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The Iowa City Beer Riots of 1884

In the second half of the 19th century three breweries operated along Linn and Jefferson streets. Their money and influence ruled much of the Northside’s economy, and they were known as the German Beer Mafia. Hundreds were happily employed in their operations but it all turned very dark one day in 1884. In the worst […]

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The Hops: Irish-Style Extra Stout by Schlafly Brewery

As if the Irish reputation was not already soaked in stout and whiskey, the county council in Ireland’s County Kerry approved a motion that would allow residents in rural areas to drink and drive. The measure supports the creation of a permit system which would, according to The Guardian, “allow rural drinkers to drive after having ‘two or three drinks.’” The councilor that proposed the measure, Danny Healy-Rae—who, The Guardian notes, owns a pub—“claimed it would help prevent depression and suicide in the county” by allowing residents of the sparsely populated countryside to drink and socialize at a pub and then drive home without the fear of losing their license. […]

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The Hops: A handy guide to aged beer

In December, I drank my last bottle of 2009 Anchor Christmas Ale. That’s right: I drank a three-year-old beer—ceremoniously, too. I poured the ruby-brown brew into a gold-rimmed Christmas Ale pint glass that I reserve for drinking Anchor’s iconic holiday seasonal. I took notes and compared them to what I had written the first time […]

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The Hops: Great River Brewery’s Farmer Brown Ale is our brew of the month

Two weeks after their 800-pound canning line was stolen last summer, the brewers at Davenport’s Great River Brewery welcomed Charlene to their team. Hauled from Colorado on a rental truck, Charlene is the brewery’s new canning machine. While speaking over the phone with Great River brewer Paul Krutzfeldt last month, I could hear Charlene rumbling […]

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The Hops: Two Lutherans, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian and a Baptist walk into a bar

The Hops

At first they seem like a group of old frat buddies meeting after work. Over pizzas and pints, they commiserate over troubles at the office. They discuss sports and the hard luck of favorite teams. They playfully argue, tell off-color jokes and laugh. And they even have a signature chant, which booms across the bar […]

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The Hops: St. Bernardus Christmas Ale by Brouwerij St. Bernardus – Watou, Belgium

‘Tis the season for holiday beers, a time when breweries release festive winter warmers or special one-offs made with top secret ingredients, and a time that for me is the most exciting part of the seasonal beer calendar. In the past, I happily vetted many of these special releases for my December recommendation; however, this […]

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The Hops: What’s New for the Craft Beer Consumer?

The Hops

For two years, a collaboration of brewers from the Boston Beer Company and Weihenstephan worked to develop a unique new beer. The result, the champagne-like Infinium, was brewed in accordance with the German Beer Purity Law of 1516 with a process that is still patent pending. On its webpage, the beer is praised as “groundbreaking” […]

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The Hops: Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing Company – Grand Rapids, MI

My plan to recommend a tasty and potent weizenbock this month fell through, so I have decided to suggest a stout that is so good I drank it for breakfast while camping in September: Breakfast Stout, brewed by the Founders Brewing Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Though it may not provide the important nutrition to […]

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The Hops: Cleaning up Kinnick

The sun has yet to rise but the full moon still hovers over the western horizon. Its pale light illuminates the trash strewn parking lot behind Kinnick Stadium. Cars dodge garbage bags and piles of disposable plates; the crunch-crunch of stray cans and plastic cups under their tires echoes across the lot. A dozen people, […]

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The Hops: Schlafly Pumpkin Ale by Saint Louis Brewery, St. Louis, MO

Though I love carving pumpkins for Halloween, and finishing Thanksgiving dinner with a slice of pumpkin pie, pumpkin-flavored beer never appealed to me; it seemed like a bad combination. However, it was something I knew I should try and I recently got the chance to sample 17 different pumpkin ales with my beer tasting group. […]

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The Hops: Educating the Masses

When golfing, Kent Ball will drink Miller Lite because it’s refreshing, watery and usually cheaper than bottled water. It is a beer, he said, that he does not have to think about on hot, sunny days; all he needs to do is crack open a can and drink. But when patronizing his favorite pub, Ball […]

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The Hops: Rayon Vert, by Green Flash Brewing Company, San Diego, CA

September is a time for football (oh, sacred game) and funk. Brettanomyces funk, that is. Affectionately known as Brett, Brettanomyces is a strain of yeast used in many Belgian beers. It imparts a dank funkiness commonly described as being similar to a barnyard or horse blanket. To me, it smells and tastes like an old, […]

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