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Millstream Brewing Co.

Millstream Brewing CoIowa's Oldest Brewery

Three Amana men decided to revive the art that had not been practiced in the Amana Colonies for years - the art of brewing beer. Carroll F. Zuber and brothers James and Dennis Roemig dreamed of building a small brewery to produce small batches of hand brewed beer reminiscent of Europe's finest.

To brew the best they needed the best, so they called on one of America's premier brewers, Joseph Pickett Sr., who helped in the brewery design, in the development of the beers, Millstream Lager and the robust, Schild Brau. Later, Millstream brewers, developed the zesty Millstream Wheat Beer.

In 1985 Millstream Brewing Co. opened its doors - the first brewery to operate in Amana since 1884. So the Millstream Brewery was born and so it has come to be recognized as the home of quality brews of rewarding taste.

The Story Continues in 2000 with the sale of the brewery to Chris Priebe, Tom and Teresa Albert. Chris is naturally handy and keeps the brewery in tip-top shape. Chris also is a trained brewer from the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology and has brought many years of brewing experience to Millstream. Teresa is an excellent people person and handles all the sales and marketing. Tom is our warehouse and production manager. He is the "glue" that binds the place together. It takes a good team to run a good brewery!

These owners are committed to continually making quality brews, one batch at a time. With a current count of 33 national awards and 1 international award, Millstream speaks of some of the finest beer made in the Midwest today. The brewers have introduced many different styles of beer to Millstream Brewery and with the passing of the higher alcohol law change in spring of 2010, many more styles will be coming out! The Brewery hopes to be able to reach out to local consumers in new and exciting ways.

Millstream Beers - Year Round Beers, Seasonal Beers and the Brewmasters Extreme Series

Millstream Brewing
835 48th Ave Amana IA 52203
PH: 319-622-3672 


Ramen Soup hack #2,670: Turn your Ramen into spaghetti

Mike ThayerBy Mike Thayer

Ramen soup beefRamen soup, it's cheap, it's a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

Don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

If you're not feeling like having another prepared per package instructions bowl of Ramen Soup, make spaghetti with it!  And the great thing about using Ramen noodles for this, it only takes 4 minutes!


  • Two packages of beef flavored Ramen Soup (chicken works too, but beef is better)
  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • Just one cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite jar spaghetti sauce (or better yet, something you made)
  • One Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • One small can of sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)


Put a medium sauce pan on medium heat.  Add the olive oil, the noodles, pour in the contents of the seasoning packets, along with the minced onion, dried oregano and just one cup of water.  Let cook for three minutes, then stir.  Add the spaghetti sauce and the mushrooms (Optional.  Sliced black olives are a great add too.  Got any leftover breakfast sausage?  Another great add.).  Stir for another minute or until all noodles are coated in sauce.  Plate and top with Parmesan cheese.

It's faster to make this than it is to microwave one of those over-priced ready meals.  Enjoy!

Food Review: Velveeta Shreds suck

Mike ThayerBy Mike Thayer

I love the original, classic Velveeta cheese!  It's great on Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, it's my go-to for making Chili Con Queso, nachos, a loaded up Mac & Cheese w/bacon......  But Velveeta's latest product offering, shredded *cheese*...   it disappoints.

Granted, Velveeta is the maker of 'cheese product'.....  I knew that going in and so with the classic brick Velveeta so good in melted form, I figured the 'Velveeta Shreds' was worth a shot.  I bought two bags, one bag of Mozzarella Shreds and one bag of Mexican mix.  Each bag weighed in at two pounds and Walmart had them priced at around $7.50 each.  At the time, I'm thinking, "Sweet, I've got a boatload of cheese, I can portion it out, use some for dinner tonight and stash the rest in the freezer!"

Mozzarella flavorBut there were three big red flags right there on the package that I completely ignored and shouldn't have.  For starters, and in bold print, it says "Mozzarella Flavor" right there on the front of the bag.  That's red flag #1.   It doesn't say "Real Mozzarella Cheese," it says, "Mozzarella Flavor."  OK, fine, the classic is "flavor" rather than the real stuff too, so no big deal right?   C'mon, it's Velveeta, it'll be good right? Well, combined with red flags #2 and #3, not so much.....   

After sampling the Mozzarella Shreds prepared on a pizza, I got a real mushy, pasty-like taste in my mouth.   I wasn't getting that wonderful combination of pepperoni, sauce and melted mozzarella, I was getting pepperoni, sauce and.....  starch?  So I picked up the package and read the ingredients after-the-fact......  And there it was, red flags #2 and #3 in the list of ingredients......  Modified food starch and wait for it.......  POTATO STARCH.   It doesn't matter that part-skim milk is the first listed ingredient, the potato starch ruins it.  Shreds are not something Velveeta should be proud of.  Who wants a mouthful of starch on their pepperoni?

You won't find the starches listed for the classic brick of Velveeta cheese.  The official list of Velveeta ingredients is as follows: Milk, Water, Whey, Milk Protein Concentrate, Milkfat, Whey Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Calcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Alginate, Enzymes, Apocarotenal, Annatto, Cheese Culture.

Kraft Foods apparently needs to add the modified food starch and the potato starch to get and hold the shredded cheese look.  Unfortunately, you can easily taste the starch.  It's an overdose.

I should have saved myself the trouble and read the list of ingredients at the grocery store.  But given how much I like classic brick Velveeta, I assumed the product would be good.  I was wrong.


Velveeta Shreds suck.  Both the Mozzarella and the Mexican mix (tried with tacos) give you that starchy, pasty taste - the Mozzarella more so than the Mexican flavored shreds. 

