Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Archive for the ‘Plugs’ Category

If I like it, I’ll let others know. Buy me a beer and we’ll be friends for life (and I just might plug your product again).

Local Author Talks To CBS News About Low-Cal Beers

Posted by Bob Skilnik on April 12, 2010

I received an unexpected call from a very pleasant Kristyn Hartman at WBBM Chicago to pontificate about low-calorie/carbohydrate beers while also getting in a plug for “Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer? Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers” and BEER: A History of Brewing in Chicago” (BRAND SPANKING NEW, $14.99 and signed by me, with orders fulfilled and shipped by Amazon —Seller name:—toddlintown—since I’m getting lazier as the days go bye and busy with my first granddaughter Norah).

Check out the story and then take a look at the video on the right side of the page.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…There’s enough interests in the viewers/listeners of the Chicagoland area for a regularly scheduled look at beer, the brewing industry and beer info in general. A producer/director at WTTW brought it up once to me after an appearance on Chicago Tonight, but nothing happened. The Chicago Tribune stated emphatically that a poll they took sometime ago indicated that readers wanted updates on wine but not beer.

The funny thing with a statement like this, however, is the response that I receive after local radio, TV or print exposure when I’m asked to discuss any aspect of beer or brewing; in this latest example, the CBS 2 Chicago video stayed in the 1st place (most viewed) position for a little over 32 hours. It was a nice, well-edited and light-hearted two minute look at a product that vastly overwhelms wine in national sales and interests.

I also like wine, but I still can’t get over the media feedback that I’ve received over the last decade that repeatedly “indicates” more viewer/listener/readership in wine versus beer. Is it just me that feels that there’s a media bias against beer? Is beer or brewery industry news assumed to be too unsophisticated to be reported on as a regular feature and instead beer-themed story skimmed off the slush pile of topics to be used as filler when “news” is a little slow?


Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer & Health, Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, beer diet, Beer Nutritional Info, calories in beer, carbohydrates in beer, Malt Beverage Nutritional Info, Plugs, Video Beer Reviews | Leave a Comment »

Diabetics Given New Hope with Book Offering Thousands of Beer Choices That Reveal Their Calories, Carbs and Alcohol Content

Posted by Bob Skilnik on April 8, 2009

While Diabetes Associations Suggest Switching to Drinks That Are Lower in Alcohol and Sugar, Current Labeling Laws Fail to Provide Needed Information


 Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER? Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers

Chicago, Ill. (PRWEB) April 8, 2009 — Gambrinus Media announced today that “Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER? Nutritional Values of 2,000 Worldwide Beers” (ISBN-13: 978-0982218204, $10) is now available in book stores and Internet book sites. The valuable information provided in the paperback book can be used by diabetics under the supervision of their physicians, dieters counting calories or carbohydrates or beer drinkers who simply want to know the nutritional values of what they are drinking. Currently, this kind of information is only available on the federally-mandated nutrition facts labels of light or low-carbohydrate beers.

Tired of waiting for the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to implement transparency in alcohol nutrition labeling requirements, author Bob Skilnik has compiled an impressive array of beers, including popular imports and crafts, with their nutritional values.

“At the moment, individual states determine whether or not the alcoholic strength of a beer can be displayed on containers or advertising materials. If you’re looking for carbohydrate or calorie content on your favorite beers, forget it. You won’t find it, no matter what state you’re in. Suggestions by leading diabetes organizations to seek out beers with less alcohol and carbohydrates are meaningless if that information is not made readily available to consumers.”

A few years ago, the TTB, the federal agency that controls labeling requirements for alcoholic beverages, opened up a comment campaign for a possible new labeling design that drew over 18,000 comments concerning the proposed addition of a nutrition facts label on all alcoholic beverages, similar to what’s found on most packaged foodstuffs. About 96 percent of the comments received by the agency demonstrated a strong wanting for nutritional labeling on all alcoholic products.

“The brewing industry is currently rushing gluten-free beers to store shelves for those beer drinkers who rank among the 2 million Americans who suffer from Celiac Disease, a condition that can damage the intestines due to intolerance to gluten, a protein found in various grains such as barley. Other breweries are trying to capture the even smaller niche of those drinkers looking for ‘organic’ beers. In the meantime, almost 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes, a huge demographic in an otherwise flat market that finally has the opportunity to enjoy a beer or two with a meal or snack, empowered by the information provided in ‘Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER? Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers’ while under the supervision of their physician, dietician or nutritionist.”

Bob Skilnik is a certified brewer and freelance writer. He’s been a contributor to the Good Eating Section of the Chicago Tribune and a former columnist for the LowCarb Energy magazine. The Chicago writer has appeared on ABC’s “The View,” ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza,” Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Live,” and Chicagoland print, radio and television outlets, preaching the moderate consumption and nutritional aspects of adult beverages. Skilnik is currently working on a similar nutritional research project with wine for late summer publication. More information can be found at “Drink Healthy, Drink Smart” (

“Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER? Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers” is distributed by Ingram Book Group, the world’s largest wholesale distributor of book products. With four distribution centers strategically located throughout the country and the largest inventory in the industry, Ingram provides the fastest delivery available.


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Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer & Health, Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info, Book Reviews, Books & Beer, calories in beer, carbohydrates in beer, Malt Beverage Nutritional Info, Plugs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?’ Book Details Nutritional Values of 2,000 Worldwide Beers

Posted by Bob Skilnik on February 18, 2009

(PRWEB) February 18, 2009 — Gambrinus Media announced today that “Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?: Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers” (ISBN-13: 978-0982218204, $10) is now available in book stores and Internet book sites. Author Bob Skilnik has compiled an impressive array of beers, including popular imports, with their nutritional values. Frustrated by the bureaucratic pace of the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to react to consumer demand and implement new changes in alcohol nutrition labeling requirements, Skilnik contacted brewing industry sources for the kind of nutritional information that might one day be found on the containers of all alcoholic beverages. The result of his research has become a paperback reference book that can be used by dieters counting calories or carbohydrates or by beer drinkers who simply want to know the nutritional values of their favorite brews. Currently, this sort of information is only available on light or low-carbohydrate beers.

Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?
Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?

“Even if the TTB gave the drink trade the O.K. to add nutrition fact labels to their products tomorrow, the agency would still temper their decision with a 3-year lag period before making it mandatory. To prove a point to critics who say that this kind of consumer-friendly information is unnecessary on adult beverages and to quiet down my doctor who said that my 300-pound body needed a thorough downsizing, I began a weight loss program that included the moderate consumption of my favorite beers, using the nutritional information that breweries have provided me,” says the still shrinking Skilnik.

Story Continues

Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer & Health, Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, beer diet, Beer Nutritional Info, calories in beer, carbohydrates in beer, Plugs | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tales From “Beer & Food: An American History”

Posted by Bob Skilnik on December 28, 2008

     In the last decade or so, there has been an explosion of new beer-themed cookbooks that have either attempted to pair up food with various styles of beer or use beer as an ingredient in its preparation. The craft beer movement and its impact in reawakening the brewing of styles of beer that had long been forgotten in the United States seems to have had a strong influence on the authors of these cookbooks. Though many of the recipes that have been created in the last few years have ambitiously tried to match these forgotten beer styles with various foods, the efforts often seem too esoteric for my taste, too demanding of my time and certainly not of common everyday fare.

A cedar-planked wild salmon matched with a highly-hopped pale ale sounds delicious on a restaurant menu but way beyond the sort of entrée one might whip-up at home. Let’s face it, there are few home cooks who have a supply of untreated cedar boards stored away or have ready access to wild salmon for this sort of a dish. And what would be a proposed vegetable accompaniment to such an entrée? Suggestions in the latest beer cookbooks might include the steamed, young tender shoots of the hop vine, similar, so we’re told, to the springtime harvest of asparagus. My local supermarket doesn’t carry young hop shoots. Does yours? Since supermarket asparagus continues to be flown in from God-knows-where and priced at $3.99 to $4.99 per pound in late December, imagine what a price of hop shoots would cost, if they could even be found.

As we look at the evolution of the use of beer in American food recipes, I hope to convince readers that beer, the drink of the common man, might be more appropriate and more user-friendly in less esoteric culinary excursions. After reading through a number of contemporary beer & food cookbooks, I couldn’t stop from thinking, “What ever happened to the old simple recipe of soaking bratwurst overnight in beer and then throwing them on the grill?”

        Initially in a search for simpler recipes of food using beer, I decided instead to begin by looking back at the roots of American cookery and its use of beer as an ingredient, to discover when the marriage of food and beer really took hold in our country’ s colonial kitchens. Using food recipes from some of the earliest American cookbooks through an assortment of recipes from the publications of pre and post-Prohibition breweries that have long past into oblivion, I have gathered, edited and tested a generous collection of old tried-and-true attempts at bringing together American food and beer.

American Food Meets American Beer

A number of well intentioned individuals have sent me scores of purported recipes using beer in food from Medieval times and earlier during my early research efforts, but I have chosen instead to use nothing more than published recipes from American sources. My avoidance of European cookbooks is deliberate, an acknowledgment of the chasm that developed in the late 1790s between cookbooks using English-styled recipes and ingredients and the first publication of a true American cookbook in 1796, written by an American using ingredients indigenous to the New World. With the beginnings of a uniquely American cuisine (actually a fusion of the best and most practical recipes from English cuisine) runs the parallel development of the United States brewing industry.

