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The Hops: Native Brew

Though it may look like any other fountain of sudsy goodness, the tap line behind the bar at Short’s Burger & Shine (18 South Clinton St.) is an icon. Its ever-changing cast of 10 Iowa-brewed beers symbolizes… […]

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The Hops: 438 Pale Ale

Brew of the Month: May Great River Brewery – 483 Pale Ale Brewer: Great River Brewery of Davenport, Iowa. Style: Pale Ale. Alcohol content: 5.4 percent ABV. Food pairings: The hoppiness pairs well with curried cuisine such as Thai or Indian, but will also go well with classic burgers off the grill on a warm […]

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The Hops: Fuller, Smith and Turner P.L.C. London Pride

Now that spring has sprung, the ivy at Wrigley is slowly starting to leaf out and all Irish drinking holidays are behind us, the beer version of spring fever takes over. Gone are the cravings of thick, creamy stouts and spicy winter warmers–it is time for the hops, fruit and lightness of warm weather beer. […]

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The Hops: Left Hand Brewing Company Milk Stout

Not only does the March equinox mark the change of seasons, the transition to spring swings beer cravings back toward the light, citrusy and often hoppier brews enjoyed during T-shirt and shorts weather. But screw that. There is tons of time for IPAs and hefeweizens later. March means St. Patrick’s Day, when the Chicago River […]

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The Hops: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout

My original plan for February was to tap into Valentine’s Day tradition and recommend a beer reminiscent of the chocolate-covered cherries and dark fruit given to sweethearts across the world. However, the chocolate/fruit brews I sampled were downright awful. So I decided to substitute cherry with caramel. The coupling of chocolate and caramel not only […]

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The Hops: Brother Thelonious

Much like Iowa’s arctic freeze, the season for high gravity beer persists through January. An ideal time to polish off the remaining supply of festive winter warmers, this month is also perfect for sipping jet black imperial stout, barley wine and finely crafted Belgian strong dark ale like Brother Thelonious. Named in honor of jazz […]

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The Hops: Celebration Ale

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California. Style: American IPA. Alcohol content: 6.8 percent ABV. Food pairings: Peppery cheeses (Monterey/Pepper Jack), sharp cheeses (Blue, Cheddar), pungent cheeses (Gorgonzola, Limburger), poultry and seafood (especially shellfish and salmon). Where to buy: John’s Grocery, all area Hy-Vee’s and the west side Fareway. Price: $3 per 24-ounce bottles, […]

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The Hops: Weizen Up

To me, November falls in a gap between seasonal beer styles. It does not fit as well within the autumn brewing tradition as October, and it’s too early for holiday/winter ales. However, colder weather brings the craving for dark beers full of roasted chocolate and coffee malts, so my November recommendation needed to be a balance between seasonal traits. […]

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The Hops: Devilishly Good

Harvest is the traditional time to drink saison, a pale ale from Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. Though perfect to quench the thirsts of workers toiling in the fields (circa 1880), saison is not ideal for the October tradition I’m in the mood for. Instead, I feel like wearing my fake-blood stained mad scientist smock for Trick-or-Treating.

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The Hops: Premature Oktobulation

September, I realized, is a difficult month to recommend beer for. For three weeks it is still technically summer, so I wanted a beer that was light-bodied and refreshing. It also needed be rather cheap, as long afternoons of tailgating call for coolers packed with relatively affordable brew.

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The Hops: Backyard Brew

The ability to chug a whole bottle of PBR in one mighty draught only impresses your peers for so long. What was formerly an athletic display of swilling prowess becomes something sad, a little desperate. It is a sign of the need to grow up, difficult as that can be to accept. So how is […]

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