Iowa Beer Week in Review: Firetrucker, Third Base, Contrary, Iowa Brewing, Lark

There were quite a few new releases around the state last week and hopefully many of you got out there and tried some of these brews. Even with Benz hosting their annual beer festival, brewers were still pushing out some new ales for us to enjoy. Here’s what was happening last week:

cat.jpg**Firetrucker Brewery** – Firetrucker released Copper Cat which is their beer interpretation of a Moscow Mule. Loaded with ginger and lime this brew checks in at 6.5% and would be perfect for the mule fan and for the warmer days ahead. Here’s more on this brew:

Your favorite summer drink just became portable! Copper Cat is loaded with fresh ginger and bright lime to cool you down when the temps are blazin’, Pour this rad gluten free concoction straight into your mouth or get crazy and use a copper cup for a true Moscow Meowl experience.

**Reunion Brewery** – Reunion Brewery in Coralville had a big week of releases last week. The announcement of their wonderful double IPA Tank Puncher coming to canning lines was met with excitement and then they tapped up their Double Dry Hopped Citra Juice Factory Pale ale. Tank Puncher cans should be hitting shelves in June, and don’t forget about their sweet shirts made by Johnnie 5, might as well grab one of those too!

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**Third Base Brewery** another brewery with a busy week was Third Base in Cedar Rapids. They not only announced the return of Obsidian Sword but along with Cedar Rapids’ other fine breweries released 80% Hugging, a golden ale with mangoes and citra hops. To go along with that they’ve released Dreaming Out Loud which is a sour brewed with oranges and centennial hops and then fermented with peaches. Last but not least for 3rd Base is the announcement of the release of Pastriarchy, a cinnamon roll imperial stout. This beer will be released May 17th and will be on tap and available in crowlers!

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**Contrary Brewing** – heading over to Muscatine and Contrary Brewing who released Citrus Paradisi. Citrus Paradisi IPA is brewed with amarillo, eureka and simcoe hops with grapefruit purée! Check this one out while you can!

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**Iowa Brewing** – huge week for Iowa Brewing, fresh off of winning silver at the World Beer Cup for Tragedy of the Commons they come right back to work with the bottle releases of 4 Hang Fire variants.They released Templeton Hang Fire, Rubus Hang Fire, Aquilla ‘nilla Hang Fire, and Brunch AF Hang Fire. I have yet to get a taste but I’ve been hearing great things so make sure to swing by Iowa Brewing when you are in Cedar Rapids!

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**Lark Brewing** – this one just came across the wire and it sounds like a can’t miss event if you are in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area:

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We are releasing Savath, our BA Imperial Stout, with two variants of Blueberry and Cacao, this Thursday at 4PM. There will be 20 Crowlers available of each variant, and a limit of one crowler of each (two total) per person. There will also be eight gallons of each on tap @ 4oz. and 8oz. pours.
As always: First come, first served.
Get Down and Get Some!
Happy Craft Beer Week!!

**If you have some release news and want it posted please shoot it my way!** Cheers!

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Benz Beer Fest Preview: What’s Big Grove Bringing?

big groveDo you see that? At the bottom of the image? Yes, Richard the Coffee will be pouring from growlers as well. No, not fills, but don’t get too down, just get your ass there and get a growler pour. Not to mention Turtle Hunter and a new Sugar Bottom Series brew…Cherry and Rhubarb? Can’t go wrong there. Get there early, Richard pours at 2, the rest is up all day until it’s gone. Don’t let the rain dissuade you, drink some great local beers!

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Drink This! Lion Bridge Tidbits Pale Ale

lion bridgeWarmer days bring out patio drinking beers and Lion Bridge Brewery definitely has one of those on tap right now! Tidbits is the brewery’s version of a pineapple pale ale that is made with simcoe, comet, and eukanot hops and a whole bunch of pineapple.

The nose on this beer is purely tropical. The pineapple shines but there is some grapefruit and other citrus in the nose. Mouth watering to start and then the pineapple really shines on the tongue. Definitely not overly sweet at all, fresh pineapple taste and not candied or “jolly rancher” sweetness that some beers present. This is one that would be perfect on the Lion Bridge patio while enjoying some brisket tacos. Here’s more on this brew from Lion Bridge:

We made a Pale Ale with healthy doses of Comet, Eukanot & Simcoe hops, then added an even healthier dose of unfermented Pineapple! The result is a true tropical treat!

*KEEP COLD AT ALL TIMES! CONTAINS UNFERMENTED FRUIT.

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Like I said, this beer sings lawn mower beer/warm weather beer/patio beer/driveway beer/ etc. I’m not sure how long this tropical beauty will be around so make sure you get down to Lion Bridge and have a pint or two! Warm days approach so Drink This! brew!

Big Grove Releasing Single Barrel Richards and Richard Coffee with Panama Geisha on 5/4 @1st Ave Hy-Vee. John’s Grocery Single Barrel on 5/31

richard.jpgSome more great news coming from Big Grove brewery as this coming Friday, May 4th, at 1st Avenue Hy-Vee in Iowa City, they will be releasing bottles of Richard the Whale and Richard the Whale with Panama Geisha. They will also release a single barrel version on May 31st at John’s Grocery Here’s more on these releases.