Like early American cooking efforts, early brewers also utilized indigenous ingredients for their brews. Amelia Simmons’ ground-breaking American Cookery, or The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes….Adapted to this Country and All Grades of Life, makes no mention of beer or ale using the customary malted barley in any of her food recipes but does give instructions for the brewing of “spruce beer” and the use of “emptins” to leaven bread, a fermenting mixture of wild hops and starch. The lactic but leavening quality of this mixture was usually aided with the addition of saleratus, a naturally forming white crystalline substance having a sweetening alkaline quality, used like today’s baking soda. With the chemical reaction of the alkaline saleratus and the sour or lactic quality of a home made yeast, a leavening effect was assured. This homemade yeast starter, more a staple of forced necessity than choice, was a virtual cauldron of unpredictability, an aspect of fermentation that also plagued early commercial brewing efforts.

The preparation of spruce beer and the use of emptins in the kitchen hint at the widespread lack of high grade English malt or reliable brewing yeasts in many parts of the colonies, at least before the Revolutionary War. To a degree, this regression in brewing is startling. During the 1600s, settlements in the New Netherland and New England colonies had actually developed more than the semblance of a brewing industry in the Americas. Excessive taxation by local politicians of commercial beer and the abundance of cheap imported West Indies rum had caused the young American brewing industry to retreat to colonial households.

G. Thomman, in his 1909 book, American Beer, Glimpses of Its History and Description of Its Manufacture notes that good quality ingredients for brewing in the colonies were often difficult to attain during this era.

“…at one time the importation of malt was forbidden, in order to stimulate domestic malting; yet, within a short time thereafter, the malting of domestic wheat, rye and barley was prohibited on account of the scarcity of these cereals. At another time, a desire to encourage the exportation of wheat led to the enactment of a law imposing upon a brewers a fine of ten shillings for every bushel of wheat used in brewing. Ordinances encouraging brewing by exempting beer from taxation were counteracted in their contemplated effects by regulations prescribing the quality and fixing the price of malt liquors without regard to the increased cost of materials and production.”


By the late 1600s, even New York and Pennsylvania, where the brewing industry had flourished, fell into disrepair, though a few breweries continued to operate in Philadelphia, brewing quality porters and other ales. The widespread result of excessive taxation of beer and the lack of good quality brewing materials brought about not only a hodgepodge of unpalatable home brews using indigenous American ingredients such as corn, ginger, molasses or sassafras, but also a lack of readily available sources of good quality “barm,” or brewer’s yeast. Without this catalyst for fermentation, it often became difficult to make either a palatable home brew or a consistent supply of commercial malt beverages for those few breweries that still attempted to ply their trade.

The use of brewer’s yeast in households to leaven bread would eventually become a practice that would establish itself in the early 1800s of American home and commercial baking when, not coincidentally, the brewing industry began to regroup and expand.

Small Beer

            This is not to say that beer was completely lacking in the colonies during the Revolutionary War era. Victor S. Clark in his History of Manufactures in the United States talks of the humble retreat of the American brewing industry.

            “When the Constitution was adopted many housewives still brewed small beer for their families, and for fifty years thereafter numerous village breweries continued in operation with an equipment and a volume of business hardly exceeding those of a village bakery…”


            This “small beer” that Clark speaks of was a weak brew, meant to be consumed almost immediately after it was brewed. Its lower alcoholic strength, and oftentimes lack in the brew of hops with their preservative qualities, necessitated quick consumption since the proper sanitation of brewing equipment and storage vessels and the chemistry involved in making a proper beer were sorely lacking. The unpredictability of a successful batch of beer was based on an all too common reliance on wild yeasts to activate the fermentation. Most household yeast starters were filled with the wild yeast qualities of Saccharomyces exiguus and Lactobacillus bacteria. More often than not, these two critters would win the battle for survival in the young brew even if the beer-making Saccaromyces cerevisae yeast was present. This unpredictable blending of yeasts was just the right mixture of mischievous fungi for setting off the leavening of sourdough bread, the deliberate (though more often than not, accidental) making of vinegar and the occasional batch of good-quality beer.

The result was often a spoiled batch of beer or one that could turn quickly, whether brewed at home or in the few commercial breweries of the era. If consumed quickly, however, there was the chance that the wild yeasts that had caused the fermentation to occur did not have time enough to completely spoil the brew, fended off, perhaps, by the valiant efforts of a particularly determined colony of Saccaromyces cerevisaeyeast. In other words, early brewing efforts were often a crapshoot, an example of brewing being more of an art then a science.

American cookbooks of this era and beyond occasionally used “sour beer” as an ingredient in recipes, also described as stale beer. Lydia Maria Francis Child in The Frugal Housewife: Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy, Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1830, suggested the addition of soured beer as a substitution for wine in stew-like dishes, either liquid ingredient having the necessary acidity to tenderize meat. Another mention of what to do with sour beer can be found in another recipe in her book for making batter for fritters or pancakes. Many contemporary batter recipes using beer still call for flat beer, a reflection of its earliest use when beer soured and was often left devoid of any natural carbonation. The call for flat beer for batters in today’s cookbooks serve no purpose different than the usage of carbonated beer; it merely is a holdover from the days of an abundance of flat beer. Waste not, want not — but contemporary recipe book authors merely reflect a centuries-old practice, unaware of why flat beer is called for.

If the household supply of beer had soured beyond all hope, Child’s book also suggested a mixture of the beer, molasses, water and a vinegar starter, all of which could be added to the family’s never-ending barrel of homemade vinegar. Not only did this practice illustrate the reality of beer turning bad on a regular basis but also Ms. Child’s and the early American settlers’ frugal philosophy of “waste not, want not.” It’s no wonder that some early American breweries also sidelined as vinegar purveyors. What better way to profit from a failed batch of beer!

            A manuscript of George Washington’s writings includes this recipe for small beer.


“Take a large Siffer [Sifter] of Bran…Hops to your Taste—Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a Cooler  put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Molasses into the Cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot.  Let this stand till it is a little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t  if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask—leave the Bung [Stopper] open till it almost don[e] Working—Bottle it that day Week it was brewed.”


            The unknown variables in this recipe for beer by President Washington would be frightening for any modern-day brewer, a mention of sanitation procedures and the quality of the yeast strain lacking in Washington’s brewing instructions. It’s a wonder whether the father of our country was a better brewer or maker of vinegar!


Don’t Go Near the Water

            If the brewing of beer was such a crapshoot, with the final product often destined to succumb to spoilage, why did early Americans even bother to brew? More than likely, the reason was poor quality water, or more accurately, the perception of bad, unpotable water. Now this might seem an odd notion considering the pristine rivers, babbling streams and crystal clear bodies of water that the early settlers surely came upon in the New World. Immigrants, however, had seen what polluted water could do to a once healthy person in the Old World. Diseases like typhoid and dysentery were common in built up areas such as established European cities and large villages. Though the concept of bacteria and its connection to hygiene were yet unknown, there was an almost inherent knowledge, shared from the educated lawmaker to the lowly peasant that the consumption of water seemed to foster disease.

Little wonder why. By the 1700s, many European waters were already polluted with human waste. Add to that the run off from tanneries and slaughterhouses and other industries that found the local rivers and lakes to be ideal dumping grounds for the unwanted by-products of their industrial efforts.

            When settlers arrived in the New World, their wariness of drinking any water was understandable. However, by boiling water and getting an infusion of fermentables from ingredients such as spruce, corn, barley or bran, as Washington’s beer recipe shows, the people of the Colonists era sensed that boiling was critical in insuring a healthy drink. It’s no wonder that beer, hot cocoa drinks, tea, and later coffee, all had the common element of using boiled water. Even potions such as rum toddies, oftentimes diluted with water, were finalized before consumption with the insertion of a glowing red poker to stir the concoction and heat the drink to a frothy boil.


Strong Beer

            There are recorded instances, however, of the higher-strength “strong beer” or “ship’s beer” also being used in some early American food recipes. In the these instances, the brew could be used in the place of a fortified Madeira, but for the most part, the strongest beers were sought out by the landed gentry who could afford them and stored away with the household’s supply of expensive wines. In other words, they were meant to be savored by beer drinkers as intended and not necessarily as a cooking ingredient. These beers were typically imported from England and brewed using quality malts and more reliable yeast strains and astringently hopped for a preservative effect. Strong beer’s use in early recipes, however, does occasionally show up in cookbooks of this era.


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 shallot, some pepper and half a nutmeg grated. Covet 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.

Susannah Carter, The Frugal Housewife: Or, Complete Woman Cook; Wherein the Art of Dressing All Sorts of Liands is Explained in Upwards of Five Hundred Approved Receipts New York, Printed and sold by G. & R. Waite, no. 64, Maidenlane, 1803



Expansion of the Brewing Industry

As the country continued to develop and expand, a number of things occurred that reinstigated the brewing of beer on a commercial scale, limiting the need for home brewing and even the necessity of small rural taverns to simultaneously act as boarding rooms, eateries, stables and ersatz breweries. Although normal trade relations with Englandwere interrupted again with the War of 1812, and with it, the importation of good quality English malt, the growing of native barley as a cash crop had increased substantially in the states to fill the void of imported brewing grains. This indigenous grain of six-row barley, along with the deliberate cultivation of the wild hops that could be found in the rural areas of much of the East Coast, brought together the necessary ingredients to make a qualffable beer.

