Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Archive for March, 2008

BEER SALES STOPPED AT CHICAGO’S WRIGLEY FIELD!!!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 31, 2008

churchkey01.jpgThey lost the opener…

(4-3 to Milwaukee).

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Police: Man Had Sex With Picnic Table

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 29, 2008

Coming Soon!

Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?

picnictable.jpgHere I am, getting ready for spring, cleaning up the BBQ and going out for the first picnic of the season…and then this.

“Police said an Ohio man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a picnic table.

Police arrested Arthur Price Jr. after an anonymous tipster dropped off three DVDs that reportedly showed Price in the act.

According to NBC Toledo, Ohio, affiliate WNWO-TV, the videos show Price tilting the round picnic table on its side and then laying up against it to have sexual intercourse with the table. Afterward, he can then be seen cleaning the table and the deck.”

Must be a regular Peter North.

Yeah, I hate dirty picnic tables, don’t you? Check out this baby above and tell me you’re not thinking of wood.

More here. 

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Kosher Bison with Beer

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 27, 2008

That’s right! And if you go to Jewish Exponent, you can also get info on kosher venison. Maybe try some He’Brew Beer from the Shmaltz Brewing Company as part of the marinade.

Get your glatt-kosher bison here.

Oy!

Bison Shoulder Roast
(Meat)

1 bison shoulder roast (about 8 lbs.)
2 Tbsps. garlic powder
2 Tbsps. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsps. soy sauce
2 Tbsps. brown sugar
1 bottle dry red wine
1 1/2 cups beer
2 medium onions, sliced

Rub the garlic powder, pepper, soy sauce and sugar onto the meat.

Place in a non-metallic bowl.

Pour the wine and beer over the roast. Scatter the sliced onions around it. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Place the meat and marinade in a covered baking dish.

Roast uncovered for 3 hours at 300°.

Let the roast stand for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 12 to 14.
 

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After Throwing Your Grandmother Under The Bus, Barack Beer Fits The Bill

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 20, 2008

looterguyobama.jpgObamamania has intoxicated many of America’s liberal primary and caucus goers, but in Kenya it has been elevated to a higher level – 6% alcohol content to be exact – in what is now the hottest selling item in the country. Senator Beer.

Barack Obama has consistently drawn big crowds at his rallies and this growing popularity, embraced mostly by the younger voters who provide much of the excitement and the hoopla about Obama, has been called “Obamamania”. The mania’s counterpart in Kenya is in a brown bottle that is served in jugs. Obama’a father was from Kenya, which is why the citizens of the country identify with the Illinois Senator and have made him their role model. The brewery was smart enough, however, to avoid using the name “Barack,” so as not to encourage lawsuits.

In depressed areas of Kenya, people drink cheap brews which are sometimes spiked with traditional spirits, that have on some occasions proved lethal. An enterprising brewer (East African Breweries Ltd) took note of the fame generated by Obama and introduced a cheap brew that was safe and lower in alcohol content. Kenyan beer normally have as much as 40% alcohol. The brewery’s low alcohol lager effort is “Senator Keg” beer that patrons simply refer to as “Obama”. The depressed economy has made beer drinkers switch to cheaper beer, and what better way to pass the time talking about politics and life itself, than a glass of Obama.

Raising a glass of Obama apparently raises their hopes too.nor be accused of disrespect tosenatorbeer.jpg the Senator. Fears of encouraging alcoholism because of its low price is being disputed by its low alcohol, which brewers contend is supportive of responsible consumption. Kenyans can therefore get tipsy on Obama, and can still grow up as responsible citizens – much like their idol’s experiments with substances. Whatever Obama says in speeches, you can expect Kenyans hearing it on radio or watching on TV to say, “I’ll drink to that.” I’d prefer something like “Six of these, are you’ll go home riding dirty!” but then again, I’m no copywriter.

The county could also start exporting the product while he remains hot in the American media, and may well be its number one US export! (Calling Tony Resko). They can then create a high end brand called “President Dark Beer” in time for the Inauguration. But the possibility of a whole generation of Kenyans and even Americans getting a little high on Senator Beer or President Dark Beer has tremendous commercial potential, especially if the beer came with mugs with handles the size of the candidates ears.

However, should he fail to win the Presidency, or even the Democratic Party’s nomination, he could always encourage his father’s countrymen to create another product. He can call it “Barack’s Brewed Beer”, like its namesake, it’s all foam – no beer.

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A Beer Drinker’s Disappointment–Hamburger No Longer America’s #1 Sandwich

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 18, 2008

italian-beef.jpgYeah, I know. Everyone’s worried about their health, their heart, balancing their HDL vs. their LDL and all that rot. But me, I’m a beef man; give me steak, or on a warm summer night, a hamburger off the grill.

But I just ran across this article and it makes me wonder what has happened to American cuisine? As this article in Restaurants and Institutions notes, the grilled chicken-breast sandwich now is the most-often menued item.

In the same sense, the article also points out that what’s old is new again.

Club sandwich: The classic layered look is back in vogue. Among commercial operators that menu sandwiches, the venerable club trails only hamburgers and cheeseburgers as a top seller and also is No. 3 on the list of sandwiches commercial operations say are increasing in sales.

Turkey sandwich: As I like to think of it…a Club Sandwich without the bacon. Simple yet elegant, turkey sandwiches appear among the top sellers for both commercial and noncommercial operations. Turkey reappears on the list of sandwiches that are increasing in sales for both industry segments as well.

Dismissing culinary globalism (paninis, focaccias, wraps, etc.), the Philly cheesesteak sandwich is also hot, and since it’s beef, I’m on it. The chopped-beef-and-cheese concoction is among the top 10 on both the top-seller and thinking-about-adding lists for commercial operators.

My only objection with a cheesesteak is…the cheese. Who the hell puts cheese goo on beef?

Come to Chicago. We’ll show you how to make a beef sandwich, a hot Italian beef sandwich, the Italian bread dipped in a jus (“gravy”) and topped with giardiniera, a condiment made with serrano peppers (called “sport” peppers in Chicago), with other assorted vegetables, such as bell peppers, olives, celery, pimentos, carrots and cauliflower and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes, all marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil or any combination of the three oils.

Since there’s so much going on in your mouth with this delight, a simple American pilsner works just fine as a wash. Anything else would distract from the mess of one of these monsters.

Grilled chicken sandwiches? You’re gonna die anyway. I’d rather go with a belly full of beef than a scraggly “range chicken” sandwich.

I went through dozens of pages looking for an “authentic” Chicago-style beef sandwich recipe and discarded everyone of them that used something other than a top inside round. You could get away with a top round too, but anything else means the recipe preparer doesn’t know what he/she is talking about. This one, supposedly from Buona Beef looks pretty good and if your last name is Buonavolanto, who am I to argue?

Three tips;

1. If you or a friend or neighbor has an electric meat slicer, like at a deli, make a deal with them to slice the beef as thin as possible and then give them some of the action. Like most Chicagoans, I don’t have one of these slicers laying around the house…but I gotta guy.

