Al Jolly at Brew City BBQ
more than a menu, it's a labor of love - love of friends and love
2001, Laurie Jolly, Jim McCabe and chef Kasmier Rutherford (pictured
at right) revamped
Milwaukee's downtown Brew City BBQ restaurant. "Put a little
south in yo' mouth," is the sassy advice on the new menu from
consulting chef Scott McGlinchey, quoting his buddy Al Jolly.
Al Jolly died last summer, he had just begun working on the Brew City
BBQ menu. To continue Al's legacy, his friend Chef Scott McGlinchey
added Cajun specialties and Southern classics, such as slow-smoked
roadhouse spare ribs and bourbon pecan pie.
I first started working with Al Jolly on the board of directors of
the Milwaukee Ale House," recalls partner Jim McCabe, "I
knew I wanted to work with him on a larger project so we bought the
Brew City BBQ together with his wife, Laurie Jolly."
loved beer, especially Wisconsin beer, supported small breweries by
offering their specialties on draft. He even offered to host a test
pilot brewery for a local brewer's school at Jolly's on Harwood (which
closed in August 2001).
the breweries in town, Sprecher, Milwaukee Ale House, everyone, he
helped promote their beer," says beer wholesaler Matt Kopka.
was generous by nature, and by profession. Why be stingy with diced
peppers for a jambalaya, when they add so much flavor? Jolly intensified
the taste of just about every dish he made, by being generous with
the best quality ingredients, adding his culinary finesse.
loved cooking with beer, playing with its hoppy and malty flavors
as a poaching liquid, a base for sauces, soups, even salad dressings.
Scott concocted a "beer-BQ" red barbecue sauce the way Al
would have made it, tingling with chipotle peppers and the Milwaukee
Ale House flagship amber, Louie's Demise.
generosity spilled out beyond the kitchen, too. Whenever a charity
needed help, Al Jolly was there, handing out food, doing cooking demonstrations,
donating free dinners for raffles and fundraisers, anything to lend
of all, he was fun to be around. "I never saw him when he wasn't smiling,"
says Russ Klisch of Lakefront Brewery. Al
Jolly prepared all the Cajun food and served more than 500 people
for the opening of Lakefront's Palm Garden.
Al Jolly (wearing glasses) with his wife Laurie, far right,
and Chef Scott McGlinchey and his wife Mandy, pictured together last
jokes. And one of the best jokes he played was with Scott McGlinchey
- during a cooking demonstration at a winery in California, they made
a dish with bear meat wearing just their aprons (bear-assed, get it?).
two days later, Al Jolly died of a heart attack. There were decorations
in the shape of tiny bare bottoms, made of flesh-colored fabric, wedged
into the flower display sent by the winery to the memorial chapel.