Alright, after reading through the Draft Magazines’ list of the 25 best beers in 2012, my friend the Beer Counselor and myself thought it would be a fun idea to come up with our top 25 beers in 2012, with the whole idea being they are/were available for our consumption in Eastern Iowa. All the beers on the list are ones that we have tried, there are some out there we wish we could have tried but could not get a hold of.
This will be a list of 25 of the best beers in Iowa, in 5 beer intervals. There is not particular order.
*We both understand Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout and Cherry Rye were out there; unfortunately we were unable to get a hold of them.
**These beers will be available in Iowa, but were not in 2012. **
-Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
-Founders Imperial Stout
HERE WE GO!!!!
~Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue – IPA – 5.8%A unanimous choice to be on our list; an easy pick for me when I’m at Red’s Alehouse or Parlor City this is always I pick I will go with. Sweet pine and citrus from the hops with a hint of caramel to finish it off. Very balanced, refreshing, and highly enjoyable. We as Iowans, lucky to have this fine brewery in our state, and even luckier that they will soon be bottling and we will be able to enjoy these fine brews in our homes. From the brewery:
This single hop ale showcases the Citra hop. Named for the largest T-rex fossil ever discovered, she roars with ferocious aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango and evergreen. Delicate in body with a mild bite in the finish.
~Stone Enjoy By IPA 12.22.12 – Imperial IPA – 9.4%
If I had to pick my favorite of the year I think this might be the one I would go with. A very complex double IPA that smells just as good as it tastes. Resinous, citrus, hops make this beer one of the best of the year. From the brewery:
You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.
~Founders Backwoods Bastard – Scotch Ale – 10.2%
Another heavy hitter this year comes from Founders. I will be the first to tell you that Scotch Ales aren’t usually my thing, but with this beer the balance of the bourbon, coffee, oak, and caramel makes this an absolute home run. Glad to have Founders in Iowa! From the brewery:
Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
~Saison Dupont Vielle Provision – Saison – 6.5%
Something that has been on our shelves for sometime now but a style that is kind of lost amongst the IPAs, stouts, and barrel-ages of the world. Saison style beers are something I’ve started to grow quite fond of. Hennepin by Ommegang and Boulevard’s Tank 7 are good as well, but I still stick with the veteran that is Saison Dupont. Biscuity, black pepper, and lemon citrus makes this a must try beer!
Saison Dupont is a classic Belgian farmhouse ale. This is a beautifully balanced, complex beer that has a refreshing fruitiness and long, dry finish. It is bottled unfiltered so it may be cloudy or have a slight sediment but this is normal and perfectly natural.
~Green Flash Palate Wrecker – Imperial IPA – 9.5%
The name of the beer says it all. A slap in the face double IPA. The hops dominate this beer with citrus and tropical fruits shining. A very drinkable imperial ipa that can sneak up on you quick. Not as bitter as the West Coast IPA from Green Flash, and oddly enough, more drinkable for me.
Palate Wrecker was originally brewed for the Hamilton’s Tavern 2nd Anniversary celebration. It’s the most complicated West Coast–inspired IPA we have ever brewed—mashing and sparging with hopped wort, in addition to our hop layering regimen for IPA. We use almost 6 lbs/bbl of Columbus and Centennial hops to create this very bitter hop monster (tested at 149 IBU and no extracts in case you were wondering). By popular demand, it is now released for the world to enjoy (even though this beer isn’t for everyone, only the real hop heads!!!). Cheers! – Chuck Silva – Brewmaster – Green Flash Brewing
Thanks for reading! Keep checking back with the next 5 in the series!