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Drink of the Week: Red Rambler Ale

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 13, 2014 5:00 AM

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This craft beer comes straight out of Knoxville — no, not the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the University of Tennessee, but a small town in Iowa (around 50 minutes outside of Des Moines), home to the Knoxville Raceway dirt track, my grandma Mary Gay McClatchey, and Peace Tree Brewing. Knoxville may only hold around 7,000 people, but it brews some great beer.

THE EXPERIENCE: The Red Rambler is one of Peace Tree’s most popular brews (alongside the Blonde Fatale, which has become almost ubiquitous in downtown Iowa City bars). The name is a nod to the brewery’s former occupation as a Nash Rambler car dealership and to the ale’s deep red color. Topped with a thick head that coats the side of the glass and three types of hops, the Rambler is full and delicious, boasting a distinct malt flavor.

ADVICE: If you like the Rambler, it’s worth exploring Peace Tree’s other craft beers, from the Black River Gumbo Stout and Hop Sutra to the No Coast IPA and Cornucopia — each honoring small town Iowa in name, flavor, or label design. Better yet, take a drive to Knoxville, visit Peace Tree, and catch a sprint car race. And say hi to my grandma while you’re there.

— by Emma McClatchey


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