2. Warm the juice (“the gravy”) and add just enough of the sliced beef for the serving. Don’t dump all the beef into the gravy or overheat the beef, otherwise it’ll curl up and get tough. If somebody wants another sandwich, heat up some more gravy and add a single serving of beef.

3. Slice 8 to 10 green peppers and 2 red peppers (for color contrast) into 1/4 inch slices, longways. In a frying pan, pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Throw in the sliced peppers and cook until somewhat soft, but still with a little crispness in them. Add 2 tablespoons of dried oregano and 2 tablespoons of dried basil and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Stir, add 1/4 cup of water, place a lid on the frying pan and slow simmer for 10 minutes, taking the lid off after 5 minutes or until the water cooks off.

How do you put this all together? Open up a crisp bun, like a French roll, or cut a 6 inch wedge from a long piece of Italian bread, either dip one side in the gravy or spoon some gravy over the inside of the bread until it’s wet, take some tongs and throw on too many slices of beef, add some cooked sweet peppers and top it all off with giardiniera, the hotter, the better.

Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwich, provided by Joe Buonavolanto Jr., co-owner of Buona Beef Restaurants.

* 9-10 lbs top inside beef round
* 3 garlic cloves, crushed
* 2 qt. water
* 1/2 cup chopped oregano
* 1/4 C. salt
* 1/4 C. black pepper
* 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
* 35 freshly baked French rolls (for smaller portions reduce ingredients portionally)

For roasting times, figure on 10-12 minutes per pound for medium. Check with a meat thermometer for an internal temperature of 130 degree Fahrenheit for rare, 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sirloin in roasting pan and dry roast for 15-20 minutes.

2. Remove pan from oven and add water, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Return to oven and roast at 350 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

3. Remove from oven. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Internal temperature will rise 5-10 degrees.

4. Slice the beef as thinly as possible.

5. Pour juice from the roasting pan into a smaller pot and heat, but don’t boil. If you have to stretch the juice a bit, add some ready-made beef broth. I like Wolfgang Puck’s beef stock. Add a pinch or two of dried oregano and basil to the juice. You should have about a good-sized quart, maybe a quart-and-a-half of beef gravy ready.

6. Add thinly sliced beef to some heated juice and warm meat through, but don’t let the meat sit long.

7. Dip bread in juice and pile beef high on freshly baked French rolls or Italian bread.

8. Garnish with sliced sweet bell peppers and hot giardinara. Makes 30-40 sandwiches depending on portion size. If you make them right, you’ll be lucky to get 25 sandwiches.

9. Grab a beer. Rinse; repeat.

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Guinness Cake Version 3,741

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 15, 2008

clog-dancer.gifGUINNESS CAKE

1 cup Guinness beer

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2/3 cups sour cream

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Garnish:

Icing sugar or whipped cream

What you do

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Pour Guinness into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and heat until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in cocoa powder and sugar and reserve.

Combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and beat until uniform. Add sour cream mixture to Guinness mixture and whisk to combine.

Whisk in flour and baking soda. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out with crumbs clinging to it.

Place tin on a rack and leave to cool completely. Before serving, dust with icing sugar or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Serves 8 to 10.

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April 7 is NOT the 75th Anniversary of the End of National Prohibition

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 13, 2008

Gussie Busch Welcomes Back Beer On April 7, 1933

Repeal, Part 1; 

Repeal, Part 2;

And this newsreel which shows the economic impact of the end of Prohibition;

 

It’s already started and I find myself this week screaming at my computer screen, atlasadbeerback.jpgthe TV and a few newspapers, and as it now appears, beer writers, breweries, and at least one brewing trade organization.

(ED. NOTE: Julia Herz has suffered through me periodically checking on the Association of Brewers website and its period of misinformation about Repeal. She has, however, gone out of her way and changed their website info in an effort to get the history right. And for this, I tip my hat to her and the AB and their 75 Years of Beer celebration.)

 Here’s their newest table listing the chronology of National Prohibition.

April 7 does NOT signify the end of National Prohibition. National Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933.

From “Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago” by me, Bob Skilnik. Click here for more  info about Chicago beer history.

Read on;

New Beer’s Eve, April 7, 1933 

“I recommend…the passage of legislation…to legalize the manufacture and sale of beer”—President Franklin D. Roosevelt 

The Beginning Of The End        

    By 1932, National Prohibition was dying. Its dry policy and enforcement had caused a generation of Americans to be raised with a casual disregard of the law. Probably no issue had done so much to divide the country since the Civil War. After some political maneuvering, Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt, had finally declared himself an advocate for Repeal. Incumbent President Hoover, however, continued to state his belief in National Prohibition, effectively becoming a political lame duck even before the finality of the upcoming presidential election in November.        

   The economic logic of Repeal was eloquently expressed by August A. Busch of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis. In 1931, Busch had issued a pamphlet titled An Open Letter to the American People, sending a copy to every U.S. Senator and Congressman and taking out ads in leading national magazines explaining his position on legalizing the production and sale of beer. With the country suffering from the throes of the Depression, Busch proclaimed that the legalization of beer would put over one million people back to work, including farmers, railroad employees and even coal miners. In addition, the St. Louis brewer argued that the government would save the $50 million a year it was now wasting through its efforts to enforce Prohibition. Taxation of beer would also help the federal government recoup the estimated $500 million in revenues it had lost since the beginning of Prohibition.     

     Attending a meeting in February of 1933 of the National Malt Products’ Manufacturing Association at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, and knowing that the tide had turned, Busch declared himself “100 per cent for beer” and boasted that his St. Louis brewery was ready to restart the production of beer as soon as the law would permit. The Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago was so sure of the relegalization of beer that the faculty announced the resumption of their regular five month training course for brewers in January of 1933. The sweet smell of malt was in the air.

     Support in Washington for the reintroduction of 3.2% beer began with an opinion by Representative Beck of Pennsylvania that Congress already had the power to legalize beer and that the Supreme Court would more than likely uphold any favorable congressional action. After some political foot dragging, President-elect Roosevelt finally added his opinion to the debate, saying that he favored the 3.2% beer bill that now was pending in the Senate. The Senate continued negotiations on a bill to legalize beer and made no change to a proposal to tax a barrel of beer at the rate of $5, effectively acknowledging the eventual reinstitution of the legal brewing industry. On February 15, 1933, the Senate took the debate even further when it voted 58 to 23 to begin formal consideration of a resolution proposing repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. Later that same day, the Senate passed its approval of the Blaine resolution, proposing repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. The issue was then passed on to the House of Representatives. When Speaker of the House Garner heard of the quickness of the Senate’s actions, he commented surprisingly, “The vote was better than most of us anticipated. We will pass the amendment here Monday- I should say, consider it.”   

   With a slip of the Speaker’s tongue, there was little doubt on what the outcome of the vote in the House would be.

     The same day, the Illinois State Senate also voted its approval of repeal of the Illinois dry laws and the state Search and Seizure Act which had been invoked by State Attorney General Edward Brundage back in July of 1919. Brundage’s narrow interpretation of the law had shut down the sale of beer and booze in Chicago six months before National Prohibition actually took effect.

