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Brunch with Surly @Blackstone Restaurant slated for March 8th!

February 27, 2015

blackstoneI just receieved the following information from Sam Hall, General Manager extradonnaire, of Blackstone restaurant in Iowa City. With all the talk of Surly hitting Des Moines next week it’s great to see that Blackstone will be hosting a brunch featuring Surly beers. AND…………they will be tapping Abrasive at noon! A can’t miss brunch! Here’s more:

Brunch with Surly
March 8th 10:00AM-2:00PM

Blackstone is pairing up with Surly for another fantastic event! Start your Sunday off with our full brunch surlybuffet and a special beer inspired brunch menu. Chicken & Waffles along with two other entrees will be available to order. Some of the Surly crew will be on hand with the following draft lines:

10:00 AM
Coffee Bender
Cacao Bender

At noon we will tap Abrasive! Let’s #getsurly 

Reservations accepted for dining room, bar side is first come first served

Samuel J. Hall Jr.

General Manager I Blackstone Restaurant 
C- 319.400.8502

Coming to Shelves: 2 New Beers from Boulevard, Gubna,, Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged?

February 26, 2015

A few updates for this week has Boulevard releasing two new beers into their lineup. Boulevard has a very busy looking schedule for 2015 and with the successful release of Coffee Imperial Stout one can assume that the next two will be just as successful. Here’s what’s coming:

the calling*Boulevard The Calling IPA – a new addition to the Smokestack Series, this beer will be released in 4 packs and comes in at 8.5% ABV.It will be available starting March 3rd. More from Boulevard:

The Calling, which will be available on draft and in four packs of twelve ounce bottles, is the result of several months of hard (delicious) work by our brewing team who sought to create an IPA with a juicy, tropical fruit aroma that leaps from the glass. A simple malt base composed solely of our two row base malt serves as a platform for giant, punchy hop flavor and aroma provided by a blend of Simcoe, Bravo, Topaz, Cascade, Mosaic, Equinox, Galaxy, and Amarillo hops. Read that sentence again. We are not messing around here, folks. The Calling also receives an addition of lemon peel during the last five minutes of the boil to add an extra citrusy punch. At 8.5 ABV and 75 IBU, The Calling is the IPA we knew we had to brew. As of this minute, our goal is to get The Calling out to you on draft in early to mid-February with bottles to follow soon.

spring belle*Boulevard Spring Belle Saison – this new Saison from Boulevard will be available in 6 packs and will be their new spring season offering. Using magnum and simcoe hops for bittering and lemondrop and calypso for flavor this beer also has flavor of roses, chamomile, and elderflower and checks in at 6.2%. More from Boulevard on this brew:

At 6.2 ABV and 35 IBUs, Spring Belle is composed of a fairly traditional saison malt bill of our two-row base pale malt and a touch of malted wheat. Magnum and Simcoe hops are utilized for bittering while late hopping with Calypso and Lemondrop lends bright, pear/citrus notes to the beer. During whirlpooling, the time when beer rests briefly after boiling before being cooled and transferred to the fermentation cellar, our brewers infused the wort with just over 70 pounds of a blend of rose petals, chamomile and elderflower. Infusing these flowers while the wort is still hot, but not boiling mimics the extraction you would see when brewing tea that incorporates these flowers. We find that this method lends subtle floral aromas and flavors that play nicely with the spicy phenolic notes contributed by fermentation with our house Belgian yeast strain.

sierra nevada
*Sierra Nevada
is releasing two new barrel-aged beers and according to they will both be Bock style beers with one being aged in bourbon barrels and the other aged in whisky barrels. No word on whether or not these will be bottled or just keg release, or even if Iowa will see them at all. I’ll keep you posted on this.

oskar*Oskar Blues Gubna- coming in March is this imperial IPA from Oskar Blues with a slight tweak to the hop profile. According to the 2015 version will have whole leaf Galena hops, Sorachi Ace, and Columbus and dry-hopped with El Doroado, Comet, and Chinook. It will check in at 10% ABV. More from the brewery:

Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made with three malts and one hop. Its light amber color and slightly spicy malt character are derived from the use of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt respectively. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Summit hops are used exclusively in the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma but it doesn’t end there. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows the 10% ABV monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs already present. This beer should greet you with a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle and finish with a brisk, clean bitterness. Columbus in early and mid kettle.

Surly Des Moines Launch Update

February 26, 2015

**UPDATED** For Eastern Iowa folks: The following comes from Reds Alehouse Facebook post:

BIG NEWS!! Surly Brewing Company will make their way to our tap lines Saturday March 7th! And not just one or two lines; we’re talking TEN lines! 10!! They include: Hell, Todd the Axeman, Furious, Coffee Bender, Smoke, Cynicale, Mild, Doomtree, and Fiery Hell. These will all be tapped at 11am Saturday with a special early tapping of Furious Tuesday morning that will last all week, just to get you familiar with Surly.

The dudes from Surly will be hand that evening sometime around 6:30-7:00. Then the party really gets started!

Wait a minute, that’s only 9 beers.

I must be forgetting something…

Isurly just received the following information regarding the upcoming Surly Brewing Iowa launch on Tuesday. If you are in the Des Moines area make sure you get to one of the following venues and enjoy some Surly beer!