One of the first brewers’ of note during the expansion of the early American brewing industry was Matthew Vassar. This brewer shrugged off the destruction by fire of his brewery in 1811 and restarted his brewing business soon after. Although his initial efforts amounted to no more than the brewing of three barrels of beer at a time, the reputation of his products gave him enough capital to open up a saloon in the basement of the Poughkeepsie, New York courthouse to sell his products. Vassar is more well-known for his later founding of Vassar College, but for our purposes, it is interesting to note that he also was responsible for introducing oysters to the beer drinkers of Poughkeepsie, years before the philanthropist provided the capital for the institution of an all-womans’ college. I’m still amazed at beer enthusiasts today who gush over the notion of pairing a dark beer with oysters when the practice had bee commonplace for centuries. An absolutely delightful book about the importance of the American oyster trade, centered around New York City, is Mark Kurlansky’s “The Big Oyster,” History of the Half Shell. Stopping in the many “oyster saloons” in New York for a dozen freshly-schucked oysters and washing them down with beer was a common indulgence.

His father, James, also a brewer, had a reputation years earlier for brewing quality ales, milds, porters and small beers, as well as the selling of “skimmings” or yeasty barm to families for the use in baking products. Those families that had access to brewery yeast found that it helped to make a good quality leavened bread.

This bread recipe below also takes advantage of corn meal, often called “Indian meal” or simply “Indian” in early American cookbooks.


Rye and Indian Bread

Sift two quarts of rye, and two quarts of Indian meal, and mix them well together. Boil three pints of milk; pour in boiling hot upon the meal; add two teaspoonfuls of salt, and stir the whole very hard. Let it stand till it becomes of only a lukewarm heat, and then stir in half a pint of good fresh yeast; if from the brewery and quite fresh, a smaller quantity will suffice. Knead the mixture into stiff dough, and set it to rise in a pan. Cover it with a thick cloth that has been previously warmed, and set it near the fire. When it is quite light, and has cracked all over the top, make it into two loaves, put them into a moderate oven, and bake them two hours and a half.

Esther Allen Howland, The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book, Cincinnati: H.W. Derby, 1845


By the early 1800s, however, the brewing of good quality ale had once again become more common place, especially in regions where German immigrants had settled. Pennsylvania was particularly noted as the leading brewing center of the United States during the first few decades of the nineteenth century, with New York, Massachusetts and Maryland adding to the beginnings of large scale brewing in America. By 1850, four hundred and thirty-one breweries accounted for 23,267,730 gallons of beer, and with it, a more common source of brewer’s yeast for baking.


The Temperance Effect on Cooking

Part of this expansion of the American brewing trade was a result of the inadvertent influence of the early temperance movement to steer imbibers to the lower-strength malted beverages. This movement was a reaction to the free-wheeling countryside bootlegging of whiskey and the importation of cheap rum into the U.S. At the time, drunkenness was a problem in the states, especially in the rural areas where a bumper crop of bulky corn could be easily mashed and distilled into the more portable and potent American whiskey. Though whiskey could be used as a bartering tool in the back woods and farm lands where money was scarce, it was also subject to abuse by settlers during the downtime of the winter months. Various government efforts were made to convert whiskey drinkers to the less inebriating enjoyment of malted beverages. By the 1880s, beer, or more specifically, lager beer, would indeed take over in popularity as the drink of the common man. Unfortunately, decades later, U.S. brewers, boastful creators of the resultant “drink of moderation,” would also find themselves targeted by both advocates of temperance and the more forceful prohibition movement.

In a reflection of the times, this first wave of American temperance in the 1830s was not only exhibited in the development of “dry” organizations such as the Washingtonian Movement and its Total Abstinence Society, ironically conceived in a Baltimore tippling house by a group of repentant drunks, but also in some cookbooks of the era. The dedication page of Ann Allen’s The Housekeeper’s Assistant, Composed Upon Temperance Principles: With Instructions In The Art of Making Plain And Fancy Cakes, Puddings, Pastry, Confectionery, Ice Creams, Jellies, Blanc Mange: Also, For The Cooking Of All The Various Kinds of Meats…, Boston, J. Munroe, 1845, preaches to readers that the “authoress” has dedicated the book to the temperance movement and hints of the apparent use of liquor [most likely including beer] in everyday cooking. In the dedication, Allen vows that she does not use alcoholic drinks “…as a beverage or in cookery.”

By the 1840s, as some states started to wrestle with the gradual move from the softer-stanced temperance movement and towards the harsher prohibition of the manufacture and consumption of all alcoholic drinks, a new type of beer would come on to the American scene, one that would change the history of the United States brewing industry and begin to seal the relationship between food and beer.


Food Recipes of the pre-Lager Era

There are various example of yeast recipes for home baking during the years before lager beer, some using the very American pumpkin as a fermentable yeast starter, bran, indigenous white potatoes and the chancy emptins concoction, as described earlier. The following recipe for a yeast starter utilized malt from a local brewery and, though it’s not explicitly stated here, probably also utilized a sample of good quality yeast from the same brewery. The publication of this cookbook in 1840 by Eliza Leslie reflected the growing, and for many, the more familiar sight of a local brewery in the immediate area. Yeast starter recipes for the next few decades usually recommend picking up either malt or yeast barm from a brewery, a luxury the household cook couldn’t envision from the colonial era until the early to mid-1830s or so.

Also note the addition of pearl ash in the yeast to counteract the inevitable souring of the starter that sat around a little bit too long. Potash, as it’s more commonly known today, was originally obtained from wood ashes and used to counteract the eventual lactic qualities of a yeast starter with its alkaline properties. Its usage was similar to that of saleratus.

Also note that by the time of this recipe book’s publication in 1840, molasses had become an everyday-cooking ingredient, this New World sweetener having replaced the once traditional English treacle in U.S. cooking usage.


Baker’s Yeast

To a gallon of soft water, put two quarts of wheat bran, one quart of ground malt (which may be obtained from a brewery), and two handfuls of hops. Boil them together for half an hour. Then strain it through a sieve, and let it stand till it is cold; after which put in two large tea-cups of molasses, and half a pint of strong yeast. Pour it into a stone jug, and let it stand uncorked till next morning. Then pour off the thin liquid from the top, and cork the jug tightly. When you are going to use this yeast, if it has been made two or three days, stir in a little pearl-ash dissolved in warm water, allowing a lump the size of a hickory-nut to a pint of yeast. This will correct any tendency to sourness, and make the yeast more brisk.


Eliza Leslie, Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches. Philadelphia: E.L. Carey & Hart, 1840


Though many of the soup/stew-type recipes of the late 1700s and early 1800s call for the addition of Madiera, red wine or, as a last resort, sour beer, as a tenderizing ingredient, this soup is an example of the much rarer use of ale, simply as a flavoring component.

Asparagus Soup

Take five or six pounds of lean beef, cut into lumps and rolled in flour; put into your stew-pan, with two or three slices of fat bacon at the bottom; then put over a slow fire, and cover it close, stirring it now and then till the gravy is drawn: then put in it two quarts of water and half a pint of ale. Cover it close, and let it stew gently for an hour with some whole pepper, and salt to your mind; then strain off the liquor, and take off the fat; put in the leaves of white beets, some spinach, some cabbage, lettuce, a little mint, some sorrel, and a little sweet marjoram powdered; [after removing fat from the gravy, pour back into the stew] let these boil up in your liquor, then put in the green tops of asparagus cut small, and let them boil till all is tender. Serve it up hot, with a French roll in the middle.


Susannah Carter. 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… New York, Printed and sold by G. & R. Waite, no. 64, Maidenlane, 1803



            Below is another example of ale being used for flavoring, not as a tenderizer. Note that this recipe specifically calls for “…good table beer.”



To Make a Craw Fish Soup


Cleanse them [the crawfish], and boil them in water, salt and spice: pull off their feet and tails, and fry them [the crawfish, not the feet and tails]; break the rest of them [the feet and tails] in a stone mortar, season them with savory spice, and an onion, a hard egg, grated bread, and sweet herbs boiled in good table beer; strain it, and put to it scalded chopped parsley, and French rolls; then put in the fried craw fish, with a few mushrooms. Garnish the dish with sliced lemon, and the feet and tail of a craw fish.


Susannah Carter. 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… New York, Printed and sold by G. & R. Waite, no. 64, Maidenlane, 1803




            Though we’ll see numerous interpretations of stew using beer as an ingredient throughout the book, this early recipe holds up well throughout the scores of stew recipes of the next two centuries. Note, however, that red wine is the first choice as an ingredient, not beer.

Burnt or dried bread is often called for in early gravy-based dishes to thicken the sauce.


To Stew Beef

Take four pounds of stewing beef, with the hard fat of brisket beef cut in pieces; put these into a stew-pan with three pints of water, a little salt, pepper, dried marjorum powdered and three cloves. Cover the pan very close and let it stew four hours over a slow fire. Then throw into it as much turnips and carrots cut into square pieces, as you think convenient; and the white part of a large leek, two heads of celery shred fine, a crust of bread burnt, and half a pint of red wine (or good small beer will do as well). Then pour it all into a soup-dish and serve it up hot, garnish with boiled and slice carrot.