3.2% Beer         

   On February 20, 1933, Congress passed the repeal of the National Prohibition Amendment and submitted its final approval to the states for ratification. In Springfield, Governor Horner presided at a meeting of state senators and representatives and agreed to a June 5 election for a state convention to decide if Illinois delegates would vote for repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. With the anticipated results of the state convention being in favor of Repeal, the resumption of the manufacturing, transportation and sale of beer in Illinois was eminent. Horner confirmed this when he indicated his readiness to sign the necessary bills invoking revocation of the Search and Seizure Act and the state prohibition laws as soon as they came to his desk.        

   On March 13, President Roosevelt used the bully pulpit of his office to formally recommend to Congress a looser interpretation of the Volstead Act, which limited alcohol in beer to one-half of one percent. “I recommend to the Congress the passage of legislation for the immediate modification of the Volstead Act, in order to legalize the manufacture and sale of beer…”  Upon hearing Roosevelt’s recommendation, Governor Horner signed the bill repealing the two State of Illinois dry enforcement laws, now leaving the enforcement of National Prohibition to the federal government.        

   Finally, on March 21, 1933, the United States House of Representatives completed action on the Cullen-Harrison bill, permitting the resumption of the manufacture and sale of 3.2% beer and light wines in those states that were now legally considered wet. The next morning, President Roosevelt was scheduled to sign the bill, but a bureaucratic mix up postponed his signing until March 23.        

   In the meantime, Roosevelt talked of a possible amnesty for violators imprisoned for the manufacturing and sale of beer up to an alcoholic content of 3.2% by weight. In Illinois, there were 3,380 incarcerated federal Prohibition offenders. Roosevelt’s sentiments were perhaps more economic in scope than benevolent. The release of Illinois Prohibition violators, along with the release of similar offenders throughout the United States, would save the federal government millions of badly needed dollars. The President’s amnesty proposal was held by Congress for consideration. With a fifteen day wait required after Roosevelt’s signature, 3.2% beer would again be available on April 7 in nineteen states that had removed their dry laws. Wet advocates cheerfully anticipated that an additional fifteen states would soon join these wet states.                           restaurantrepealad.jpg

     One day after Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison bill, the Justice Department quietly announced that it was dropping its National Prohibition exhibit at Chicago’s A Century of Progress. No reason was given; for Chicagoans, no reason was needed.

New Retail Outlets For Beer

     As Chicago prepared for the resumption of legal beer, local issues of home rule, licensing, taxation and dispensing unfolded, especially after the wording of the congressional beer bill declared 3.2% beer as non-intoxicating, a legal technicality needed to nullify the alcoholic restrictions of the Volstead Act. With this ruling by Congress, and concurrence of federal opinion by Illinois Attorney General Otto Kerner, Chicago’s saloons would no longer hold domain over the retail sale of beer as they had done before Prohibition. As a non-intoxicant, beer could now be available in such places as grocery stores and drug stores, even Ma and Pa corner stores. In a meeting of city officials, lawyers advised acting Mayor Corr and key city alderman that simply the repeal of the Illinois prohibition law did not revive the old liquor laws. As a result, the sale of this 3.2%, non-intoxicating beer, now having fallen into the same category as soda water or ginger ale, would be unregulated in off-premise sites unless the Chicago City Council and Springfield acted quickly to correct this unexpected legal quirk.

The City Gets Ready For 3.2% Beer       

   Unfazed by the political logistics of the resumption of beer, local old time beer establishments made ready. At the Berghoff on West Adams, eighty-year old Herman J. Berghoff proudly displayed Beer Retail License Number 1, issued by the City Collector’s Office for the serving of beer at his famous bar. Installed in 1897,  the Berghoff’s wood inlaid bar from Amsterdam, which still serves as the focal point of this Chicago landmark, was made ready for business. In pre-Prohibition days, Berghoff had estimated that he sold as high as forty-two barrels of beer a day. Anticipated demand for the golden nectar seemed just as positive.   

   At the Righeimer bar on North Clark, Acting Mayor Corr and a host of local politicos rededicated the establishment’s famous 100 foot bar. Corr had been thrust into this position after Mayor Cermak had been shot by a crazed assassin while meeting with President Roosevelt in Miami, Florida. Sadly, the man who represented the local wet interests for so long died just weeks before he could see the return of beer to the city and nation.         

   Clerks at the City Collector’s office worked overtime to take care of the rush of new applicants for beer licenses. Unexplainably, the City Council had already passed the required ordinance providing for the $150 licensing fee for saloonkeepers in December, 1932, four months before legal beer would flow again in Chicago. Seven hundred and forty-one saloonkeepers had actually paid the fee for the first half of the year even though they were in violation of state and federal dry laws. The Chicago City Council tried unsuccessfully to pull off a similar revenue enhancing stunt back in 1929. At the time, there was a movement afoot in the council to license the 5000 bartenders whom regularly poured illegal drink for thirsty Chicagoans. With a $10 annual fee, it would have meant an additional $50,000 income to the financially desperate city. Referred to committee for further study, the idea was abruptly dropped from the council agenda when someone mentioned that National Prohibition was still in effect. It would be hard to license bartenders when, in theory, there were no bars. By April 7, more than 2600 bars were legally licensed to sell beer, a dramatic drop from the over 7000 licensed bars of pre-Prohibition days.    

     City breweries began a hiring spree of several hundred with promises of an additional hiring of one thousand more men and women by April 7, as the bottling of beer in Chicago began on March 25. At the Schoenhofen Company, two eight-hour shifts began a daily regime of filling 14,000 cases of beer a day. The politically connected Atlas Brewing Company, granted the first license to resume the brewing of real beer in the Northern District, including neighboring Milwaukee, began plans to bottle 20 to 25 thousand cases a day. Realizing that they’d probably never fill all their outstanding orders by April 7, even with a planned hiring of 200 to 300 more employees, Atlas President Charles Vopicka ordered outdoor posters to be printed for distribution throughout the city during the early morning hours of New Beer’s Eve. Under a picture of a smiling Uncle Sam hoisting a beer, the posters asked for the indulgence of any customers who had not yet received their promised beer delivery. At the Prima Company, management estimated that they would soon begin the bottling of over 3,000,000 bottles of beer a day. The brewery had recently been expanded to a 500,000 barrel capacity in anticipation of Repeal. Employees of the United States Brewing Company on North Elston decorated the exterior of the plant with flags and bunting. A picture of Franklin Roosevelt hung above the entrance of the brewery, edifying the man who represented Repeal to the grateful brewing industry. Coopers readied thousands of new wooden barrels, as did bottle makers their containers, for delivery to breweries. Fifteen hundred beer delivery trucks were prepped for the big night, supplemented by moving vans, milk wagons and coal trucks. Federal inspectors started to make the rounds of Chicago’s seven licensed breweries, measuring the aging tanks, also used for the computation of federal tax due. A final industry estimate, days before the resumption of beer in Chicago, figured that approximately 15,000 men and women had found work in breweries and related industries in Chicago. A heady sense of festivity was settling over Chicago.

