Patent No. 4590085A: Flavor Enhancement And Potentiation With Beer Concentrate

Today in 1986, US Patent 4590085 A was issued, an invention of Daniel R. Sidoti, John H. Dokos, Edward Katz, and Charles M. Moscowitz, assigned to Anheuser-Busch Incorporated, for their “Flavor Enhancement And Potentiation With Beer Concentrate.” Here’s the Abstract:

A new method for intensifying the inherent flavors of foods and for imparting other desirable organoleptic properties is disclosed. The method consists of adding to foodstuffs a flavor enhancing amount of a heat denatured concentrate of beer. There is also provided a process for producing the above described concentrate.


While the abstract doesn’t tell us too much, the background from the application is very interesting, as it talks quite a bit about beer in cooking, which appears to be the primary goal of the patent’s use, although the patent has lapsed, so I don’t know if it was ever used in a commercial product. I know there have been, and even currently are, powdered beer products on the market, this one seems aimed at adding beer flavoring to cooking, rather than being able to make instant beer by adding water.


Foodstuffs of all varieties whether precooked, served hot or cold, or whether prepared without cooking have flavors, aroma, and other organoleptic properties that influence the sensory perceptions of human taste. The manufacturers of such foods as sauces, spreads, dips, soups, dressings, stuffings, garnishes, meats, fish, vegetables, salads, breads, etc. whether dry, frozen, refrigerated or canned, desire to produce products organoleptic properties closely profiling the natural flavors, aromas and textures that appeal broadly to the sensory perceptions of the consuming public. A food whose natural flavors are unduly masked may be too bland, or if overly modified with added flavor components, it may be perceived as too spicy. The availability of spices, condiments, etc., permits the individual consumer to adjust the flavor of food purchased from the shelf to suit his or her particular taste preference.

Nevertheless, food manufactures because of the nature of precooking processes, the addition of preservatives, the packaging and keeping techniques of retorting, pasturization, etc. will often times find that the desired natural flavor of the foodstuff has been suppressed below the threshold taste perceptions of the average consumer. Accordingly, techniques for addressing this deficiency have become customary to the industry.

One such technique involves the use of chemical compounds which intensify the flavors inherently present in food without adding any flavor from the chemical itself. These compounds are known as Flavor Enhancers and include, for example, linalool, 2-nonenal which is used to enhance the flavor of coffee, and certain sulfur containing amino acids which are used to enhance meaty flavors. Other chemicals serve as flavor enhancers through reacting with endogenous flavor components of food itself to synergistically promote the combined flavor effect of those components.

Another technique which is commercially employed to address the problem of suppressed natural flavors is that of using chemical compounds which when added to foods in very low concentrations to catalytically create desirable organoleptic properties of the foodstuff otherwise undetectable. These compounds are known as Flavor Potentiators, and like Flavor Enhancers, their taste is not itself detectable to the sensory perceptions of the ordinary consuming public.

There are drawbacks, however, to the previously known Flavor Enhancers and Potentiators. One foremost disadvantage is that these compounds are selective in their functional contribution to flavor development. The same compound which enhances coffee flavor may have a deleterious effect, if any effect at all, on, for example, cheese flavor. Accordingly, some food products such as soups, dressings and some pastries which have a combined variety of natural flavors are extremely difficult to potentiate or enhance from previously known chemicals.

Another serious drawback to previous flavor enhancement and potentiation techniques is that they require the addition of chemical compounds which have no nutritional value themselves nor are they derived from natural food or beverage constituents.

It has now been found and this finding forms the basis of this invention, that Flavor Enhancement and/or Potentiation can be achieved by the addition of denatured beer concentrate to foodstuffs of all types and varieties, whether cooked or prepared fresh, without the need to employ non-nutritional, chemical compounds.

It should be appreciated that cooking with beer is not new. The book Cooking With Beer by Carole Fahy, first published in 1972 by Elm Tree Books, indicates that the brewing of beer is known to have been practiced in Mesopotamia and Egypt at least 5,000 years ago. The Egyptians passed on their knowledge of brewing to the Greeks who in turn handed it down to the Romans who refined the Anglo-Saxon form which was already in place at the time of the Roman conquest. English ale became the basis for many religious and social festivals and is said to have accompanied bread as the sole breakfast menu of Queen Elizabeth I.