Susannah Carter. 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… New York, Printed and sold by G. & R. Waite, no. 64, Maidenlane, 1803




Dutch Cakes


Take five pounds of flour, two ounces of caraway seeds, half a pound of sugar, and something more than a pint of milk, put into it three quarters of a pound of butter, then make a hole in the middle of the flour, and put in a full pint of good ale-yeast: pour in the butter and milk, and make these into a paste, letting it stand a quarter of an hour before the fire to rise; then mould it, and roll into cakes pretty thin; prick them all over pretty much, or they will blister, and bake them a quarter of an hour.


Susannah Carter. 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… New York, Printed and sold by G. & R. Waite, no. 64, Maidenlane, 1803


Read More In Beer & Food: An American History


“The first book that gives a historical look at why beer and food are truly partners in today’s kitchens.”  —John R. Hall, president, Goose Island Beer Company
“Kudos to Bob Skilnik for creating this absorbing and informative resource.”  —Keith Lemcke, marketing manager, World Brewing Academy
“This enjoyable read merits a pint of your favorite ale by your side, so you may sip and browse throughout!”  —Lucy Saunders, editor,, and author, Grilling with Beer
“A tasty history, from beer soup to Beer Nuts, with pickled pigs’ feet in between.”  —Don Russell, a.k.a. “Joe Sixpack,” beer reporter, Philadelphia Daily News




Posted in Beer & Food Pairings, Beer And Food Pairing, Beer History, Beer In Food, Book Reviews, Books & Beer, Cooking With Beer, Food History, Food That Demands To Be Paired With Beer, Plugs | 2 Comments »

A Beer Book For ALL Seasons!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on December 16, 2008

Greetings Beer Lover!                                                         

Order by December 17th for Christmas delivery!

Order by December 17th for Christmas delivery!

The holidays are coming and it’s time for our favorite beers of the season: Christmas Beer & Winter Warmers.
I have two great bits of news for you:


“Christmas Beer: The Tastiest, The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews” is here. It’s the first-ever book devoted to these seasonal favorites. Find it at a bookstore near you, or order your copy through

The first Philadelphia Christmas Beer Festival is coming Dec. 27th. Held at the beautiful Penn Museum, it’s your chance to enjoy more than 50 of these great seasonal beers.

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Know How To Drink Alcohol While Building Muscle and Losing Fat

Posted by Bob Skilnik on November 25, 2008

Gimme a beer!
Gimme a beer!

Article moved to

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Ben Franklin, Bob Skilnik and Colonial Spirits

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 29, 2008

Ben Franklin; What He DIDN'T Say About Beer!

Ben Franklin; What He DIDN'T Say about Beer!

Ben and Colonial Spirits
2-3:30pm, Sun., Nov. 2





Bob Skilnik, Chicago’s beer historian, discusses the beers and ales favored by Franklin and the Founding Fathers even during their informal political discussions.

                   Columbus, Ohio Brewery Issues First T-Shirt Recall in The Nation
Elevator Brewing Company Owner Will Replace Historically Inaccurate Ben Franklin T-Shirts


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Bitch Creek ESB Takes GABF Silver Medal in the American Brown Ale Category

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 22, 2008




430 Old Jackson Hole Highway    Victor, ID  83455

208.787.9000 (phone)    208.787.4114 (fax)



Contact: Chuck Nowicki, National Sales Manager

(208) 787-9000


October 17, 2008




VICTOR, ID – In its 20th year, Grand Teton Brewing Company, known throughout the West for their exceptional microbrews, has won another medal with their legendary Bitch Creek ESB. At this year’s prestigious Great American Beer Festival, Bitch Creek found itself in familiar territory, once again standing on the podium, this time with a silver medal in the American Brown Ale category.


Over the last few years, Bitch Creek ESB has become dominant at the highest level of beer competitions.  This spring it won a medal at the World Beer Cup in only its 2nd appearance.  During this summer’s North American Beer Awards, it repeated last year’s Gold Medal performance. This makes for five medals in five years at the NABA.  At the Great American Beer Festival, this year’s win represents four medals in five years, including two Gold Medals. To win consistently at this level requires a truly superior brew.


Bitch Creek ESB perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full-bodied, satisfying mahogany ale.  Like the creek for which it’s named, Bitch Creek ESB is complex, full of character and not for the timid.


The success of Bitch Creek has not gone unnoticed.  Record numbers of beer drinkers have been calling, visiting and emailing the brewery wanting more distribution.  Many have gotten their wish fulfilled this year!  This summer alone Grand Teton Brewing Co. has added distributors in New York, Idaho, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Missouri and Kansas. Grand Teton Brewing has even released a Double Bitch Creek in its renowned Cellar Reserve Series of beers.


Celebrating 20 years this year, Grand Teton Brewing Company was founded in 1988 as the first modern “micro” brewery in the state of Wyoming.  Today, founder Charlie Otto and his company are in the top 100 craft breweries in North America.  Premium microbrews include the award-winning Bitch Creek ESB, Sweetgrass IPA, Workhorse Wheat and the favorites of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Old Faithful Ale (pale golden), Au Naturale (organic blonde ale) and Teton Ale (amber).  From their production facility in Victor, Idaho, Grand Teton Brewing Company beers are hand-crafted from only the finest ingredients, including locally-grown grains and pure Teton mountain spring water.  GTBC is a green company utilizing bio-diesel and feeding local farmer’s cattle with spent grain from the brew kettle.  Discriminating beer drinkers can find their favorite GTBC brews on tap and in bottles throughout Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Washington and Oregon, with limited distribution in New York and Minnesota!








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Advertise In “Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?” Tell Your Customers You Care

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 19, 2008



Reference Book Contains the Nutritional Values of 2,000 Worldwide Beers, Complete With Calorie and Carbohydrate Content, Alcohol by Volume and Weight Watchers® Points – Valuable Reference Guide for Anyone on Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach or a Lifestyle of Moderation

CHICAGO, IL – October 20, 2008 /PR Web/ — Gambrinus Media announced today that “Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?” (ISBN Pending, $12.95) will soon be heading to bookstores. Author Bob Skilnik continues his exploration of beer and nutrition, following on the success of his three earlier books, “The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet: A Low-Carbohydrate Approach,” “The Low Carb Bartender” and “101 Ways to Cut Fat and Carbs.” This 3-pack of books has placed Skilnik on the national scene with appearances on ABC’s “The View,” ESPN’s former morning show, “Cold Pizza” and multiple appearances on the FOX News Channel. His experiences have also shown him that there’s a huge and growing segment of beer drinkers who want expanded nutritional information on the labels of their favorite brews. According to Skilnik, with the coming of his new beer reference book of over 2,000 beers with their nutritional values, they won’t have long to wait.


While the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) grapples with the demand for nutritional labeling requirements of alcoholic beverages, “Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?” will provide the kind of information that beer drinkers want now. The TTB admits that whenever they can come to a labeling compromise that will lessen the financial burden on the brewing industry with new imposed labeling standards and satisfy consumer advocacy groups which have been pushing this approach for decades, it will still take a 3-year lag period before mandates kick in. Actual projections of 4 to 5 years before consumers can finally find this kind of detailed nutritional information on beer labels are expected by consumer groups and the brewing industry. But the author and certified brewer Skilnik says “Why wait?”


“With the help of breweries around the world, including a number of popular U.S. microbreweries, “Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?” will provide solid information on the nutritive values of more than 2,000 worldwide beers. Brewers can further help this effort by contacting us with the necessary production information of their beer portfolios for last minute inclusion. This is not a diet book, but will give customers more information about their favorite beers. Informed customers might pass by a 50-stack display, just because a competitor took the time to contact our office with the information we need for this book. Owners from craft breweries like Abita, Alaskan, Flying Dog, Full Sail, Sierra Nevada, Goose Island, the Minhas/Huber Brewery, and so many more, for instance, have been extremely cooperative with my requests for nutritional information of their fine products, as well as receiving great support from venerable brewing giants such as Anheuser-Busch, Foster’s, Grolsch, Heineken, Lion-Nathan and many more. These companies thrive in today’s competitive beer market because they understand what their customers want. I see this demonstrated all the time in e-mails that I receive about my earlier books, works that only touched on carbohydrates in beer. Beer drinkers want access to full nutritional info of their favorite products and have turned to me for help. Regretfully, federal foot-dragging and head-in-the-sand resistance by some brewers who seem to ignore what their customers are looking for on beer labels has made this a struggle. Fortunately, persistence and the open-armed help of so many other progressive brewers who realize that this is the kind of information that their customers want, has made this book possible. I’m extremely grateful to these breweries, big, small and U.S. or foreign-owned, for their help.”


Skilnik hopes that breweries throughout the world will continue to contact him with information on their products for last minute inclusion in this revolutionary reference book before it goes to print in late November.


A certain number of pages will also be held open for sponsorship opportunities, including full-page black & white ads. Sponsorship fees and other questions about the book can be found by going to www. A separate 2.0 website with videos, podcasts and updates to the book are in development. Its launch will coincide with the release of “Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?”