     There was, however, a sobering note to all the gaiety at the breweries. District police captains quietly placed guards at all the breweries to discourage any possible attempts at hijacking when the trucks finally rolled out for deliveries.

When’s The Party Begin?       

    In an amusing misunderstanding prior to the big event, E. C. Yellowley, head of the Prohibition Department in Chicago, ruled that the local delivery of beer could begin at 11:01  P. M. on April 6, which would correspond to 12:01 A.M., April 7 in Washington, D. C.  Yellowley’s interpretation of the commencement time though, was clarified by United States Attorney General Cummings who ruled that legal beer deliveries would begin at 12:01 A. M. in each respective time zone.

     Illinois House Representative Fred A. Britten thought he had a better idea on when beer deliveries should begin in Chicago. In a telephone conversation to the Attorney General, Britten suggested that the commencement time for the serving of legal beer would better serve Chicagoans interests if it began as early as 10:00 P. M., April 6. When Cummings reminded the imploring state representative that federal law distinctly stated that beer deliveries could only begin at 12:01 A. M., April 7, Britten in an amazing display of political chutzpah, suggested a solution to that little time problem. “Chicago will set all the clocks ahead two hours at 10:00 P. M.“, he explained to the skeptical Attorney General. “The City Council will pass the ordinance,”  he assured Cummings. To emphasize the seriousness of his request and the careful planning he was ready to carry through to get fresh beer to thirsty Chicagoans, Britten added this assurance to his request. “The trucks will leave the breweries at 10 with all streets cleared and motorcycle squads as escorts.”  The U. S. Attorney General could not be persuaded to allow Britten to implement his bizarre plan.

12:01 A. M. ?

     As New Beer’s Eve  moved closer to reality in Chicago, the Chicago Hotel Association started to put pressure on the brewers and the local hotels, urging the hotel owners and managers not to take delivery of beer until 7 o’ clock Friday morning, hours after beer could legally be sold in the city. John Burke, president of the association and manager of the Congress Hotel expressed his concerns that a wild night of revelry in Chicago might endanger future repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, which still needed to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of all the states. “We feel that we should be careful not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg”  he emphasized, and added that the anticipated celebration “…might give a black eye to things at the very beginning,”  a very real concern.

     Hilmar Ernst, president of the Prima Company and the Illinois Brewers’ Association, brushed off Burke’s criticism. The problem, if there was one, he noted, was a problem for the hotel men, not the brewers. “Even if the hotels want to begin selling at 9 or 10 in the morning, we’ll have to start delivering at midnight to get them supplied. Our brewery alone now has orders calling for the immediate delivery of between 200,000 and 300,000 cases and there will be a lot more by the 7th.”  Ernst failed to mention that local breweries had also collected over $2,000,000 in deposits and guaranteed delivery. The I.B.A. president pointed out that the hotels were placing the biggest orders. Worried that delaying the sale of beer until the morning would cut hotel owners out of the huge volume of beer sales that was anticipated, Burke and his concerns were pushed aside by hotel owners and managers. Even a Chicago Tribune  suggestion in favor of later day deliveries was ignored by the brewers. “The public demands it (beer) at once,”  sighed Anton Laadt, general manager of the Atlas Brewing Company.

     W-G-N radio, anticipating the wild night ahead and the historical significance of it all, scheduled special programming throughout Thursday evening and Friday morning to broadcast from the Atlas Brewing Company at 21st and Blue Island. Radio personality Quinn Ryan was scheduled to give an on-site description of the beer manufacturing process straight through to the loading of the beer on to the waiting trucks ready for delivery. The brewery was preparing for delivery of 2,000 barrels and 100,000 cases of beer to retailers on the first night. Additional off-site radio pickups from the Palmer House and the Blackhawk Restaurant would allow at home celebrants to join in Chicago’s New Beer’s Eve festivities. CBS Radio Network arranged a radio hookup to broadcast the festivities in the Midwest’s most important brewing centers of Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

A Warning From The City    

   Because of the quickness of the reinstitution of 3.2% beer and the time consuming efforts needed to debate, write and implement new legislation, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois discovered that they currently had no regulations on their books to legislate the sale of the soon to be legal beer. The City Council urged Chicagoans to behave themselves during the celebration and warned hoteliers and would be beer retailers that the Council’s course of action on the eventual regulation of beer would be determined by how well the retailers conducted themselves in the first few weeks of beer sales. In some Loop hotels, cards and table tents were prepared for placement in their dining rooms, informing patrons that hotel management was forbidden by federal statue to provide ice, glasses or ginger ale while the customers awaited the serving of beer at 12:01 A. M.  It was a little white lie, but hotels feared that celebrants, using hotel provided set-ups, might mix them with bootleg liquor, causing their establishments to be shut down by snooping police or federal agents. Particular attention was to be paid by Chicago police to the more famous Prohibition-era night spots. Clubs like the Frolics, the Chez Paree, Follies Bergere, Vanity Fair and the Green Mill along with the College Inn and the Terrace Garden were warned to be on their best behavior.

     Throughout the mix of confusion and anticipation, there seemed to be a sense of serenity coupled with the festivity of the upcoming big event. No one really anticipated any trouble. “Why shouldn’t there be a little celebration?”  a night club manager was quoted as saying. “Doesn’t the country need to add a little gaiety to it’s gloom, and is there a better time than right after the legal restriction is first lifted to see whether 3.2 beer can be trusted to add to it?”  State’s Attorney Courtney added to the beery mellowness of the moment saying that he expected no trouble.

   Jacob Rupert, New York brewer and President of the United States Brewers’ Association wasn’t so sure and recommended that Chicago’s breweries delay their shipments until the late morning. The local brewers cried that they would be swamped by back orders if they waited until morning and continued with their plans for a 12:01 A. M. delivery time.

Beer And Food                                                                                               

   Absent from the local papers for years, ads for the Berghoff Brewing Company of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, reappeared in the hillmanrepealad.jpg Chicago Tribune. In a back handed reference to Milwaukee’s Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company, the Berghoff advertised it’s beer as “The Beer that made itself Famous”.  Long forgotten ads for Schoenhofen’s “Good Old Edelweiss”  and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, “The Old Favorite”, started popping up in the Chicago papers. In a matter of days, beer began a metamorphosis in the city papers, changing from an Old World German concoction, an intoxicating product of the “brewery interests”  as it was sinisterly portrayed in years past, into a refreshing family staple that Mom could now add to her weekly grocery list.        

   “…Profitable beer merchandising will take into account the successful adaptation of food sales strategy…” advised Modern Brewery Age, an industry trade publication. Local stores took heed. As if overnight, beer joined hands with food and, as a result of this marriage of retail convenience, finally became the  drink of moderation.