Richard the Whale Single barrel release this Thursday May 4th at 1st Ave HyVee. Bottles go on sale at5 pm with a limit of 2 Richard the Whale & 2 Richard the Whale Coffee with Panama Geisha from JBC.

This single barrel Richard was aged in an Eagle Rare barrel provided by HyVee 1st Ave, Iowa City.

Johns Grocery is releasing the single barrel variant May 31st during their 70th Anniversary party. Their barrel was a Buffalo Trace.

Iowa Beer Week in Review: Big Grove, Lion Bridge, Thew, TG, 3rd Base, BP, Millstream

Quite a few new releases making their ways to our local Iowa breweries with the big news of Big Grove brewery beers hitting our local liquor stores. Here’s more:

**Big Grove**– with a successful release of Easy Eddy cans last Saturday (I would like more of this please!) Big Grove followed that up with the release of 4 packs of First Launch Double Dry Hopped IPA. These cans hit select spots (see poster) and will be followed with the release of Big Grove’s core lineup. Exciting stuff coming from Solon and Iowa City. Also, that cask of Easy Eddy w/pineapple and mango was absolutely terrific. But yes, more Easy Eddy cans please!

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**Lion Bridge Brewery** – swinging over to Cedar Rapids where Lion Bridge has been consistently busy supplying us with new and awesome beers. Zack Morris Cell Phone IPA release was a hit and delicious and they have followed that up with Tidbits Pineapple Pale Ale which was tapped yesterday (4/26). I’m looking forward to sucking a few of those down this weekend. Along with Tidbits, Lion Bridge is getting back to getting some of their amazing Saisons on the lines. This past week Plum Saison was tapped and prior they had their Apricot Saison on the lines. And last but not least for Lion Bridge was the release of one of my favorites…Coffee Kolsch! They even got that on the lines of my local watering hole in Mount Vernon, Chameleon’s Pub and Grub. Guessing Quinton, Rob and Alec did that just for me, thanks fellas!

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thew**Thew Brewing** – the new kid on the block continues to impress with some excellent offerings even though they are less than a month old! This week they released I-380 pale ale which checks in at 6.7% and Kingston Kolsch made its way to their lines. Thew brews have also found homes in a few other establishments in CR and the surrounding area so keep an eye out. Food Trucks and Friday $2 off pours make this your perfect post work pit stop today!

third base**Third Base Brewery** – some excellent beers brewed and consumed on Blair’s Ferry Road this past week as 3rd Base released their version of a hazy New England style IPA, Crooked Monkey. Along with the Monkey they also released a delicious double pils called Intergalactic Pilsner.

backpocket**Backpocket Brewing** – starting this week Backpocket offers 16 oz crowlers to be filled of your favorite Backpocket brew. They also released an Australian sparkling ale and two other beers. SOKOL juicy IPA and a variation of their Australian Sparkling ale made with tangerine purée, vanilla, lactose sugar, cinnamon and clove. Those all tap today (4/27)!

millstream**Millstream Brewing** – Iowa’s oldest brewery has been testing some brews on their pilot system and yesterday tapped a Session IPA. Brewery only for this one so get there and grab a taste.

**Barn Town Brewing** – heading over to the Des Moines area we have Barn Town continuing to pump out some very tasty ales. The addition of their beers to tap lines at 30hop, Marquee, and Tin Roost has been welcomed with open arms. Pulp non-Fiction is back on the lines at the brewery which hopefully means we will see it back on the lines near us. Along with that, they released Appaloosa, a New England style IPA that checks in at 7.3% and is currently available at Marquee Pizza in Coralville! They also announced that Sticky Juice will be their next bottle release. Stay tuned for more news on that!

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**Toppling Goliath** – the big news out of TG this week is the return of the popular Scorpius Morchella, a double IPA. This beer has been brewed and distro has started so keep your eyes peeled for this bad boy!

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**That’s all I have for this week. If I missed something or you have news or brews to share drop me a line! benmed15@yahoo.com Cheers!

Eat Here! St. Burch Tavern; Iowa City, IA

IMG_0243.JPGEver since hearing about the purchase of what was the former Atlas restaurant by the BIg Grove/Pullman group and the announcement of changing it to a fresh seafood bar I’ve been chomping at the bit to visit. Finally, I got to head to St. Burch on Friday night and I must say, my expectations were exceeded.

I did call and make reservations which was a good idea since the place was absolutely packed. We waited down in the den which has sweet vibe to it. A ton of cocktails to choose from and a beer list that included some Big Grove offerings. I kept it a beer night had a couple blood orange arms race although next time I might have to try a couple of cocktails as they looked mighty tasty. After a brief wait our table was ready and I must say, St. Burch’s menu is tough to order from just because of so many terrific sounding options. Fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, chops, etc. all available and all mouth watering. Click HERE for a link to their menu.

