Cedar Rapids Beer Nuts Present: 6th Annual Homebrew Festival, Saturday August 19th

Beer lovers, mark your calendars for Saturday, August 19th as the Cedar Rapids homebrew club, Beer Nuts, will have their 6th annual Homebrew Festival. There will be 100 unique beers by some of the area’s best homebrewers as well as food provided by The Sausage Foundry. Add live music from The Surf Zombies and you have yourself a nice little Saturday. $20 for tickets in advance and $25 at the door. Get to Benz Beverage Depot on the 19th, sure to be a great event!


Drink This! SingleSpeed + Pulpit Rock Coconut Migration Double IPA

cocont.jpgSweltering hot and humid Iowa summers make you yearn for a beachside drink while overlooking the ocean, well, for me they do and thankfully SingleSpeed Brewery and Pulpit Rock Brewery have teamed up for a collab that brings the tropics to Iowa. We are missing the white sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean but we have the drink…we have the drink!!

Visiting Need Pizza I was honestly a bit skeptical of ordering this beer as it didn’t seem coconut and a double IPA would go well together. I ordered a small sample and my skepticism was immediately put to rest! Pineapple and coconut are very evident and extremely refreshing, not too overpowering and the hop profile does not overpower or get lost with the toasted coconut. A very creamy double IPA that goes down easily. As I stated in my untappd check-in, if a double IPA and a Pina Colada banged the shit out of each each this would be their love child.

Here’s more from the brewery on this beer:

American Double IPA, rested on toasted coconut

A Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. (Decorah, IA) / SingleSpeed Brewing Co. Collaboration

Brewing with the guys from Pulpit Rock is like taking a vacation. This time around our destination is the tropics. If you like Piña Coladas and/or getting caught in the rain you’re probably gonna be feeling this beer. If you don’t like either of those things, well that sucks for you. We still recommend ordering one.

This is a Pina Colada in beer form, but for me, it tastes even better. If you don’t like coconut, then, as SingleSpeed said, sucks for you, if you enjoy coconut and tropical fruits this a beer you must seek out this summer. Thankfully, Need Pizza and I believe Bricks had it in Cedar Rapids, for how long? I’m not sure, but I hope this beer hits more lines. Possible beer of the year so far for me. Drink This! this summer!

Alaskan Brewing Coming to Iowa this Summer!

alaska.jpgI just received the following tweet from Alaskan Brewing Company:

Johnson Brothers will be doing the distribution. The Alaskan sampler pack will be the first thing we will see on shelves and will be a great opportunity to get acquainted with the brewery.

Here’s more from the brewery’s website:

Juneau-based brewery will enter Iowa market in summer 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (June 6, 2017) – Beer drinkers in the Hawkeye state will soon be able to get their hands on an award-winning beer from the Last Frontier, as Alaskan Brewing will be on tap and on the shelves in Iowa this summer. Alaskan is partnering with Johnson Brothers Distributing to bring a variety of brews made from the glacier-fed waters of Juneau to the heartland. In a surprising way, this reestablishes a 30-year link that the founders of Alaskan Brewing have with Iowa.

Co-Founder Geoff Larson was mentored by the staff at Millstream, a craft brewery in Amana, where he worked as a short-term visiting brewing apprentice in 1985. “Iowa was where I brewed at a commercial level for the first time. Those were exciting days early in my brewing career, learning from excellent craftsmen and getting to know and appreciate the hard-work ethic of the people of Iowa. Their passion for their community and their work has left a lasting impression on me.” said Larson.

“We are truly excited to welcome Geoff Larson back to Iowa, it’s always rewarding to see Iowa training pay off in such a successful way!” added Johnson Brother’s President Lyle Stutzman.  “One of the most requested Craft Beers in Iowa has been Alaskan Amber. We hear that request from our customers and beer drinkers all over Iowa!”

Consumers can expect to see the Alaskan Sampler Pack first in select locations starting this June. The Sampler is a great way to get to know Alaskan – it features the flagship Alaskan Amber, the invigorating Icy Bay IPA, a Belgian-style wheat beer called Alaskan White, and a rotating series of small batch beers that highlight the creativity of Alaskan brewers.

Starting in August, Iowans will begin to see the year-round packages of Amber, Icy Bay IPA and White, plus Alaskan’s bold Double-IPA, Hopothermia and Alaskan’s Seasonal lineup starting with the Kölsch-style Summer Ale.

Iowa marks the 19th state of distribution for Alaskan.

Alaskan Brewing Co. was founded in Juneau, Alaska, in 1986 by Marcy and Geoff Larson. Then age 28, they solicited help from about 80 investors to form the country’s 67th independent brewery at the time, the first since prohibition in Juneau. Though founded in 1986, its history reaches back to the Gold Rush Era, from which many recipes draw inspiration.

For more information and updates, check out Alaskan Brewing Co. online at www.alaskanbeer.com.

