Heard about word of mouth marketing?  Serve this easy to make cocktail meatball recipe at your next party and you’ll be the talk of the town.

Slow Cooked Sprecher Dopple Bock BBQ Meatballs

3 lbs Frozen cocktail meatballs (Italian style are best)*

1-2 bottles Sprecher Dopple Bock

1 cp Ketchup

1/2 cp Sprecher Root Beer BBQ Sauce (more if you want it spicier)

2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 cp Brown Sugar

Combine all sauce ingredients in a slow cooker.  Add meatballs, making sure to cover them in the sauce.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.  [If using a Dutch oven, set in middle of oven set to 250F. ] Midway through, check to see if you need to add more beer; adjust for flavor.  Makes about 96 cocktail size meatballs.

Yum!

* Note: This recipe is all about the sauce so the type of meatball (Italian, sausage, Swedish, homemade) doesn’t matter all that much.  You can also use larger meatballs and serve them over wide egg noodles for an enjoyable dinner.  If you find you have lots of sauce left serve it with bread, brisket, pork chops, chicken and many other foods.

Source: Sprecher brewmaster Craig Burge.

Photo: Matt Fornear, www.fornearphoto.com.

Happy to Help

23rd November 2010

We’ve promised put the recipe for Brewmaster Craig’s BBQ Dopple Bock Meatballs on our blog, and we will as soon as we have the photos.  Otherwise we’d be doing an injustice to the recipe and, most importantly, our readers.  In the meantime we’d like to give ourselves a public pat on the back for our efforts to help the fight against breast cancer, which we couldn’t do without the help of so many individuals and businesses.

Our 3rd annual Breast Cancer Awareness Spa raised $5,331, exceeding our goal of $5,000 for Gilda’s Club of Southeastern Wisconsin (www.gildasclubsewi.org).  Seventy-nine women (including 11 breast cancer survivors) enjoyed pampering in our Rathskellar mini-spa, a tour, lunch and gal time throughout the day thanks to our partners at Beauti-Control, Milwaukee School of Massage, Well Spa + Janis Salon, BRAVO!, and Welke’s House of Roses.  Gift Bags were filled with coupons and goodies donated by Elements MassageKoss Corporation, Close Up Apparel and many stores at Bayshore Town Center.  Throughout the day a great selection of raffle items from Great Lakes Distillery, Blain’s Farm and Fleet, SPiN and several other partners were available for all tour guests to bid on.  In addition to the money raised at this event, the George Washington Stein Club donated $1,100, which really helped push us past our goal.

This year differed from others in the level of local business participation, which is an ongoing trend.  It’s nice working for a good cause and more so when you’re doing it with the help of others. The Breast Cancer Awareness Spa proved to be not just a win-win, but a win on multiple levels.  Sprecher is proud to be part of a community that values working together and is willing to respond to a call for action. This money will be a big help to Gilda’s Club of Southeastern Wisconsin, which almost closed its doors due to overwhelming damage caused by Milwaukee’s mini-Katrina this past summer.  Thanks to a gift by a private citizen who was moved when he learned of the Club’s plight, the Club is transforming to Gilda’s on Wheels so it can serve the maximum number of families affected by cancer in southeastern Wisconsin.  The $5,331 raised from the Sprecher Breast Cancer Awareness Spa will assist Gilda’s on Wheels as it helps families affected by breast cancer during the holidays.

Though the spa is over until next year, we still have our pink griffin Breast Cancer Awareness Ale taps at participating bars and restaurant throughout southeast Wisconsin (See Pink Griffins for the Cure post, 10/5/10). Call it Ta-Tas Ale, or Taps for Tits as some do, Sprecher is donating $10 from every keg sold now through the month of December to the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition, http://www.standupandspeakout.org/. WBCC is “an alliance of individuals and organizations committed to halting the alarming incidence of breast cancer in Wisconsin. [Their] mission is to bring Wisconsin voices together to Stand Up and Speak Out about breast cancer through Education, Collaboration and Legislation.”

‘Tis the Season, Already!

11th November 2010

Do thoughts of the upcoming holidays fill you with joy but also make you cringe with anxiety about hoards of shoppers and the whole holiday shopping experience in general?  Well, we have a couple of nice little getaway solutions for you.  Stop by Sunday, November 14th for a brewery tour, samples of delicious beers and gourmet sodas, and an on-site boutique vendor fair.  Most people don’t realize it, but this  is the perfect environment for a relaxing and inspiring shopping experience. More than 15 vendors will offer a wide variety of goodies for friends, family, coworkers and yourself.  Who knows, you may just get all of your holiday shopping done at once!

Fall Holiday Vendor Fair

Visit www.sprecherbrewery.com for more details.

Pink Griffins for the Cure

05th October 2010

Every year Sprecher does something to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer.  A couple of years ago we gave away a free 4-pack of root beer to women who had mammograms during the month of October. For the last two years we’ve had a mini-Spa in our Rathskellar, with the proceeds going to Gilda’s club.  This year we’ll have the mini-spa on November 7th.  All of October we’ve got a new program: Breast Cancer Awareness Ale. You’ll see this unique pink griffin tap handle at participating bars and restaurants.

