Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Lion Bridge Brewing The Disaster at Meux, John Garland, Senior Editor
As an alumnus of the University of Iowa, I find myself driving along Interstate 380 to Iowa City at least twice a year. I never used to stop in Cedar Rapids, but that’s changed since I discovered Lion Bridge Brewing. A charming little brewery in the historic Czech Village along the Cedar River, Lion Bridge won GABF gold medals in their first two years in business. Their 2015 medalist was The Disaster at Meux, a gorgeous brown porter with a robust biscuit malt flavor in an easy-drinking body. You can find their beer all over Eastern Iowa, including most of my favorite haunts in Iowa City, like Short’s Burger & Shine and Clinton Street Social Club.
Dogfish Head Flesh & Blood IPA, Kate Murphy, Editorial Assistant
Listen up Minnesotans and fans of Dogfish Head: Come spring, we’ll no longer have to make the trek across the border to Wisconsin to get our hands on innovative and “off-centered” beers, such as this zesty number. Pouring a color as pretty as a penny, Flesh & Blood IPA’s shining star is the citrus. It’s tart and spritzy, fresh and fruity, with tangy notes of juicy lemons and oranges. A light caramel malt flavor is hidden below the citrus, but it finishes pithy and dry, rounding off the ale with a pleasant bitterness. Not too sweet, not too tart, Flesh & Blood is just right.
Revolution Brewing Anti-Hero IPA, Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor
Chicago is a town I don’t visit often enough. The City of the Big Shoulders is awash with craft beer these days, and a weekend is barely enough time to even scratch the surface. One brewery I find myself returning to time and again, though, is Revolution Brewing. In the sea of juicy, floral Northeast IPAs flooding the market, their Anti-Hero IPA packs a much-needed crisp, bitter punch. The assertive American hops come through sharp and straightforward, yet all the while approachable—like Chicagoans itself. It may not be the hero we want, but it’s the anti-hero we need.
August Schell Brewing Stag Series #10–Tropical Stout, Keith Grauman, Web Editor
Sun in your eyes, sand between your toes, salty air blowing through your hair, and a rich, black stout in your glass. While this combo may not be the first to come to a beer drinker’s mind today, it likely would have been your only option if you were an ordinary British soldier stationed in East India in the mid-19th century. Back then, porter accounted for almost twice as much of the beer trade as pale ale, due in part to its more affordable price point (the officers could afford the good stuff). Schell’s take on the style is smooth, slightly sweet, and goes down just as easy in a Minnesota winter as it would have on the beach 150 years ago.
Anchor Brewing Steam Beer, Joseph Alton, Editor-in-Chief
I’ve been lucky enough to visit some really cool and really important breweries in my time, but none more influential or awe-inspiring than my recent trip to Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. The paramount brewery, founded in 1871 and rescued from bankruptcy in 1965, has been making craft beer since before there was such a thing. When I visited the brewery I was lucky enough to enjoy a signature Anchor Steam Beer fresh off the bottling line. Brewed with a blend of pale and caramel malts, the beer is first fermented with lager yeast in shallow open-air fermenters and then undergoes a secondary fermentation called kräusening. The result is a uniquely drinkable California Common that pours a deep copper color with a hardy head. Steam Beer drinks smooth with sturdy malt character and a pleasant, herbaceous, moderately bitter finish. Best straight from the source!