   The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) heralded the arrival of real beer to their local stores. To accompany the customer’s supply of beer for the week-end, the A&P ads listed Grandmother’s Rye Bread, liver sausage, butter pretzels, kippered herring and Spanish salted peanuts. It was everything a Chicago family needed to “…make it a gala week-end—right in your own home.”  Hillman’s reminded the shopper that they, too, would be carrying beer, “…And Don’t Forget the Accessories!”  which included Limburger cheese and frankfurters. Loblaw-Jewel proclaimed that they had “BEER at its best!”  The Mandel Brothers department store on State Street rushed to open a new shop called The Tavern, equipped to sell beer steins, six favorite brands of beer and all the foods that go with them. The store’s Men’s Grill Room quickly converted half of the shop to replicate a German beer garden. The Walgreen drug store chain announced that it had also made arrangements with local breweries for a limited supply of bottled beer to be placed on shelves for sale at their outlets. On April 7, their featured daily luncheon special was a roast beef sandwich and a bottle of beer for a quarter, beer now available at their soda fountain counter. Sales later that day were reported as “phenomenal”.        

   On the North Side, a new pretzel company opened to meet expected demand. Pretzels were becoming big business in the city. One snack food plant manager described the industry’s reaction to legal beer. “We…are ready to turn out pretzels by the billion.”  Even the local press got in on the food and beer relationship. Mary Meade’s food column in the Chicago Tribune  suggested making a Rye Bread Torte with dark bread leftover from “your beer party,”  and discussed how pretzels were now back in style. Chicago families were getting ready for beer and a new classification of food, beer snacks.

New Beer’s Eve       

   At 12:01 A. M., Friday morning, April 7, 1933, the drinking light was turned on in Chicago and legal, “democratic beer”  was reintroduced to the public. With cheers for President Roosevelt ringing through the air, Prohibition agents and city police, supplemented with Brink’s bank guards, allowed the brewery trucks to leave the plants and make their deliveries. Things got off to an embarrassing start near the Atlas Brewing Company. Acting Mayor Frank Corr, Atlas President Charles Vopika, Coroner Frank Walsh and a host of other Democratic Party hacks and functionaries had gathered at the Iroquois Club at 11 P. M. where the guests had been assured that legal beer would be served an hour before the official deadline. They were forced, however, to wait with the rest of Chicago’s eager beer drinkers until beer was finally delivered to the Iroquois and tapped for serving at 12:15 A. M.  To their delight, and to the delight of thousands in the city, the beer was conveniently delivered cold from the brewery, saving the valuable time the pre-Prohibition retailer usually needed to ice it down. After a beer or two, acting Mayor Corr stepped before the W-G-N Radio microphone and hailed beer as a hope for prosperity. Atlas Brewing Company President Charles Vopika next came forward and proudly announced that the first case of bottled beer from his brewery was on it’s way by airplane to President Roosevelt in Washington, D. C.         

   Delays were worse at the Schoenhofen Company. Soon after midnight, trucks and cars were stretched over a mile as crews loaded the beer as quickly as possible. At the Prima Company, management had scrambled to hire an additional 300 extra trucks for city and county deliveries and had charted an entire train to brazenly get some deliveries into Milwaukee and Minnesota that week end. Escorted by motorcycle policemen, the delivery truck caravan slowly moved from the front gates of the Prima Company and through the celebrating crowd as it cautiously headed eastward towards Halsted Street. The police escorts had been requested of Police Commissioner Allman by the owners of all the city breweries that continued to fear the real possibility of hijacking during the early morning hours.               

     Milwaukee brewers were also ready for the Chicago market. At the Brevoort Hotel, forty cases of Miller High Life  beer arrived at 1:30 A. M. after being flown in from the Cream City. The Premier Pabst Corporation, consisting of the Pabst Brewing Company and the Premier Malting Company of Peoria, had a fleet of 100 trucks being readied at their docks in Milwaukee for eventual delivery of their beer to Chicago.

     Three of Chicago’s licensed breweries were left in the lurch, unable to take full advantage of New Beer’s Eve. The Bosworth Products Company was in the process of a $75,000 plant renovation and company reorganization, soon to be known as the Atlantic Brewing Company. The Frank McDermott Brewing Company had a comparatively small inventory of its Senate Extra Pale on hand and shipped 15,000 cases and 800 barrels on the first night. Two thousand Bridgeport residents patiently waited outside the brewery hoping to make case purchases. The Monarch Brewing Company showed similar small numbers for available inventory.

In The Loop       

   Downtown, things were festive but controlled. On North Clark, crowds from Manny Goodman’s spilled out on to the street as other beer lovers fought their way in. In the alley behind the Bismarck Hotel, a throng of one thousand made it difficult for a beer delivery truck to make it’s first drop off of twenty barrels. When the truck finally backed into the loading dock, attendants quickly grabbed six barrels and rolled them in to the hotel for the thirsty celebrants. At the Brevoort Hotel, revelers still crowded the famous round bar at 5 A. M.  State Street, on the other hand, was comparatively quiet. Malachy N. Harney, Prohibition Administrator thought he knew why. “Experienced beer drinkers will wait until tonight (Friday) or Saturday night to try the new product. They know that beer just freshly delivered is ‘angry’ from the bouncing it gets. They’ll wait until it has had a day or two to cool and settle before sampling.”       

   Agent Harney was obviously an out-of-towner who didn’t understand thirsty Chicagoans.         

   One of the most noticeable features of the Loop crowd was the large number of young females whom were joining in the celebration. Operators of the Hotel Sherman, the Brevoort Hotel and other “MEN ONLY” watering holes had prepared themselves for this intrusion. “What can we do about it?  bemoaned James Galbaugh of the Brevoort. “If the ladies insist on coming in-and I suppose they will-we can’t put them out.”  Waving beer bottles or hoisting heavy steins, their appearances in bars and clubs were a far cry from the restrictive traditions of the pre-Prohibition era. At that time, women were seldom seen in saloons. If so, they were always accompanied by their husbands and routinely hustled in through the family entrance, usually located on the side of the saloon. An unescorted women in a drinking establishment was normally considered a working girl, whether she was one or not, trying to drum up some needed business.                                          womanwithbottledbeer.jpg

     National Prohibition and 20,000 speakeasies had, in many ways, liberated Chicago’s women. The next day, an older lady, accompanied by her daughter, was overheard describing her feelings towards women and public drinking. As the two generations of women sat at a drug store counter, the younger girl brazenly ordered a beer and goaded her mother to order one, but the older woman refused. “I can’t get used to women drinking in public. In my day, a lady averted her eyes if she had to pass a saloon.”  Her next comment was revealing. “I remember how I longed to look inside those swinging doors,”  she admitted. And now, in the midst of New Beer’s Eve, women in Chicago were not only looking in, they were pushing their way to the bar, ordering beer along side the men.

   But at the Berghoff Restaurant, the bar would remain an all-male enclave that night and would continue to enforce this policy until 1969 when the National Organization for Women finally forced the integration of the sexes at the bar. But on this night, Herman Berghoff’s vow that “ladies will not be seated at the bar”  held firm for another thirty-six years.

