Mt. Vernon Road Hy-Vee, Cedar Rapids, Hosting Kickshaw “Orb” Beer Release Fri. August 26 from 6-8!

KickshawThe following information comes courtesy of Nate Lange, Assistant Manager at Mt. Vernon Road Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids. Be sure to check this out and this is just the beginning for Bill and Kickshaw Barrel Works!

orbJust a quick note to let all of our Beer Club know about a really cool upcoming event. Friday August 26th, from 6-8 pm we will be hosting a release party for Kickshaw Barrel Works. They are releasing ORB, a golden ale aged in oak barrels. Bill Heinrich, the brewer, will be on hand to talk about the beer, answer questions and give out some tasty samples! There will be plenty of bottles available for purchase as well. We are one of only a few select places that this First release from Kickshaw will be sold. Make sure to set a reminder so you don’t miss out on this event. There is no question that Kickshaw is going to be producing some amazing brews, how awesome would it be to get a few bottles from their first ever release! So stop on in Friday August 26th from 6-8 pm, buy some bottles, meet the brewer, enjoy some samples and snacks and be part of a great night!!

New Belgium’s Fall Beers Announced

fruit flyNew Belgium Brewing has quite a few releases coming this fall. Some beers they had released previously and some are new to their lineup. This list comes courtesy of Beerpulse:

The brewery’s latest seasonal, Lips of Faith, Hop Kitchen, and stainless steel offerings pair perfectly with the final days of summer

(Ft. Collins, CO) – New Belgium Brewing has four new releases to help make the fall transition a little easier to bear. The beers include Pumpkick, a fall festival favorite; Le Terroir, one of New Belgium’s favorite wood-aged sours; Bretta IPA, which crosses wild Brettanomyces yeast with fruity hop varieties; and Fruit Fly, a refreshing stainless steel sour.

Pumpkick Spiced Seasonal Ale
Pumpkick is back bringing a bite of tartness to New Belgium’s traditionally spiced pumpkin ale. The tart cranberry kick offers a bright burst of seasonal flavor. Pumpkick pours a slightly hazy, glowing orange, packed with pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a snappy dose of cranberry. The mouthfeel is creamy from added oats, followed by a quick, dry finish, making Pumpkick the perfect beer to kick off fall.

ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 18
Yeast: Ale yeast
Hops: Nugget
Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramel
Availability: Now in 6-and 12-packs

Le Terroir Dry-Hopped Sour Ale
Le Terroir, named after the French term meaning “of the earth,” packs the bold and hoppy nose of an American IPA, plus the pucker of a well-crafted sour. Felix, New Belgium’s wood-aged pale sour beer, is dry hopped with Amarillo and Galaxy hops to create Le Terroir. The mango and peach tones of the hops playfully complement the wood-aged backbone without any bitterness, creating a beer that changes every time New Belgium brews it.

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 12
Yeast: Lager yeast
Hops: Nugget
Malts: Pale, Wheat, C-80, Carapils, Oats
Special Processing: Dry Hopped with Amarillo and a little Galaxy in stainless tanks in wood cellar
Availability: August 29 in 22 oz. bombers and on draft

Draft Only

Bretta IPA
Bretta IPA, part of New Belgium’s Hop Kitchen series, which showcases New Belgium’s hop heavy beers, is out now. This beer crosses wickedly wild Brettanomyces yeast with some of New Belgium’s favorite fruity hop varieties. Bretta is conditioned on two strains of Brettanomyces for a month, giving it citrusy, piney hop notes thanks to Equinox, Galaxy, and Warrior. It has a bite that lingers, but a sweetness that emerges with a touch of pineapple.

