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Campton man brews up fame

CAMPTON TOWNSHIP – Tom Seefurth says his pizza-flavored concoctions will have him rolling in the dough in no time.

The real-estate agent turned brewmaster says the local publicity that he received after putting his Mamma Mia Pizza Beer on tap at Walter Payton’s Roundhouse in Aurora has both beer drinkers and newsmakers nationwide, and even internationally, looking for a swig of his most recent brew.

“I can’t even describe what the feeling is,” Seefurth said, citing his emotions after hearing that “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno made reference to his pizza beer during a recent show.

“Close to 20 radio stations across the nation have called, Albany called this morning. ... [WLUP DJ Jonathon] Brandmeier, he was a naysayer.”

Seefurth said his beer would be talked about between 6 and 8 a.m. today on Brandmeier’s show.

Seefurth’s pizza beer is a combination of tomatoes, garlic, yeast and herbs, which, when purified, strained and fermented, comes out a pale orange and tastes, as advertised, like pizza.

Despite a few reports on one of about a half-dozen Web logs, the beer is not a chunky stew of tomatoes and toppings, although some of his key ingredients are in actual pizza.

“This is better than anything you’ll put in your mouth with any kind of Italian dish,” Seefurth said during the beer's recent unveiling at Walter Payton’s restaurant on Route 31.

Seefurth even has Canadian talk shows calling in to find out how he came up with the pizza beer.

“They said, 'Who knows, Mr. Seefurth, maybe it’ll be the first beer that Canadians actually like,'” Seefurth said.

While pizza beer might take pizza parlors around the country by storm this summer, Seefurth’s entrepreneurship isn’t stopping there. Just last week, Seefurth signed a contract with an area cheese manufacturer for pizza-beer cheese.

“We went up and packaged our own half-pound packages of Wisconsin cheese, we’re going to make this and sell it to the brew pubs,” Seefurth said.

Seefurth has turned his beer making business into a family affair, using has wife, Athena, as his quality control technician and his 14-year-old daughter Suzanne’s drawing skills to create emblems for the beer and cheese.

Seefurth’s next ambition to gain some publicity? Tossing a pizza into a brew-pot from a New York City rooftop.

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