Ales and beers are all manufactured beginning with mashing barley malt and possibly grain adjuncts such as barley, corn and rice. This is filtered, brought to boil, pitched with hops and result in a wort which consists of water, dextrine and fermentable sugars. The wort is then fermented with yeast.

English ales have been traditionally distinguished from American brews or lagers primarily on the basis of the type of yeast employed to ferment fermentable sugars of the precursor wort into alcohol. Secondarily, there is a distinction between the ratio of malt and grain adjuncts in the mash in that ales customarily have far less, if any, grain adjuncts. Also there are distinctions in the level of hop addition. These factors contribute significantly to the variations in taste of American brews or lagers and ales.

Beers have gained some limited acceptance in cooking as a consequence of their richness, delightful taste, their ability to improve the texture and lightness of cakes, pies and batters; their tenderizing effect on tough meats; their contribution to preserving foods; their ability to make breads rise; their adding piquancy to dull vegetables and attractively glazing roasted meats and a few other culinary virtues. However, each of these benefits is owed to the full compliment of the beer flavor and texture attributes present naturally and, in the case of assisting cakes to rise, its fermentable state with its residual yeast in active form and its carbonation being readily apparent.

It has been determined however, that the use of beer in cooking does have its limitations. For example, if you are making a soup which requires dried vegetables according to Carole Fahy in Cooking With Beer, you must make certain that you soak them thoroughly, overnight, before use because the hard pellets will otherwise sink to the bottom of a rich vegetable beer soup apparently due to slow diffusion of beer molecules through the surface membrane and interior of the dried vegetables. Additionally, when sieving foods as for example, soups, the richer the beer is, the more difficult to push entirely through the strainer without losing some of the desired flavor. Still further, it is found necessary to cook foods longer with beer to fully develop the flavor. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, cooking with beer imparts of a clear beer flavor to the foodstuffs tending to mask the inherent natural flavors of the other foodstuffs. Accordingly, beers, although employed previously in cooking, have not been used nor thought to have any Flavor Enhancing or Potentiation functionality. Likewise, previous beer extracts or concentrates have had no utility in flavor enhancement but rather have been prepared in undenatured form in order to be reconstituted into either alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages.

British Patent No. 2127 describes the prepration of a nonalcoholic beer extract or concentrate. Although the concentration can be effected in any efficient vacuum evaporation apparatus, the first end to be attained is the separation of the alcohol produced by fermentation at as low a temperature as possible. After separation, as disclosed in this patent, the temperature may be raised, but the subsequent evaporation must be carefully conducted otherwise aromatic compounds present may be expelled or destroyed and the color of the product materially increased. The product is said to be pleasant to the taste and to possess all the nutritive and feeding properties of original beer before removal of the alcohol and subsequent concentration. The product is employed as an ale concentrate designed to be reconstituted into a non-alcohlic beverage by the addition of water.

British Patent No. 1,228,917 discloses a dry extract of a fermented beverage. However, it is compounded with dry yeast in live active form, together with dry fermentable carbohydrates or dry unfermented wort containing fermentable carbohydrates in order to permit fermentation when diluted. The boiling evaporation utilized to produce the extract is under a vacuum high enough to take place at the predetermined low temperature of 100° F. The original fermented beverages and their respective solids or residues and the yeast are protected during evaporation by the low temperatures. The evaporation at yeast-preserving temperatures with minimum of exposure to the heat also preserves the solubility of the enzymes of yeast and, therefore, the yeast remains in active condition so it will act vigorously when the extract is diluted with water for the preparation of a beverage.

In British Patent No. 1,290,192, a beer extract is produced from evaporating a partly fermented beverage at temperatures below 80° F. or any other suitably low temperature that will preserve the constituents of the reduced wort in a soluble state. The extract contains fermentable substances with the same characteristics of the beverage from which the extract was made. It possesses the characteristic flavor and taste of the original beverage that can be produced and imparted by yeast fermentation and is naturally alcoholic; and when suitable diluted with water, provides a beverage having the flavor and taste of the original beverage. The yeast, however, is used in large quantity for example, twice as much in respect to the amount of fermentable carbohydrates as is usually employed to pitch ordinary fermented beverages.


