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LV’s November 2016 Brew of the Month: Bender by Surly Brewing Company

November is the perfect time to drink brown ale. The style’s toasty notes befit the dropping temperatures, shortening days, bare tree branches and, of course, the cold rain. It’s an ideal brew to sip while relaxing with friends or family after Thanksgiving dinner. There are a number of high-quality brown ales that are widely available, […]

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Ballast Point’s Pumpkin Down is LV’s October 2016 Brew of the Month

October, the best month of the year, is here again! It brings hayrack rides, colorful leaves, scary movie marathons, cool weather — and pumpkin spice up the ass. From coffee to muffins and even pancakes, pumpkin spicing can border on excessive. Some pumpkin is good, but too much can ruin the appetite for a big […]

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LV’s September 2016 Brew of the Month: Your guide to local Oktoberfest beers

Dust off your one-liter beer mug because September is the time to enjoy the many Oktoberfest beers being brewed in eastern Iowa — perhaps even at one of the area’s many Oktoberfest festivals. Here’s a run-down of the Oktoberfest beers being released by local breweries. Another Road: The Marion brewery will release its Oktoberfest, along […]

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Gose Shore by Exile Brewing Company is LV’s August 2016 Brew of the Month

The beer of the month is a tart but tasty and drinkable brew that should wet your whistle on the hot, sticky, long days of August — Gose Shore, brewed by the Exile Brewing Company of Des Moines. Gose Shore is best served in a weizen glass or a stange, which is a tall, skinny, […]

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Arms Race Pale Ale by Big Grove Brewery is LV’s July 2016 Brew of the Month

It’s that time of year when bicyclists are hitting the trails and country roads hard, training for RAGBRAI. One popular and effective (some may even say masochistic) route runs from Iowa City to the old Sutliff Bridge via the beastly hills of Sugar Bottom Road. It is a ride worthy of the beer of the […]

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Pompeii by Toppling Goliath Brewing Company is LV’s April 2016 Brew of the Month

The beer of the month, Pompeii, is a tropical and citrusy dream come true, ideal for enjoying on warm, early spring afternoons when wearing t-shirts and shorts feels weird, but oh-so-familiar and awesome. Part of Toppling Goliath’s Hop Patrol series of IPAs, Pompeii is inspired by the House of Faun in Pompeii, Italy, where beautifully […]

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CocO Stout by West O Beer is LV’s March 2016 Brew of the Month

This St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy the world-class, Iowa-brewed cream stout that has brought two straight gold medals home to West Okoboji: CocO Stout, brewed by West O Beer. According to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) style description, a sweet/cream stout should be dark, sweet and full-bodied; its flavor should be dominated by chocolate and […]

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LV Recommends: Millstream Brewing Company’s Schild Brau Amber

To commemorate Millstream Brewing Company’s 30th anniversary, LV’s August beer of the month is Millstream’s internationally acclaimed flagship beer — Schild Brau Amber. Millstream has brewed Schild Brau Amber since the Amana-based brewery opened in 1985. The beer’s many awards include a gold medal in the Vienna-Style Lager category at the 2010 World Beer Cup. […]

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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: Brother Thelonious

Much like Iowa’s arctic freeze, the season for high gravity beer persists through January. An ideal time to polish off the remaining supply of festive winter warmers, this month is also perfect for sipping jet black imperial stout, barley wine and finely crafted Belgian strong dark ale like Brother Thelonious. Named in honor of jazz […]

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The Hops: Celebration Ale

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California. Style: American IPA. Alcohol content: 6.8 percent ABV. Food pairings: Peppery cheeses (Monterey/Pepper Jack), sharp cheeses (Blue, Cheddar), pungent cheeses (Gorgonzola, Limburger), poultry and seafood (especially shellfish and salmon). Where to buy: John’s Grocery, all area Hy-Vee’s and the west side Fareway. Price: $3 per 24-ounce bottles, […]

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The Hops: Weizen Up

To me, November falls in a gap between seasonal beer styles. It does not fit as well within the autumn brewing tradition as October, and it’s too early for holiday/winter ales. However, colder weather brings the craving for dark beers full of roasted chocolate and coffee malts, so my November recommendation needed to be a balance between seasonal traits. […]

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