Advertisement

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. […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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… […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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, […]

Read More…