Restaurant Review: Backpocket Brewery; Coralville, IA

This past weekend my wife and I needed to satisfy our sushi fix and so we hit up Konomi (http://konomigrill.com/) which is located in the Iowa River Landing development down by the new Marriott in Coralville. My favorite place for sushi, the whole area down there is actually very nice. After enjoying a bunch of sushi, this was our opportunity to finally get to Backpocket Brewery. I’ve been wanting to head over to this place since it opened and we finally got the chance. I’ve had Backpocket’s (http://www.backpocketbrewing.com/) dunkel a few times and really enjoyed it.

Upon walking in the door you are greeted by the hostess but the first thing I noticed was how nice the bar was and how busy the place was. I was happy to see that they let the place open; they didn’t try to hide the vats or the brewing supplies, in fact, I thought their picnic table area was cool for those who didn’t need a table or want to sit at the bar. You got actually sit at a picnic table right in the warehouse. They had four of their own on tap: Their Pennywhistle is a Bavarian wheat and I saw a lot of those being poured throughout the night, their Jackknife which is a German pale ale, their Wooden Nickel which is a Scottish lager, but the winner of the night for me was their stout called “The Second Coming”. A really nice stout with tons of roasted malt flavor. Among the beers brewed by the brewery they also had Green Flash Hop Head Red, Schlafly raspberry hefe, and one that escapes me at the moment.

We didn’t intend on eating their but after looking through the menu we decided on the beer cheese served with toasted bread. A great appetizer that paired well with the beer. We watched a little playoff baseball and enjoyed a few more brews, I intended to try all of their beers, but was really digging the stout so I stuck with it. After seeing their brick oven pizzas coming out, and noticing their special was an “au jus roast beef, garlic mashed potato, with horseradish sour cream sauce” as their special of the week, there was no way I couldn’t order it; right? The pizza was absolutely terrific, their crust is up there with some of the best I’ve had.

Talking with many beer people I know I get the feeling that Backpocket has not taken a hold of them yet because of their beer style selections. There is no pale ale, porter, or even the popular IPA there yet. My advice, give it time. This facility is gorgeous and I get the feeling they are determined to make the greatest beer around and I believe that in time this will happen. They are sticking with their roots from Old Main River Brewing……for now. I enjoy their dunkel and I really enjoyed their stout, they’re not a beer that you would put in your top 5 but they are all very drinkable and overall good. The overall experience at Backpocket has me yearning to get there as soon as possible. Great to have this place 20 minutes from my home! Check it out!

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