Thursday, September 17, 2015


A couple of days ago I mentioned looking through an old family cookbook; inside were promotional pamphlets and booklets of the sort still handed out by companies looking to help you feed that hungry family with the aid of their products. Here's a doozy from 1961:

I was surprised to find this, since my parents were not beer drinkers, or hardly ever, and when I was a kid the people we had over were usually cocktail or cola drinkers. Being a giveaway book, however, from the company whose beer was the one beer to have when you were having more than one (i.e., getting hammered on beer), there was no reason not to keep it around, just in case. It doesn't look like it was used much. Let's see a couple of recipes. 

This looks like a pretty decent marinated spare rib recipe, and a rebuke to people who think Americans never used chili powder until the disco era. Not sure the beer would add that much to it, as opposed to maybe cider, but it would probably be fine.

Other recipes call for their Beer-B-Cue Sauce; what's in that?

Everything, it would seem, from a whole can of beer, two 14-oz. bottles of ketchup, one lousy dash of Tabasco, chili sauce, lemon juice, dry mustard, prepared mustard, soy sauce, garlic, steak sauce... Makes enough to marinate the living room furniture. I would defy anyone to taste the beer in anything that was served with this stuff. "...add the garlic, if desired" -- you wouldn't see that now, but in 1961 Americans didn't eat Emeril-size loads of garlic, or take garlic pills.

Other recipes in the booklet include Schaefer-Kabobs and Rolled Roast of Beef, but for the most part the booklet is a primer for the novice charcoal griller.

Schaefer is still around and going strong, although its Web site doesn't have any recipes---or much else, actually. As far as I know, it has failed to get the hipster chic of old faves like Rainier or PBR, or even the revived Rheingold. In the early 60's, Schaefer may have had the cookbook, but Rheingold had the Mets.

Although that changed for a while in the 70's...

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