Game Time: Have Your Beer & Eat It, Too

Now in Season Fall 2017 Issue

Game Time: Have Your Beer & Eat It, Too

By Terese Allen | Photos By Jim Klousia 0

Remember that old-time saying about love and marriage—you know, how they go together like beer and football? Or, wait. I think it’s the other way around. You can understand my confusion, given the state we live in, where beers have names like Titletown Green and Badger Porter, where the university football team’s theme song is sung to the Budweiser tune, and where bumper stickers proclaim “Beer + Cheese + Football = Wisconsin.”

Any way you say it, swigging beer and watching the gridiron action make a perfect combo during autumn in Wisconsin. But why stop there? Porters, pale ales, lagers and stouts aren’t just good to sip, they’re good to eat—as ingredients in game-time meals.

Wisconsinites, having been practically weaned on beer-boiled brats and beer-battered fish fry, know this deep in their bones. They know that fermented malt beverages improve food in any number of ways. Beer tenderizes and adds tanginess to marinated meats and fish. It makes batters crispy and baked goods moist and tender. Beer lends heady aroma and can temper strong flavors or intensify subtle ones. And it’s user-friendly, easily substituted for other liquids in recipes. Beer comes in numerous forms and flavors—dark, light, sweet, bitter, heavy, hoppy, delicate, fruity, spicy, fizzy, flat. All of which, combined with other foodstuffs, makes the possibilities endless.

This season's menu is a hearty, fall-focused spread of chips and dip, spicy gumbo, cole slaw and chocolate-cranberry fudge, all featuring local brews and all made to order for game night.


Terese Allen has written scores of articles and books about Wisconsin’s food traditions and culinary culture, including the award-winning The Flavor of Wisconsin, The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids, and Wisconsin Local Foods Journal. She is food editor for Organic Valley, president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW) and a longtime director of REAP Food Group, the cutting-edge food and sustainability organization based in Madison. She is hungry all the time.

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