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Beer & Food: An American History


by Bob Skilnik

'Beer & Food' Traces the Triumph of Beer Over Grain Scarcity, War and Prohibition and Serves Up Its Frothy Influence on American Cuisine
With a Foreword by Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company, Brewer of Samuel Adams Beer

Like a grilled bratwurst and a satisfying brew, beer historian Bob Skilnik's latest book, "Beer & Food: An American History" is the perfect complement to A&E's recent television airing of "The American Brew." From the quirky brews of the colonial era, the food rationing of world wars and the devastation of National Prohibition, Skilnik's sixth book weaves a tale of beer's movement from a homebrewed colonial staple, the key to saloons with their "Free Lunch" practice, and today, as a growing part of contemporary American cuisine.

"The convergence of centuries of brewing technology and the introduction of refrigeration into American households in the 1920s, plus the return of legal beer in 1933, probably led to the first instance of a brave man hollering out to his wife in her Repeal-era kitchen, 'Honey, while you're up, can you get me a beer from the fridge?' While it's an amusing anecdote, it demonstrates that historically, beer's role as an everyday household commodity is a relatively recent occurrence."

Post-Prohibition is also the time when beer's pairing with food became solidified, in large part due to the efforts of the now defunct United States Brewers Association. It's not an accident that when we think of certain foods, we also think of enjoying a beer with them. The U.S.B.A. was responsible for one of the most effective marketing campaigns in U.S. history, promoting the idea that at home or away, "Beer Belongs." The success of its post-Prohibition efforts helps explain why there might be a beer in your refrigerator today.

With a foreword by Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company and its growing portfolio of Samuel Adams beers, "Beer & Food: An American History" weaves a fascinating history of the evolution of American beer and its eventual pairing with food. The book also contains over 90 beer-related food recipes, including contributions from contemporary breweries, brewpubs and beer trade organizations.

About the Author
Bob Skilnik is an alumnus of Chicago's Siebel Institute of Technology - the oldest brewing school in the U.S. - where he earned a degree in brewing technology. He is the former associate editor for the American Breweriana Journal, and has contributed to the Chicago Tribune's Good Eating food section, trade journals, magazines and newspapers.

He has appeared on ABC's "The View," the Fox News Channel, ESPN2, and Chicago Public Television. "Beer & Food: An American History" is his sixth book.
For more information about Bob Skilnik and "Beer & Food: An American History," visit



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