Maine Lobster
Pepper Crusted tuna medallion paired w/ sauteed lobster medallios, accompanied w/ a tender ragout of white beans & lobster cream sauce

Grilled Hanger Steak
Sliced Hanger Steak, grilled stack of Polenta, portabello mushroom, eggplant, cripsy fried leeks and maadeira sauce 

Penne Pasta
Roasted garlic, portabella mushrooms & plum tomatoes tossed w/ whole wheat penne & pesto beurre blanc

Lake Superior Whitefish w/ a dill-caper butter sauce on roasted vegetable napoleon & pommes frites

Atantic Salmon
Pan roasted filet of salmon, accompanied w/ a heart of palm, asparagus & watercress salad, sauteed shrimp & orange/vanilla emulsion


Mashed Potatoes, Sauerkraut, Berghoff Potato Salad, Creamed Spinach, Red Cabbage, Spaetzles, Cole Slaw, Fresh Vegetable of the Day or Berghoff Potato Chips

17/West Hours: 

Lunch Hours:

                      11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.        10:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.       11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.             

                         Monday – Thursday                    Friday                      Saturday

Dinner Hours:

                       4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.                  4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.              

                         Monday – Friday                         Friday  –  Saturday

Closed Sunday

So let’s say this all together, “The Berghoff/17 West/The Berghoff Cafe is OPEN! Now stop by for a schnitzel and some creamed spinach and a Berghoff dark beer.

Posted in Appearances, Beer History, Beer Tasting, Cooking With Beer | Leave a Comment »

Apple Mustard Brats

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 5, 2007

precooked-veal-bratwurst.jpgWhen I lived in West Germany, Wurst Salat was a typical dish found on the menu of local eateries. Unless you’re on a very low-carb diet, however, being presented with a plate of sliced lunch meats bathed in vinegar and onions can be somewhat overwhelming. This recipe might fill the bill for those who can do without the “all-meat” concept.

Apple-Mustard Grilled Bratwurst Salad with Beer Vinaigrette


1/2 cup of a German hot mustard (actually, any hot brown mustard will do)
1/2 cup apple butter (found next to jelly and jams at the supermarket)
1 pound  fine-ground veal bratwurst
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup malt vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired
6 tightly-packed cups of salad greens (the more delicate, the better)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 15 to 16 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 to 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper


Preheat outdoor grill (gas or charcoal).Mix together the mustard and apple butter; reserve 1/3 cup of the mixture in a large salad bowl. Place bratwurst on preheated grill and cook for 10 minutes, turning frequently. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush all sides generously with unreserved mustard mixture, continuing to grill until all sides are coated and browned. Remove bratwurst to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, to make dressing add the oil, malt vinegar, salt and pepper to the bowl containing the reserved mustard mixture, whisking until blended. Place the salad greens into the salad bowl with the dressing. Add the green onions, beans, tomatoes and red bell pepper, tossing gently to blend well.Cut bratwurst into 1/2-inch slices. Divide the salad mixture among 4 large serving plates and top with the grilled bratwurst, dividing equally. Makes 4 servings. 

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