Bob Skilnik is a certified brewer, author, freelance writer and lecturer. He is a contributor newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune’s “Good Eating” section and Draft Magazine, and a former columnist for the LowCarb Magazine, writing under the alias of “The Low-Carb Bartender.” He was recently interviewed by as part of a series of national food and drink luminaries on beer enjoyment that included Skilnik, the Food Network’s Mario Batali, bad boy chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain, and Chef Jamie Oliver. 

Release date: December, 2008
Paperback book, available with perfect binding.
120 pages.   7.5″ x 9.25″  (235mm  x  191mm)
20% premium for first page insert ad.  15% premium for last page insert ad.
Distribution is with Ingram, the largest distributor of books in the world, with access to brick-and-mortar and online stores throughout the world, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble and score more.
Contact Bob Skilnik at 815.557.4608 for more details.


Recent Mentions and Reviews For Bob Skilnik’s Books                  

Beer & Food: An American History

“A tasty history, from beer soup to Beer Nuts, with pickled pigs’ feet in between.”
Philadelphia Daily News

“His book gives a fascinating account of the birth and growth of our country’s brewing industry and its influence on American cuisine.”

Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago

“Bob Skilnik thinks most historians have overlooked what a thirsty job it was being hog butcher to the world.”
Chicago Tribune

“…the real Chicago story began with Prohibition, and this is where local author Skilnik shines.” Chicago Sun-Times

“Skilnik’s book, quite skillfully, brings focus to the history of Chicago’s beer production, distribution, retail sale, and consumption patterns.”
Illinois Heritage Magazine

The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet: A Low-Carbohydrate Approach

“It may not be for everyone, but beer lovers will certainly applaud his effort.”
The Chicago Tribune

“Bob Skilnik’s diet book could be an entertaining stocking stuffer for the beer drinker on your list who needs to lose a few pounds.”
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution

“Skilnik makes a take-notice promise in his preface: “With careful monitoring of your daily carbohydrate intake, you’ll be able to enjoy two or more beers a day and still lose weight.”  The Detroit Free Press

“With a sense of humor and self-deprecating observations about his own diet struggles, Skilnik argues that the average beer drinker loads up on too many other high-carb foods.”
Philadelphia Daily News

“Nothing has kept the weight off until [Skilnik] developed this plan.”
Contra Costa Times

“The book amounts to a low-carb diet plan, similar to many on the market, except that this one allows beer.”
Lexington Herald-Leader

“Skilnik’s credentials for writing such a book are his…experiences trying nearly every diet out there in the past 30 years.”
Contra Costa Times

“Beer expert Bob Skilnik’s new diet book, The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet, shows how to regulate carbohydrates without giving up good beer.”
Modern Brewery Age.  

Skilnik has also appeared on a number of television and radio stations in the U.S. and Canada promoting his books. A small sampling follows:


The View
New York City, NY

Cold Pizza
New York City, NY

Fox News Channel
New York City, NY

Fox News Channel
Chicago, IL

Chicago Tonight
Chicago, IL


WGN Radio 720 AM
Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg
Chicago, IL

WGN Radio 720 AM
The Kathy & Judy Show
Chicago, IL

The Rock, 95.1
Rock Mornings With Chris & April
Chatham, Ontario, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

KURR 99.5
Clear Channel (Simulcast)
Salt Lake City, UT-Colorado Springs, CO-Reno, NV

The Gourmet Club, Listen-On-Demand
San Diego, CA


Posted in Beer & Health, Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, beer diet, Beer Nutritional Info, Books & Beer, calories in beer, carbohydrates in beer, Plugs, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Writing Services/Beer (& More) In Food

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 7, 2008

*Need an article for your business, maybe something to pass on to a trade magazine with your
name on the byline?

*Have a copywriting request that needs to be “keyword” rich?

*Looking for the kind of news release that will get you calls from local and national media

*Own a restaurant and need an advertising/restaurant review that will give it a needed shot in
the financial arm?

*Have a manuscript that needs the unbiased eye of an editor?

*Can’t quite get your book proposal in order?

*Have a book idea and have done the groundwork research but don’t have the time to write it?
Consider my ghostwriting services.

*Considering writing a book but don’t understand the publishing process or all your options?

E-mail Bob with questions.

Bob Skilnik is an alumnus of Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the U.S.; a former associate editor for the American Breweriana Journal; a contributor to trade journals, magazines, and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune’s “Good Eating” section. He has appeared on ABC’s The View, the Fox News Channel’s Fox News Live, ESPN2’s Cold Pizza and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.

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Beer Text Books (Wholesale) For Your Next Semester Classes

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 23, 2008

Reason #101 why I’m setting up my own publishing house. Barricade Books, publishers of my book, Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago, has gone bankrupt. I have purchased the remainder of their inventory of NEW, hardcover books of this wonderful work. 

These footnoted and well-researched books are available for wholesale purchases for your next class about Chicago history or some enterprising book store owner who wants to beat Amazon’s low price and still make a good handful of change.

Contact me at

A History of Brewing in Chicago by Bob Skilnik

Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago by Bob Skilnik

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Michelob To Get The A-B Royal Treatment

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 13, 2008

Michelo Sampler

Michelob Sampler


Just a few days ago, I was bemoaning what might happen if Anheuser-Busch didn’t get fully behind their Michelob brand and its growing line extensions.

“The brand, however, was ignored in the later years (I blame the advertising dollars shoveled into Bud Light), first becoming an adjunct beer and then bottled in the common 12-ounce bottle—like so many other beers. The flagship Michelob pilsner lost its panache, its distinctiveness. It became, ‘just another beer,'” I complained.

Well, lo and behold!

“Michelob Brewing Co., a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, said Monday that it would kick off an advertising campaign, offer some seasonal varieties year-round, and bring some other A-B beers under the Michelob nameplate and give them all consistent, new packaging.

The campaign includes national print, television, radio and online advertisements, as well as an updated Web site,” reports the Jacksonville Business Journal, and includes giving the brewers “even more autonomy and creative license to its skilled brewmasters to brew their interpretations of classic styles.”

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Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 11, 2008

Bob Skilnik

Bob Skilnik


Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?
Nutritional Values of 2,000 Worldwide Beers


— Bob Skilnik —

aka, The Low-Carb Bartender


Pick up a candy bar, a bag of potato chips, or even your kid’s favorite sugar-coated breakfast cereal and you can refer to a Nutrition Facts label that gives you the kind of nutritional information that you, the consumer, deserves to know.

But pick up a bottle of your favorite beer, and unless it’s a low-calorie or low-carbohydrate brew with a federally-required Nutrition Facts label emblazoned on it, you have no idea what, if any, nutritional components are in your favorite stout, porter, bock, wheat beer or even a simple American-style pilsner beer.


But no longer. Whether you’re counting calories, carbs or even Weight Watchers® Points®, here’s the nutritional information for over 1,800 worldwide beers that you can enjoy in moderation!

Moderation, not deprivation
Also by Bob Skilnik


The Low-Carb Bartender:
Carb Counts For Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks And More


The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet:
A Low-Carbohydrate Approach


101 Ways To Cut Fats And Carbs










Posted in Beer And Calories, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info, Books & Beer, Plugs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Flying Dog GonzoFest—September 13!!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 2, 2008

Flying Dog Brewery’s Gonzofest
Flying Dog Brewery’s Gonzofest




GonzoFest joins forces with Hard Times Café Chili Cook-Off on September 13


Frederick, MD – August 19, 2008 – Flying Dog Brewery announces GonzoFest 2008 to occur on September 13 at the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The annual throwdown will feature live music and host the Hard Times Café Chili Cook-Off for the Maryland State Chili Cook-Off Championship. 

In addition to the eclectic sounds of four different bands and the taste of competition caliber chili, attendees can enjoy a variety of Flying Dog beer and tours of the Flying Dog brewery.

A complementary souvenir mug and beer samples are included in the price of admission. 

“GonzoFest is really a representation of Flying Dog’s core values which are “purposeful, provocative irreverence,” explains Neal Stewart, director of marketing for Flying Dog.”  This year’s event will definitely be provocatively irreverent with tons of live music and samples of our award-winning beers. But it will also be purposeful with a portion of the proceeds going to the Heartly House which serves Frederick County residents who have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.”

Admission to GonzoFest is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, visit or call 301-694-7899.


About Flying Dog

Flying Dog is Denver’s largest brewery and the second largest craft brewery in the state of Colorado. Their award-winning “litter of ales” are available in 45 states. The Brewery is located at 4607 Wedgewood Blvd., just off English Muffin Way and MD Hwy 85.  Flying Dog’s core values of “purposeful, provocative and irreverent” flow through the veins of the brewery’s founding owners, George Stranahan and Richard McIntyre.  George and Richard were friends with the “Gonzo Journalist,” Hunter S. Thompson who coined the brand’s tagline “Good People Drink Good Beer” and with the “Gonzo Artist,” Ralph Steadman, who illustrates the brand’s packaging.  For more information, log on to



Contact:  Neal Stewart, Director of Marketing

Flying Dog Brewery


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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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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.


