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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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. […]

Read More…

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. […]

Read More…

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. […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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. […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…