Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Archive for July, 2008

Anheuser-Busch Takes First Step Towards Going Green

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 30, 2008

A-B Going Green
A-B Going Green

Going “green” seems to be the trend in the American brewing industry. I recently came back from Athens, Ohio where Great Lakes Brewing Company owner Pat Conway talked about their extensive efforts to recyle, use alternative sources of energy, and even the shipping out of spent grains for the raising of worms that work hard in their composted vegetable bin for the growing of vegetables for their brewpub kitchen.

But it looks like the big boys are getting into this too, including Anheuser-Busch;

Alternative Fuels Power Anheuser-Busch Breweries

One in Seven Anheuser-Busch Beers Will Be Brewed Using Alternative Fuels by End of 2009

Last update: 10:36 a.m. EDT July 30, 2008
ST. LOUIS, July 30, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — More than five billion 12-oz. servings of beer — or about one in seven beers brewed by Anheuser-Busch in the United States — are expected to be brewed using renewable fuel by the end of 2009*, thanks to environmental efforts at the company’s 12 U.S. breweries. The company’s breweries in Houston and Fairfield, Calif., are currently installing alternative energy technology that will be operational by year end, and as a result the company’s U.S. breweries will run on more than 15 percent renewable fuel.
The Houston brewery will use biogas from a nearby landfill as part of an alternative fuel plan that when combined with the facility’s bio-energy recovery system (BERS), is anticipated to provide more than 70 percent of the brewery’s fuel needs. The Fairfield brewery will use BERS, a technology that turns brewing wastewater into fuel, and receive electricity from solar panels being hosted on-site.
“We have a long history of protecting and preserving the environment, and these projects will move us closer to our goal of running our U.S. operations on 15 percent renewable fuel by 2010,” said Doug Muhleman, group vice president, Brewing Operations and Technology, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “It’s part of our pledge to be better environmental stewards of the world we share.”
Anheuser-Busch has entered into an agreement with Ameresco McCarty Energy to purchase biogas from Allied Waste Services’ McCarty Road Landfill in Houston, making use of an alternative fuel source for the company’s local brewery. The biogas is a natural byproduct of waste decomposition at the landfill. Currently, some of the biogas from the McCarty Road Landfill is being captured, processed and sold to a local utility, while the excess is flared (burned without energy recovery). Ameresco plans to capture some of that unused biogas and transport it to the Anheuser-Busch brewery through a six-mile underground pipeline.
The Fairfield brewery will generate 15 percent of its fuel needs from a Bio-Energy Recovery System (BERS) that is currently under construction. BERS technology turns nutrients in brewing wastewater into renewable biogas that is used to decrease the use of natural gas. In addition, the Fairfield brewery has entered into an agreement with SunEdison to host a solar power plant on the brewery’s property. The solar energy system will generate the equivalent of approximately 3 percent of the brewery’s electricity needs and also generate Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for businesses or individuals to purchase to offset their use of fossil fuel energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The 1.18 megawatt (DC) photovoltaic system will be constructed during the late summer.
Once the Houston and Fairfield projects are operational, 10 of Anheuser-Busch’s 12 U.S. breweries will be producing renewable fuel. Plans are currently underway to construct the 11th BERS in Williamsburg, Va., in 2009. The company’s brewery in Fort Collins, Colo., does not operate a BERS but applies nutrient-rich brewery wastewater to nearby land to grow crops that can be turned into biofuel. Anheuser-Busch is also exploring the use of wind, solar, wood and landfill gas at several other breweries.
Anheuser-Busch’s 12 U.S. breweries also recycle or reuse more than 99 percent of the solid waste from their brewing and packaging processes — a tradition that began in the late 1800s when the company first recycled brewers’ grain into cattle feed. This amounted to nearly four billion pounds of materials such as spent grain, beechwood chips, plastic, glass cullet, cardboard and metal in 2007. In addition, employees are encouraged to look for ways to conserve energy, water and raw materials in daily operations at the breweries and learn how to conserve energy and recycle at home through environmental fairs and the company’s annual “Green Week,” a yearly tradition dating back to 1990.
“We have great employees who work hard every day to ensure our breweries are conserving water, energy and raw materials as part of our Blue Ocean initiative, an enhanced productivity plan to deliver more than $1 billion in savings through 2010,” Muhleman said. “With our Blue Ocean project, we’re examining everything we do to make sure we are brewing our beers in a way that’s efficient, considers our environmental impacts and maintains the high standards of quality our customers expect when they drink a Budweiser.”
As a member of the U.S. EPA Climate Leaders Program, Anheuser-Busch has committed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2010 for all of its U.S. operations. Using EPA standards, this reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions is the equivalent of taking nearly 30,000 passenger vehicles off the road or heating more than 14,000 homes. In addition, the company has also committed to increasing the total use of renewable fuel from 8 percent to 15 percent in the same time period.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.5 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao, whose namesake beer brand is the country’s best- selling premium beer. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2008. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and one of the world’s largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more information, visit http://www.anheuser-busch.com.

