Wednesday, April 7th is "National Beer Day." Just thinking of it is making me thirsty. To quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt:  "I think this would be a good time for a beer".  

The date chosen for this celebration isn't just random. On April 7th, 1933 a law signed by Roosevelt went into effect allowing beer sales. Of course, the 18th Amendment wouldn't be officially repealed until December of that year. To get the law through, the beer could only contain up to 3.2% alcohol which was considered too low for intoxication. I would hate to see what some "tee-totalers" from back in the day would think of many of today's craft brews with double, triple or even quadruple the alcohol content!

As I think about my love for beer...I basically break them down into three different categories...

*1. The finished lawn-mowing/neighbor visits/tailgating/grilling beer --- all these things can be lumped into one category...because, think about it, it's a hot summer day, you just finished mowing and what goes down better than a nice cold light lager? For example, a Busch Light/Bud Light/Coors Light/PBR or even a Hamm's? The answer is NOTHING...the aforementioned beers are perfect for cooling off, or sharing with a neighbor.

Speaking of neighbors, if they stop over, I usually hit my "beer fridge" and grab something everyone likes, for instance a Bud Light. If I actually like the neighbor, I will dig a little deeper for the "good stuff" in the back of the fridge...and if they're a really good neighbor, they'll just bring some beer themselves.

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Again, all of those beers in the "light lager" realm are excellent for hanging out at a tailgate playing some "bags" or just sitting by the grill doing absolutely nothing (but  burning the meat, in my case). Here is my current favorite far as, taste and "drinkablility"...if you stop by the house, you'll probably get offered a Gable from Singlespeed Brewing. Yes, it's named after that guy, it's clean and crisp and refreshing.

*2. Beer that goes good with food... that's the one downer I've found about beer, if you're eating - anything with it, it usually kills the beer taste...the only exception to this rule that I've found is Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat.

*3. A beautiful craft beer to just relax and enjoy...When you first starting drinking have to determine "what kind of beer person am I"? Do you like the bitterness of IPA's? Pilsners? Stouts? How about "Sours"? Or, if you're like me, you like nice and smooth Bocks or "malty's" (as I call them). So as far as malts go, "there's nothin' finer than a Shiner!"

In northeast Iowa, we're blessed with MANY fine craft breweries, including, Decorah's Toppling Goliath which has won many award and enjoys national accolades. Pulpit Rock Brewing also in Decorah along with PIVO Brewery in Calmar and several others.

In the Cedar Valley, we also have many fine breweries/taprooms...including Lark Brewing, Second State Brewing and SingleSpeed Brewing (in Waterloo and Cedar Falls) which leads me to my personal choice for stouts...anything with a hint of coffee, cocoa, etc...I'm "down" for that...and the winner is...SingleSpeed's "Tip The Cow".

The only thing that would make "National Beer Day" better is...if it didn't fall on a Wednesday. I guess you could slide out for a "liquid lunch" or to be safe just wait until you get home after work to celebrate. Or if you work from home, you can start celebrating at anytime, just be careful on those video-conferencing calls!

KEEP READING: What Are the Signature Drinks From Every State?

This radio station took a (very) informal poll on our Facebook page and here's a list of the most popular places in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area to wrap your hands around a giant delicious burrito. You'll notice that they're listed in alphabetical order because it's hard to say that one is better than the other. Except for those cheap frozen burritos you can find in your grocer's freezer, those are truly disgusting. Especially, when you compare them to these local creations made with fresh ingredients and tender loving care. There's a surprising amount of fantastic Mexican restaurants in the area, let's check them out.


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