Sprecher will donate $10 from every 1/2 barrel of the Breast Cancer Awareness Ale sold to the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition. But wait, there’s more!  Our friends at the Princeton Club (www.princetonclub.net) donated one (1) 6-month membership to every participating bar and restaurant.  Customers who purchase Sprecher’s Breast Cancer Awareness Ale receive a raffle ticket.  Winning tickets will be drawn in early November after the contest is over.  Drink great beer for a good cause and get a chance at a health club membership; it doesn’t get much better than that.

CHEERS TO A CURE!

“Anyone from Wisconsin will not hesitate to give you myriad reasons why theirs is the greatest state in the US bar none.” I first read a version of this quote on a beer blogger’s site.  It rang true then and it still rings true. Why? Well, we’ve got the Packers, we’ve got brats and frozen custard, Summerfest, some of the best craft beer in the world, the root beer that made WI famous (Sprecher), and most importantly, great people.

On September18th Sprecher hosted #saveteecycle, a fundraiser that came about via twitter and social media to help a family whose home flooded during Milwaukee’s mini-Katrina on July 22nd.  #saveteecycle was literally the house that twitter rebuilt and the social networks twitter reinforced. But enough about the medium because that would be nothing without the operators, the Wisconsinites — individuals and businesses — who came together to help put this family back in their house and on their feet. If you’d like to learn more about the event and all those who contributed, just go to the blog: http://saveteecycle.org/.

During the month of September Sprecher held a food drive for the Hunger Task Force, a wonderful organization that has been overwhelmed since July 22nd because Milwaukee’s mini-Katrina devastated so many families.  Sprecher offered a Buy1 Get1 adult tour coupon to anyone who brought two non-perishable food items.  To date we’ve had two donation pick-ups, the first for 480lbs and the second for 250lbs of food,  a total of 730 lbs donated. Many thanks to all, especially the 30 school children who brought donations. We’ll leave the HTF donation box in our retail store for a few more days.

Sure Wisconsin has its share of problems; however, not so small examples like those above demonstrate that we also have big-hearted people who make our claim to be the greatest state a legitimate one.

Winning Recipes

13th September 2010

Below are some of examples of why living in, and being a microbrewery in Milwaukee is a total Win-Win:

We are all busy-ness in a good way.  Our Hunger Task Food Drive has been a great success, thanks to everyone who has contributed.  The Food Drive lasts until 9/26. If you donate 2 or more non-perishable food items, you will receive a Buy 1 Get 1 adult tour coupon ($4).  You donation will help restock the HTF pantry and help out Milwaukee’s mini-Katrina victims.  Speaking of…

On September 18th, from 7-10pm, we’re hosting the #saveteecycle fundraiser for the Cigelske family whose home was severely damaged from floor to roof.  Join Ted Perry and a host of other open-hearted Milwaukeeans as they help Tim, Jess and Baby Clara restore their house from this:

First Floor Flood Damage

to something more livable.  Live music performed by Perfectly Average,  yummy food donated by COA, and cool auction items galore.  Gently used t-shirts welcome. Say what? Visit: saveteecycle.org, or teecycle.org to learn more.

Finally, here’s the winning recipe from the Grilling with Beer contest at the Wisconsin State Fair – The  Sprecher Black Ninja Burger.  Thank you for this delectable burger, Dan Kyle of Wauwatosa: http://beeftips.com/sprecherblackninjaburger.aspx.

Hunger Task Force Food Drive

18th August 2010

On August 17th, victims of the Brew City Flood received more bad news from what was the last hope for many: FEMA. FEMA sent a letter rejecting requests for individual aid.  Thousands of people with basements flooded by rain and/or waste water, even those whose foundations gave way, are now left to deal with the wreckage on their own.  Those without insurance or sufficient bank accounts will need to rely on the kindness of friends, family and local service providers while putting theirs lives back in order.  Fortunately for them, Milwaukeeans have a strong ethos of helping those in need.

When the Brew City Flood hit on July 22nd, the view from Sprecher looked like this:

View out the Front Door

Cars Driving

We only had a bit of water seep under the garage door on the west side of the brewery.  Our neighbors and cars driving nearby suffered more damage.

After watching news reports and seeing people’s damaged belongings on the streets to our west, east, north and south, we decided we needed to do something to help.  So we contacted our friends at Hunger Task Force Milwaukee and volunteered to host a food drive.

Sprecher will be collecting food for the Hunger Task Force now through September 26th. Everyone who brings two (2) or more non-perishable items will receive a free adult tour with the purchase of an adult tour (basically, Buy 1 Get 1 Free), a $4 value.  Along with the guided brewery tour, guests receive a souvenir tour glass, 4 generous samples of Sprecher beer (21+ only) and unlimited Sprecher gourmet soda.

Tour reservations are strongly suggested.  Call 414.964.2739 to reserve your spot.  Bring 2 or more non-perishable food items to the check-in and get your free tour pass.

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

23rd November 2009

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!

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:

Ingredients:

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.

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