A great time for some great beer here in Eastern Iowa. Many local breweries have been busting their ass with some spectacular releases and one of those breweries is Lion Bridge. Last week I was able to make it down and get to taste one of their seasonals in Gobble Wobble and one that we see every now and then in Coffee Kolsch.
Let’s start with the Kolsch. We visited Iowa Taproom last fall the first time I had it and I must say I was a bit apprehensive as I thought the Kolsch style with a coffee adjunct just wouldn’t be that great….but I was completely off in that thinking.
Here’s more on this brew:Our Herr of the Dog Kolsch with a healthy dose of Peruvian light roast coffee added before kegging. A delightfully different beer. Coming in at 4.6%
This is an anytime of day beer. The coffee nose is intoxicating and the flavor isn’t overpowering coffee but definitely there and delicious. I want this with my bacon and eggs or for a post meal drink. If you’re not into the Kolsch style I promise you’ll still dig this beer. Coffee and beer lovers can rejoice, Lion Bridge nailed it with this brew! I just hope it’s still on tap for this coming weekend!
Onto the seasonal release of Gobble Wobble. There are many beers that mark the beginning of fall for me…Founders Breakfast Stout is one for sure and Lion Bridge Gobble Wobble is another! Here’s more on this brew:
Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels set the table, but this rich, malty brown ale is the main dish. No Thanksgiving table is complete without a glass or two of this hearty brew.
Gobble Wobble is an Imperial Brown ale that is aged in Wild Turkey barrels. This is the perfect beer for the chilly fall months as the nuttiness that the brown ale gives you is not necessarily consumed by the booziness of the barrel. Don’t get me wrong, the barrel is evident….and makes this beer even more delicious.
Get these and drink these two while you can, they may not be around much longer!
Thanks for the great review sLim!
A brewery that had a moderate amount of buzz surrounding it before opening in Spring of this year was Barn Town Brewing. It’s located in far West Des Moines, in a strip mall with several other new local businesses. Because of this, it’s nothing special from the outside but it does still catch your eye when you drive by.
Upon walking in, I noticed the old timey, country-ish decor and atmosphere that the name suggests they’d have. It’s not my fav per se but it’s well done and I thought the staff rocking flannel shirts was a nice touch. They feature a crowler machine which I’m glad to see more and more breweries switching to. The design on their crowlers is really neat too!
Like a lot of breweries, they started out with just few of their own beers and nothing too noteworthy. Very quickly however, they made the smart decision to offer a bunch of different pale ales & IPA’s (7 out of 17 in their current lineup). Even smarter of them was for most of them to be the hazy variety that are made with popular hops like citra, mosaic, amarillo, etc. This definitely brings in the hopheads and on the Thursday night I was there, the place was full. The quality of the beers justifies this as all 4 beers I tried were fantastic and i’ve heard nothing negative about the beers here from anyone…hop forward brew or otherwise.
Beer menu link – Here are the beers I tried and my thoughts on said beers:
Contrary Reaction (3.75/5) – Berliner Weisse – It’s a fun little sour, good balance of sourness and tartness. They mention an apple note which I got and it was pleasant
Hop Skewer (4.75/5) – Hazy, dry-hopped IPA w/ el dorado & citra hops – Oh yeah, it was hazy alright. This was awesome, I knew little about el dorado hops going into this but I now know that I like them. The best thing about this beer was that it was juicy and not bitter…AND it also wasn’t dank. Sometimes these types of beers have a lingering onion-y note that I can’t stand. They also may have the cat-piss aroma. This beer had neither.
Beggars Night (3.75/5) – Pumpkin and sweet potato ale – I enjoyed this; just on the brink of being too much pumpkin but you should know what you’re getting into when you get this style of beer. Smooth and a lot of flavor for a relatively low ABV.
- Chowdah (4.25/5) – Double dry-hopped DIPA – This was the one I’d heard about and that seems to have gotten some mention on the beer forums. I wouldn’t go as far as to say you need to try this beer but you won’t be disappointed if you do. I normally don’t like DIPA’s but this is one I can enjoy. Normally they taste like an IPA on steroids to me but this one was smooth and malty without being too sweet. There’s plenty of great hop flavor courtesy of the mosaic hop (which is my personal favorite…hop), but again…not overly so and there’s not much lingering bitterness. Give this one a whirl if come across it.
The beers were terrific and these guys have potential to make a bigger name for themselves if they start distributing. The final thing to try out was their food and man, they delivered here as well! Check out their menu here and you’ll find it’s a fun mix of burgers, “sandos”, wings, and craft mac & cheeses. The mac and cheese is very customizable and you better believe I was all over that. The pasta would have been great by itself but I added on some bleu cheese, buffalo sauce, and fried chicken and due to this, I was loving life. It was the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had. I’m just one person but as far as I’m concerned, Barn Town is now the best brewpub in the DSM area. You should go there if you like beer and other things that are good.