The Tappening Final Brewery List: June 10th @Noon

Tappening Poster 2017 (1)The Tappening in Dubuque, IA, part of America’s River Festival will be taking place this Saturday starting at noon. VIP tickets have all been sold out but general admission tickets are still available. Visit here for more info. Below is the final list of breweries that will be sampling out their beers this Saturday!

Brewery City State
3 Oaks Distillery Holy Cross IA
Another Road Brewing Marion IA
Backpocket Coralville IA
Baraboo Brewing Co Dubuque IA
Barn Town Brewing West Des Moines IA
Bells Kalamazoo MI
Bent River Brewing Moline IL
Big Grove Solon IA
Blaum Bros. Distilling Co Galena IL
Catfish Charlie’s Dubuque IA
Confluence Brewing Des Moines IA
Contrary Brewing Muscatine IA
DeSchutes Bend OR
Duber – Dubuque Bier Co. Dubuque IA
Elysian Seattle WA
Exile Brewing Des Moines IA
Firestone Walker Paso Robles CA
FireTrucker Brewery Ankeny IA
Franklin Street Brewing Co Manchester IA
Front Street Brewing Davenport IA
Galena Brewing Co Galena IL
Generations Brewing Company Freeport IL
Golden Road Los Angeles CA
Iowa Brewing CO Cedar Rapids IA
Jubeck Brewery Dubuque IA
Kalona Brewing Co. Kalona IA
Lake Front Brewing Milwaukee WI
Millstream Amana IA
Mississippi River Distilling Co. Le Claire IA
Odell Fort Collins CO
Paradise Distilling Dubuque IA
Potosi Brewery Potosi WI
Schlafly St. Louis MO
Sierra Nevada Chico CA
Spiked Seltzer St. Louis MO
Surly Minneapolis MN
Toppling Goliath Decorah IA
Virtue Cider Fennville MI

If you are in the Dubuque area this weekend and are looking for something to do, check out America’s River Festival and The Tappening!

Jubeck New World Brewing Kicking off Summer with Summer Sour Series…6 Ways!

Jubeck New World Brewing in Dubuque, IA will be starting off the summer by releasing their first barrel-aged sour. The great thing is that there will be 6 variations of this beer and a new one will be tapped every other Saturday starting June 3rd! Here’s more from Jubeck:

About a year ago, we brewed our first barrel-aged golden sour ale with the help from our friends, Keith Weber and Joe Specht. We’ve split this batch into several different variations:

  • straight up golden sour ale
  • dry hopped with huell melon
  • mulberry
  • black raspberry
  • juneberry
  • juneberry dry hopped

Starting in June, we’ll be tapping a new version every other Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Get it while it lasts—there’s only 10 gallons of each version!

Saturday @ 11 a.m.
6/3, 6/17, 7/1, 7/15, 7/29, & 8/12

Big Grove Brewpub in Solon Tapping “Easy Eddy” Unfiltered IPA Friday 5/26 @3:00 p.m.!

big groveBig Grove Brewery will be adding a new IPA to their lineup as they tap “Easy Eddy” this coming Friday, May 26th at 3:00. This is an unfiltered IPA that checks in at 6.5%. It will also be tapping Saturday at Big Grove Brewery and Taproom upon opening. Here are the deets on this refreshing sounding brew:

Unfiltered IPA
Flaked wheat and oats make for a brilliant golden haze in this Unfiltered IPA. Hopped during the whirlpool with Citra and Loral lupulin powder showcasing tropical aromatics and a soft bitterness. Dry hopped with Mosaic and Citra lupulin powder and Mandarina Bavaria for intense punchy flavors of pineapple and candied melon. Featured Malts: 2 row, Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats Whirlpool Hop Additions: Citra lupulin powder, Loral lupulin powder, Hallertau Mandarina Bavaria Dry Hop: Mosaic, Citra Lupulin powder, Hallertau Mandarina Bavaria

Hidden Gems: Club 76 The Lodge in North Liberty, IA

I’ve always wanted a northern woods type vibe at a bar I frequent. I always picture John Candy and Dan Aykroyd bellied up to their bar drinking a stubby of Miller Lite while asking the gentlemen next to them how many times he’s been struck by lighting.

For some reason, that setting and scene always resonated as the perfect place to have a beer and listen to an interesting story from a local. Well, I think we have that place in Eastern Iowa. You might not hear of a guy getting struck by lightning 66 times but at Club 76 the Lodge, located off of Mehaffey Bridge Rd in North Liberty (between Solon and North Liberty) is pretty damn close to being Northwoods Esque!

For some readers, this isn’t a hidden gem, but a weekly destination point. Where else can you get the feel of being out in the timber in a log cabin while having the option of 18 tap lines? I took my latest trip last Sunday and met up with Club head-honcho Jeremy Freerks. Shooting the shit while sipping on a Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin was the perfect Sunday afternoon. After the Merlin I went with Firestone’s Luponic Distortion #5 and got a sample of a beer I hadn’t seen on tap anywhere else, August Schell’s Stag Series #10 Tropical Stout which was damn tasty!

