Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Archive for August, 2008

Chicago-World’s Greatest Beer Town

Posted by Bob Skilnik on August 26, 2008

I received an e-mail from Kevin Brown, a writer with the Ale Street News. I met Kevin a few months ago in St. Louis when we were enjoying the hospitality of St. Louis brewers at a beer dinner, the prelude to a long weekend of beer tastings and tours.

His latest article will be about great beer towns and Chicago, of course, has to be included…but why?

My response;

For a historian like myself, Chicago is still rich with beer and brewing history although old local brewing sites still fall to the wrecking ball on a regular basis. Chicago’s fading beer past, however, sets the greater Chicagoland area up for today’s diversified selection of beers from the U.S. and around the world.
I’ve often heard the criticism that Chicago still lags behind other big cities when it comes to local breweries. Chicago, however, is more than the city itself, and if you add the greater Chicagoland area to the mix, you can enjoy craft beers from dozens of brewpubs, three breweries (with one more coming soon online) and the biggest selections of U.S. and worldwide beers in our area liquor stores and retail outlets.
And you have to talk about the macros; A little more than a year ago, Pabst moved their headquarters to Woodridge, IL a Chicago suburb; Just a few weeks ago, MillerCoors announced that their new venture would be headquartered in Chicago.
Topping all of this off are old and well-established beer distributors such as Schamberger Bros., Inc, established in Chicago during the early days of Repeal, and Louis Glunz Beer Inc., a distributorship that first supplied Schlitz beer for the 1893 World’s Columbian Expo in Chicago. Along with niche distributors such as Stawski Distributing, which imports beers from Central Europe for our area’s Russian, Polish, Lithuanian and Slovakian population, plus the occasional beer or two from India and even Thailand, Chicago’s centralized location makes it a hot market for brewers and distributors.
The West Coast and the Northwest can maybe claim the greatest concentration of U.S. craft breweries, but when it comes to accessability to the greatest selection of craft, imported and macro beers, I can’t see how any other location can make the claim of being the greatest “Beer Town” in the world. That’s Chicago.

Posted in Beer History, Editorial | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

CFF’s FESTIV-ALE: A Celebration of Beer

Posted by Bob Skilnik on August 13, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFestivAle Goose Island Wrigleyville
August 5, 2008                                                                                    

Elizabeth Burke
(312) 236-4491

CFF’s FESTIV-ALE: A Celebration of Beer

Leading the fight against cystic fibrosis, the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, along with the Young Professional Leadership Committee, will host FESTIV-ALE: A Celebration of Beer. Join us Thursday, September 25th from 6pm-7pm for the VIP reception and 7pm to 10pm for All Access at Goose Island BrewPub Wrigleyville, 3535 N. Clark – a great unofficial start to Chicago’s Oktoberfest.

The event will bring together beer enthusiasts to sample hand crafted, high end beers from over 12 of the Midwest’s finest vendors. These include Flatlander’s, Flossmoor Station, Goose Island, Gordon Biersch, Govnor’s Public House, Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, Peak Organic Brewery, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Summit Brewery, Trumer Brauerei, Two Brothers & Walter Payton’s Roundhouse.

Tickets are $50 for regular entry and $75 for the VIP reception. Included in the ticket price are all you can eat heavy appetizers and unlimited beer tastings. This event also features silent and live auctions, Towers of Beer raffles and a live band – “The Balance”. Come out and “Cure What Ales Ya!” For more information and to purchase tickets online please go to or call 312-236-4491 ext. 114.

This 21 and over event is hosted by the Young Professional Leadership Committee and presented by Goose Island BrewPub Wrigleyville. FESTIV-ALE still has partnerships available if your company is interested please call 312-236-4491 ext. 114.

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nonprofit donor-supported organization, is to assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.
For further information about cystic fibrosis go to

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Fitger Brewing Company Makes The National Register Of Historic Buildings

Posted by Bob Skilnik on August 13, 2008

Fitzger Brewery

Fitzger Brewery

Quick Description: This is the Fitger Brewing Company complex in Duluth, MN – listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Building #84001690. The first refrigerator machine in the state of Minnesota was installed at this brewery in 1890.

A beautiful and maintained pre-Prohibition brewery. I love it!

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

Republican Convention Beers

Posted by Bob Skilnik on August 11, 2008

Flat Earth Brewing's Convention Ale

Flat Earth Brewing's Convention Ale

In the interest of being fair & balanced (cough, cough), here’s a link to what some brewers in the  Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area will be brewing up for the Republican conventioneers.

Contrary to reports, there will be no McCain’s Older Than Dirt aged barleywine available.

Dems beer line-up here.

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CNN’s 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Posted by Bob Skilnik on August 11, 2008

An interesting interactive “poster” of 99 beers from CNN, including 14 beers no longer in production.

It’s play time!

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

Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Burger Made From Bacon

Posted by Bob Skilnik on August 5, 2008

I was surfing for some decent beer-batter recipes and I came across this burger recipe that defies…well, it just defies.

I had dreams of the old Saturday Night Live “Superfans” skits with George Wendt, Chris Farley, et. al., Farley ironically pounding his chest to jump-start his heart after one more heart attack. This is the “hamburger” recipe that will have everyone pounding their collective chests, just by reading the recipe, let alone sliding it down. It comes from Peppers and Smoke, via A Hamburger Today.

This stuffed version appears to be a “refinement” from a standard Burger Made of Ground Bacon over at Serious Eats. While the “beer” connection is due to the addition of a boxed beer-batter mix, I suspect that any one of these recipes might seem really appealing after hitting hard on a fat blunt—forget the beer, but I digress.

If you’re too lazy to click over to A Hamburger Today (hey, put down that blunt!) for this recipe monster, I present to you, The Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Burger. I’d suggest an ice cold malt liquor to accompany this baby. Let’s cut the pretense of pairing this with something like a Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA. Peppers and Smoke suggest a Shiner Bock and frankly, that would be a nice beer for this. Not complicated, but just a nice beer with some maltiness to cut through this monstrosity.

How-To: Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Cheeseburgers Made From Bacon (Pics Here)



  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 to 2 sticks mozzarella string cheese, cut into small pieces
  • Packaged beer-batter mix
  • A neutral-flavored oil, for frying (safflower oil, peanut oil, or vegetable shortening work well)
  • Your favorite hamburger bun
  • The cheese of your choice
  • The condiments of your choice


1. Run the bacon through the meat grinder once—and then a second time, to evenly distribute fat and meat.

2. Form two equal-size patties, making an indentation in the center of one to hold the cheese. Place the cheese in the indentation of the bottom patty, cover with the top patty, and crimp the edges tightly to seal. Make sure seal is tight so cheese does not leak out.

3. Place oil in your deep-fryer, and allow it to come to frying temperature. If you don’t have a deep-fryer, use a stockpot with a boil basket, along with a deep-fry thermometer that clips to the side. Heat oil over high heat to 365°F. (Note: Depending on the oil, it will begin to burn between 400 and 450°F and will catch fire around 500°F. So be very careful to monitor temperature.) Once the oil reaches 365°F, reduce heat to low and monitor temperature, keeping oil at 365°F.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the beer-batter mix according to package instructions. Dredge patty in mix. Place patty in boil basket and lower gently into hot oil. Cook until patty’s internal temperature registers 160°F on a meat thermometer.

5. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels. Serve on bun, topped with the cheese and condiments of your choice. (Note: Be careful not to bite into this too soon after cooking. The molten cheese could deliver quite a scalding.)

Posted in Beer In Food, Food That Demands To Be Paired With Beer, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »