After spending 15 years in the welding and steel fabrication business and (simultaneously)
7 years as a part-time freelance writer, I struck out on my own as a full-time beer writer in
late 1994 when I signed my first book contract.
How did you start writing about beer?
After subscribing to as many beer and brewing publications as possible and reading them
voraciously, I felt as though I had something to contribute to the field. My first article
was published in All About Beer magazine in October of 1987. After that, I was hooked.
Major (beer writing) accomplishments
- Writing three books in three years
- Writing the beer and brewing manuscripts for Microsoft's CD-ROM encyclopedia, Encarta '99.
- Being named Beer Writer of the Year, second runner-up, 1996
- Receiving 5 Quill & Tankard awards for excellence in writing
- 1st place Feature Food ('96)
- 2nd place Book ('97)
- 2nd place General ('97)
- 3rd place Book ('96)
- 3rd place Column ('96)
Too many to list. Articles have appeared in All About Beer magazine, Barfly, Beer & Tavern
Chronicle, Brew magazine, Brew Your Own magazine, Chicagoland Brew News,
Celebrator Beer News, Drink magazine, Fine
Cooking magazine, Heads Up newsletter, Midwest Beer Notes, On
Tap newsletter and Zymurgy magazine. I've also been writing the newsletters that accompany monthly
beer shipments for Beer Across America since 1992.
Beer Across America - A Regional Guide to Brewpubs and Microbreweries (Storey Communications, 1995)
Beer For Dummies (IDG Publications, 1996)
Homebrewing For Dummies (IDG Publications, 1997)
It's very difficult for me to draw up a short list of favorite beers as I believe beers should
be chosen based on the occasion, the mood, the season, the time of day, the meal, the company, etc.
I will include a few favorites that always seem to be on my wish lists: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter,
Brasal Bock, Aventinus Doppelbock, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale,
Liberty Ale, Celis White and the seasonal draught-only Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.
Favorite brew tours?
The Coors (Golden, CO) and the Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis) brewery tours are two of the
best anywhere, but I also have fond memories of tours taken at the Yuengling Brewing Co.,
Anchor Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Favorite beer recipes?
This simple recipe was written for Beer For Dummies by one of the best beer chefs
in the U.S., Candy Schermerhorn. If you can operate a blender, you can make this pie!
Chocolate Stout Silk Pie
Tools: blender, 2 small saucepans
Preparation time: about 10 minutes
Cooking/chilling time: 4 to 6 hours
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 large marshmallows
pinch of salt
2/3 cup stout (or porter)
1/3 heavy cream or evaporated or condensed skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon quality bourbon or cr¸me de cacao (optional)
1 ready-made butter-cookie-crumb or graham cracker pie crust
whipped cream and shaved chocolate and/or toasted crushed nuts (optional)
1. Place chocolate chips, marshmallows and salt in blender.
2. In 2 separate saucepans, heat stout and heavy cream until very hot but not boiling.
3. Pour the stout and cream into the blender and blend on medium for 1 minute.
Add the vanilla and bourbon, continuing to blend until very smooth.
4. Pour the mixture into the crust and refrigerate until firm. Garnish with
whipped cream and shaved chocolate or nuts.
5. Enjoy with your favorite dark beer!
Don't drink and drive - it'll ruin your golf game.
I've been a homebrewer since 1985, a Certified Beer Judge since 1986, and a beer
evaluator at the Beverage Testing Institute's World Beer Championships since 1994.
I like to grow my own hops, collect breweriana, and associate with people who are as
interested in good beer as I am. Somehow I've managed to stay married for 17+ years!