At The Speakeasies       

   Despite pressure from mob beer drummers, many of the speakeasies curtailed further ordering of bootlegged draft beer, and as a result, ran out by April 5. Those speaks that still held a small draft supply continued to sell at the inflated price of 25 cents a stein even though the barrel price had dropped significantly. At 12:01 A.M., however, the stein price quickly dropped to 10 to 15 cents, the competition of the lower priced legal beer having it’s effect. Canadian bottled beer was also plentiful and dropped in price from $1 per bottle to 50 cents as owners hurried to unload their illegal inventory.

     With the return of legal beer, some speakeasy owners began to cautiously remove the iron bars from their doors and windows, openly displaying bottles of whisky and gin on the back bar to anyone who now freely entered their premises. Even with its open  availability, most owners reported little call for the harder stuff. Anticipating late deliveries of legal beer as the breweries serviced the licensed, legitimate establishments first, most speakeasy owners placed duplicate orders with three and four breweries, hoping to get at least one beer shipment in before the last of the wildcat and needled brew ran out. But as one delivery quickly followed another, a number of the speakeasies actually had more beer on hand than they could use. The situation would rectify itself by the next day.

Back At The Breweries

     The principal areas of confusion and celebration were around the breweries themselves. In the streets adjacent to the breweries, cars were lined up, waiting to get to the loading docks for cases, half barrels or even the unwieldy 31 gallon barrels of beer. Some local breweries reported that delivery trucks were still waiting in line to be loaded with beer as late as 5 o’clock in the morning. Police later confirmed that they spent most of their time just trying to untangle the traffic jams around the breweries which began around 9 P. M., having few other problems throughout the rest of the city.

Supplies Start Running Short           

   In the early morning of April 7, as the sun broke over Lake Michigan, Chicago was still en fete. The local breweries were now operating on a 24 hour basis, exhausting workers who were putting in double and triple shifts, trying to keep up with mounting back orders. Between two and five o’ clock in the afternoon, frantic requests for beer tied up local phone lines, making it impossible to reach any of the breweries with additional orders.        

   In Mandel’s new Tavern Room, a lack of sufficient waitresses caused a minor ruckus when they couldn’t keep up with the initial round of orders. Store detectives were quickly called in to retain order. The Tavern Room manager wisely placed the first round on the house and pulled store personnel from other departments to handle the demanding crowd. Those satisfied beer drinkers who eventually wandered outside were treated to the sight of six, one-ton champion Clydesdales from Anheuser-Busch pulling a bright red beer wagon through the Loop. A-B owner, August Busch, had big plans for
Chicago. 
     
  

   Joe Durbin, editor of Brewery Age  had earlier estimated that there would be enough beer on hand for the initial celebration to provide every Chicagoan with 35 steins of beer. But unrelenting demand for legal beer soon outstripped supply. The shelves at A & P, National Tea and Kroger-Consumer stores were stripped of beer before noon. Ecstatic store representatives added that sales of food now referred to as “beer snacks”,  were the biggest of any day in the history of their chain grocery stores, with the greatest demand being for rye bread, pretzels, cheese and sausage. Hillman’s and other grocery stores reported similar sales. A local cheese wholesaler later accounted that city-wide demand for Swiss, Brie and American cheese had been record breaking.

     At the Bismarck Hotel, 20 barrels of fresh beer were emptied between 12:30 A. M. and 2 A. M. Perhaps overreacting to the initial rush, Bismarck Hotel officials announced later that morning that 50 barrels of beer would now be part of their normal inventory. The Berghoff took stock of last night’s business to find that they had rolled out an unbelievable 81 barrels of beer since 12:01 A.M.

Where Did All The Beer Come From?        

   Even with the overwhelming demand, prices for beer remained stable. An eight-ounce glass was selling for ten cents, a twelve-ounce stein for ten to fifteen cents. Cases ran between $2.30 to $2.90. But by the end of the second day of sales, questions were arising as to the quality of the legal brew. After years of drinking needle beer with an alcoholic strength of around 7%, some neighborhood beer connoisseurs  complained that the new beer didn’t quite have the taste or jolt of illegal brew, an opinion that city officials concurred with. Reports from chemists working under Dr. Herman N. Bundesen, President of the City Board of Health, revealed that veteran Prohibition-era beer drinkers, unhappy with the taste and strength of the legal beer, were probably correct in their criticisms. Even comparative analysis of recently seized home brew indicated that homebrewers were surpassing the 3.2% alcohol limit.        

   Doctor Robert Wahl, head of the Wahl Institute, explained that his laboratory was in the process of checking the new beer for taste, effervescence and clarity. Because of the higher alcoholic content that is normally found in darker beers such as a Kulmbacher or Muenchener, Wahl advised that Americans would have to be content with the pale or Pilsner  type beers. He noted that research was being conducted at the Institute to develop a dark, flavorful beer that would be under the legal alcoholic content of 3.2% by weight, 4% by volume. In developing such a beer, Wahl mentioned how important it was for the beer to have what the Germans call “suffigkeit”.  A beer has “suffigkeit”  explained Wahl, “when you can drink it all afternoon and still not have enough.”  Less filling, taste great?

     Wahl later reported that his tests had indicated that the new beer was indeed disappointing. Out of ten beers analyzed in his laboratory, Wahl deemed only three to be of good quality.

     His assessment of the new beer was immediately challenged by local braumeisters.  Brewers William Faude of Schoenhofen and Charles Ellman of Atlas proclaimed their beer better than pre-Prohibition beer. “Prohibition taught us how to make beer,”  Ellman argued. “When you are selling a beverage for its taste only, and not for a kick, you must strive for perfection. It’s hard to make a drink out of nothing, but the brewers did it!” Looking back at the fact that most of the near beer that left the Chicago breweries was eventually needled with alcohol, Ellman’s argument fell short of local reality.       Federal Chemist John W. Fonner, in making his analysis of possible violators of the 3.2% limit, found that none of the beers he tested exceeded the legal limit for alcoholic content; on the contrary, most were well under it. Fonner speculated that some of the brewers might have been overly cautious in brewing the new beer, some of which tested at a low of 2.48%. Fred D. L. Squires, Research Secretary for the American Business Men’s Prohibition Foundation, agreed with Fonner’s analysis of the new beer. “We had forty investigators out (testing) with ebullimeters'”  said Squires. His findings concluded that the new beer was “…a mere froth, running as low as 2.6 per cent alcohol by weight.”

     A more probable cause as to why the tested beer failed to meet the maximum legal alcoholic content was the fact that the beer now available had been brewed under the old Prohibition formula for near beer. This opinion made more sense. Why brew a full-bodied beer with choice ingredients only to have it dealcoholized? This would explain how the brewers had hundreds of thousands of cases of beer ready for sale in such a short period of time. After all, old-time local brewers had been stating for decades that their beer required two months for lagering purposes. Despite the loud protests of local brewers, Chicagoans were getting a weakened version of the kind of beer they had drunk before Prohibition. City brewers continued to insist that their beer was up to government standards but week-end arrest for drunkenness indicated otherwise. Police records showed only 63 persons were charged with drunkenness on Saturday night in Chicago. This was about one-third of the normal arrest figures during a typical Prohibition-era week-end.

