Tag Archives: Beer

Suds: April 20

Season 5 of the oft-lauded AMC series, Mad Men, is underway finally to the relief of many starved fans. The writer for the show, Matthew Weiner, is known for his minimalist approach when it comes to revealing information–a style that has kept fans on their toes, trying to piece together each character’s backstory. Among the many nagging questions about Don Draper, we are left to wonder just how damn wealthy Don Draper really is, so crack open an Ale Asylum Madtown Nutbrown and read this expertly investigated story on Draper’s net worth.

Photo and article courtesy of AMC and DVR Overflow, respectively.

Now for some Suds!

– Possibly the greatest homebrew set-up I’ve seen yet. I wonder what German water tastes like…

Gastro Non Grata at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis.

– An awesome project of the digital age at UW-Madison.

– Tickets for Harriet Brewing’s Sol Bock Revival are on sale now!

– Unfortunate news out of Chicago for New Chicago Beer Company.

– Nice little write-up on Virtue Cider’s first release, RedStreak.

Founder’s Dirty Bastard is banned in Alabama.

– Iowa’s next beer festival is coming up soon. Get your tickets now!

Tweet your favorite Roger Sterling quote @MidwestBeer #Sterlingisms.

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Brew for Thought: Anchor Steam

I love American beer. I rarely drink anything else. Perhaps it’s because my pallet favors the bold or even the weird, but the thought of drinking anything else doesn’t really interest me. Some people complain about the history dominated by tasteless macro brews—obviously, Schlitz does not fall into this category—others complain about the bucking of tradition. But this is America, a nation of adaptors and inventors. Can’t do things the old way? Well, let’s just do them the American way. There’s no better example of this than Anchor Brewing Company’s signature Steam Ale.

Originally brewed on the West Coast out of necessity (people need beer! And they didn’t have ice), steam ales test the robustness of lager yeast by fermenting them at ale temperatures. I’ve heard stories about how the brewing process created an inordinate amount of steam because of the heat, but I can’t really find reliable evidence to corroborate these claims. Regardless, Anchor Steam shows just how innovative American’s can be when they have a demand to fill.

To me, steam ales seem like such an untapped resource. Sure, it doesn’t seem like it could get much better than a cold Anchor on a warm day, but still, Anchor’s the only game in town. You mean to tell me you don’t want more beers with this level of refreshment and body in other beers? Not to mention the crisp hop finish, and the seemingly endless drinkability. Oberon is a good summer beer. Anchor Steam is what all summer beers should strive to be.

Best Enjoyed: Cold and on a boat. Or just before you do a radio show.

Best Paired With: Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza.

Find it: I’ve seen it pretty much everywhere I’ve ever visited, even Florida. I assume this means pretty much every state?

Anchor’s Away! Follow us on Twitter (@midwestbeer), Facebook or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.


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Suds: April 18

Always love to see New Glarus’ beer getting props from beer geeks. Crack open a bottle of their Cherry Stout and take a look at this episode of Brewing TV before diving into Suds.

Wild Cask at Barley John’s in Minnesota.

Fulton Beer dinner at the Bulldog NE next Tuesday.

– Not in the Midwest, but still a really neat discovery.

– Love to see more women getting into beer.

– Speaking of women that are into beer. Check out this write up on the Goose Island Fulton Wood Series “En Pessant” release from The Girl and Her Beer.

– Point is expanding and hitting the Nude Beach again.

Peoria Jaycees International Beer Festival should prove to be a great success.

– Been a while since we hit an Ohio event, but Parkville Microfest is right around the corner. Get your tickets before they run out.

Suds! It does the body good. So do our other features. Check them our beer reviews, essays and editorials for additional pleasure.

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Brew for Thought: Surly Furious

American history, and the history of Western Civilization overall, is steeped in revolution. The epic shifts in political power, religious dominance, philosophical thought, and movements in art have all had a hand in shaping the cultural landscape of modern day and each had a catalyst that launched simmering undercurrents into full-fledged revolutions. The American Revolution had the Boston Tea Party; Modernism had Pablo Picasso; Christianity had Martin Luther and The Ninety-Five Theses; and the Minnesotan craft beer revolution has Surly Furious.

For years, the standard of Minnesotan craft brewing was Summit Brewing Company, who quietly and without much fanfare served fine craft beers to the residents of the North Star State. Still, macro brews dominated the local market and craft beer remained an underground movement. That is, until one homebrewing entrepreneur got a little surly about the situation and started Surly Brewing Company. With a mission to oust the common swill plaguing the Minnesotan beer scene in favor of bold flavors, Surly gave craft beer a strong, unified voice and became a rallying point for the oncoming revolution.