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


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

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 23, 2008



Humor me for a moment. Take a walk over to your household pantry and grab a few packaged food items. I’ve randomly pulled out of my clutter of vittles a bottle of imported olive oil, a container of powdered premium baking cocoa from a well-known West Coast chocolate manufacturer, a small jug of natural peanut butter (“super-duper CHUNKY” boast the label), a packet of hot salsa seasoning mix, and a box of bite-sized shredded wheat cereal. Line up whatever you’ve gathered and place them on your kitchen table, with the backside of the containers facing you.

Now step over to where you store your household booze and bring out a bottle or two of distilled spirits. You can usually find vodka or gin in my mini-bar, but whatever you have handy will work just fine. If you have a wine rack, pull down a bottle. Finally, dig around the fridge and grab a bottle of regular-brewed beer. If you have a “light” beer or a Miller Lite (by the way, the ONLY beer brand that can legally use the word “Lite”), leave them in the fridge. “Light” beers and Miller Lite are exceptions to the arcane labeling requirements of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (commonly referred to as the TTB), a division of the United States Department of the Treasury.

By now, I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this little exercise. Not only can I find the calories, fat content, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, protein, vitamins and minerals and even the ingredients of every packaged good I grabbed from my pantry, but my box of breakfast cereal even throws in the dietary carbohydrate exchange of a serving size, currently based on the Exchange Lists for Meal Planning, ©2003 by The American Diabetes Association, Inc., and The American Dietetic Association.

What about my bottles of vodka and gin, wine and beer? Aside from the commonality of this foreboding admonishment on the labels or containers themselves, GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) ACCORDING TO THE SURGEON GENERAL, WOMEN SHOULD NOT DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DURING PREGNANCY BECAUSE OF THE RISK OF BIRTH DEFECTS. (2) CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE A CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY, AND MAY CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS, the majority of you have no idea what’s in any of these products, nor can you find any indication of even the most meager nutritional information on their labels, packing or advertising material…and you’re not alone. Millions of imbibers who might appreciate knowing, at a minimum, the amount of calories, carbohydrates and alcohol content in the favorite drinks are left in the dark every time they reach for a little gusto. Between the glacier-like movement of the TTB to make a final decision on labeling requirements for adult beverages, the resistance of elements of the drink industry to go through the anticipated expense of testing their products for nutritional values and the redesign of their container labels to reflect this info, plus the uncompromising demands of special interest groups for even more (in some case, less) information to be required, the entire decision-making process by the feds has been bogged down to the mess it’s in today.

The move towards the full disclosure of nutritional values of alcohol-based beverages on labels and advertising materials is currently being discussed at the federal level of government and in the alcoholic drink industry. As noted above, labeling regulations for spirited drinks falls under the auspices of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The TTB, however, does not require brewers, vintners or distillers to list any nutritional values on their products, unless the drink maker makes a nutritional claim about their product. This exception helps to explain why you can find nutritional info on the labels of low-calorie/carbohydrate light beers but not on regular-brewed beers. The very fact that a light beer claims to be lower in calories and carbohydrates than its big brother (Bud Light vs. Budweiser, for instance), makes the nutritional labeling of these products mandatory.

This very odd situation, knowing what’s in your kid’s sugar-frosted cereal or that bar of gooey chocolate nuggets in your pocket, and not what’s in the majority of your favorite adult beverage has an interesting history that goes back to the early days of Repeal in the mid-1930s. For close to eighty years, consumers and consumer groups have requested, and received, more nutritional and ingredient information to be listed on the containers of the foods they eat, relying on the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enforce food labeling regulations. But take a look at those bottles you placed on your kitchen table and you see that, even though alcohol consumption is a way of life for a majority of Americans, they’re not offered the same sort of nutritional info that can be found on food containers.

Nonetheless, some spirit makers have tried taking matters into their own hands, responding to a growing movement by their customers to satisfy their request for nutritional information on their products. The United Kingdom-based Diageo, PLC, one of the world’s leading premium drink companies, commissioned Ipsos Public Affairs in 2003 to survey low-carbohydrate dieters and test their perceptions of the carbohydrate counts of “popular alcohol options” when the low-carbohydrate movement was at its peak. The survey, which simply measured the public’s knowledge about the carbohydrate counts of popular beverage alcohol options, found that 63% of people surveyed incorrectly believe that wine and beer are lower in carbohydrates than spirits like vodka, tequila, gin and scotch whiskey. Of course, this was during the low-carb craze, but the survey implied that consumers needed more information about the alcoholic products they consume.

Unfortunately, Diageo’s bold move to voluntarily provide nutritional information of their products for an eager audience has been thwarted by indecision on the part of the TTB, which is still wrestling with the requests of a myriad of consumer groups for not only nutritional information on alcoholic beverage labels but also product ingredients, and possible allergens. Opposing any labeling changes is a significant group of mostly smaller-sized vintners and brewers, and wine, beer and spirit importers, many who claim that the laboratory testing of their products, along with a scrapping and design revamping of their product labels would be cost prohibitive.

Until there can be a consensus between the manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, government regulators and consumer groups to agree on a standardization of the nutritional information labeling of beers, wines and spirits, a pipe dream of a time frame that industry analysts estimate may be at least five years, Nutritional Info for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry, the U.S. Federal Government, and Special Interest Groups Won’t Tell You, will fill this informational void. With a drink industry that momentarily enjoys the regulatory trappings of the status quo after suffering through well over a century of government taxation, overt regulation and interference—including downright prohibition, they’re now preparing to fend off the demands and splintered interests of consumer groups which want labels with more information on them than the surface area of even a gallon bottle could offer. Momentarily separated by a federal governmental agency (the TTB) that came into being as part of The Homeland Security Act…the idea that we’ll be able to pick up a bottle of imported single malt Scotch within the estimated five years, look at the container’s label and know the calories, carbohydrates, alcohol by volume or proof, fat and sodium content, cholesterol and possible allergens and proper serving size of that poor Scotch will never happen; it can’t happen, not when there’s no “spirit” of compromise in the equation.

As we investigate typical components of today’s distilled products, for instance, you’ll see that most of the elements listed above will never be found in distilled products in the first place. In Nutritional Values for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry, the U.S. Federal Government, and Special Interest Groups Won’t Tell You, you’ll be able to separate the meaningful from the meaningless. If you’re old enough to remember the manufacturers of clear-colored 7-Up with its mix of sweetening agent, carbonated water and a refreshing hint of citrus, making the claim that it contained no fat, “Never had it. Never will,” you see that some of the demands by consumer interest groups for full disclosure of what’s in you favorite beer, wine or spirited drink can be just as silly. The TTB knows this and is probably trying to come to terms with the fact that no matter what, you can’t please all of the people, all of the time. It’s this process, of trying to keep everyone happy, but also preparing for the inevitable, that’s bogging down the movement of giving the consumer a better sense of what’s really in their favorite adult beverages.  

So where does that leave the consumer? Using the information in Nutritional Info for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry, the U.S. Federal Government, and Special Interest Groups Won’t Tell You, dieters or imbibers who simply wants to know the calorie, carbohydrate and alcohol by volume (abv) counts of over 1,200 beers, 400 wines and more than 100 distilled products, can use this book as a valuable guide. For the more adventurous, readers will also be able to use this information for the making of a plethora of mixed drinks, knowing the nutritional value of what they are consuming, along with modified recipes that can lower their caloric, carbohydrate or alcohol intake while imbibing, if so desired. A representative array totaling well over two hundred lower-calorie/carbohydrate/fat drink recipes is included in this book, following the listings of the nutritional values for the respective categories of beer, wine, liqueurs and liquors. These drink recipes will demonstrate how simple it can be to tweak traditional drink recipes into lower-calorie/ carbohydrate/fat alternatives, leaving open the additional option of simply having a reference for the standard values of today’s most popular mixed drinks. Think of the traditional drink option as being offered to you as a “straight up” version while thinking of the slimmed down variations as drinks “with a twist.” Either side of the drink card will prove delicious! Just because the drink manufacturers, federal regulators and consumer groups can’t arrive at a solution that will benefit the millions of imbibers in the U.S., doesn’t mean that we can’t make an end run around this quagmire.

Nutritional Info for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry, the U.S. Government and Special Interest Groups Won’t Tell You
will also address the latest information on the possible health benefits of the moderate consumption of adult beverages, the growing movement of organic alcoholic beverages, especially in the beer and wine sectors, and the success of experimentation by brewers in developing satisfying alcoholic products for sufferers of celiac disease. 

A huge stumbling block to the health benefit labeling of beer, wine and spirits has been the notion of connecting alcoholic beverages with health. It’s taboo, and has been since the 1930s. You can pick up a bottle today and read all about their pejorative elements of alcoholic products, courtesy of the mandated government warning on all booze containers, but the drink industry has steadfastly avoided making any sort of claim on the possible health benefits of moderate drinking. Sure, you’ll read about studies that indicate a possible benefit of alcohol consumption, but you should also note that there’s never the name of a drink manufacturer or trade association openly connected with these positive studies.

It’s also important to note the importance of diabetics knowing the carbohydrate value of alcoholic beverages. While diabetics should consult with their physicians about the moderate consumption of any alcoholic products, knowledge of the carbohydrate count of wine and its enjoyment has been promoted by visionaries such as Rabbi Hirsch Meisels, organizer of Friends With Diabetes International, (, ). Not knowing the carbohydrate content of what they eat or drink can have diabetics fumbling to adjust their insulin dosages to compensate for blood sugar levels that are too high or low because they didn’t know the carbohydrate level of what they were consuming.

