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The Hops: Breckenridge Christmas Ale

It is once again time for celebratory holiday beers and winter warmers. While some are sub-par and gratuitous (another excuse to add a truckload of hops to a handful of malts), others gain such praise that they are brewed year-round. Some are even worthy of cellaring and comparing with previous holiday vintages. […]

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The Hops: Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde & Trois Pistoles

Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde & Trois Pistoles Though Canada’s Thanksgiving tradition may be a little different, our hockey-loving neighbors to the north brew the ideal beer pairings for a US-style Turkey Day. Tripel is excellent with turkey and La Fin du Monde, brewed by Unibroue in Chambly, Quebec, is a perfect choice for Thanksgiving […]

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The Hops: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

October is my favorite month. Sweatshirt weather, colorful foliage, Big Ten football and Halloween spookiness. It cannot be beat. The evening air is tinged with the campfire-like smoke of wood-burning stoves and far-off burn piles in the country, giving the month its own aroma. Whenever I catch that scent, I think of cool October evenings […]

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On the Table

Imagine five-hundred humpback whales. Twelve max-weight 18-wheelers. These amount to one million pounds–or the milestone reached by Iowa City’s Table to Table, a charitable organization that rescues food to support local service agencies that assist the hungry, homeless and at-risk. And for the first time in its 15-year history, Table to Table rescued more than […]

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The Hops: Hefeweizen

August kind of sucks. Summer vacation ends (for those who still have it), there is no reason to drive to Missouri for fireworks and the beginning of football season is painfully close. Basically, it is 31 days of heat, humidity and perseverance. Thankfully, there is hefeweizen. Brewed with over 50 percent malted wheat, refreshing on […]

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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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