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Rare Vos is our February 2014 Brew of the Month

February’s beer of the month is Rare Vos, a “Belgian-style café ale” produced by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. Rare Vos (“sly fox” in Dutch) takes its name from a pub in Schepdaal, Belgium, known for being the starting point of pigeon and bike races. Rare Vos is the perfect beer to celebrate an accomplishment or to cap a long day’s efforts. According to Ommegang’s website, Rare Vos is its “most quaffable” beer and what the brewers like to drink after a lengthy shift. Indeed, this ale makes for easy drinking: Not only is Rare Vos tasty, it lacks the high ABV of Ommegang’s other Belgian-inspired brews. […]

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Snowstorm is our December 2013 brew of the month

Snowstorm time!

While some breweries release the same, traditional holiday seasonal year after year, others keep consumers on their toes by always brewing something new. Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale is most well-known for surprising beer drinkers each year, but I always look forward to Schell’s Snowstorm. The 2010 weizenbock and 2012 biere de garde were superb, and […]

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Hop Wranger is our September 2013 brew of the month

Hop Wrangler

‘Tis the season for football and saison! Oddly enough, the September beer of the month—Hop Wrangler, brewed by Peace Tree Brewing in Knoxville, Iowa—is not a saison; however, it offers flavors and aromas reminiscent of this traditionally spicy style. According to Kaleb Livingston, the operations manager at Peace Tree, Hop Wrangler is a different kind […]

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Ethos IPA is our August brew of the month

While I was browsing the shelves in the beer cooler at John’s one Friday last month, Joe Hotek walked in and I asked him for a recommendation. “You mean for August?” he asked. I have often sought Hotek’s advice for my Little Village recommendations, but this time I was shopping for myself. “Nah, just for […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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