Mothers are like magic, as sweet as the flowers that fill her garden on Mother’s Day. As young girls, we pattern ourselves in the image of our own mother, carefully observing her applying make-up, shopping for just the right clothes, or arranging a new do with mousse, gel, and the expert flick of her wrist. She may be a serious homemaker, immersed in crafts that involve sewing, pottery, or crochet – or more oriented to the surrounding community, involved in the school board, art museum, or the theater. A small percentage may even be car buffs, paint with oils, or be heavily involved in aviation – or they may make beer.
Typically, our mothers are our first role models, but we quickly learn that other girls have very different mothers who may also deserve imitating. Among the older ladies I know (over 60), very few like beer. Instead of being critical, look at life from their perspective.
The Great Depression of 1929 came on the heels of Prohibition, and lasted until the United States entered World War II in 1941. Rationing of raw materials - including sugar, grain, gasoline, fuel oil, cars, tires, and more - went into effect during the war, and these commodities could only be bought in limited supply using ration coupons. After the war, food-shortages were rampant in war-torn Europe, and rationing continued in America until late 1945 in most cases, with the exception of sugar which was rationed until 1947.
Although brewers experimented with corn, rice, potatoes, rye and oats, many found it too difficult to sustain a healthy business in such a lean marketplace. Large corporate buy-outs were commonplace, and the beer world became dominated by Schlitz, Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Miller who went after the male segment of the population.
By the 1950s, American tastes were drifting away from the old man flavors of their father’s beer and settling for beers lightened with corn and rice. The beer market became as homogenized as a can of beans, and artisanal craft beer nearly disappeared. Some, such as Rheingold, expanded their advertising budgets to bring in glamorous women, African-Americans, and Hispanics, but for the most part, beer was still a man’s domain.
Advertising budgets attracted men with bikinis and bosoms, rather than taste. Were women offended? Perhaps not outwardly; but inside, many were seething with anger. And men were just as happy to have their own “club.”
Welcome to the 21st century, Ladies. Young women have been privileged to enjoy a beer market that rivals that of wine. Beer comes in styles, such as Witbier, that are appropriate to serve with quiche, or Bieres Brut, a light, effervescent, high-alcohol beer that is masterful for a wedding toast. Chocolate Stout may be as rich as mocha and cream, or you may switch gears to a Lindeman's Framboise, as fruity as an Italian ice in Atlantic City. If you like the bitterness of grapefruit-rind and pine cones, a West Coast IPA will satisfy your palate, but if you still prefer wine, a rich red RodenbachVintage 2008, aged in wood, will satiate your desires.
As for Mom, she still insists she hates beer. Be gentle, and understand her point of view. Bring her in softly with Cuisine à la Bière. My mom’s grumpy senior friend never fails to make a face at the smell of beer - any beer - but will eat handfuls of Sugar Mama Pecans made with beer.
Mom loves seafood, and there is nothing quite as tasty as cooking shrimp in beer and Old Bay Seasoning to serve as an appetizer. If she is a fan of Salmon, prepare Newburg Salmon in Parchment using Hinterland Hefeweizen from Appalachian Brewing Company, or a Hefewiezen style beer from one of your local brewing companies.
As an extra dessert treat, use a marinade injector to inoculate Godiva Bakery Dessert Truffles with Lindeman’s Framboise or Peche. You might also use a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Don’t use too much – just a small squirt through the bottom of the truffle. Place 2 or 3 on a dessert plate, with whipped cream in the center. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
If you want to try the beer injected chocolates, you will need a Marinade Injector - this one has great reviews - Bayou Classic 5011 2-Ounce Stainless-Steel Seasoning Injector with Marinade Needles