Pullman Bar and Diner Celebrating Local Craft Beer Week

pullmanPullman Bar and Diner in downtown Iowa City will be celebrating drinking local this upcoming week. Each day they will be adding two Iowa craft beers on tap as well as having representatives from each brewery talking about their beer. Here’s the official announcement from Pullman along with the beer lineup:

Just a little FYI for next week. Pullman along with some other fine establishments will be doing a local craft beer week. We will be doing a progressive tap takeover starting Monday at 3 pm. Each day we will add two new local craft beers. Matt O’Neil (local mason/artist and super talented) will be painting each brewery on our vestibule leading into the restaurant. Also, each day at 3-5 pm we will have representatives from each of these breweries here to talk about their beers. So, if you want some insight and meet the people behind the beer, here’s your chance! All of these beers will be discounted during our happy hour from 3-6 pm. Here are the beers along with schedule of who’s going to be here and when. Cheers!

Monday: Wilson’s Orchard – Hard Cider, Hoppy Hard Cider
Tuesday: Exile Brewery – Gigi (Gold Medal), Raspberry Bohemian
Wednesday: Turner Alley – Czech Pilsener, Woods Wheat
Thursday: Lion Bridge – Work Comp (Gold Medal),Sorachi Liberace (New saison)
Friday: Big Grove Brewery – Desperate Measures, and the coffee version of Richard the Whale.

Northside Oktoberfest: A Fall Spectacle

northside octoberfestShamed to say that this year was my first Northside Oktoberfest, but after yesterday, I can safely say that it won’t be my last. The folks at John’s Grocery, the City of Iowa City, all of the brewers and vendors really pulled out all the stops and made yesterday’s event one to remember.

I was lucky enough to get a Brewmaster’sphoto 1 ticket enabling me to take part in the “Real Ale” contest. The setup to get in was wonderfully done as lines were moving at a great pace and no one had to wait too long to get in. Once you get in, the Ale tasting began! 11 breweries were a part of this contest. After tasting each beer, the ticketholders were given a wooden token to put into the basket of whom they considered having the best real ale. Some excellent submissions in this contest as folks from Kalona, Big Grove, Tallgrass, Peace Tree, Confluence and more had beers for this contest. In the end, the winner with their double dry citra-hopped Arms Race Pale Ale was Big Grove Brewery in Solon!

photo 2After the real ale contest you then get to walk up and down the streets trying and tasting tons of beer, wine, soda, ciders, etc. I was very impressed with the amount of room given to this festival and to top it off, in the middle of the festival was a huge seating area, similar to a German Beer Hall, where there was a big screen showing the Iowa v. Wisconsin game! That really helped cap a beautiful Iowa day, as being able to sit, eat, and when you wanted a brew you simply got up and hit whatever tent was calling your name. Watching the Hawks beat Wisconsin was the cherry on the top.

I can’t comment much on the food as I prepared photo (2)myself for lunch at Brix Wine and Cheese Shop but it seems that most of the food that I saw looked delicious. Burgers, brats, pizza, steak sandwiches, it looked like a little bit of everything. Brix was tremendous. Some charcuterie and cheese to pair with Exile’s Raspberry Bohemian beer sure hit the spot.

photo 3So many great brews, so little time! Luckily I found a bunch that kept calling my name throughout the day. Call me a snob, put for a beer festival, I usually avoid hitting the lines where they are pouring out of cans or bottles, unless it’s something very rare to get. I usually stick with who brought some kegs in. The beers that really stood out to me were:

*Big Grove Brewery Que Sera w/ raspberries and honey. This was a blow away beer. The raspberry addition added that perfect amount of fresh fruit flavor and the honey added that sweetness to set off the tartness of this berliner weisse. I kept going back for this one and was very happy I got to try it!

*Lion Bridge Brewery Sorachi LIberace – a heavily hopped Saison using Sorachi Ace hops photo 4and once I had my nose in the glass I got a whiff of juicy fruit bubble gum and the same on the tongue followed by the dry grassiness that a saison gives. This will not be available at the brewery for another week I believe, so to be able to try it was a real treat. Another winner from the 2-time gold medalists at GABF.

*515 Brewing Reaper in the Rye – I could easily put their OJ IPA on here as well but
I’ve had that one before and wish I could have it whenever I wanted but I’ll go with their newer release. This heavily hopped cascadian dark/Black IPA was so good I had to go back for 2nds and then 3rds. The amarillo hops shine and pair nicely with the photo 5 (1)spiciness that the rye brings to the table. An excellent brew!

