Sprecher Brewings & Doings – Football 101

On Saturday the Green Bay Packers held Football 101 “for the ladies.”  Or, technically, “An NFL Workcamp for Women.” This annual ritual takes place on the first day of deer hunting season in Wisconsin.  From what I understand, the training camp has taken place for a few years with variations on the theme: introduce women to life in pro football so they gain a greater appreciation for the game.  The largest attendance ever, more than 400 women showed up to get some inside tips.  In terms of fashion, it was a sea of Packer gear. Ka-ching — royalties galore.

The afternoon started with host Jesse Garcia (WTMJ 4) warming up the crowd before linebacker Brady Poppinga conducted Q & A with wives of some of the players and coaches.  Qs included: What is the most romantic thing your husband’s ever done? Does your husband help around the house?  How did you meet your husband?  Standard girl chat, really, but interesting not only because of the public forum, but also because Poppinga’s wife was one of the respondents.  We learned that these big guys are pretty much like guys.  Mason Crosby said “I love you” in Chinese at the end of his wedding vows, which blew his wife away because she had no idea how he learned it and she majored in Chinese in college.  We also learned that there are a few things these guys won’t do around the house, like take the laundry upstairs, because they “can’t risk injury,” wink, wink.

Harry Sydney, who played with San Fran and GB and has 3 Super Bowl rings, came and gave a very sophisticated Xs and Os talk.  But he did so in response to audience questions, e.g., What’s the difference between a skinny post and a rail post?

Finally, all 400+ attendees marched off to the Don Hutson Center for indoor drills — running through obstacles, throwing, kicking, causing and recovering a fumble — much like the NFL combine, wink, wink.  Several Packers were on hand to coach the gals: Brett Swain #16,  Jeremy Kampinos #7, Jeremy Thompson #99,  Korey Hall #35, Josh Sitton #71, and LB Coach Kevin Greene.  Big thumbs up to all for their patience and their  encouraging words such as, “Pretty Good,” and “Alright.”

In between all my huffing and puffing (yeah, right),  I took a few photos of the guys but they’re a bit large so I need to work on scaling them down.  Stay tuned.  They’ll either appear here or on Sprecher’s facebook page.

Sprecher Brewings and Doings

The holidays are coming and so is Santa.  That’s right!  Santa will be at Sprecher on Sunday, November 29th, December 6th, and December 13th.  Bring the kids, have a photo, take a tour and enjoy our annual “Soda with Santa” event.

For reservations and more information, contact the Sprecher Gift Shop at: 414.964.2739.

p.s. Santa’s beard is real, so don’t pull it too hard!

Sprecher Brewings and Doings – Ginger Bread

While reading M magazine the other day we discovered Shawn Kolo’s recipe for Stout Ginger Bread and thought we’d try making it with Sprecher Imperial Stout.  Kolo is Head Chef at Andrew’s Restaurant in the Delafield hotel, Delafield, WI.  Ginger bread is one of those great seasonal foods that evokes sensual memories of childhood, holidays, family  and warmth despite the cold.  We also enjoyed this recipe because it is easy to make and it isn’t overly prescriptive, e.g., it calls for stout.  Instead of any old stout, we used Sprecher Imperial Stout because this beer has so much character.  The recipe also calls for molasses, but not any particular type of molasses.   We opted for Dark molasses, which really brought out the licorice flavor and balanced well with the ginger and other spices.  Next week we’ll try Mild molasses and see how the tastes differ.   The dark molasses created a ginger bread that paired very, very well with Sprecher Imperial Stout and Sprecher Generation Porter.  Here’s our take on Chef Kolo’s Stout Ginger Bread:


1 cp Sprecher Imperial Stout

1 cp Dark Molasses

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

2 cps All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

2 Tbs ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinammon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3 large eggs

1 cp Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1 cp Granulated Sugar

3/4 cp Vegetable Oil

* A note about spices — use the freshest spices available; freshness really does make a difference.   Spices from the grocery store work fine, but if you have a local spice purveyor that will provide small amounts try going there.  That way, you won’t have to purchase more than you need and you won’t have excess spice aging in your kitchen.  (Here in Milwaukee we have the Spice House on Old World Third St., Outpost, and Penzy’s Spices).

Cooking Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter a 10″ cake pan and dust with flour,  knocking out excess flour.

2. Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat.  Whisk in baking soda and then cool to room temperature.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl.  Whisk together eggs and sugars.  Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture.  Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

4. Pour batter into cake pan.  Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 40 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on rack for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto a rack and cool completely.  Serve w/ ice cream or fresh whipped cream and Sprecher Imperial Stout or Sprecher Generation Porter.