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 evening.
Where to buy: John’s Grocery, New Pioneer Food Co-op and most area Hy-Vee stores. It is also available on tap and in cans at the Old Capitol Brew Works & Public House, 525 South Gilbert Street, in Iowa City. Old Capitol will also fill growlers.
PRICE: $7 per four-pack of 16-ounce cans, $2-3 on draft. New growlers at Old Capitol are $14 and refills are $11.
FOR TRADITIONALISTS: For those craving maibock, I highly recommend Einbeck Mai-Ur-Bock.

May is for maibock. A native of Einbeck, Germany, it has lubricated traditional spring festivals for at least four hundred years, though was unfortunately absent at the Grant Wood Mayfest when I was in fifth grade. However, I am breaking with this tradition to recommend an excellent Iowa brew that should satisfy the hopheads.

483 Pale Ale, brewed by Davenport’s Great River Brewery, is so aggressively hopped it gave me California flashbacks. (Brake lights stretching past the horizon—noooo!) Brewed with Centennial hops and dry-hopped with Cascade, 483 Pale Ale would fit right in among assertive West Coast pale ales and is a rejuvenating compliment to spring fever.

When poured into a pint glass, 483 Pale Ale is a clean and clear rust/pale amber color. One or two fingers of eggshell-colored head will develop and dissipate to leave a bubbly and spotted lacing and ring of foam around the edge. The aroma is an invigorating bouquet of all that is hoppy and nostril tingling. Scents of grapefruit, orange and lemon citrus can be smelled at an arm’s length away from the glass and are complimented by pine spice. Amongst all the hops, hints of caramel and toffee are able to create a little elbowroom.

The first sip conjures images of Yosemite and Mount Shasta. Flavors of citrus (grapefruit, lemon and orange) and pine spice mirror the dominating scents, but the hoppiness is kept in check by smooth caramel and toffee.

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