*Exile Raspberry Bohemian – I missed this at their tent but was informed it was on tap at Brix Wine and Cheese Shop. Luckily, I planned on getting a bite to eat at Brix so that confirmed my decision. A bit sour and tangy with the perfect amount of raspberry. This is a beer that I would love to keep stocked in my fridge. Refreshing and delicious!

*Peace Tree Sour Mash Saison – wasn’t sure what I would think of this one but I really enjoyed it. Very sour and tart but also refreshing and extremely drinkable. Between this and the No Coast citra-hopped Peace Tree really had a great day!

*Firetrucker Resuscitator Doppelbock – goes to show that almost every style of beer was well represented at this beer festival. Firetrucker showcasing a style that I usually don’t go out of my way for but after tasting theirs, I would be more than happy having this in my beer fridge arsenal on a constant basis. Excellent body, malty aroma, and the caramel and nuttiness on the flavor makes this the perfect beer for fall. Give me a slice of pumpkin pie to pair with this beer and I’m in heaven!

Lots of great bottled stuff like Goose Island Bourbon County, some great offerings from Founders, 30th Anniversary by Bells, Silva Stout from Green Flash, and quite a few things from Abu Nawas. A great event that I can’t recommend enough! Looking forward to next years already and I hope to see you there!

List of After Oktoberfest Parties for this Saturday 10/3/15

northside octoberfestA few after parties will be happening this Saturday once Oktoberfest draws to a close. A chance to try more beer and here are the places that will be hosting:

Founders and Stone @Sanctuary 5-10pm
405 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: KBS, ReDankulous, All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, Vertical Epic, Ruination 2.0, Delicious IPA, & Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard

Oskar Blues @Joe’s Place 5-10pm
115 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: $4 Pinner Pints & Barrel Aged G’Knight
Come hang out with the OB Brewery Rep

Boulevard @Mosley’s 5-10pm
525 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: Rye on Rye, Collaboration #5, Funky Pumpkin & Tank 7

Peace Tree @Donnelly’s Pub 5-10pm
110 E College St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: Blonde Fatale & Sour Mash

New Belgium @Blackstone 5-8pm
503 Westbury Dr #1, Iowa City, IA 52245
Featuring: Apple Oscar Ale & LaFolie
Meet the Brewer

Lagunitas @Gabes 8-10pm
330 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: Lagunitas Daytime & IPA
8pm-10pm: The Jumbies on the patio & DJ Lagu inside

New Belgium @The Mill 8-12am
120 E Burlington St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: LaFolie & Peach Oscar Ale
Meet the Brewer

Dr. Bill Sysak hosting a Live Stone Brewing Webcast at Winestyles

Really respect Dr. Bill and always love his food and beer pairings. Check this event out! Details are below:



Tuesday, October 13th
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Join us for a LIVE virtual beer tasting event with Stone Brewing’s craft beer guru, “Dr.” Bill Sysak.  In real-time, taste 6 Stone craft beers along side “Dr.” Bill and ask him your questions online.  Seating is limited – call your local WineStyles to RSVP.

“Dr.” Bill  Biography

Dr-Bill-Bio-BubbleBill Sysak, or as he’s more often referred to, “Dr. Bill,” is the Craft Beer Ambassador for Stone Brewing Co. “Dr.” Bill is a Certified Cicerone® and has proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving craft beers. He received his nickname through his work as a medic in the military Army National Guard, and the moniker has stuck with him throughout his career in the craft beer industry. At Stone, he’s responsible for setting the beverage standard and ensuring the beverage philosophy is followed at all Stone Brewing Co. venues. “Dr.” Bill is widely considered one of the foremost experts in24carrotgolden_Bottle_Thumbthe field of pairing beer with food. He suggests the beer, wine and food pairings for the menus at our restaurants, and also coordinates and hosts many Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens events including: Beer & Cigar Dinners, Master Pairing events, Sour Fest, Oakquinox, Stone Pour it Black, and Rare Beer Breakfast. Sysak has been featured in such publications as New York Times, Draftmagazine, Imbibe, Los Angeles Times, and Food & Wine.

He is on the San Diego State University “Business of Craft Beer” Advisory Board and is the instructor for the “Exploring Craft Beer” course.

“Dr.” Bill can also be found on the popular Internet podcasts, “New Brew Thursday” where he does a “Master Pairings” segment each week and “Expert Drinking,” where he educates his fans on the best of craft beers, cigars, fine wines, and spirits.  Learn more about “Dr.” Bill on Stone’s Blog here.


  • Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale
  • Stone Go To IPA
  • Stone Pale Ale
  • Stone Ruination Double IPA
  • Stone Coffee Milk Stout
  • Stone Smoked Porter


Contact your participating local WineStyles to RSVP!

New Belgium introduces next Hop Kitchen Beer: Hop Stout; draft only

new belgiumnew belgiumNew Belgium continues its Hop Kitchen Series by offering a pretty intense stout to the lineup. Hop Stout will be draft only and will check in at 100 IBUs and 8% ABV. According to New Belgium’s beer finder Jameson’s in Waterloo, El Bait Shop and Keg Stand in Des Moines have it currently on tap.

Hop Stout pours a deep, delicious chocolate brown with a creamy head atop. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee and toasted bread notes emerge from the blending of eight different grains and six hop varieties, which accent the richness with a citrusy, woodsy pop. Equinox, Chinook and Willamette are just a few of the hops that arm this unique stout.

“We wanted a wickedly hoppy and deeply malty stout to celebrate the fall season,” said Grady Hull, Assistant Brewmaster of New Belgium Brewing. “Hop Stout draws you into the malty woodwork of a traditional stout and then the hops storm in. It’s a really incredible, complex beer for those seeking a little more adventure with the change of seasons.”

At 8 percent ABV and 100 IBUs, Hop Stout isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s for malt and hop lovers alike. Hop Stout is now available on draft.

To find Hop Stout near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool:NewBelgium.com/Beer/Finder.

Surly Nein Iowa Release Details

neinSurly Nein, an imperial smoked hefeweizen, will be hitting a few tap lines around Iowa in the coming weeks. Here’s more from Surly’s website:

We’re celebrating our 9th anniversary this year with the release of NEIN, an Imperial Smoked Hefeweizen. We want to celebrate with all of you, so starting on Monday, September 28, we’re having release parties for NEIN in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago and Iowa. We’ll have NEIN on draft at all the events as well as NEIN merch giveaways, so come out and raise a glass to nein years of Surly!

Make sure to check out our event page for each party for details and get ready for NEIN to hit stores, bars and restaurants near you!

NEIN draws from the traditional banana and clove notes of Hefeweizen yeasts and layers on deeper toned malt flavors, a distinctly smoky character from oak-smoked wheat malt and charred “honeycombs” of white oak. All of the malt comes from Weyermann Malting, a family-owned operation in Bamberg Germany, which is the center of Rauchbier (smoked beers) in Germany. The inspiration came from a trip that our head brewer Todd Haug recently took to Bamberg to visit the Weyermann facility.Here’s the Iowa release info:

Iowa – Parlor City Pub & Eatery, Hessen Haus and El Bait Shop
Wednesday, Sept. 30, Starts at 4pm
Hessen Haus – 101 4th St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Wednesday, Sept. 30, Starts at 5:30pm
Parlor City Pub & Eatery- 1125 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Thursday, Oct. 1, Starts at 4pm
El Bait Shop – 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Bell’s Hopslam only available in cans and keg in 2016

bellsThe following tweet comes from Bell’s Brewery:

will only be available in cans & kegs in 2016. Look at this beauty.

And more from their website:

One of our most sought after beers, Hopslam Ale, will be packaged solely in six-packs of 12 oz. cans and kegs when it returns in January for its annual release.

The Double India Pale Ale, brewed with Michigan honey, will not be bottled as it has been in the past.

“With construction here at the brewery on top of an already very busy schedule for our existing Bottling Hall, this was the only way to ensure that this beer got to market as quickly and as fresh as possible,” said Bell’s Vice President Laura Bell.

“Our Canning Line is very well equipped to lend a hand and help get this aromatic beer to our fans and customers so that they can enjoy it as it is intended,” she added.

Our current expansion will almost triple our Comstock Brewery’s footprint once it is completed next year. Part of that construction is a new Bottling Hall that will be able to run at triple the speed of our current bottling line.

Future packaging decisions, beyond 2016, will be decided at a later date and as construction wraps up next year.

Hopslam (10% ABV) will be the sixth Bell’s beer to be packaged in cans. Two Hearted and Bell’s seasonal offerings (Oberon, Best Brown, Winter White and Smitten) are packaged in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans. 

Two Hearted (year round) and Oberon (March – August) are also available in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans.