After finishing some business on a warm, sunny, summer Saturday in downtown Davenport a few years ago, a couple friends and I stopped at the Great River Brewery. We each got our pints at the bar, walked outside and sat at a picnic table on the brewery’s front patio.
Soft music played on the outside speakers and the water flowing through a tap line fountain lulled us into serenity. The bike rack on the sidewalk was full and bicycles were chained to the brewery’s fence, their spandex-clad riders nursing plastic cups filled with stout and brown ale.
Shaded by an umbrella, my friends and I chatted, laughed and sipped our beers. The woman sitting next to us apologized for eavesdropping on our camping plans, but wanted to endorse what I had told my friends: No extended trip to southern Wisconsin would be complete without a stop at the New Glarus Brewing Company.
It was a calm, relaxing, untroubled afternoon made better by tasty brew, sunshine and good company. As someone who is cooped up indoors on weekdays — chained to a laptop answering an endless stream of emails — I relish the chance to get away, enjoy the outdoors, do a couple 12-ounce curls and relax with friends. It allows me to decompress and let the specter of constant deadlines and unanticipated headaches dissipate to nothing. I was able to do that on that carefree day at Great River.
That, folks, is the beer of the month — my final recommendation in Little Village: Your favorite brew or a tasty beer of your liking, enjoyed responsibly, outside and in the company of good friends. Enjoy it at the end of a long bike ride or at the end of a stressful week. Relax and revel in the wonder that is spring in Iowa. This time of year — peppered with long, warm, sunny days — is perfect for patio and porch sessions. Don’t worry about deconstructing flavor and aroma profiles, and don’t bother taking notes for posting online later. Hell, don’t even trouble yourself with the pretension of glassware; just drink it straight from the bottle or can! Crack it open or pop the cap, ease into a comfortable chair and relish a moment of tranquil bliss.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 220.