I won't buy these products again.  Velveeta Shreds get one Metro Pursuit star out of five.

Metro Pursuit

Kraft Foods

Grilling Good Eats: Yes, you can cook rice on a grill

By Mike Thayer

Rice can be truly exceptional on the grill, all you need is a cast iron skillet.

Put your cast iron skillet (one with a lid) over direct flame to heat it up.  No need for the lid yet.  Melt two tabs of butter in the skillet, add one cup rice, one tablespoon minced onion, one tablespoon garlic powder, stir just enough to mix and let it saute for a minute.  Add two cups chicken stock, a pinch of salt (IF your chicken stock is low sodium, otherwise, not salt needed). Bring to a boil,  then move to indirect heat, cover and smell those great aromas for 20 minutes.  Take off the grill and serve immediately.  If you did your coals right, you'll get a really nice, crispy, golden brown rice edge on the sides of the skillet.


Popcorn Shoppe

Popcorn Shoppe

Popcorn Shoppe, in North Liberty, IA, is the area's premier popcorn store serving all of Coralville, Iowa City and the surrounding areas since 2010. We have over 70 flavors of popcorn, including carmel corn, kettle corn, and custom mixes of popcorn. We also sell old fashioned candy, handmade fudge, salt water taffy, custom gift packages and more! Come visit Popcorn Shoppe in North Liberty for all your gourmet popcorn needs!

Popcorn Shoppe Display

We carry a large variety of candies that are sure to satisfy any craving!  Our stock changes regularly so be sure to stop in often!  We even stock hard-to-find, nostalgic candies, sure to bring back memories of your childhood!

We also carry a large variety of homemade scrumptious fudge.  We make several flavors sure to cure your sweet tooth!

Looking for that perfect gift?  Gift baskets and popcorn tins are a wonderful way to show someone you care!  We have a large collection of baskets and tins available.  Let us create something special for you!  Contact us for more details

Popcorn Shoppe
Located in Penn Landing
725 Pacha Parkway, Suite 4
North Liberty
PH: 319-665-2297


General Mills Will Label GMO Food Amid Stalemate in Congress - Bloomberg Business

General Mills Inc. decided it’s waited long enough for Congress to act on GMOs.

The food giant, which makes Cheerios and Lucky Charms cereal, will start citing genetically modified organisms on its products across the U.S. in coming weeks after a bid to create a national standard died in the Senate.

A law requiring GMO labels on some food products is set to go into effect July 1 in Vermont, and General Mills said it wasn’t plausible to create packaging for only one state. In January, Campbell Soup Co. became the first major food company to announce that it would start adding GMO labels to products with ingredients such as corn, soy, sugar and beets.


Pizza restaurants celebrating 'National Pi Day' | Fast Casual

March 14 might be best known as the annual celebration of everyone's favorite mathematical constant, but it's an important day for pizza lovers, too. 
Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter — a number that equates to roughly 3.14. In 2009, March 14 was officially designated as Pi Day. Pizza restaurants are celebrating the day with various deals and specials.


Bachelor on the cheap: Don't buy jar spaghetti sauce, make your own

Mike Thayerby Mike Thayer

Ragu, Prego, Bertolli, Classico, Emeril's, Newman's Own, and so on....   They come in an array of flavors (many of which you've probably never tried before) and an array of costs, $3, $5, $7 a jar and so on....  Sure, they're convenient, but don't buy them.

Make your own, it's so easy and WAY cheaper than buying the jar stuff.  The best part, you control the flavor!

Here's a quick sauce you can make, use it as a base to incorporate your favorite flavors.


  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • Half a medium onion, finely chopped (alternative - dried minced onion or onion powder)
  • Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped (alternative - garlic powder)
  • One 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • One cup water
  • One Tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat up a medium sauce pan over medium heat, put in the olive oil and onion.  Saute until translucent.  Add the garlic, stir for about a minute.  Add in the tomato paste, water, oregano and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.    This is a base sauce, take the flavors where you want to go from here.  Add some red chili flake, or some Parmesan cheese.  Try a beef or chicken bouillon cube.  Basil is a great add.  Melt a tab of butter into the sauce just before serving.  Personally, I like to add some sliced mushrooms and Cookies Flavor Enhancer to my sauce.  The flavor profile is all up to you, it's easy to do and you didn't have to spend $5 or $7 bucks to bring it to your table!  A 6 ounce jar of tomato paste costs around 75 cents.  We're talking bargain provided you've got some basic seasonings in your pantry.


A Mike Thayer recipe: Baked Pork Chops

Mike Thayerby Mike Thayer

Tasty pork chops aren't just coated with flour and fried anymore......  And yes, baked pork chops can be fabulous!

It's all about keeping the juices locked into the chop, no matter how it's prepared.


  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning - Garlic & Herb
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Two cups water
  • A dash of Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat up a large cast iron skillet or oven safe pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and let it warm up until it just starts to smoke.  Salt both sides of the chops and add to the pan.  Brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Combine the water and all remaining ingredients in a measuring cup or medium bowl, stir, pour slowly into the pan.  Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  Remove the chops and let rest for five minutes.  The juices remaining in the pan will make a GREAT gravy!  Over medium-low heat, just add about a Tablespoon of flour, a bit more water and stir until it comes to a boil.  Take off the heat and serve with the chops.

TIP:  Compliment your main dish with a side that carries some of the same flavor.  These baked pork chops for example would be great paired with garlic mashed potatoes.