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 75
Yeast: Ale yeast, Brettanomyces Clausenii, Brettanomyces Bruxellensis
Hops: Cascade, Equinox, Galaxy, Warrior
Malts: Pale, Caramel 120, Spelt
Special Processing: Brewed with two types of Brettanomyces yeast and dry-hopped with Equinox, Galaxy and Warrior.
Availability: Now on draft

Fruit Fly Passionfruit Citra Sour
Fruit Fly is a fruity, refreshingly tart, and juicy summer release, putting a new spin on the classic tartness of Berliner weisse. New Belgium acidifies this stainless steel sour beer with its house lacto strain, then dry-hops it with fruity Citra. During fermentation 800 pounds of tropical passion fruit is blended in. Fruit Fly has big citrus flavors and rich guava-like aromas, with a finish that is tart and dry; an ideal summer beer.

“At New Belgium, fruited beers are very much a part of our DNA,” said Andrew Emerton, New Belgium specialty brand manager. “We’ve been using real fruit since the very beginning with a beer called Old Cherry and since 1991 we’ve sent to market 34 beers brewed with fruit. Last year, our Pilot Brewers were challenged with creating a few stainless steel sour recipes featuring our proprietary lacto blending process and beautifully tart house lacto strain. While all recipes were great we felt the Passionfruit Citra Sour just killed it.”

ABV: 5.7%
Hops: Citra
Special Processing: Additions of passion fruit and dry-hopped with Citra hops.
Availability: Now on draft

To learn more on the differences between stainless steel sours, like Fruit Fly, and wood-aged sours, like La Folie, check out: How is your New Belgium Beer Sourced? (

Uinta Brewing Coming to Iowa this Month!

uinta.pngRumors and speculation have have been swirling for the last couple of weeks that Uinta Brewing Company would be hitting shelves and my sources have finally been able to confirm that they will indeed be hitting our shelves, and they will be hitting them this month so be on the look out for their beer soon!

Here’s more on this brewery:

Our founder wanted to brew the country’s best beer, so he moved to the country’s least beer drinking state. He named us after a mountain range that even people here mispronounce (you-in-tuh).

We’ve been brewing and exploring since 1993, and here’s what we’ve learned: there’s no one right way to get anywhere. What you need isn’t a well-trod path, it’s a compass to trust as you cut your own. Following ours is how we ended up in Utah, and what we found here still inspires every beer we brew.

To see what beers they offer and their release schedule check out the Uinta site here.

Restaurant Review: Ramsey’s Metro Market; Marion, IA

IMG_0510.JPGI had noticed quite a few check-ins on untappd coming from Ramsey’s in Marion and talking with Leisha at Benz she highly recommend I give the place a try. Located on 7th avenue amongst the quaint and unique looking strip of stores in Marion, Ramseys is definitely a hidden treasure for wine, food, and more importantly for me…

Upon entering the restaurant you can’t help but notice the
walls of the place lined with hundreds of bottles of wine. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know shit about wine. I wish I did, but I don’t. But the amount of wine that was neatly shelved to the ceiling in this place was a pretty awesome view. According to their website they house 140 different wines, 70 bottled beers,
and 10 tap beers.


The tap lines are what I wanted to see. I customarily bellied up to the bar, was greeted with a beer and food menu and we were off.


A recent expansion has given Ramseys a perfect spot on the other side of the bar to house their 10 lines and I was really thirsting for a taste of North Coast Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse and the Funkwerks Dry-Hopped Provincial, both of which I had heard were on tap. Started with the Tart Cherry and was very happy with the choice. Good fruit, not overly sweet, add in that bit of tartness and it’s an excellent drinking companion for the summer months. Another perk of the trip was being able to sit and talk with Josh about the restaurant, other local places, and the beer they have or want to have. Excellent guy to talk the food scene and beer with!

IMG_0511.JPGOnto the food. Grilled cheese, salads, paninis, subs, and always a daily special which the night I was there was a smoked pork loin dish. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was going with the Italian panini. Throw some pepperoni and pastrami on any sandwich with some pepperoncinis and I’m sold. Food arrived fairly quick and I was ready for beer #2 as well. Funkwerks Dry Hopped Provincial it is. Absolutely wonderful beer! Tropic fruits with that dry hopped addition make this a beer to seek if you haven’t tried it yet! This beer with the tartness from the pepperoncinis on my sandwich made this a pleasantly surprising pairing.

I would like to think that when I go back I would try the special or something else on the menu, but the sandwich is made for me. Loved it! If you find yourself in Marion or nearby, give Ramseys Metro Market a shot, you won’t be disappointed. Check out their Facebook page for their daily specials: Ramseys

Drink This: Big Grove Brewery Raspberry Que Sera

IMG_0557.JPGMan, where was this all summer? What a big grovewonderfully refreshing brew on warm Thursday afternoon. Big Grove Brewery in Solon just possibly made the perfect summer brew. If you like white wine, margaritas, fruity beers, or just beer in general then this is one you are going to want to get your hands on.

According to Chad Young of Big Grove, 20 pounds of raspberries were added into a 7 bbl batch. This maybe one of the best noses I’ve ever gotten off of a beer and it wasn’t that fake artificial raspberry shit either, this was the real deal. The smell of fresh raspberries that you picked at your grandma’s farm when you were younger.

It hadn’t made its way to the taproom quite yet, but as soon as Otra Vez kicks it’s going to be good to go and I don’t think it will be too much longer. I posted where this beer will be tapped around the CR/IC area but I’m not sure when it will be. But check out my previous post here to see where it will be. All I know is, when Mr. Young brought me a pour, the hue and the aroma beauty were backed by a tart, fresh, and thirst-quenching berliner-weisse. It also pairs pretty well with their strawberry cheesecake with basil ice cream. Thank you Chad!


This beer is nostalgic, this beer is summer, this beer is a beer you need to drink now!

Big Grove Brewery Releasing Raspberry Que Sera to accounts this week!

big groveBig Grove Brewery will be releasing Raspberry Que Sera to various accounts throughout the the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas. A play on their popular Que Sera Berliner Weisse, they add 20+ pounds of raspberries into a 7 bbl batch. You will be able to find this refreshing brew at the following locations:



Cedar Rapids
*Need Pizza
*Zeppelins Bar and Grill

Iowa City
*Shorts Burgers

North Liberty
*Reds Alehouse


Guessing this brew won’t last that long so hit a few of the places above or head to Big Grove and have yourself a glass or two!

West Coast Tap War! Stone v. Ballast Point; Presented by Blackstone Restaurant July 29th!

Blackstone.jpgBlackstone restaurant in Iowa City will once again be hosting another great Tap War as Stone Brewing Company and Ballast Point Brewing will be engaging in the West Coast Tap War on July 29th starting @ 3 p.m. Xocoveza and Apricot Wench will be tapped at 5:00. Here are the lineups for this big event:

*Ruination with orange & vanilla
*Wootstout 2016
*Foudre aged imperial saison
*Barrel aged saison with blackberries
*Xocoveza charred

ballast pointBallast Point
*Victory at sea
*Orange Vanilla Fathom
*Apricot Sour Wench
* Cask Conditioned Pescadero Pilsner with Raspberries

Stone Enjoy By Release Schedule for Remainder of 2016

stone enjoy byStone has released the schedule for the remainder of 2016 for their immensely popular Enjoy By Series. This list covers the rest of 2016 and part of 2017. The schedule is below courtesy of Stone’s website:

Stone Enjoy By 09.05.16 Unfiltered IPA
9.4% • 12oz 6pks, 22oz & draft

Stone Enjoy By 10.31.16 Tangerine IPA
9.4% • 12oz 6pks, 22oz & draft

Stone Enjoy By 11.25.16 Black IPA
9.4% • 22oz & draft

Stone Enjoy By 12.25.16 IPA
9.4% • 12oz 6pks, 22oz & draft

Stone Enjoy After 04.20.17 Brett IPA
7% • 750ml • Really? Cellar an IPA? Yes. Brettanomyces brings about charmingly unpredictable complexities of spice, funk, acidity and more.

