Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo has grown into a fairly large celebration in the US, thanks to several major beer producers.  However, it’s not Mexico’s independence day.  Instead, it was the victory of the weak Mexican Army against the stronger French Armies, and the holiday is quite minor in Mexico, except in the city of Puebla, where the battle took place.

In America, we will celebrate tonight as the people of Puebla do, with Spanish music, and authentic food and drink.  Right now, there is no shortage of imported Mexican beer to choose from.  Most people know about the Mexican Lager or Island Lager, such as Corona, but what you may not know is that Mexico revived a beer style that at one point was almost gone: the Vienna Lager.

The Vienna Lager was developed by Anton Dresher in Vienna in 1841, but the style never caught on in Europe.  Instead, it was revived in the late 1800’s by several Austrian brewers who emigrated Mexico, and has been popular since.

Great examples of the style include Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Ambar, and it is classified by being caramel-colored, being a bit sweeter malt flavored, and being light in body and smooth.

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo, and let me know how your night goes!

IPTV Iowa Journal – State of Beer in Iowa

I was finally able to watch the Iowa Public Television show, Iowa Journal, that was aired last Thursday night on the state of beer and the brewing industry in Iowa. It was a panel discussion that included three beer experts: Iowa Brewers Guild president and head brewer at Raccoon River, Dave Coy, Sioux City Journal beer writer Tim Hynds and John’s Grocery manager and bier guy Doug Alberhasky.

The panel discussed how beer in Iowa will expand and gives the consumer better choices after the March 10th passage of SF 2088.  The episode is available online.

Peace Tree Brewing Hop Wrangler 3

Hop Wrangler 3
Hop Wrangler 3

Peace Tree Brewing made it to Iowa City!

I was able to try Hop Wrangler 3 in the bottle. It is an IPA with Belgian, English, and American malts, and  English and American hops added at 6 different times.  A Belgian yeast is used, and leaves a lot of nice sweet esters.

The aroma is very hoppy with a bit of a sweet smell.  The taste has a strong hop flavor balanced with just enough malt.  There is a fluffy white head that stayed the whole glass.  It also had a nice finish.  It was a great IPA, and I look forward to more from Peace Tree!