Furious, Surly’s flagship beer, is the very essence of the brewery’s mission: full of bold and aggressive flavors that make an indelible impression on the drinker’s palate. It tastes like a glorious victory against the tyranny of bad beer akin to the Delacroix painting depicting “La Liberté.” Join the ranks of Surly Nation by cracking into a can of Furious and proclaim, “Vive la Bière!”

Best Enjoyed: After drinking a can of Beast Ice.

Best Paired With: A rack of ribs and corn on the cob.

Where to Find: In Minnesota. Anthony was able to find some out in D.C. too, but it sported a hefty pricetag.

Visit Surly’s website to find out more about this booming brewery.

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Hoptellectual: Brilliant Mind(s) and the Next Big Idea

Working for a minor league baseball team, we are always striving to come up with the next big idea to blow our fans away and possibly garner national media attention. It’s a business that survives by being relevant and unique from all of the other entertainment options in town. When we dig through the piles of abstract thoughts our staff generates during offseason brainstorming sessions and strike a nugget of a golden idea, we begin shaping it, crafting a refined vision out of the raw material. By the time the idea is released to the press, its original source is long lost—no one remembers who came up with it and everyone had a hand in its development. In the end all that matters is the idea itself and its effects on the world. (Take the jump to read on.) Continue reading

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Suds: April 6

Opening day. The words carry with them the history of America’s pastime and the promise of a new chapter to come. They awaken the spirits of baseball legends like Ruth and Cobb, Williams and Wagner and Aaron and Mantle and call today’s players to achieve the unthinkable. There is the beauty of a no-hitter, the power of a home-run, the speed of a stolen base, the acrobatics of an amazing play in the field and the strategy of a skipper leading his team to the World Series. It’s worthy of the fanfare and of the name, America’s Favorite Pastime.

Check out this clip from Ken Burn’s Baseball  if you need more convincing and have yourself a Bell’s Oberon because summer is finally here.

Fitger’s Brewpub in Duluth has a great line up of beers on tap.

– Lift Bridge celebrates their bottles being back in stores with a tasting at Thomas Liquors in St. Paul tonight.

Sorry Minhas, better just stick to Mountain Crest.

Brewery Vivant to distribute in Chicago.

James Bond will be drinking beer in the next movie. And people are actually upset.

Target Field is adding local beers to their list this baseball season.

– Looking for somewhere fun to have your next pint? Check out Firkin in Libertyville, IL.

– Or if you’re in Michigan, check out the Hopcat!

– Not to be confused with Hopleaf in Chicago.

– If you’re in Wisconsin, you have to check out the Malt House. You can read what’s it’s all about here.

Who is your favorite baseball player of all-time? Tweet @MidwestBeer or post on our Facebook.

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Brew for Thought: Finch’s Cut Throat

It amazes me the distance we have to travel to find what’s always been right under our noses. The Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte once said, “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” I left the Midwest last August, a cloying feeling that I still don’t fully understand. What I do know is that my beer tastes haven’t really changed. I buy beers from New York and Vermont, sometimes even Virginia, but when I want to make a statement with beer, I always get something from the Midwest.


Finch’s started up when I was still living in Wisconsin. I moved back to Chicago for a bit only to find that all the local liquor stores weren’t stocking it. Combine that with how overwhelming the Chicago beer scene can feel, and I just never really got around to trying Finch’s. At $9.50 a four pack here in DC, I made a huge mistake. I bought it for a taste of home, and already went back for more.

Finch’s talks up the beer as refreshing, but it really brings another dimension to the thought. Winter ends quicker here in DC. Snow doesn’t have to melt and the humidity from last summer lingers. I don’t need to be refreshed as much as I need a reminder that there are seasons. Like Chicago, Cut Throat exhibits every season in each beer. The strong, malty backbones reminds you of winter and spring, the crisp finish beckons the fall, the barely traceable orange smiles for the summertime with the sessionable nature. Refreshing is one way to put it, but it’s more than that. This is a damn good beer made to be consumed with damn good company. The cans just make it more portable.

Best enjoyed: When you’re in the mood for reflecting. Or camping.

Best paired with: Seriously, pizza. Lots and lots of pizza.

Find it: Sweet Home Chicago. And for whatever reason, Washington, DC.

Homesick Midwesterner? Tell us about it. Twitter (@midwestbeer), Facebook or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.

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