It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and useful technique for flavor enhancement and potentiation intensifying the inherent natural flavors of food and creating desirable organoleptic properties to a broad range of foodstuffs with a derivative of a nutritious foodstuff natural concentrate despite having substantially denatured the components of flavor and color, consistency, solubility and fermentability from the concentrate.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and useful concentrate of beer and its method of manufacture.

These objects and others are fulfilled by heat treating a fermented malt beverage or beer at sufficiently high temperatures to substantially denature the product and adding it at very low levels to foodstuffs. The denatured beer concentrate is added in amounts below which the concentrate is detectable in taste or mouth feel, but sufficient to achieve flavor enhancement and potentiation.

Dinner In The Beer Garden: A New Cookbook Needs Your Support

My good friend Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, has a new cookbook on beer and food, Dinner In The Beer Garden, that’s she hoping to publish through Kickstarter. Like everything she does, it looks awesome. For as little as $15, you can get a copy of it as an e-book, and for a mere $25, you can be one of the very first on planet beer to put her recipes to the test with your favorite beers, using your own paperback copy of the book. For higher pledges, there’s even more cool stuff you can get, like t-shirts, signed copies, hoodies, and for the Pièce de résistance pledge, she’ll come and cook five of the recipes in the book for you and 12 guests.

[The book itself is] about pairing craft beer with plant-based recipes, enjoyed outdoors in gardens and other social spaces. This isn’t about traditional biergarten food like ham hocks and bratwurst. It’s a cookbook for people who like carrots and kale — as well as butter, fish, cheese and chocolate! Profiles of gorgeous brewery gardens, a chapter on the history and design of beer gardens, and juicy color photographs of recipes turn the book into a tasty read. Recipes are both original and contributed by home cooks and chefs in the craft brewing community.

Most of the hard work is already done; most of the recipes have been created and tested, photographs taken, and discussions with the printer — one she’s used for previous projects — have begun. All she needs is a little help from her friends to make her new cookbook appear in all of our hands, and the recipes inside filling our stomachs with deliciousness. If you love great food and beer, please consider pledging to become a backer of Lucy’s book at whatever level you feel comfortable.

Lucy showing off one of her other cookbooks, “The Best of American Beer & Food” during GABF in 2007.

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

My sister-in-law sent me this delicious looking recipe for a chocolate cheesecake made with Guinness, though I suspect any Irish dry stout would work. The recipe comes from Closet Cooking, a food blog by a man named Kevin in Ontario, Canada.


This recipe for the Guinness chocolate cheesecake is a pretty basic chocolate cheesecake recipe with the addition of the Guinness but the similarities stop there. The addition of the Guinness changes the texture and properties of the cheesecake making it more souffle like. Normally you can tell when a cheesecake is done by shaking it a bit and if only the center wiggles it is done but the entire surface of this cheesecake will wiggle the whole time, even after 2 hours of baking. You pretty much just have to trust the recipe and the results are certainly worth it!


The Guinness chocolate cheesecake is a moist one as might be expected with all of the extra liquid provided by the Guinness but it is also nice and light and creamy. This cheesecake has a texture that seems to be like a cross between a souffle and fudge and it is simply amazing! The Guinness flavour is very subtle but it seems to enhance the overall chocolate flavour which is quite welcome. In all honesty, this cheese cake does not need any garnishes but feel free to top it with some Bailey whipped cream if you like.

Here’s the recipe, but without the blockquotes for ease of reading:

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake
(makes 6+ servings)
Printable Recipe


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Guinness


1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar, and butter and press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. Melt the chocolate in the cream in a double boiler.
3. Cream the cream cheese.
4. Mix in the sugar, chocolate, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and Guinness.
5. Pour the mixture into the spring form pans.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 60 minutes.
7. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 60 minutes.
8. Let it cool completely.
9. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge overnight.


