Our Founders

The DreamOne fine summer day back in 1999, three arguably overweight guys were sitting around a picnic table having lunch. They were enjoying three plump, juicy burgers with all the fixin’s that you would expect and washing them down with three tall, cool lagers, each pulled straight from their own trusty cooler by their sides.

As usual, when they were done eating lunch they immediately started talking about what they were going to have for dinner that night. “Steak?” they all said out loud harmoniously. Sounded good they thought, but how should they prepare it? Just grill it like they had grilled so many steaks the nights before? It suddenly seemed far too regular and far too simple… there must be more to steak they thought.

Then a bell went off (it sounded like a cowbell). An idea was born.

The RealityBrian’s Belly is a place where guys can go… guys like us. Guys that know how to fire up a grill in their backyard and know how to boil water but never strayed too far from the basics or the frozen food section at the grocery store.

Join us here at The Belly compadre. You know you’re one of us. You like to eat, and drink and eat little appetizers, and that’s all you do. Let us show you the way to a better burger… a happier steak… a hotter sauce… a colder beer.

The website before you now was born of simplicity–we wished there was a place on the internet where we could go when we wanted a great recipe that sounded like a guy telling another guy how to cook… something simple, delicious and HOT. Something covered in cheese and washed down with a beer.

You can find that here. You can find information about what to cook, how to cook it, and what to drink with it. We’ll teach you a thing or two–and if you have something to teach us, we’re all ears.

The BuddiesWe are the guys that bring it all together for you…
Chef Executive Buddy David Lauterbach
“Could I have cheese on that?”
Executive Buddy David Lauterbach

If this team of fat bastards had a captain, it would be David. David is considered the brains behind The Belly. Whether it’s rallying the troops into a last minute barbecue food festival, spinning a beer cold in 60 seconds flat or squirreling the last cheeseburger away in his pocket until later that night when a bite will be appreciated by all, Dave is the man.

Recently, when asked why he would spend so many of his precious hours sitting behind the computer building a website instead of leading an active, outdoor lifestyle he replied “as long as I’m sitting I’m happy… oh and drinking… sitting and drinking… and eating. As long as I’m sitting and drinking and eating.” And really, what better job to have than website developer if you get to sit, drink and eat all day… God bless you Dave.

Dave is the site editor, web master and graphic artist. He is based in New York City and despite the “fat bastard” reference, his mom doesn’t think he is either fat or a bastard. Feel free to visit his website at DavidLauterbach.com

Search for reviews, articles and recipes by David.

Big Belly Brian Bailey
“The way to a man’s heart is through his belly.”
Big Belly Brian Bailey

Without Brian, this website may never had been named Brian’s Belly. He is the go-to guy when it comes to food. “What’s the best way to eat buffalo steaks Brian?” we’ll say with big, eager eyes. Brian knows, and now he’s telling you.

And his heart is as big as his belly. Why, I remember once we were out by the fire one night, hanging out under the stars on one of the most beautiful nights that summer. My cooler had just gone dry… empty! Damn! If I wanted another beer, why, I’d have to get up. Well, Brian took one look at my empty cooler, reached into his own cooler and–although it brought a tear to his eye–offered me his last beer. Even opened it for me. True story.

And remember, if you can’t find Brian… he’s probably in taking a nap.

Search for reviews, articles and recipes by Brian.

Infamous Famous Belly Mark Higgins
“What’s a website?”
Infamous Famous Buddy Mark Higgins

Every team has a slacker. Since we already have the brawn and the brains covered, Mark must be the beauty. From time to time at a party or a barbecue when the rest of us start to get a little drunk or a little goofy, Mark is always the one that makes sure we get a lot drunk and a lot goofy. Then he sits back and watches the theatre of the drunken idiots that he created.

Rather than imitate so many of the people in the world that are all out there in this dog-eat-dog world competing to be the best every day, Mark prefers to use his powers of lazy contentment to watch TV and relax. This gives him a lot of time to think and consequently, he is our idea man.

