Category Archives: backdrop

Time Travel and the Mutability of Paradise

As a kid, it was a real treat when my mom would throw up her hands and exclaim, “Ah, let’s just go to Pee-Wee’s!” This meant she wasn’t cooking dinner, and I’d be afforded a few of life’s simple pleasures: a … Continue reading

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Illuminator IV (and I) to hit Des Moines and Minneapolis

Well, it’s that time of year again—doppelbock time. Some brewvana readers will recall my 2011 historical investigation into the origins of doppelbock, which later became the book, Diary of a Part-Time Monk. For that Lenten study, I collaborated with my … Continue reading

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Beer pairings for regular folks, Part 8

[an occasional series on how “regular folks” can integrate craft beer into their “culinary” endeavors] Boy, this one takes me back! It’s my mom’s fault that I used to embarrass her in restaurants from time to time. She made me … Continue reading

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Beer pairings for regular folks, Part 7

  One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is homemade mac and cheese. Hands down. It could often be found on my grandma’s table, along with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, pickled beets and the best damn corn … Continue reading

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Behind the Monk at home

an interview with the Part-time Monk’s full-time wife Michelle’s favorite song is probably “Stand by your Man,” but I’m not sure about that. That’s certainly been her role over the course of these 16 beery years, a role that has … Continue reading

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Behind the Monk at work

An interview with the Part-time Monk’s full-time boss A few have commented on what an ideal situation it would be to have a boss that would allow one to drink on the job. While it’s no laughing matter–there is work … Continue reading

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AC/BC launches in style

4 mash tuns, 6 guys, 60 gallons of beer and a brand-new club When I moved to Adams County, Iowa, nearly four years ago, my biggest fear was that I would be a beer geek all alone. Thank goodness a … Continue reading

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Time isn’t holding us

“You may ask yourself, ‘what is that beautiful house?’ Your may ask yourself, ‘where does that highway lead to?’ You may ask yourself, ‘am I right, am I wrong?’ You may say to yourself, ‘my god, what have I done’” … Continue reading

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Looking back on darker days, part 2

On the heels of yesterday’s post, I became a little curious about Iowa during Prohibition. I tracked down this link by David J. Hanson, Ph.D. on Alcohol Problems and Solutions, which paints an ugly picture for the land of my birth: … Continue reading

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Looking back on darker days

Is it any peculiar coincidence that at just the moment Iowa beer laws are making an overdue leap forward I happen to be doing research for a completely different article and pouring through newspapers from 1929 and 1930? Guess what … Continue reading

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