My ancestor invented Budweiser, and all I got was potato salad

I may not have inherited a beer fortune, but at least the spud recipe is great

Published June 8, 2010 1:01AM (EDT)

This winning entry for the Salon Kitchen Challenge -- in which we asked readers to share their favorite picnic recipes -- comes to us courtesy of Kirby Hanson. We haven't had a chance to try this recipe out yet, but we'd love to hear about it if you do!

In 1876, a fellow named Carl Conrad from a little hamlet in Bavaria developed the pasteurization of beer. That is, he figured out how to put beer in bottles. Terribly clever for his time.

Because he was my great-great grandfather, his patent hangs in my kitchen next to my "B is for Botox" book and a copy of the French Laundry Cookbook, all of which are totally useless. But good for conversation.

So clever Carl comes to St.Louis to dish with the Busches who ask for the recipe and how to name this beer?

Well, since that old poop Carl was from Budweis in Bavaria, he suggested ... "Budweiser." And so it was. A nice oral agreement followed, a celebration mit a little schnitzel und sauerkraut, a handshake among fellow beer drinkers and thirty years later, not a damn thing held up in court after old Conrad moved into that great brewery in the sky.

I don't own a hair on a Clydesdale, a tail from a lizard or a bucket of stale hops.

What I do own is his potato salad recipe. The cold version quite different from what you'd expect from Deutschland. Yes, you are right to assume that their signature potato salad was served warm with bacon, a slosh of horseradish, and a nice stein of lager.

But not Carl's. He was a believer in the simplicity of fine ingredients, perhaps the reason he was able to sustain beer in a bottle and despite his lack of savvy in business dealings, he made a wunderbar potato salad.

If there's German in you ... anywhere ... if you drive a VW, if you like Bauhaus, if you listen to Beethoven, then you are German by osmosis and qualify to savor Carl’s recipe.

Don’t forget the lager, Die Fledermaus, a rollicking family argument with Uncle Adolph, and an imaginary flight on the autobahn. Achtung!

Das Wunderbar Potato Salad


  • 3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed, cut in half
  • 6-8 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 6 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh, flat parsley
  • 3 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • Equal amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream, to taste
  • Horseradish to taste
  • Dijon Mustard to taste
  • Yellow mustard to taste
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper.


  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain, and cool.
  2. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Not too small or you’ll end up with potato salad puree. (I leave the peel on ... no need to remove the red.)
  3. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl with celery, diced eggs, diced red onion, parsley, cucumber, and dill. Toss.
  4. Mix equal parts of mayo and sour cream (can substitute lite sour cream). Add horseradish, Dijon mustard, and yellow mustard.
  5. Toss dressing with potatoes until you have reached the correct unctuousness. Until it’s juicy but not dripping or soggy.
  6. Best if it chills for at least an hour before serving.


By Kirby Hanson

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Food Kitchen Challenge