Huge news from Big Grove Brewery today as they have officially announced the release of Richard the Whale bourbon barrel aged stout bottles. Click HERE to get the presale event website!
Here’s more on this event from Big Grove:
Madhouse Brewing has updated their beer portfolio with a list of new releases and the discontinuing of some as well. Below is their Facebook post of their updated beer lineup:
Free and open to the public.
Madhouse Brewing Company is releasing several new beers and making an official change to our flagship brews. Take a look at our new lineup:
-Honey Pilsner- No changes!! This is our best-selling flagship beer, and we will continue to brew and distribute our Pilsner.
-Pastime Pale Ale- Discontinued. This was the first beer we ever released. We know there are some people who really enjoy the Pastime. This has not been an easy decision.
-Hopbust IPA- Change of recipe. We will continue to brew and sell our flagship Hopburst IPA. We have changed the malt used in the beer, however, and are now using 100% Falconer’s Flight hops. The ABV has been dropped to 6.2% (previously 7.2%) to increase drinkability. We have spent a lot of time developing this new recipe, and are really excited about the new version.
-Oak-Aged Imperial Red- Discontinued. Another beer we have enjoyed making, but have decided to stop production for now.
-Sumatra Coffee Stout- Discontinued. A great coffee stout, but has become over-shadowed by our barrel-aged stouts such as the Carpe Diem.
-Monk Town- Belgian-style Dubbel Ale. This beer will join the Pilsner and IPA in our lineup of flagship beers. Legend has it that the city of Des Moines was born of the French colonial name, Riviere des Moines, literally meaning “River of the Monks.” Dark malt flavors and Belgian yeast aromas of banana and spice. Check out the design work by Flying Hippo! 6.8% ABV. Available 4-pack, 12oz bottles.
-Citra Storm IPA- Double New England-style IPA. 100% Citra hops. Hazy, juicy, and aromatic. You’re gonna want to try how Madhouse does the beer style that is taking the nation by storm! 7.8% ABV. Draft only. Look for this beer at your local growler station.
-Fountain of Youth- Oak barrel-aged, wild yeast sour ale made with “super fruits” including acai, pomegranate, and locally grown aronia berries from Berry Meadows. Design by Flying Hippo. 7.2% ABV. Available 750ml bottles.
-2017 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wee-Heavy- Imperial Scotch-style ale aged in bourbon barrels. The first of our winter release barrel-aged beers. Caramel and toffee aromas with sweet malt flavors. 13.5% ABV. Available 750ml bottles.
-Alexander-Heavy- Wee-Heavy variant with chocolate and nutmeg. Flavor profile inspired by the classic cocktail, the Brandy Alexander. 13.5% ABV. Draft only, tap-room only.
Barrel-Aged release schedule-
Looking ahead, here is our 2017-2018 Bourbon barrel-aged beer release schedule:
-VIP- December release. This will be released on Friday, Dec.15th at the annual holiday party at Jasper Winery.
-Freedom Toast- January release. We will be bottling this for the first time.
-Carpe Diem- February release.
-El Jefe- March release.
Our sour barrel-room/events space is now complete. Keep us in mind for groups up to 50 people. Contact email@example.com or 515-988-5535 for more info.
Some new stuff mixed in with the Bell’s classics!
The newest addition to Coralville’s Iowa River Landing location, Marquee Pizza, will be opening its doors to the public at the end of this month. While pizza made in a Modena, Italy brick oven will be featured, their menu will offer appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. A few pictures below of some of Marquee’s menu items…mouth-watering looking!
The food will no doubt be amazing and I’m pretty stoked to try it out, but I’m also pretty excited to get into those 20 beers lines! Marquee will have 20 draft lines that will emphasize quality. There will be great Iowa made brews as well as some of the best from bigger craft breweries in the country. Marquee is also going to put emphasis on forward thinking breweries such as Evil Twin, Prairie, and Grimm. They also hope to always offer some “oh wow, I’ve had this before” beers. The everyday/frequently seen smaller breweries will play a smaller role in their draft lineup and for the domestic beer lover they will have your Coors Banquets and Budweisers offered in cans.
One thing I’m particularly excited for is Marquee’s mission to offer events. Things such as local brewery spotlight all the way to off the radar events that will provide more meat than just a simple tap takeover. One good way to keep track of these events is to sign-up for Marquee’s newsletter here.
As the date of opening approaches, stay tuned for many more updates, pictures, and hopefully soon a tap list! Check out Marquee when they open!