* “More than five billion 12-ounce servings” and “about one in seven beers brewed by Anheuser-Busch” are figures derived from taking the company’s U.S. beer production in 2007, converting it to equivalent 12-ounce servings and multiplying the figure by the estimated percentage of renewable fuel the company plans to use at its U.S. breweries in 2009.

SOURCE Anheuser-Busch

http://www.anheuser-busch.com

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DNC Beer Card Line-Up. Drink beer? Yes we can!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton Trying To Get Some TV Exposure At The DNC Convention

Hillary Clinton Trying To Get Some TV Exposure At The DNC Convention

Sleeping in the parks after hours, protesting anything and everything, stockpiling human waste for tossing at cops, and trying to keep Hillary Clinton as far away from the DNC Convention Center podium as possible can work up a real thirst for Democrats coming to Denver, but area brewers will be ready to quench the thirst of delegates, Super Delegates and any former presidents trolling for young interns at the Hilton bar.

Charlie Papazian, in his role as The Beer Examiner, takes at look at what local brewers will have on tap, contrary to reports to the contrary that the Messiahobama will simply bless 5,000 barrels of Denver drinking water and turn it into suds.

Speaking of Obama, at the Wynkoop, once the domain of Denver’s dazed and confused Mayor John Wright Hickenlooper, there will be the tapping of “…Obamanator” Maibock lager. “Strong in spirit with much depth,” says head brewer Andy Brown. German tradition has it that any beer named with an ‘-ator’ suffix indicates bock extra strength beer. “I haven’t had the opportunity to taste this brew,” notes Papazian, “but I’m sure it will have plenty of fortitude and visions of ‘Yes we can’ – a brew that will certainly inspire. Michelle Obama has been reported to say that “For the first time in my life, I’ve found a beer I can be proud of,” after hoisting a stein of this stuff.

Speaking of “…nators,” Governator Arnold turns 61 today, July 30, as I write this. The “Terminator” might need a beer or two after a series of earthquakes rocked his world yesterday. There’s no truth to the rumor that as his limo was speeding towards the Nevada border, he could be heard shouting “I’ll be back!” as aftershocks continued for hours in California.

Of course if a high-power bock doesn’t do the trick, delegates can hit the bong to bring out the buzz. In 2006, Denver became the first major city in the U.S. to make the private use of less than an ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. Now I know why it’s called “The Mile High City.”

More beers to expect in Denver on August 25th can be found here.

Wanna know how many calories, carbohydrates, abv and Weight Watchers Points are in your favorite beers?

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It’s B-A-C-K! BEER IS AGAIN AMERICA’S ALCOHOL BEVERAGE OF CHOICE

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 30, 2008

New Gallup Poll Shows Beer’s Lead Over Wine, Spirits is Back to Double-Digits;

Shift Most Evident Among Adults Ages 30-49, Back to Beer After Trying Wine

ST. LOUIS (July 29, 2008) – According to a new Gallup poll, beer’s lead over wine and spirits has returned to double-digits for the first time since 2002, particularly among adults between the ages of 30 and 49 who tried wine for a few years then shifted back to beer.

