Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Posts Tagged ‘Bob Skilnik’

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


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

Columbus, Ohio Brewery Issues First T-Shirt Recall in The Nation

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 10, 2008

"Wine, wine, wine!!!"Finally, a brewer who’s putting his money where his mouth is.
Dick, you’re da Man!    

Elevator Brewing Company Owner Will Replace Historically Inaccurate Ben Franklin T-Shirts

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 10 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Trying to squelch a beery urban legend that has been misquoted by historians and beer enthusiasts since the early days of Repeal, Dick Stevens, owner of the Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus has decided to belly-up to the bar, so to speak, and replace t-shirts sold at the award-winning brewery and eatery that incorrectly attributes Benjamin Franklin to a much quoted phrase that the Founding Father never uttered. Beer-themed web sites, brewing organizations and even “beer writers” are fond of quoting Franklin and his supposed love of beer – “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”


But after recently hearing a lecture by Chicago-based brewing historian, Bob Skilnik, that convincingly asserts that Franklin was writing about rain, its nourishment of grapes, and ultimately, its conversion into wine, Stevens decided to do his part in correcting this historical inaccuracy.

“We do everything we can to serve up the best tasting beers at the Elevator,” says Stevens, “always striving to brew them true to style. To then sell or give away t-shirts that quote a historical untruth is simply not our style. I hope that we can set the record straight about this little white lie that has been repeated for years. I have no doubt that ole Ben enjoyed a tankard or two of beer with friends and associates, but this beer quote, while well-meaning, is inaccurate.”

He adds, “To all our customers who have purchased the erroneously quoted Ben Franklin t-shirts, we do apologize and ask that they return the t-shirts to the Elevator where we will immediately exchange it for a new t-shirt, free of charge. Let me emphasize that this recall will entail absolutely no cost to our loyal customers, and help them save face.”


Posted in Beer History | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Meet Me At Ohio Beer Week!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 14, 2008

Met Bob In Athens, OH

Fest brings the best of Ohio’s

brew to Athens all this week

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

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

Bob Skilnik to Speak at Ohio Brew Week

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

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

Pre-paid tickets & packages info…

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

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.”

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

Nutritional Info For Carlo Rossi Sangria

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 16, 2007



Coming Soon!

Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER?

Carlo Rossi Sangria (Spanada)             5 ounces             11.50  carbs     125  calories        10% abv

Posted in Wine And Carbohydrates, Wine Nutritional Info | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sam Adams Boston Baked Beans

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 8, 2007

July Is National Baked Bean Month

baked-beans.jpgSamuel Adams Boston Lagered Baked Beans

2 pounds dried navy beans
2 bottles (24 ounces) Samuel Adams Boston Lager
¼ oil or bacon drippings (be authentic here and use the drippings)
3 onions, coarsely diced
1/3 cup dried yellow mustard powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup pure maple syrup (or an additional cup brown sugar)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 small smoked pork shanks, split or 1 pound lean bacon
Salt to taste 

In a large pan, soak the beans overnight with cold water. Drain the beans and cover with fresh water and 1 bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and salt. Bring the beans to a boil, then simmer slowly for 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Place the beans in a large, ovenproof pan or Dutch oven along with the liquid they simmered in.

In a small fry-pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions. Cook until they are a deep, golden caramel color, and then add to the beans. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the pork, into the beans. The pork shanks should be pressed down into the beans.

Place the pan, uncovered, in a preheated 300º F. oven and bake for 3 hours. Add the additional bottle of Sam Adams Lager plus enough water to just cover the beans, seasoning as needed. Allow the beans to continue cooking, uncovered, without adding additional liquid until they are browned on top and have cooked to the desired consistency, approximately 3 hours.

When cooked, serve as is or shred the meat from the pork shank and stir into the beans.