Economic Success       

   August A. Busch’s prediction of a greatly increased cash flow to the coffers of the federal government proved true. For the first day of nationwide beer sales, it was estimated that the federal tax for beer would bring in $7,500,000 to the United States Treasury. The Federal Government, anxious to grab its share of this new source of revenue had placed a $1000 a year federal license fee on each brewery and a $5 excise tax on every barrel of beer that left the breweries for delivery.        

   In just forty-eight hours, $25,000,000 had been pumped into various beer-related trades as diverse as bottling manufacturers to the sawdust wholesalers whose product lay strewn on the floors of saloons. In Chicago, early estimates placed the retail sale of beer at close to $4,000,000. Even the non-beer related State Street department stores enjoyed a sales boon as store owners recorded the greatest spending spree since the stock market collapse and the beginning of the Depression. Downtown hotels were forced to turn away potential guests as rooms were booked as quickly as they became available. Nonetheless, revelers from out of town and the far reaches of the city continued to migrate to the Loop for the beer drinkathon.

     Chicago and Springfield, still arguing about who would handle licensing of the brewing industry in Illinois and Chicago, looked at these tax and revenue numbers and decided that they too wanted their fair share of this new cash cow. In the meantime, both brewers and retailers enjoyed the local tax and license lull, harvesting a profit far in excess of what would eventually be realized when the city and the state started to take their share.

Posted in Beer History | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

There’s Nothing Shy About Blue Dawg Brewing’s Bold Blueberry Lager – Wild Blue

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2008

wild-blue-web-res.jpgWEBWIRE – Monday, March 10, 2008

Tart and Tangy Beer Arrives this Spring to Refresh Palates Nationwide

ST. LOUIS . — Not suited for timid or reserved beer drinkers, Wild Blue’s defining taste characteristic is its kick of natural blueberry flavor. The Blue Dawg Brewing team carefully selected a blend of hops and barley malt to ensure they complemented and balanced Wild Blue’s dominant blueberry notes, resulting in a robust and aromatic beer with a refreshing, palate-cleansing finish.

Wild Blue is brewed with a blend of German hops from the Hallertau region in Bavaria and classic Aroma hops from the Willamette Valley in the Pacific Northwest. A combination of two- and six-row barley malt also was chosen specifically for this recipe. Beer lovers will appreciate this specialty fruit-infused lager’s striking burgundy color, ripe blueberry aroma and its ability to stand up to the strongest of foods.

“This beer is the real deal,” said Jill Vaughn, Wild Blue brewmaster. “With a distinct color and flavor, we’ve crafted a beer that truly stands out. I think it will surprise people, especially those who like to experiment when it comes to new drinks.”

To showcase Wild Blue’s reddish-purple color and slight pink head of foam and to allow its field-fresh blueberry aroma to escape to the nose, pour the beer into a glass with a larger rim. A traditional pilsner will do the trick; or for special occasions Vaughn suggests enjoying Wild Blue in a tulip-shaped glass. “A beer as distinct and unusual as Wild Blue deserves to be enjoyed in a special type of glass,” said Vaughn.

Brewers have been using fruit in beer for years, from Belgian lambics brewed with raspberries, cherries and peaches to fruit-flavored beer mixers like shandys and radlers – popular concoctions in Britain and Germany created to bring more refreshment to beer during the spring and summer months.

The unconventional spirit of this beer is conveyed in every aspect, from its taste to its label that features a cheeky, playful bulldog kicking a blueberry, which visually represents Blue Dawg Brewing – a group within Anheuser-Busch, Inc. that is responsible for the beer’s marketing, selling and advertising.

“We’re focusing our efforts on getting Wild Blue in adults’ hands at local food and film festivals and even fun events like pet parades, where dog lovers can get to know Wild Blue, with its feisty bulldog label,” said Jeff Pierson, innovation manager, Wild Blue. “We aren’t taking this beer down the traditional path. Wild Blue is going places we haven’t been before, and we know having the beer at places where adults like to get together, socialize and try new things will be key.”

Already a popular beer in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri, adults nationwide can now find this brew at select grocery and convenience stores. Craft beer enthusiasts also have given Wild Blue their stamp of approval with a gold medal in the fruit beer category at the North American Brewers Association’s 2006 North American Beer Awards, a competition that recognizes top beers by style.

When it comes to food pairings, it’s a common belief that heavier, darker drinks pair with meat and lighter, crisper drinks pair with fish. So it’s only natural that a full-flavored beer such as Wild Blue needs to be paired with a dish brimming with robust and intense flavors. Vaughn recommends matching Wild Blue with meat dishes, such as pork rib roast with fig and pistachio stuffing or pork tenderloin with apricot mustard. “There’s nothing shy about this beer, so don’t be afraid to match it with strong foods. You want foods with snap and punch, so they won’t get lost or be overpowered,” said Vaughn. “Or if you’re craving a salad, use a combination of greens like mesclun, arugula, escarole or romaine with some fresh herbs.”

Not only does Wild Blue complement full-flavored dishes, it makes an excellent recipe ingredient, like in one of Anheuser-Busch Executive Chef Sam Niemann’s favorites:

Wild Blue Vinaigrette Dressing

Blend 6-8 fresh hulled strawberries, ½ cup fresh raspberries, ½ cup fresh blueberries and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a blender until smooth. Add ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup Wild Blue; blend briefly until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

Wild Blue is brewed in Baldwinsville, N.Y., and contains 8 percent alcohol by volume.
**************

Nutritional info for Wild Blue here

Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer & Food Pairings, Beer Reviews | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

History of St. Pat’s Corned Beef Recipes

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2008

As you read through the early recipes in Beer & Food: An American History thatcorned-beef.jpg include beer or ale as an ingredient, consider the suggestion that many of today’s beer-themed food dishes might not have been recently “invented,” but are rather the results of an evolution in their preparation. It doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to see that a homemade pot roast with an added

can of Miller High Life or your mother’s rib-sticking stew with a dose of Guinness, could all stem from earlier recipes.

Londoner Susannah Carter and her later edition of The Frugal Housewife, or, Complete woman cook; wherein the art of dressing all sorts of viands is explained in upwards of five hundred approved receipts, in gravies, sauces, roasting [etc.]…also the making of English wines. To which is added an appendix, containing several new receipts adapted to the American mode of cooking, offers a number of good examples of early American food recipes, especially derived from English cookery.

 

This recipe book, originally published in England around 1765, was quite popular in British-America, with a later printing in Boston in 1772. The book’s engraved plates are attributed to Paul Revere. In 1803, Carter added new recipes for her American audience that listed very American dishes such as pumpkin pie, recipes for maple syrup and buckwheat pancakes, and even methods of raising turkeys.  