The annual Consumption Habits poll, released Friday through Gallup’s Web site, shows that in combined data from Gallup’s 2004 and 2005 Consumption surveys, drinkers between the ages of 30 and 49 were about as likely to prefer wine as beer.  Now, drinkers in this age bracket have shifted back to beer, with an average of 47 percent in the combined 2007-2008 data saying they most often drink beer.  Drinking preferences among adults ages 21-29 have remained stable in recent years, with the majority showing a wide preference for beer.

“This poll shows what we’ve always known – that trends will come and go but beer is here to stay,” said Bob Lachky, executive vice president, Global Industry and Creative Development for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and leader of “Here’s To Beer,” a two-year-old campaign that toasts Americans’ appreciation for beer.  “More Americans are learning – or re‑learning – how to appreciate the wide variety of beer styles available and how easy it is to pair beer with all types of food, which is also attracting new adult consumers to the beer category.”

Beer continues to represent the largest segment in the alcohol beverage category in volume and dollar sales, accounting for 56 percent of all alcohol beverage servings.  The Anheuser-Busch-led “Here’s To Beer” campaign was launched to help consumers develop a deeper appreciation for beer while providing tools for retailers and distributors to grow their beer business.

The campaign re-launched its Web site – www.herestobeer.com – in April 2008 with enhanced interactive tools to help consumers learn about beer’s ingredients, styles, the brewing process, the importance of proper pouring and glassware, and how to pair beer with food.  The Web site also offers expert tips for food-pairing with videos featuring Food Network personality and cookbook author Dave Lieberman.

HTBMarketing.com, the “members only” site for beer wholesalers, provides downloadable sign making and point-of-sale templates to create attractive in-store materials to elevate and enhance the beer aisle.  Beyond the more than 600 wholesalers in the Anheuser‑Busch network, an additional 350 members from the ranks of competitive brewers and non A-B wholesalers are also registered members.

“Here’s To Beer” also sponsors the annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival in Forest Park.  The festival is quickly becoming a must-attend event for beer industry leaders and enthusiasts, where more than 70 styles of beers were sampled from Anheuser-Busch and local craft brewers.  The festival drew 15,000 people at its inaugural event in 2007 and this year drew 20,000 people from across the country.

 

# # #

I was at this year’s St. Louis Brewer Heritage Festival in Forest Park, and despite the perceived antagonistic relationship between A-B and craft brewers, I didn’t see it. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for A-B’s soft guidance, the fest probably would never have gotten off the ground, something that the local craft brewers were quick to admit. The seven participating brewers in the event were Alandale Brewery, Anheuser-Busch, Augusta Brewery, Morgan Street Brewery, O’Fallon Brewery, Schlafly Beer and Square One Brewery. 

One thing I liked in particular was Bob Lachky’s obvious dig at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and their competition and awards. The politics involved in the GABF probably began with accusations years ago that the Boston Beer Company had somehow stacked the “Best of” voting by offering a ton of swag to participants in order to win the competition for a few years straight. The political innuendoes seem to continue each year with insider stories of somebody feeling they got screwed during the beer judging.

Lachky, on the other hand, insists that the St. Louis fest will continue to celebrate beer—that’s it. No awards, no bitch fighting, no “Best of Show” sort of crap; just beer drinkers coming to town to drink great beer. I’m all for it.

There were also other criticisms from other uninvited beer writers that those of us who had been invited by A-B to come down as guests and observers of what was going on would be on the hook for A-B because they had covered our trip expenses. Nothing could have been further than the truth. As I described it, A-B didn’t lock us in a room and badger us like time-share salesmen giving 90-minute presentations. On the contrary, they went out of their way to treat us as professionals. It truly was a good time and I doubt if InBev will change the dynamics one bit.