Posted in Beer And Food Pairing, Beer In Food, Cooking With Beer, Food That Demands To Be Paired With Beer | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Beer Nutritional Info For Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 5, 2007

312_left.jpg                         Goose Island      312 Urban Wheat     12 oz        10.50 carbs    135 calories       4.20 abv

      Get More Goose Island Beers With Their Nutritional Values Here

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

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad With Lager Beer Dressing For July 4

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 4, 2007


12  Servings

2 bottles (12 oz each)  Lager beer
4 cloves garlic, smashed with side of knife
4 pounds mixed baby red, white and blue potatoes, quartered
1 Tablespoon plus 1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon honey mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
1/2 cup canned sweet corn kernels
1/3 cup scallions, sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

In large pot with colander inset, combine beer and garlic cloves. Bring Lager beer to a boil over medium-high heat. Insert colander or steam basket; place potato quarters over simmering beer. Cover tightly with lid. Steam potatoes 20 to 24 minutes, until just tender when pierced with fork. Transfer potatoes to large bowl to cool. Pour the beer from pot into a glass measure, discard garlic and reserve beer. There should be about 1 cup.In small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until softened. Add reserved beer, vinegar and sugar; bring mixture to a boil. Boil 7 minutes or until reduced to about 2/3 cup. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor. Add honey mustard, salt and pepper. With blender or food processor on low, slowly pour in remaining 1/3 cup canola oil until dressing is emulsified.Pour dressing over potatoes; add egg pieces, corn kernels, scallions and bacon. Toss well to coat. Serve potato salad warm or refrigerate up to 2 days before serving. Top with parsley when ready to serve. (If dressing is made ahead, bring to room temperature before serving.)

Courtesy of The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA)     Alexandra, Virginia

The N.B.W.A.was founded in 1938 as a trade association for the nation’s beer distributors. It also, however, has assumed an educational role with the public, bringing attention to the problems of alcohol abuse, drunk driving, and underage purchasing and consumption of beer. The site also provides plenty of food recipes using beer. Make sure to stop by their site for recipes, beer terms, and further information on promoting responsibility while enjoying a beer or two.

Posted in Beer And Food Pairing, Beer In Food, Food That Demands To Be Paired With Beer | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Make Your Own Chelada Pops Video

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 28, 2007

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

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

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

Chelada Pops ala Bob

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

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

Put the Chelada Pops into the freezer overnight and enjoy.

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

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

Nitrosamines In Beer

Posted by Bob Skilnik on May 10, 2007

In 1978, the United States Brewers Association learned of an on-going study in Germany in which traces of nitrosamines (DMNA) had been discovered in some European beers at an average level of 2 or 3 parts per billion (ppb). Some nitrosamines had been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. The USBA immediately informed appropriate US federal agencies and issued a public release to that effect.

Researchers had found that DMNA could be formed in the malting process, causing a complete revamping in how barley would be malted for American beers. This new malting technique included the use of sulfur during the malting procedure to inhibit the formation of DMNA. So spooked was the American beer industry that consumers would stop drinking beer that brewers, like the Coors Brewing Company, took out full-page ads extolling the fact that their original and costly processing of malt insured the fact that “There are no detectable nitrosamines in Coors beer.”

The Food and Drug Administration had been randomly testing beers manufactured in the United States and foreign imports as soon as the nitrosamine scare had begun. Their results were startling. Of the 30 American brands of beers tested, none of the domestics were found to have exceed the 5 ppb level that the FDA had established as the the maximum accepted level of DMNA in beer. Some domestics did, however, test very close to the acceptable level but the government refused to say which ones. What’s interesting about this FDA test, however, was that 3 import brands were named as exceeding the 5 ppm level. India Beer, made by Cerveceria India of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, San Miguel Dark Beer of San Miguel Corporation of Manila, Philippines and Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale from Tadcaster Ltd. Of Yorks, England.

WLS-TV in Chicago, IL decided to do their own testing of beers while the very real scare was building in intensity. Thermo Electron Laboratory in Waltham, Massachusetts came up with some startling figures for the beers that they had tested:

Domestics Brand of Beer with Nitrosamines in PPM in 12 oz.

Stroh 2.0

Pabst 2.2

Old Style 2.5

Lowenbrau Light 2.7

Miller High Life 2.8

Olympia 3.1

Budweiser 3.3

Lowenbrau Dark 3.7

Schlitz Lite 3.8

Michelob 5.5

Schlitz Malt Liquor 7.7

Schlitz 7.7

Old Milwaukee 9.2

Erlanger 18.8


Heineken 6.9

Heineken Special Dark 23.4

American and foreign brewers were given 6 months to demonstrate that their beers contained no detectable amounts of DMNA.

Here it is, 2007, and the Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is still dragging its feet on a comprehensive labeling requirement that at a minimum, would tell the consumer how many calories, carbohydrates and various other nutritional components are in beer, let alone ingredients.

Posted in Beer History | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »