Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Bob Skilnik  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1950 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Skilnik was born in and lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Bob Skilnik is a freelance writer and expert on the subjects of beer, brewery history and "breweriana". He is the author of ''The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago-1833-1978'' and The ''History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago, Vol. II''. He is a graduate of the Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the United States, with a degree in Brewing Technology. He is a former associate editor for the American Breweriana Journal and a contributor to trade journals, magazines, and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune’s ''Good Eating'' section. He has appeared on ABC’s ''The View'', the Fox News Channel’s ''Fox News Live'', ESPN2’s ''Cold Pizza'' and WTTW’s ''Chicago Tonight''.Skilnik says his interests in beer and brewing were cultivated while serving as a German translator in Western Germany for the U.S. Army.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago: 1833-1978
ISBN: 1880654164

Pogo Pr. 1999

The rise and fall of the Chicago brewing industry is played out in this fascinating book, which takes readers back in time to the heady days of yore. Well researched, it tells a colorful and true tale that takes readers from the opening of the first Chicago brewery to the day the last locally owned brewery closed its door. From the roaring twenties, the days of Al Capone and Prohibition and the salad days to the invasion of the Milwaukee breweries, this book tells all. Highlights of The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago include: *

Famous lager beer riots *

Al Capone and the Chicago mob *

Graft and municipal corruption *

Prohibition and speakeasies *

Chicago's great brewing families *

The Milwaukee take-over and more!

Much more than a time line, this book is a heady, fun-to-read volume that offers a rich history of Chicago against the backdrop of its booming and ultimately doomed brewing industry. Filled with anecdotes and little-known facts, it's a treasure for history buffs, Chicago fans, beer connoisseurs and collectors of breweriana.

The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago: Volume II
ISBN: 0741409038

Infinity 2002

Gone are the days that The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago, 1833-1978 detailed, when one could argue that every Chicago neighborhood or ethnic group seemed to have its own brewery. As the chapters of The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago, Volume II unfold, the more obvious it becomes that contemporary Chicago is now a global market. As a result, any attempt to segregate the effects of beer and brewing in Chicago from the rest of the U.S. beer market becomes more difficult. As goes beer in Chicago, so goes the nation.

Beer & Food: An American History
ISBN: 0977808610

Jefferson Press. 2007

The timeless combination of America's favorite frothy beverage, with its solid gastronomic counterparts, is the focus of this culinary chronicle. Documenting the parallel development of the brewing industry with that of American cookery, this exhaustive history traces ale's influence on recipes in America's early history, the introduction of lager beer in the 19th century, the use of malt extract during Prohibition, and the recent advent of craft beer. The more than 90 beer-related recipes encourage chefs to experience the bliss of wild salmon grilled on cedar planks or brownies washed down with a creamy stout.


Gold Quill and Tankard Award for ''History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago'' in 2000.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

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