Just to get back on message: BEER IS AGAIN AMERICA’S ALCOHOL BEVERAGE OF CHOICE! Pass it on.

 

 

 

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Chicago’s Newest Brewery-Make Mine A Metro!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 25, 2008

The Hursts Getting Ready To Quench Your Thirst!

The Hursts Getting Ready To Quench Your Thirst!

Last year I had the opportunity to meet Doug and Tracy Hurst, first at a beer and food pairing at Rock Bottom in Chicago, soon after at Hopleaf where the pair were pouring some of their homebrewed beers, and finally at a beer dinner at Goose Island, Clybourn where I was asked to say a few words about whatever new book I was pushing at the time. I don’t remember what they were pouring at the beer and food events; age and too many beers might have me not quite remembering the most accurate of details.

What I do remember is that Doug and Tracy are as nice as old hell, easy to talk to and filled with the kind of youthful enthusiasm for adventure that I lost years ago (actually, I tell people I have 2 more big adventures left in me and I’ll know what they are when I meet them).

Being the fatalistic beer and brewing historian that I am, this sour attitude of mine, based on my long and involved studies of what’s worked in the world of local beer and what hasn’t in Chicago’s long brewing history, had me doubtful when the Hursts told me they wanted to start a micro in Chicago. I think I sort of gave them the kind of look you give a friend when they say that they only have 3 months to live, and then mumbled something like “Good Luck” to both of them and shook my head and walked away. Crazy kids!

Well thank God that youth is wasted on the young because pushing aside the slim odds that I foresaw in someone trying to start another micro in Chicago, I just clicked on a link to the Chicago Reader, and there they were, standing next to “…a double-decker Craftsman toolbox retrofitted with a tap” and as happy as clams. It looks like they’re on their way.

As an alumnus of the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technolgy (Class of 1991), I was back at their Goose Island “campus” some years ago to do a story about Siebel’s move to GI at Clybourn. It was the second class to go through the new location and Doug was there attending. Even then, he was talking about his dream of opening up another Chicago brewery. While I don’t make it into Chicago as often as I used to, I seem to keep crossing paths with one or both members of the Hurst family everytime I do, and each time, they told me that a brewery was in their future.

Here’s the opportunity for readers to cross paths with them too, or at least their beers. While their Metropolitan Brewing is still a work-in-progress, they are making their way around the area, promoting their beers. Lagers seem to be their thing, and that’s great with me since lagers are the historical connection between the pre-Prohibition beers of the old Midwest and contemporary offerings like their Dynamo Copper Lager, Flywheel Bright Lager, Iron Works Oktoberfest and Generator Doppelbock. These lagers are rounded out with the additions of an Alt and Koelsch. All German, all the time I guess.

Look for them to appear “…at your local restaurants, pubs, and liquor stores in November, 2008,” says Doug.

So please, get out there and give them your support, and better yet, your business, and make them part of the continuing history of beer and brewing in Chicago. I can hardly wait!

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Hussa Brewery Slated For Demolition In Bangor, WI

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 24, 2008

Here Today; Gone Tomorrow...The Hussa BreweryIt all began in 1860 when Joseph Hussa and his family moved to Bangor from Watertown. A Czechoslovakian brewmaster trained in Prague, Hussa had emigrated to Wisconsin in 1849. And in 2008, the former Hussa Brewery, old and battered, will meet its end.

I just hate when these breweries go down like this, with no one to somehow, someway, salvage them for future use.

And in Wisconsin, of all places.

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Bob Skilnik At Ohio Brew Week BBQ Competition

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 21, 2008

I’ll have more to say about my 3 days in Athens, Ohio and the 3rd annual celebration of beer and food at the Ohio Brew Week fest…but for now, this article from The Athens Messenger (Thanks Meredith. I don’t why they haven’t made you Editor-in-Chief yet!));

Prizes were determined by a combination of public votes and a panel of four judges, including Bob Skilnik, author of “Beer & Food – An American History.”
Chicagoan Skilnik, a connoisseur on beer and food pairings (as well as foods that use beer as an ingredient), was selling and autographing his book on site. Skilnik says he tries to stay neutral and avoid judging contests, but the chance to visit to Brew Week was one that he could not pass up.