Three buses are coming down from Minneapolis, full of fans and the whole Surly crew and all the Doomtree guys. Each bus will stop first at one of either Ingersoll Tap, Quinton’s or Mullet’s at 5pm. People are encouraged to share a beer there with us.
Then all three groups converge on Up-Down at 7:30p, then upstairs for the Doomtree show at Wooly’s. Big thing is tickets are still available. $10. 
Each bar has a slightly different beer mix, but people can expect to see Furious, Bender, Hell, Cynic and Doomtree and some or all of the venues.

Toppling Goliath will be canning by Summer!

February 24, 2015

toppling goliathThe following tweets have been sent out by Toppling Goliath Brewing out of Decorah, IA and the news is very exciting to say the least!

  1. : you messing with us this morning?” Nope big news for you. We should be canning by mid-summer.

  2. Hey how is that art coming for the 16 oz can? :)

Lunch at Pullman Bar and Diner; Iowa City, IA

February 22, 2015

pullmanThe latest venture from the folks at Reds Alehouse/Big Grove/30 Hop/Blackstone brings us a retro diner feel with an eclectic menu consisting of a burger to fried chicken to bone marrow. Add in a nice tap list of craft beers and the IC/CR area just got another gem of a restaurant to go to.

When any announcement that a group consisting of the Swifts are opening up a new restaurant, the excitement hits right away and your counting the days down to opening. That was the case with Pullman. My first experience was a Friday afternoon for lunch and luckily the only two seats open in the place were at the bar. Upon entering you get the feel of 50-60’s diner, from the old school stereo, the visibility of the chefs cooking up your meals, and some things on the menu with a new age twist.

photo (3)Usually when I go to a new restaurant I usually try a burger if it’s on the menu. I was recommended the burger here by a few folks on Twitter and that’s what I went with. My wife opted for the Quiche Lorraine and I was happy to see Big Grove Brewery arms race on tap. The burger was double patties with american cheese, house made bread and butter pickles and a “special sauce” which seemed like a garlic aioli. I’ve made many Top 5 lists in my day, Top 5 beers, top 5 books, top 5 movies, etc. Well, if I had a Top 5 burger from area, this Pullman Burger might be at the top, or at least close to it. Juicy burger, the sauce and cheese seem to melt together, and their hand cut fries were crisp on the outside and nice and soft in the middle. Paired with the arms race it was close to a perfect lunch. The Executive Chef is Benjamin Smart who is the chef at Big Grove Brewery so you know the meal is going to be of supreme taste and quality.

As we paid our bill I was very happy with my selection for lunch…….until I saw the fried chicken come out. My god! Two big pieces of chicken, fried until crispy as hell. I was tempted to sit back down and order but I’m trying to put a damper on my gluttony. I do know what I’m going to order next though. For all those folks waiting in line for 3 hours to get yourself some Popeyes, maybe take a trip to Iowa City and try Pullman’s fried chicken. I guarantee it will be 100 times better.

Overall, a wonderful addition to the downtown Iowa City area. The food was wonderfully prepared, beer selection was good, and the atmosphere makes you want to come back and bring friends and family next time. What’s next for this group of investors? I don’t know, but I can’t wait for the next announcement if there is one. Check out the menu items here:

Tap Wars Rd 3: Deshutes v. Stone Brewing @Blackstone Restaurant Lineup for 2/28/15

February 20, 2015

blackstoneHere is the lineup and tapping times for the 3rd round of Tap Wars presented by Blackstone Restaurant. After 2 very successful tap wars, this one pits 2 west coast powers against each other. Get to Blackstone restaurant on February 28th to try the following beers:

Tap Wars – Round 3 – puts two west coast powerhouses to battle!

11:00 AM

Lineup with aprox. tapping times:

Green Tea IPA 11:00
Enjoy by 3.14 11:00
Old Guardian w/hops 11:00
12.12 Vertical Epic 12:12
Arbalest 12:30
Bang Bang 1:30

Hop Henge 11:00
Chainbreaker 11:00
Fresh Squeezed 11:00
Black Butte 25 11:30
Super Jubel 2015 1:00
2012 Abyss 2:00

West Coast themed entree specials will also be available as well as custom cali inspired t shirts for sale.
A few highly limited and rare bombers will be on hand for samples throughout the day as well.

Reds Alehouse Presents: Bourbon County Night featuring Vanilla Rye!

February 19, 2015

The following newsletter was just received from Reds Alehouse. This sounds like a fantastic event and your chance to try the infamous Bourbon County Vanilla Rye. Here it is:

redsMonday February 23rd, Reds along with 7G Distributing will be hosting a Goose Island Bourbon County evening!  What exactly does this mean?  We will be pouring Bourbon County and its variants that evening consisting of: 2012 Coffee, 2014 Coffee, 2014 Vanilla Rye, and 2014 BCBS.  In addition to that, we will also have a very limited amount of King Henry available!
How can I be involved in this awesome event?  Great question!  Tickets for this event go on sale TOMORROW MORNING at 10am!  Call us at 319-626-2100 at 10am sharp to reserve your ticket for Monday evening.  Have a credit card handy please!
What is the cost?  You’re nailing these questions today!  For $40, you will get a 5 ounce pour of each of the Bourbon County variants.  For $60, you will receive all of the variants as well as a 5 ounce pour of King Henry.  Each ticket will also receive a complimentary appetizer as well as a Goose Island glass to take home.
In summary…
-Call 319-626-2100 tomorrow at 10am
-Have credit card handy
-Do I want King Henry or just the Bourbon County variants?
-Show up Monday 2.23.15 anytime after 5pm
-Pick up your reserved ticket from the host stand
-Enjoy Bourbon County with your free appetizer and free glass

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