Search for reviews, articles and recipes by Mark.

Contributing BuddiesBeer Belly Brew Master Rob Lieblein
Probably the very first microbrew that most of the Belly members were ever privy to was a dark, delicious brew called Outhouse. But after some financial setbacks (gambling problems) and equipment trouble (ex-wife got the still) the taste and aroma of Rob’s Outhouse still lingers on in our mouths and in our memories. Lucky for us (and you) we were able to snatch Brew Master Rob to head up our Beer Belly. Don’t hold the fact that he’s a vegetarian against him… he can still drink you douchebags under the table.

Search for recipes and reviews by Rob.

Belly Buddy Mark Stevens
Mark likes chatting and writing about beer almost as much as he likes drinking it and brewing it. When something is boiling in his backyard brewery, the dark steam clouds almost certainly promise a storm of very big and very black beers.

Mark is certified as a beer judge by the BJCP and is also the co-author of three homebrewing books, published by Storey Publications and available through bookstores everywhere and the links below. Mark has also written several articles about beer and breweries for various publications, and is a contributing editor to the “Encyclopedia of Beer” (Henry Holt Publishing, New York).

Search for beer reviews by Mark.

Books by Belly Buddy Mark Stevens

BrewWareHomebrew FavoritesMore Homebrew
Brew Ware: How to Find, Adapt & Build Homebrewing EquipmentHomebrew Favorites: A Coast-to-Coast Collection of More Than 240 Beer and Ale RecipesMore Homebrew Favorites: More Than 260 New Brews!

Belly Buddy John CarrollJohn is a regular guy. He has a regular wife, a regular dog & a regular house in the suburbs. That’s why John is an alcoholic. But this does not effect his ability to amaze us with some wonderful dishes… in fact he makes all of them with one thing in mind… what he’s going to drink with it. We’re lucky enough that he also passes his thirst quenching thoughts along to us in his recipes.

In spite of wanting to “get the hell out of the house sometimes before I put a bullet in my head,” John keep to the kitchen, so you won’t find any barbecues in his repertoire.

Search for recipes and reviews by John.

Belly Buddy Mike BestMike likes his hot sauce, and it shows in his chili recipe. Some of Mike’s recipes require a bit of your time, but he paces you out with beer so you never really feel like you’re wasting your time cooking when you could be drinking.

Speaking of potato salad, you’ve got to try Mike’s… as near as we can tell from the recipes’ intro, years of inbreeding in his family has served to enhance this generational hand me down.

And remember, potato salad is the only salad officially recognized by Brian’s Belly.

Search for recipes and reviews by Mike.

Belly Buddy James Hollis SmithJames lives in Manhattan, where he is editor-in-chief of a national men’s magazine. He has written many essays, short stories and poems, all of which have been rejected by the finest magazines. He can be contacted at his web site www.evil-g.com.

Other contributors to the site include Ed McShea, Danny Lauterbach, Scott Doherty, Scott Stout, Frank Murphy, Ceylon Blackwell, and Ted Alexandro.For the Friends of the Buddies, see this page.

Who’s your Buddy?The Belly is dedicated to finding you some of the bestest beer & simplest meals. We’re looking for help from the guys (and yes, the girls) that are out there in their own backyards & poorly stocked kitchens throwing together recipes that taste absolutely delicious without requiring vast amounts of your valuable drinking and television time to prepare. If you’ve got something that can help the cause, get in touch with us via our feedback form. Or, if you’d like to share your ideas with others, submit a recipe or suggest a beer, we encourage you to use our BBoard since anyone can read it and reply.All information within the pages of briansbelly.com is considered property of Brian’s Belly. We created it, wrote it and we and only we can distribute it. Unauthorized use will be tracked on the internet using sophisticated software and computer programming similar to the technology used when you get an email stating that Bill Gates will personally send you $314 for every person you forward it to.