“It really is unique and that’s what intrigued me,” he said. “It’s a week-long pub crawl.”
**********
Me? A connoisseur? C’mon!
I’m just a guy who writes about beer.
 

 

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Meet Me At Ohio Beer Week!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 14, 2008

Met Bob In Athens, OH

Fest brings the best of Ohio’s

brew to Athens all this week

Ohio Beer Week, July 14-19, 2008I’ll be speaking at the Ohio Beer Week celebration from July 17-19. The actual festival begins on the 14th and ends on the 19th.                    

Ohio Brew Week celebrates Ohio’s diverse microbrews during the weeklong festival. You can enjoy more than 76 craft beers from 23 Ohio microbreweries, all in one easy-to-get around city, relaxing Athens, Ohio.

Bob Skilnik to Speak at Ohio Brew Week

Bob Skilnik is an alumnus of Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the U.S.; author of nine food and drink-related books, including Beer & Food: An American History, and a contributor to trade journals, magazines, and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune’s “Good Eating” section. He has appeared on ABC’s The View, FOX News and ESPN2.

While at Ohio Brew Week July 17, 18 and part of the 19th, Bob will talk about: “Why There Might Be A Beer In Your Refrigerator Today—How Beer Left The Saloon And Became A Household Guest,” “American Beer History—Urban Legends That Just Won’t Go Away.”

Pre-paid tickets & packages info…

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Want To Be In My Next Book?

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 10, 2008

How Many Calories?

How Many Calories?

I’m putting the finishing touches on;

Healthy Drinking:
Nutritional Info for Wine, Beer & Booze

 

What the Drink Industry, the U.S Government and Special Interest

Groups Won’t Tell You

 

and I need your help. I’m making a last ditch rewrite and want to add as many nutritional values of beers, wines, liquors and liqueurs as possible before the book goes to print. I currently have info for about 1,200 beers, 300 wines, and scores of boozes. I’d love to double this.

 

If you’re a brewer, from a bottling operation or a brewpub, send me the OG and FG plus the abv of your beers and I’ll work up the numbers to include your products into the book. If you’re from the drink trade, vintner, distiller, importer, and have solid documentation of nutritional values for your products, please send the info and I’ll plug it into the book.

 

Years ago, when I wrote The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet and The Low-Carb Bartender, I was villified by some members of the drink trade, especially from some big and small breweries, for what I was doing. “We brew our beer for its taste, not nutritional values,” they’d tell me and then would also tell me to do physical and sexual things with myself that I’m unable to do. Hey; I’ve tried.

 

One craft brewery that was extremely nice to me and provided me with a ton of info and even threw a bunch of labels into an envelope for me was New Belgium Brewing. Because they understand their market, it should be no surprise that they have also developed Skinny Dip, a lower-calorie/carb beer. It’s also one of the few craft breweries I have ever seen who advertise in non-beer publications. I find this amazing since placing beers ads in beer publications seem to be preaching to the choir. New Belgium, an employee-owned brewery, runs their operation like a business.

 

Anheuser-Busch was also receptive to what I was doing. I spent a day in St. Louis discussing the fallacy of the early version of The South Beach Diet that stated that the simple sugar maltose in beer made all beer unacceptable in the still-popular diet. The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet pointed out that maltose was one of the first sugars to be consumed by yeast and its presence in finished beer was negligible. After A-B ran full-page newspaper ads in papers throughout the U.S., the author changed his tune on beer.

 

As anybody close to the industry knows, the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is putting the final touches on guidelines that will one day become law. Once the kinks are worked out, the drink industry will be given 3 years for implementation.

 

It’s gonna happen, and while the industry will bitch and moan about it, their customers can’t understand why they can read a box of Count Chocula and know the nutritional values of what they’re feeding their kids, but not have the same kind of information for the glass of beer, wine or booze in their hands. That’s going to change.