Stone Enjoy After 10.31.17 Brett IPA

enjoy by.png

Tallgrass Brewing Updates

tallgrassI just received the following email from Tallgrass Brewing Company with some release informations. It looks like Zombie Monkey is returning soon at it’s going to join their year round portfolio. Here’s more info:

tallgrassZombie Monkie Returns, With a Twist…
The annual release of Zombie Monkie imminent! Sporting a fresh look with the same textured tactical grip, this robust porter will start hitting markets the next several weeks.
As the Zombie Monkie fanbase has continued to grow, it has become apparent that this combination of world-class beer and strong brand with a fun backstory carries greater potential than being a seasonal release. As a result, Zombie Monkie will become part of the Tallgrass year-round portfolio beginning this year.
flyin hawaiian.jpegNew Release: Flyin’ Hawaiian
Next up in the Explorer Series is the Flyin’ Hawaiian, an 8.4% double IPA with pineapple slated to ship to wholesalers August-October. 
The Flyin’ Hawaiian is brewed with Nugget hops to provide earthy and pine notes, while the interplay of Pacific Gem and Falconer’s Flight hops creates notes of citrus, dark berries and tropical fruit. 
A burst of fresh pineapple purée enhances the hops with an extra layer of tropical sweetness, and the simple malt bill of 2-Row, C40 and Cara-Pils allows the hops to shine and erupt with tropical citrus flavors. 
Why the Flyin’ Hawaiian? The name was first used for one of our cellarmen’s cask beers. When our founder caught wind of the name, it was just too good to not slap on a can, and it had to be appropriated for our brewmaster’s new double IPA.
Available in 16 oz. 4-packs, 1/2 bbl and 1/6 bbl kegs, this brand also marks the transition of Explorer Series beers from 12 oz. 4-packs to 16 oz. 4-packs. All Explorer Series beers will be packaged in 16 oz. 4-packs moving forward.

A Visit to the Iowa City Beer Caves

IMG_0518.JPGThis past Friday evening I was lucky enough to be part of a group that was able to tour the Iowa City beer caves. Need to give special thanks to Chad Young of Big Grove for giving me the opportunity to go and also Nate Kaeding for setting up the tour.

The tour started in the Brewery Square building right across the street from High Grounds Coffee shop in Iowa City, which is now a La James hair salon. Now, you can’t just head to the building and expect to give yourself you’re own tour, so don’t show up unless you want your hair done or nice little massage.

I don’t want to try to attempt a history lesson like Marlin Ingalls gave us about the history of the caves, but a little background on these caves that I gathered from our tour guide, Mr. Ingalls, says that there were 3 breweries between East Market and Linn Streets with the Union Brewery, now Brewery Square, is still there. According to Mr. Ingalls, the tunnels were constructed using limestone slabs in a stone box method.

As we made our way to caves, our first obstacle was the 25 foot climb down a rickety-ass ladder. I’m not huge fan of heights and just the initial task of getting a strong foothold and grasping of old stone was a challenge for me. I may have been shaking just a tad but I finally made it down. As Mr. Ingalls said, it’s one thing to talk about these tunnels and to look at the 3D map of them, but to actually see them in person, and be down in spot where brewers were making their beer was just a terrific experience and seeing the history of brewing in Iowa City is something I’ll never forget.





IMG_0528.JPGIMG_0529.JPGThere were a few spots where there was accumulating water and Mr. Ingalls believes this water was used to float the kegs/barrels down and made transferring of the heavy barrels a bit easier for the workers. After some questions about if the caves had exits, Mr. Ingalls did confirm they do not lead to the Iowa River but there are still a few parts of the caves that they are not sure what they were used for.
Read more on the caves at the links below and the next time you are down by Brewery Square in Iowa City think about the history that you’re walking above as you make your way to George’s for an Arms Race from Big Grove and a couple of cheeseburgers. Many thanks again to Chad Young, Nate Kaeding, and Marlin Ingalls for the great experience!