I agree with all of you concerning the use of beer these days in a family-style restaurant recipe, however, I am quite certain it was contained in the sauce 29 years ago when I worked there. In proportion to the overall size of the batches of sauce, the amount of beer was very small, but it was in there. I have recently wondered how they get away with it these days and since nobody of more recent employment recalls it, it would not surprise me if they removed that from the recipe years ago. I do use it in my own recipe (1/6th of a cup to about 12 ounces of tomato paste and 12 ounces of water plus the rest of the stuff) and it does not produce a distinct beer flavor. The sugar really is the key to the taste and back then it was normal cane sugar, not brown sugar, but again, the recipe could have been fine tuned in the last three decades. However, if your attempts to recreate the Aurelio's taste continue to fail, you might consider adding a little brewski to the mix. Besides, there's always O'Douls or Sharps. Heck, that might even be what they use these days!