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We started off with the seafood tower, which you can see by the picture, I enjoyed a bit too much as I didn’t even get a picture of the food. There are 2 different “tower” options, one that feeds 2-3 and one that feeds 5-6. We got the 2-3 and it was excellent. Fresh oysters on the half shell, two different kinds I believe, salmon spread, shrimp cocktail, and tuna tartare. All excellent, the oysters didn’t stand a chance. Fresh and delicious. My table shared a bunch of entrees. We went with the Duroc pork chop, 2 orders of the lobster pot pie, and 3 fried oyster sliders. I enjoyed them all but the pork chop and the lobster pot pie were simply amazing. The pot pie is something you just have to order because it’s that awesome and you’ll regret not getting it if you don’t. The chop was cooked perfectly and served on a bed of cheddar cheese grits which were excellent as well.

So much good food to order. I did see someone order the short rib and it looked stunning, so I know for sure on my next trip I’ll be getting that and lobster pot pie and the seafood tower and a loose meat sandwich and a shit ton of oysters…… Two HUGE thumbs up to St. Burch, a restaurant that Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area needed. Cheers to Chef Smart and Cory Kent for handling a busy ass night shucking oysters and getting folks seated. Great time here, can’t wait to get back. Until then you guys need to eat here!

Big Grove releasing Easy Eddy cans and new Hazy Pale Ale called “Starla” Saturday April 21st!

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OOOHHHHHHH YEAH!!!!!! Big Grove brewery will be releasing a small amount of their Easy Eddy in cans on Saturday the 21st of April . It will be a very limited amount of cans available but it will be at both Big Grove locations. These will be flying out so if you’re in the area get there quick and you might as well stay for a release of a brand new hazy pale ale called Starla. Here’s more on Eddy:

Flaked wheat and oats make for a brilliant golden haze in this Unfiltered IPA. Brewed with low bitterness and hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Easy Eddy showcases juicy tropical aromatics of pineapple and mango.

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Big Grove is in the midst of releasing core of their brews to cans and the Easy Eddy release comes as a nice surprise. More news on the canning line will be coming from this brewery in the future as well as more release news… DIG IT!

Abu Nawas Bringing Tre Fontane to Iowa!

Tre Fontane.jpgBig news coming again from Abu Nawas as they continue to supply our state with wonderful beers and they do it again! Tre Fontane, the 11th Trappist beer in the world from the only Trappist Brewery in Rome, will be gracing our shelves starting next week! Cheers to Frederique and Abu Nawas! Here’s the release on this awesome news!

We are we are humbled, honored and grateful to have been chosen to bring Iowa the latest Addition to the Authentic Trappist Beer Family. Tre Fontane Tripel The Abbey of the Tre Fontane is located in Rome in the sacred place where the martyrdom of St. Paul occurred in 67 AD.
The Abbey takes its name from the three fountains which miraculously appeared where the head of the apostle hit the ground in three locations after he was beheaded. Hence the name, Tre Fontane (Three Fountains). Today the Abbey is surrounded by beautiful eucalyptus trees which were planted by Monks starting in 1870. These trees were planted with the belief that eucalyptus had healing qualities that could prevent malaria. In actuality, eucalyptus does not prevent malaria. However, the trees do require a tremendous amount of water, therefore draining the surrounding swampy terrain. As a result the mosquitos, which later were determined to be the actual cause of malaria, disappeared as the swamps dried up. In 1873 with in-depth knowledge of the trees, the Trappist community began production of Eucalyptus oils and extracts.
These products have strong balsamic and antiseptic properties with intense, aromatic scent. They are also a pleasant digestive. In early 2000, thanks to the discovery of an ancient beer recipe, the monks began brewing Tre Fontane using the surrounding eucalyptus as a spice. Several years of intense work have now improved the quality, and finally, in May of 2015, Tre Fontane Tripel was awarded the ATP brand (Authentic Trappist Product). Tre Fontane is the 11th Trappist Beer in the world and the only Trappist Brewery from the ancient holy city of Rome.

 

2018 The Tappening Set for Dubuque on Saturday, June 9th!

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The City of Dubuque will once again host The Tappening this summer. This year’s event will be on Saturday, June 9th from noon-4pm. Below is an early list of participating breweries; stay tuned for more breweries and hopefully a specific beer list as well. Click HERE for a link to the event and ticket information!

7 Hills Brewing

Backpocket

Bent River Brewing

Big Grove

Catfish Charlie’s

Confluence Brewing

Duber – Dubuque Bier Co.

FireTrucker Brewery

Franklin Street Brewing Co

Front Street Brewing

Galena Brewing Co

Generations Brewing Company

Iowa Brewing CO

Jubeck Brewery

Millstream

Potosi Brewery

Prairie street Brewing Co.

Big Grove Brewery Cans Coming in April!

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Big Grove Brewery will be putting their first cans into market this coming April with the release of First Launch, a double dry hopped IPA and then May will see the release of 4 of Big Groves core brews to cans; Boomtown, Arms Race, IPA, and West Main Wheat. Here’s the link to a great Press Citizen article with some great video on the release.

https://www.press-citizen.com/story/entertainment/2018/03/29/big-grove-brewery-can-their-beers-sell-iowa-city-cedar-rapids-stores-beyond/462300002/

Big things happening at Big Grove; can’t wait!