 

Carter also makes an interesting observation that too many contemporary household cooks gloss over when using beer in food. Highly-hopped beers, with their accompanying bitterness, are the last thing you want to add to a dish whose broth will be reduced. If a highly-hopped twelve-ounce beer makes your lips pucker and curls your toes with just one sip, imagine what it will do to your taste buds if concentrated down to a four-ounce reduction!

The following recipe for beef brisket might be viewed as an early step in the evolutionary path of the contemporary brisket and beer dish. Every St. Patrick’s day, innumerable slow-cooked beef brisket or corned beef recipes, usually adding Guinness or Harp to the pot for “authenticity” (while overlooking the fact that that the “Irish” corned beef and cabbage dish is really an American blarney-inspired culinary creation), are rolled out by food writers in the food sections of U.S. newspapers and magazines.

The pre-cooking rub of salt and saltpeter [saltpetre] on the brisket, and a rest time of four days, probably resulted somewhat in the reddish color of the corned beef we enjoy today, although the use of saltpeter in any of today’s food recipes is not recommended. The boiled New England meal of corned beef might have actually stemmed from this very British beef brisket recipe of the late 1700s or early 1800s:

TO STEW BRISKET OF BEEF

Having rubbed the brisket with common salt and saltpetre, let it lie four days. Then lard the skin with fat bacon, and put it into a stew pan with a quart of water; a pint of red wine, or strong beer, half a pound of butter, a bunch of sweet herbs, three or four shallots, some pepper and half a nutmeg grated. Cover the pan very close. Stew it over a gentle fire for six hours.

 

Then fry some square pieces of boiled turnips very brown. Strain the liquor the beef was stewed in, thicken it with burnt butter, and having mixed the turnips with it, pour all together over the beef in a large dish. Serve it up hot, and garnish with lemon sliced.

To make this dish “authentic,” grab a Guinness Stout.

Posted in Beer & Food Pairings, Beer History, Beer In Food, Cooking With Beer, Food History | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Make St. Pat’s A National Holiday! (And Buy Guinness)

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 6, 2008

leprechaun.jpgPUBLIC OUTCRY LEADS TO PETITION OF CONGRESS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY NATIONAL HOLIDAY RECOGNITION
National survey results suggest millions believe St Patrick’s Day should be a national holiday

New York (February 14, 2008) – In response to overwhelming public sentiment, the makers of Guinness, the world’s most famous Irish stout,
are supporting Proposition 3-17, a national effort to make St. Patrick’s Day an officially-recognized holiday in the United States. 

“Guinness supports the demands of adults around the U.S. to take a day off from work and celebrate their Irish spirit,” said Richard Nichols at Diageo, makers of Guinness stout.  “Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day are all observed, and now it is time for St. Patrick’s Day to have its place among these other important dates.”

The goal is to get at least one million petitioned signatures by midnight on March 16, 2008 so they can be presented to Congress the next day, St. Patrick’s Day.  In the thousands of local bars and retailstores where Guinness stout is sold, anyone who wants to support Proposition 3-17 can sign a petition, or visit www.Proposition317.com or text the word “SIGN” to 65579 to add their names to the petition. 

“My friends and I always get together for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Brandon Schad of Minneapolis.  “I don’t know why it’s not already an official holiday, but it falls on a Monday this year, so we’re making it a three-day weekend.” 

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day goes well beyond wearing a green shirt and talking of leprechauns.  According to a recent survey of men and women 21 years of age and older, when asked which they have done to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, 36% responded that they have watched or marched in a parade, 45% responded that they have toasted the day with a beer, and 59% responded that they have celebrated by eating traditional Irish food such as corned beef and cabbage.
 
And St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for people of Irish ancestry.  Over half (57%) of those surveyed think everyone has a little bit of Irish in them on St. Patrick’s Day.  In fact, while 54% of respondents surveyed with Irish ancestry plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, almost a third of U.S. residents who don’t claim Irish ancestry plan to
celebrate St Patrick’s Day as well.  Proposition 3-17 calls on the nation’s leaders in Washington, DC to grant the wish of the many people around the country who desire to spend the day celebrating with family and friends. 

“We think the public’s excitement about attending rallies and going out to pubs and stores where Guinness stout is sold to sign the petition to make the day official is a testament to the passion of the Irish – and would-be Irish – everywhere,” said Nichols.   

The survey also revealed that many people plan to celebrate sometime during the weekend leading up to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Monday.  In addition to spearheading the petitioning of Congress for recognition as a national holiday, Diageo is promoting its commitment to responsible drinking by encouraging those who do decide to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, to do so responsibly. 

The United States has been leading the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day for centuries.  On March 17, 1762, the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade kicked off in New York City.  More than two centuries later, there are parades held each year in more than 90 cities across the country commemorating St. Patrick’s Day.

Posted in Beer & Food In The News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Coming Soon!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 6, 2008

canonah1videocamera.jpgFor the last 12 months or so, I’ve been begging site visitors to submit videoed contributions of them preparing food using beer as an ingredient. So far, not a single response…until today. Not quite what I was looking for, but hey, these clips below are beer-oriented, and that’s what we’re all about here!

I’ve placed 2 of these submissions on the VodPod vertical on the right of the blog and here are the direct links to all 4 clips on youtube. The contributor’s name is Thomas de Napoli, and if you go to his site at www.enterthefancy.com , I suggest you take a look at “Lost,” under the Shorts category. You’ll get a kick out of it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCm84xDkdzk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs10LHozV2k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78bc_iczOhM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4Q6J7f_m8A

In the meantime, I’m working on a media-rich website/blog of videos of food recipes using beer, wine, liquor and liqueurs. I’m also building a library of podcasts with interviews from authors and business folks who want to plug a book, project or business in general, but whatever it is, it has to be beer/wine/booze and food oriented. The site will be THE place to go for a media-rich collection of spirited food and drink recipes. Once I have enough clips and interviews ready, I’ll be doing a soft opening in a month or so, start a news release campaign and some other publicity efforts in order to build traffic.

While I’m happy to use submissions from anybody who wants to be a “star” on the site, I’m especially looking for submissions that I can also build interviews around and give the submitter a chance to infomercial their projects for FREE, whatever they might be, once again, built around booze and food.

So here I am, begging again. Why don’t you do a short (under 10 minutes) recipe clip, and if you’re pushing a book, a drink product, a business…we could do an interview around it and talk about your project for an accompanied podcast while also setting up a link back to your site? It doesn’t have to be serious effort; light-hearted or just plain silly will work, as long as there’s a real ber/wine/booze food recipe involved that site visitors can benefit from.

There will be more about this project and website/blog location while I attempt to build a small library of stuff before we go online with this project.

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Nutritional Info For Old Milwaukee, Old Style, Olympia

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 4, 2008

Old Milwaukee 12 oz   12.90g carbs   146 calories  4.9% abv

Old Milwaukee Light 12 oz   8.30g carbs   119 calories  3.8% abv

Old Style 12 oz   12.00g carbs   143 calories  4.7% abv

Old Style Light 12 oz   7.0g carbs   113 calories  4.2% abv

Olympia 12 oz   11.90g carbs   146 calories  4.7% abv

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