Not only are the tap lines constantly rotated but this is the perfect mix of clientele. You’ll get your cyclists, motorcyclists, farmers, regulars, craft beer drinkers, Busch Light drinkers…you get the picture. On tap of that they have 2 huge fundraisers every year. An Oyster Stout and Sour festival and The Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival held on the 3rd of July which draw huge crowds. Here’s more on Club 76:

Club 76 is an American legion located on 12 beautiful acres close to Coralville reservoir just outside of North liberty on Mahaffey Bridge Road. We do two major fundraising events each year. The Oyster Stout and Sour festival. who’s fourth year estimated five or 600 people attend. On July 3rd is the  Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival. Five or 600 people attend this to listen to five or six regional and national touring artist. Three years ago we built an amphitheater on our property. We focus on selling craft beer at great prices. Just four years ago we had five beers on tap that all said light behind the name. We spent some money and eventually put in 18 tap lines and a big walk-in cooler,
Nitro lines and a glycol system. Probably the only veterans organization around like it in the country.
The Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival is coming up and here’s some info on that event:
Located right here in the corridor the Red, White and Bluegrass Festival has been bringing you Bluegrass for 7 great years now. The Festival hosts great local and Midwest Bluegrass and Jam Grass bands.

The Festival is ran by the American Legion Post 1976. It is staffed by Veterans and friends of veterans volunteers. This is only of 1 of 2 fundraisers your local veterans do each year. Thanks for your support in the past and future it means a ton to our American Legion, it’s veterans and the charities we support.

The event is very affordable and family friendly with kids’ activities, fireworks, an official sanctioned flag retirement ceremony performed by area Veterans, great food and of course great music.
Miles over Mountains
Flash in the Pan
Trinity River Band

Please check out Club 76 the next time you’re in the area. Great people doing things the right way! Cheers!

Volunteers Needed for Surly Gives a Damn Event: June 17th, Snyder Heritage Farm

surly gives a damn.pngThe Surly Gives a Damn Team is at it again as they continue to provide time and support for communities around the Des Moines area. This time they will be helping at Snyder Heritage Farm near Ankeny removing brush and invasive species. They are looking for 20-30 people to provide some time and assistance! Here’s more info on this event:

SGAD IA Brush Removal at Snyder Heritage Farm
On Saturday, June 17th, from 9:00am-11:30am, join us and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to remove invasive species from Snyder Heritage Farm! For over two decades, Snyder Farm has been slowly transitioning from a traditional farm to an exquisite blend of prairie, oak savanna, wetland and woodland ecosystems. It’s now a super-spectacular prairie oasis outside of Des Moines. We’re looking for 20-30 to help remove brush and invasive species from the area. Afterwards, we’ll grab a FREE thank you Surly beer to celebrate our hard work.
Here’s the main Surly Gives a Damn page:
Here’s the direct link to the sign up page (this page can also be reached from the main SGAD page):

Distro Rumor: B. Nektar Coming to Iowa?

B-Nektar-Meadery-Logo.jpgLast night I heard some rumblings that B. Nektar Meadery will start making their way to Eastern Iowa shelves and even possible showing up at Benz Beer Fest today! B. Nektar is located in Ferndale, MI and is known for making some of the most award-winning meads and ciders in the country. Their Zombie Killer is one of the most highly regarded ciders in the country. They have a huge lineup of ciders, meads, and they also brew beer. Fingers crossed that this rumor is proven to be true! Here’s more on B. Nektar:

Guided by geeky imagination, influenced by sub-pop culture and never satisfied with the status quo, B. Nektar aims to bring a modern twist on mead as well as diversify craft mead, cider and beer.

B. Nektar Meadery was founded in 2006 by Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer, with the help of their good friend Paul Zimmerman. Brad has been an avid homebrewer since 1998, making beers, meads, ciders and wine for his own enjoyment. When Brad and Kerri got married in 2005, he made a mead to toast with at their wedding and received great reviews from the guests. Jokingly, he said that he’d someday open a meadery. Paul, a long-time friend and fellow homebrewer, soon began making meads along with Brad in the Dahlhofers’ basement. Their meads quickly began winning awards at homebrewing competitions

In the summer of 2006, Kerri was laid-off from her job. While sipping a glass of vanilla cinnamon mead made by Brad, she thought, “Why not try to sell this?” It was then that the three decided to take their mead making to the next level. In the spring of 2008, Brad too fell victim to layoffs, and the three worked night and day to prepare for their opening. After nearly two years since its inception, B. Nektar finally opened it’s doors on August 2, 2008 (National Mead Day).

B. Nektar’s session meads and hard ciders are now shaping the craft revolution.  To say it’s been a long road from the home-brewing days would be a tremendous understatement but B. Nektar continues to increase their production capacity and is currently the largest meadery in the U.S.A.

B. Nektar was the first meadery to join the ranks on the top 100 best breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com, and has remained there since 2013.

This hasn’t been confirmed yet so stay tuned for more info. Please take a look at B. Nektar’s site for a list of the meads and ciders. Safe to say, this would be a huge “get” for Iowa! Exciting news folks!