 

But beside keeping their customers informed about the nutritional value of adult beverages, there’s more behind this than the eye can see. One big reason this will come to fruition is…globalism. As the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States notes in their most recent comment in TTB Notice No. 74, “…this proposed rule change would bring TTB requirements into conformity with the provisions of the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) Agreement on Wine Labelling (sic). As stated by TTB, ‘[these negotiations proceeded from the view that common labeling requirements would provide industry members with the opportunity to use the same label when shipping’ product to each of the WWTG member countries. With a global economy and with free travel among consumers, we support TTB’s effort to harmonize its labeling regulations with international requirements. TTB’s proposal would have the beneficial effect of serving the interests of consumers, as well as eliminating a potential barrier to trade between countries.”

 

Change is coming and it has the tailwinds of consumer support and NAFTA-like conformity to a standardized world market behind it. Without acceptance, it’s conceivable that the important import/export markets of beers, wines and spirits would come to a halt.

 

So better or for worse, the global economy is probably more the driving force behind the eventuality of nutritional labeling than any concerns about the wants of the consumer.

 

Whatever the reason, please contact me and send me whatever info you can and I’ll get your products into the book.

 

What good will this do you? Who will read the book? Between The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet: A Low-Carbohydrate Approach and The Low-Carb Bartender, I did appearances on ABC’s “The View,” ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza,” and multiple appearances on the Fox News Channel. I probably did over 100 radio interviews throughout the U.S., Canada and even Europe.

 

This book will be bigger, with lots of publicity, and rest assured, readers will see your product information. Take advantage of this opportunity for some FREE publicity for your products. I go to press in August.

 

 bob@beerinfood.com

 

 In the meantime, you can check out this option for the nutritional values of around 1,000 or more.

http://beerinfood.com/Beer-Nutrition.html

 

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Kronenbourg Beer Says Smaller is Better

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 3, 2008

Kronenbourg Beer Logo

Kronenbourg Beer Logo

A bizarre, but entertaining video look at Kronenburg’s new message;

Smaller bubbles make for a better beer. Hey…It works for French champagne!

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Here’s To Beer & Chef Dave Lieberman Get Ready For Summer

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 3, 2008

Four new video recipes, complimented with written instructions from Chef Dave Lieberman and Here’s To Beer. They’re all geared towards summertime food and fun! Might be just the thing for The 4th.

SUMMER CELEBRATION

VIDEOS AND RECIPES FOR SUMMER

Recipes include;

FRESH GUACAMOLE

FLANK STEAK FAJITAS

BEER SIMMERED CHICKEN AND CHEESE QUESADILLA

HONEY POACHED PEACHES, GREEK YOGURT AND PISTACHIOS

Don’t forget to check back often at the “Here’s To Beer” website for more cooking tips, beer history and salutes to your favorite drink, BEER!

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Captain Morgan Takes A Different Approach To Designated Driver Recruitment

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 2, 2008

The CaptainBravo to this Diageo Captain Morgan designated driver video with a message that doesn’t hit you over the head! A further tip of the hat to the creatives at Grey in New York.

HINT: This is how you get on message with younger drinkers to accept responsibility when drinking, not with a neo-prohibitionist editorial rant against the “evils of demon rum” or any adult beverage.

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First Guns, Now Beer; Neo-Prohibitionism From The Dying Chicago Tribune

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 2, 2008

First the Chicago Tribune wanted to repeal the 2nd Amendement; now they’re working hard to repeal the 21st.  Sort of a slap in the face for the old drunken legends of Chicago’s newspaper industry.

Typical in these kinds of moralistic rants, it’s always about beer. Kids of this era apparently don’t drink half-a-dogs of booze or the Tribune staff doesn’t want to shut down their Christmas presents of bottles of Scotch.

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Forbes Has A Drink With Bob Skilnik

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 1, 2008

Sometimes I get those random e-mails and telephone calls from nowhere. This was one of them;

A Drink With Bob Skilnik

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