The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 08.20.03


Beer is good, very good

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790).

"Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer."
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1975)

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
Dave Barry

"As for beer and trout, both are best plucked from the icy depths of crystal clear waters."
Greg Duncan

Ah, the hazy, lazy days of late summer. Grasshoppers dance and crickets sing while sunflowers droop under the weight of seed. Suburban lawns look like so much shredded wheat and men everywhere relish in a short reprieve from lawn mowing. What's a man to do but crack open a frosty while watching the grass grow ever so slowly?

Drink beer of course.

I am not advocating inebriety here, but simply highlighting pleasures given by the Almighty. Of course there are many useful things to be done with our favorite beverage and, as we are masters of the outdoor cooking arena, we have been very creative and resourceful in putting beer to good use.

While we have invented many ways to grill and barbecue using our love potion, we have also figured out ways to steam, bake, and fry using the elixir of life. The following recipe combines that other man food, bacon, which coincidentally goes, very well with… you guessed it, beer.

Steamed Clams with Bacon and Beer

Ingredients 4 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds manila clams, scrubbed well
1-cup beer, water, or chicken stock


Fry bacon in a medium pot until soft and golden, about four minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue cooking until the bacon is nicely browned and the onion is tender, about four minutes longer. Stir in the clams and add the beer.

Cover the pot and steam the clams for 6-7 minutes, until they open. Discard any clams that do not open. Stir gently to mix with the bacon, garlic and onion, and serve immediately.

(Mussels can be easily substituted for clams if preferred.)

Yield: four servings