The Ultimate Beer Lover’s
Author John Schlimm is a member of the Straub family, owners of the Straub brewery since 1878 and now into its seventh generation of ownership. He has crammed the Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook with over 400 recipes. It is divided into 27 categories covering Appetizers, breads, soups, salads, vegetables, fruit, sandwiches, sauces, marinades, beef, poultry, port, wild game, stews, fish, pasta, desserts, and drinks. The recipes are uncomplicated, straightforward and do not require skills beyond that of the average cook and in general do not require ingredients beyond the range of the average supermarket. Many of the recipes involve combining various processed foods such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, packets of dried dressing, etc. Several recipes involve the use of a microwave oven such as microwave hot dogs and microwave turkey wings. Most recipes are based on standard lager – avoiding craft beer which is much more interesting to use in cooking – and involve the kinds of dishes one might find at a Super Bowl party or serve at a neighborhood picnic. It’s not gourmet fare. Schlimm has sprinkled interesting beer quotes throughout the book. He does not say anything about beer styles and in many cases using a beer other than standards industrial lager in these recipes would make a big difference and in many cases not a good difference. He also does not say much about the principles of using beer in cooking, which, when provided with information on various beer styles would give the reader some assistance in substituting various styles of craft beer for the generic beers used in the recipes. Many of Schlimm’s drink recipes sound appalling. If you want to throw a retro 70’s beer dinner, this is your book. If you want to explore using beer in food, look elsewhere.