Boy that looks tasty. I’m hungry.

Grilling With Beer: Fanning The Flames Of A New Edition

The beer cook, Lucy Saunders, published a great book five years ago called Grilling with Beer. I must confess I’m a little biased, because I contributed a short chapter to it on Oyster BBQ. The book is now out of print, though there’s still great demand for it. So Lucy’s planning on “putting together new chapters and recipes for [her] cookbook, GRILLING WITH BEER: bastes, barbecue sauces, mops, marinades and more made with craft beer.”

She’s using Kickstarter to raise the $28,000 she needs “to pay for the printing for the 224-page color cookbook (using recycled paper and eco-inks). Everyone who funds will be acknowledged on the website — and larger funders can get even more cookbooks, plus assorted goodies such as tastings and cooking demonstrations. Eventually, the cookbook will be sold (suggested price will be $21.95) where craft beer is sold!”

While you can pledge any amount on Kickstarter, pledge just $25 and get a copy of the book autographed by Lucy, a t-shirt and 5 recipe postcards. Such a deal! Whether you have a copy of the original book or not, here’s a great opportunity to get the new version and help out a very worthwhile project to get Lucy’s book back in print.


My Attempt At Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Beer Brownies

On Christmas Day, The Beer Wench — Ashley Routson — posted a recipe for Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Beer Brownies using a brownie mix. I will eat any dessert that’s made with both peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a combination I simply cannot resist, yet another of my many obsessions. But I also love bacon. Since this dessert completes a kind of perverse trifecta, I simply had to give it a try. The fact that it used a mix also made me more likely to make it, since I am ridiculously lazy when it comes to cooking.

Ashley’s original recipe was as follows:



  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chocolate, oatmeal or regular stout
  • 1 package of bacon
  • 6 whole peanut butter cups — chilled
  • 2 tbsp butter


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan with butter. Yes, butter. Because butter makes everything better.
  2. Cook entire package of bacon to desired consistency. I like a combination of crispy bacon and chewy bacon. The both add an interesting texture to the end product. Allow the bacon to cool and then dice it.
  3. Chop the Peanut Butter Cups into small pieces.
  4. Melt the butter and mix with the bacon. The recipe on the box technically calls for oil. Unfortunately, the only oil I had on hand was Olive Oil. So I decided that the oils from the bacon combined with melted butter would suffice for the recipe.
  5. Combine the eggs, stout and bacon butter with the box brownie mix in a large bowl. Do not over mix. After all ingredients are combined, fold in the peanut butter cups.
  6. Pour the mix into the greased pan and spread it evenly. Bake. For 13X9″ pan, bake 24-26 minutes. For 9×9″ pan, bake for 38-40 minutes. For 8×8″ pan, bake 52-54 minutes.
  7. Serve with an Imperial Stout.

My daughter woke up feeling sick this morning so we’re not doing much of anything today. That freed me up to do some baking. So using what I had around the house, I decided to try my hand at making them. Being even lazier than most, I decided to use bacon bits instead of frying up my own. That also meant I wouldn’t have the bacon fat to substitute for vegetable oil. Fortunately, I have vegetable oil so I made a mixture of butter and oil to use instead. For the beer, I found a bottle of Moylan’s Ryan O’Sullivan Imperial Stout. My mix called for slightly different ingredients — like two instead of three eggs — but otherwise it was quite similar.

All the ingredients laid out, with the peanut butter cups already sliced and diced.

My daughter Alice helping me mix the brownies.

The brownies mixed with bacon and peanut butter cups.

Ready to go in the oven.

Just out of the oven. That scar in the pan happened when I accidentally grazed it with my silicone pot holder, pulling it out of the oven.

The finished Bacon Peanut Butter Brownies paired with some imperial stout.

I thought they turned out great. And they were very easy my way. But it appears I’ll have them all to myself. Neither my wife nor the kids thought much of them. But they worked for me. I personally think bacon and peanut butter work great together. Add chocolate and it’s divine. Thanks to Ashley for the original idea. Yum, now to eat some more brownies and drink some more beer. Happy Boxing day indeed.