Keep this in mind—this is not a diet book per se. Nutritional Info for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry Won’t Tell You is a reference book that anyone can use as a source of nutritional information while sitting back with a favorite beer, wine or mixed drink. The inclusion of mixed-drink recipes that have been tweaked for lower calorie/carbohydrate/fat alternatives will ensure a larger readership, but the reader could just as well enjoy a traditionally-made drink, content with the knowledge of simply knowing its nutritional value. The key to the book—the hook—is the disclosure of the nutritional values of more than 1,200 worldwide beers, 400 wines, and 100 liqueurs and liquors. While there are scores of nutritional references books on the market today that run the course from the calories and carbohydrates of fast foods such as The NutriBase Guide to Fast-Food Nutrition by NutiBase to Fast-Food Nutrition through the more traditional approach of The Complete Book of Food Counts by Corinne T. Netzer, there is no publication on bookshelves today that adequately addresses the nutritional values of alcoholic beverages. This book does.



Whether you’re following Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, a low-fat or calorie regime or your own interpretation of a glycemic diet, or simply trying to follow a dietary lifestyle that gives you accurate information on what you eat and drink, there’s something in Nutritional Info for Spirited Beverages: What the Drink Industry, the U.S. Government and Special Interest Groups Won’t Tell You for anyone who enjoys kicking off their shoes, having a satisfying drink and having the nutritional information that fits their lifestyle.


Does My Butt Look Big In This Beer?
Nutritional Values For 2,000 Worldwide Beers
Now Includes Weight Watchers Points Too!!


Posted in Beer & Food In The News, Beer And Carbohydrates, Beer Nutritional Info, Editorial, Plugs | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Budweiser American Ale Tasting

Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 14, 2008

Budweiser American Ale, Dry-Hopped With Cascade Hops

Budweiser American Ale, Dry-Hopped With Cascade Hops

LASTEST VIDEO UPDATE HERE For Michelob Dunlel Weisse and Pale Ale
and the New Budweiser American Ale

I came back from Saint Louis with an interesting video of a private tasting of Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser American Ale. Before I get to the video, a couple of observations.

It’s been a while since I can recall an extension of the Budweiser name, but just as A-B is positioning flagship brand Budweiser as The Great American Lager, their October-release Budweiser American Ale also waves the flag.

You can read into this whatever you please, but with well over 125 years of brewing heritage and battling for shelf space with foreign intertwined Molson-Coors and SABMiller, they can justifiably throw a little jingoism into the copper and get away with it.

When I wrote Beer & Food: An American History, I asked for the food recipe participation of breweries that were self-searching for their own bit of U.S. brewing industry heritage, brewing beers that were pre-Prohibition throwbacks, or in many cases, beers that were brewed with a nod to even earlier made ales. The results were the usages of a lot of beers in food recipes that included the words “colonial,” “molasses” or “corn” in their titled recipes or beer labels, not a bad thing (since that’s what I was looking for), but at the same time, the efforts were somewhat strained. The breweries were often 10 years old or less. It’s sort of hard to claim a historical brewing heritage when the brewery owner wasn’t even of drinking age a short decade ago. Love ’em or not, A-B has American brewing heritage.

Before anybody starts moaning about this new Budweiser American Ale without tasting it, I say hold judgement until October. I thought that the bottled version that I enjoyed was the result of just what A-B personnel said they were striving for. The amber-colored beer was malty, with a nose that indicated a light dry-hopping of what I’m certain were Cascade hops and the muscle of 5.3% abv behind it. Budweiser American Ale was not, however, a hop-bomb, one of those toe-curling ales that have you burping up hop oils the next morning. It was, I don’t know how to put it any other way, it was…balanced. It was also very, very good in the bottle; I think it would be hard to put down, drawn fresh from the tap. And with the extensive A-B distribution network in place, it’s going to be near impossible to find an old beer on the shelves that has lost its hop nose, a complaint that I still have with some respected craft beers.

As for its pricing, we were informed that it would be priced at “…the low-end of craft beer prices.” I have a suspicion that this ale will be tied to the price of The Boston Beer Company’s Sam Adams Boston Lager. Living in the Chicagoland area, that means a good thing for beer drinkers as A-B tries to slide into the realm of craft-styled beers. I love competition, and with Boston Beer still hurting from their recent chipped bottle recall, I expect their pricing to also remain at “…the low-end of craft beer prices.” Should make for a good shelf fight.

To be sure, the A-B marketing machine will also be out in force in the next few months, emphasizing the company’s brewing heritage, the word “American” and their use of American brewing materials in this new ale.

They can get away with it. As one of John Wayne’s characters once said in a flag-waving movie; “No brag, just fact.”

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St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival – May 8-10

Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 5, 2008

heritagefest2008logo.pngThe date for this year’s St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival will be May 8-10, and because it’s taking place so close to Chicago, I’m going to make it down here for some beers and the chance to video interview all the people who are putting this event together.

C’mon down and say “Hi!” I’ll be the guy with either a camera or beer in my hands…maybe both!


Tickets are on sale at

The seven participating brewers in this exciting event will include Alandale Brewery, Anheuser-Busch, Augusta Brewery, Morgan Street Brewery, O’Fallon Brewery, Schlafly Beer and Square One Brewery. 

In addition to sampling more than 60 styles of beer, area restaurateurs will also be on hand serving culinary fare paired with those different styles.  The festival will offer four sampling sessions and a VIP event: 



  • VIP event on Thursday, May 8 at 7:20 p.m.
  • Friday, May 9 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, May 9 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 10 from noon – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 10 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.



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Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV Soft Opening

Posted by Bob Skilnik on April 21, 2008

I’ve decided to spin off a seperate HTML portal and blog of food and drink recipes using video and some podcasting too. As I get it up and running at full-speed, you’ll be able to enjoy a slew of video food recipes and listen to interviews with people in the drink and food trades.

You can go to UTube or other sites for this sort of thing, but if you do, you’ll also waste time wallowing through the junk out there to get to what you want. Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV makes it easier for the kitchen chef or the family bartender to watch and observe, and if so inclined, give any one of the posted recipes a shot at home.

In the next few months, I’ll be adding more of my own videos, along with the self-made smattering that’s now posted at There will be no editoralizing, just taped and recorded recipes that are fun to prepare and are spiked with enough beer, wine and booze to make these recipes fun and easy to prepare.

So I’m looking for your input. If you have a favorite recipe out on the Web, let me know where it is, and if I can use it for content, I’ll get it up on the site. If you’re a brewer, vintner, distiller, importer, distributor and on and on, and would like to add some low-cost Internet exposure to your products, drop me a line. All it takes is a sample of your product, some sales and promo material and whatever, and I’ll include your product in an upcoming food or drink video for shits and grins…that’s it. Of course, if you’d like to add a banner or text message, you can check out the “Sponsers” tab at Contact info is at the site and blog.

I’ll be heading to St. Louis on May 8 for the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival and hope to come back with a boatload of interviews and other interesting content to liven up the site. The seven participating brewers in this exciting event will include some smaller local breweries/brewpubs and Anheuser-Busch, so there will be a smattering of beers and much more for everyone. Stop by HERE for more info and a link for purchasing tickets. Say “Hi!” to me if you get there. I’ll be the big, balding (more like bald) guy pestering everybody for a video interview or a quote or two.

This is a “Soft Opening” for Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV, giving me a chance to find the bugs and work them out, and to start driving traffic to the site from Beer (& More) In Food and other sites I have up an running. Eventually I’ll formalize all of this when I feel comfortable with the level of content I have and know the concept is working…press releases and such. In the meantime, stop by  Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV and check it out.

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


Posted by Bob Skilnik on January 14, 2008

budclamato.jpg budlightclamato.jpgComing Soon!Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?

Anheuser-Busch and Cadbury Schweppes Team Up on Latin-Inspired Beers    

 ST. LOUIS (Jan. 14, 2008) – As one of the hottest new products to hit markets in California and Texas cities, followed by tremendous success in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska, Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada will arrive in convenience stores, supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide today. Latinos, specifically those of Mexican descent, have been mixing beer with Clamato for decades.  Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada honor that tradition by combining Anheuser-Busch’s classic American-style lagers with the spicy, invigorating taste of Clamato Tomato Cocktail, made by Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB). Due to their tremendous test market success, adults across the country are clamoring to enjoy this convenient, great-tasting drink.  “This is a recipe that combines cultures and flavors,” said Ana Vitrano, product manager, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.  “Budweiser, Bud Light and Clamato are all highly respected brands that, when combined, produce the authentic-tasting recipe many Latinos love.  It’s la combinación perfecta!”

A savory beer, Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada were developed with the adult consumer in mind.  Budweiser, a classic American-style lager, and Bud Light, a classic American-style light lager, are the world’s best-selling beers, and Hispanics have been enjoying the great taste of Clamato since its introduction in 1969. 

