Beer and pizza go together as naturally as, well, pizza and beer. That truism led a creative Illinois real estate broker to try combining the two popular tastes. And apparently he has succeeded.
Tom Seefurth of Campton Hills, a Chicago suburb, has been a longtime home brewer. In his quest for the perfect pizza-flavored beer, he began adding tomatoes, oregano, garlic and basil to one batch. The result is something he calls Mamma Mia Pizza Beer.
Walter Payton's Roundhouse Restaurant in nearby Aurora has agreed to serve the pizza beer as long as the supply lasts. But that is merely a small step if Seefurth has his way.
In an effort to expand beyond Illinois, he was in Utica, N.Y., a renowned beer brewing area, recently to show off his creation on a local TV program and the staff at Saranac Beer, brewed there by Matt Brewing Co., was invited in to try the beer.
"We passed the taste test with flying colors," Seefurth informed me. "In addition, we pulled out a roaster chicken and injected it with a Pizza Beer … and brought it to a local pizza joint where we discussed on video the combo. We passed that test, too, and even pleased the owner with pairing the injected Pizza Beer chicken with our East Indian Spiced Beer.
"If Saranac comes to an agreement we will be bathing in Pizza Beer in beautiful upstate New York."
— Old, cold brew: In the competitive world of beer, most brewers are continually striving to come up with something new. Not Sam Calagione.
The owner of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del., is using a 9,000-year-old recipe for his establishment's latest offering, called Chateau Jiahu. As he explains it:
"Preserved pottery jars found in the Neolithic village of Jiahu, in Henan province in northern China, revealed that a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey and fruit was being produced that long ago, right around the same time that barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East.
Fast forward to 2005. Molecular archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania calls on Dogfish Head to re-create their second ancient beverage and Chateau Jiahu is born.
In keeping with historic evidence, Dogfish brewers used pre-gelatinized rice flakes, wildflower honey, muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and chrysanthemum flowers.
"The rice and barley malt were added together to make the mash for starch conversion and degradation. The resulting sweet wort was then run into the kettle. The honey, grapes, hawthorn fruit, and chrysanthemum flowers were then added. The entire mixture was boiled for 45 minutes, then cooled. The resulting sweet liquid was pitched with a fresh culture of sake yeast and allowed to ferment a month before the transfer into a chilled secondary tank."
The result is an 8 percent beer. The company, which also has a brewpub/distillery in Rehoboth Beach, Del., an alehouse in Gaithersburg, Md., and another being readied in Falls Church, Va., has a lineup of 26 kinds of beer and ale.
–American for beer: "Foster's. Australian for beer." That, said in a manly snarl, has become a familiar tagline for commercials for the popular Aussie brew. However, under a new 10-year licensing agreement between Foster's Group Ltd. and the Miller Brewing Co., an American company, Foster's lager will be brewed in the U.S. for the first time, beginning in November.
Miller will brew Foster's at facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, and Albany,
Ga. Previously, it had been produced for the U.S. market by Molson Coors of Canada. Molson will continue to produce Foster's Lager for the Canadian market.
(William M. Dowd covers the adult beverage industry at BillDowd.com)
c.2007 Hearst Newspapers