Hop Wranger is our September 2013 brew of the month

Hop Wrangler

‘Tis the season for football and saison! Oddly enough, the September beer of the month—Hop Wrangler, brewed by Peace Tree Brewing in Knoxville, Iowa—is not a saison; however, it offers flavors and aromas reminiscent of this traditionally spicy style. According to Kaleb Livingston, the operations manager at Peace Tree, Hop Wrangler is a different kind […]

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Ethos IPA is our August brew of the month

While I was browsing the shelves in the beer cooler at John’s one Friday last month, Joe Hotek walked in and I asked him for a recommendation. “You mean for August?” he asked. I have often sought Hotek’s advice for my Little Village recommendations, but this time I was shopping for myself. “Nah, just for […]

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Pilsner Urquell is our July brew of the month

Pilsner Urquell

For July, my instinct tells me to recommend a Czech pilsner. Light, refreshing, grassy and perhaps a touch skunky at first, I think the style not only suits hot, humid days, but also complements the aromatics I associate with summertime. After being disappointed by other versions of the style, I am falling back on the […]

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The Hops: Quality assured?

Beer Freshness

Beer freshness dates are an inconsistent hodgepodge. While brewery A prints a month-day-year bottling date, brewery B prints an internal batch code—a code which only the company can easily decipher—and brewery C does not print any information at all. While some beers benefit from a controlled aging process, many taste best fresh, and a date […]

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The Hops: June brews of the month


Last summer’s recommendation of PBR, my favorite lawn mower lager, disappointed at least one reader. Feeling the need to redeem myself this June, I am recommending two refreshing and tasty brews that even my mom likes: Stiegl Grapefruit Radler and Lindemans Framboise. […]

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The bittersweet effects of the 2012 drought

Though brewers said the hot, dry summer of 2012 brought an increase in sales due to beer drinkers looking to quench their thirst, there were also consequences. Brewers say the drought’s effect on the corn and soybean crops will influence the cost of malting barley and potentially the price beer drinkers pay for their favorite six-pack. […]

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Big Sky IPA is our April brew of the month


Call me crazy, but I have been so eager to go camping that I set up my tent in my basement one afternoon. I even inflated my sleeping pad, put it in the tent and laid on it.

I cannot wait for the first time this year when my friends and I sit around a campfire and watch the hypnotic dance of the flames under the big, star-studded sky. When that happens, I think I will be doing 12-ounce curls of Big Sky IPA, brewed by the Big Sky Brewing Company of Missoula, Montana. […]

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