An estimated 60 percent of all Clamato is purchased with the intention of using it as a mixer, so the combination of the three brands means the adult consumer can more easily enjoy a recipe they already love.  To best enjoy Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada, gently rotate the chilled can once before pouring.  Then, serve cold, or pour over ice, into a traditional goblet-style glass and garnish with a slice of lime or celery stalk.  Salting the rim of the glass or adding a dash of hot sauce to the beer allows adults to further customize Chelada.  The beers also pair well with traditional Latino dishes such as ceviche, chicken enchiladas and tamales.“The combination of Clamato with Budweiser and Bud Light provides a refreshing beverage – one that Clamato fans have been mixing themselves for ages,” said Andrew Springate, vice president, marketing, CSAB.  “This is a convenient way for consumers to enjoy the flavorful and authentic recipe they’ve come to crave.”The launch of Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada marks the first time Anheuser-Busch and CSAB have worked together.  The agreement between the two companies specifies that CSAB will supply Clamato to Anheuser-Busch for use in mixing the Budweiser and Bud Light Chelada, and that Anheuser‑Busch will produce, package and distribute the beers through its network of wholesalers.   The name Chelada is a shortened form of the Spanish word michelada which loosely translates to ‘my cold beer.’  To order Budweiser or Bud Light & Clamato Chelada, one might say: “Una michelada con clamato, por favor.”  To shorten that but still keep the beer recognizable as the traditional recipe, Anheuser-Busch focused on the name Chelada.“One look at the can and you know that this beer is the real thing – Budweiser and Bud Light mixed with authentic Clamato,” Vitrano said.  “This is a savory beer that will appeal to adult beer drinkers, particularly those who enjoy beer mixed with Clamato.”

Brewed at Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis brewery, Budweiser Chelada contains 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and Bud Light Chelada contains 4.2 percent ABV and is available in 24-ounce single-serve cans and 16-ounce, four-pack cans. 

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser‑Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.4 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 2007.  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 Clamato is a leading brand in the beverage portfolio of Plano, Texas-based Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB), a subsidiary division of Cadbury Schweppes plc (NYSE:CSG).  CSAB is one of the largest producers of soft drinks and premium beverages in the Americas.  CSAB’s brand portfolio includes Dr Pepper, 7UP, Snapple, Accelerade, Mott’s Apple Juice and Sauce, RC Cola, A&W Root Beer, Sunkist Soda, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Schweppes, Diet Rite, Clamato, Mr & Mrs T Mixers, Holland House Mixers, Rose’s, Mistic, Yoo-hoo, Orangina, IBC, Stewart’s, Nantucket Nectars and other well-known consumer brands.  For additional information on CSAB and its products, visit

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Pilsner Urquell Celebrates The Birth Of Golden Beer On October 5

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 4, 2007

pilsnerurquelllogo.gifIn 1842, a small brewery in Pilsen (Plzen), a town in western Bohemia, hired German brewer Josef Groll to replicate the lager style of beer that had become so popular in the German states. Taking advantage of a more sophisticated and controlled method of kilning malt, which gave the grain just the slightest hint of a golden hue, Groll oversaw the brewing operations at the brewery known today as Pilsner Urquell (Plzensky Prozdroj) and produced the world’s first pilsner (or Pilzner/Pilsener) beer.


The good folks at today’s Pilsner Urquell have designated October 5, 1842 as the exact date that Groll turned lager beer on its head (yes, pun intended). Groll’s creamy creation was described as a lager beer with brilliant clarity, somewhat lighter in body—and most unusual as compared with typical dark lager beers of the time—it was golden-colored. In the next few decades, this golden beer would sweep through Europe, making its way to Vienna in 1856, and Paris and London by 1862. Around 1871, the pilsner style of beer would jump the Atlantic to the shores of the U.S. and push its way westward where German-American brewers were especially receptive in emulating the chic style of this new European lager.


Through war and political change, the Czech Republic brewery has continued to ship its beer throughout the world, currently exporting to over 50 countries, including markets in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. Nearly 90% of the lager beer consumed today is a variation of this original golden beer.


My first experience with Pilsner Urquell was while I lived in West Germany. Since the village I lived in was not too far away from the border, it was easy to get my hands on this beer; better yet, it was usually in the draft version. While I thoroughly enjoyed the very malty beers of Bavaria, Pilsner Urquell has that nice snap from the locally-grown Saaz (Zatec) variety of hops, still considered by today’s lager brewers as one of the “noble” hops.


The folks at PR firm Weber Shandwick sent me a reminder of this momentous event with a nice cigar humidor, stuffed with two bottles of Pilsner Urquell and a few Limited Edition cigars from renowned cigar man Rocky Patel, a perfectionist when it comes to blending fine tobaccos, and a tobacco artist who takes great pride in offering the most rich-tasting, complex, and highest quality cigars imaginable. Stop by his site, the Rocky Patel Premium Cigar Company and see what he has to offer. If you’re a cigar smoker, I guarantee you’ll bookmark his site.


Since October 5 is a Friday, it looks like I’ll be hard at work tomorrow, enjoying a Rocky Patel cigar and a few Pilsner Urquells. Actually, 2 bottles won’t be enough so I’ll be ending this post and making my way to my favorite liquor store for another sixer of this great, great beer.


Why not do the same today or tomorrow and enjoy The pilsner beer that started it all?


Don’t forget. You can also read more about Pilsner Urquell and the rise of the pilsner style of beer in the U.S. in my latest book, Beer & Food: An American History.


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Exploring Chicago’s Yeast Side — Beer Tasting/Beer History Boat Tour

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 20, 2007

berghofffamousbock.jpgFor those of you who have been adding your names to my growing list of “People-Who-Want-To-Do-A-Chicago-Beer-History-Tour,” this might be just the thing to hold you over while we strive for a count of 35 or so participants for our customary 4.5 hour bus tour.                                                                                                                                                                                           

Working in conjunction with the Chicago History Museum, aka, the Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Line Cruises, and The Berghoff, Chicago Beer Tours (that’s me) will be conducting a 2.5 hour cruise on Lake Michigan while I talk about Chicago’s beer history—including The Berghoff—complete with a tasting of Berghoff beer.berghoffcoaster.jpg

This event is being run by the Chicago History Museum. If you have any questions, please contact them. I have nothing to do with ticket purchases. I do know this though…tickets are going fast. There’s talk of doing this tour once again in September.

Exploring Chicago’s Yeast Side: A History of Beer                               

Sunday, July 22; 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Before Milwaukee claimed the title of beer capital of the Midwest, there was Chicago. Discover the city’s golden age of brewing on this sunset tour complete with beer tastings provided by a Chicago staple, the Berghoff Brewery.

Tours meet at the Chicago Line Cruises dock at North Pier, 465 N. McClurg Court.

$45; $40 members.


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The Ultimate Tailgater And Bob Skilnik Talk Beer & Food

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 12, 2007

thmb_chef_a_ep23_bookcover.jpgthmb_chef_a_ep23_headshot.jpgA few weeks ago, I did a podcast with Stephen Linn-The Ultimate Tailgater. I don’t know what’s going on, but lately I’ve been hooking up with some celebrity cooks and chefs. I’m honored that I’m sharing space with Stephen Raichlen, BBQ cookbook author and TV host of BBQ University (sign-up for his newsletter at his site), Kevin Roberts, radio’s “Food Dude” and author of Munchies, and Rocky Fino who penned Will Cook for Sex. (Maybe I should go back to playing the Illinois Lotto again, too!)

Speaking of celebrities, I’ll be making a formal announcement soon about my columnist gig with the Times newspaper. I’ll be a member of a team of some big name food heavyweights, which still has me scratching my head as to how this all happened. Stay tuned for more details!

But back to The Ultimate Tailgater podcast…Stephen Linn talks about one of the most popular ingredients to most any tailgate party – the beer – with Bob Skilnik, author of Beer & Food. Bob talks about the history of beer in and with food, including some great recipes and cooking tips. Click on Episode #23 in the “Browse Audio-by Episode” drop down box or “Browse Audio-by Guest Name”.

You’ll also find a link to some beer/food recipes I contributed for The Ultimate Tailgater website.

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New Illinois/Michiana Beer Writer

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 8, 2007

The Times of Northwest Indiana has offered me the position of beer writer for their paper.

As some of you know, I’ve been freelancing beer-themed articles for the Chicago Tribune since 1997, but they consider their readers more wanting of a regularly scheduled wine critic. They won’t budge on hiring a beer columnist.

All I can say is “Thank the gods for the Times and their willingness to acknowledge the importance and nurturing of readers who want to read about beer!”

I’m hoping that local readers will be willing and able to feed me info about beer and brewing activities in the paper’s area of coverage. From going over their print and online statistics, the paper’s actually GROWING (unlike so many MSM papers), so I’d like to make my column as relevant and informative as possible for their expanding readership. It looks like their coverage is the northeast portion of Illinois and northwest Indiana, down to Newton and Jasper counties, and over to the edges of Michigan City or so. It’s the 2nd largest newspaper in Indiana, with a daily circulation of 82,709 and a Sunday one of 89,942.

If you’re from the area and know of any brewpubs, breweries, homebrew clubs, beer bars with good selections, and even progressive beer distributors and liquor stores that I can use for local info, I’d appreciate the help. This is a chance for Illinois/Michiana beer lovers to finally have a local media outlet, with a paper willing to back the effort. I’m excited about this opportunity.


Bob Skilnik

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