Happy New Year everyone! Hoping everyone got their Brr Fest tickets! Looking forward to seeing fellow craft beer lovers January 26th! Moving right on with the list:
One of the most anticipated releases of the year and it is coming around the corner here in Eastern Iowa. This time last year Hopslam was probably of the best beers we could get our hands in Eastern Iowa and I expect the same this year. Looking forward to the release parties that accompany this brew to Eastern Iowa. Can’t wait! From the brewery:
Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repetoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.
For the 2nd time, a Toppling Goliath brew has hit the Top 25 list. A great accomplishment for a small Iowa brewery, and with the bottling coming in soon I can only imagine even better and bigger things from this fantastic brewery! 2013 might be the year of Toppling Goliath brewery!
This spectacularly golden, medium bodied IPA was crafted from a winning combination of Golden Promise malt and Nugget hops.
Fall in love with the big hop aroma of our Golden Nugget as it mingles with fragrances of citrus and evergreen, followed by a floral sweetness. Tropical fruit flavors entice your taste buds before immediately captivating you with a bold, hop forward taste and a pleasant bitterness that lingers in the finish.
I was introduced to this beer at Stone City restaurant near Anamosa, a place where the beer selection is minimal, so I tried this and really loved it. Consistency of a Guinness with more flavor, this stout hits my list, but can be tough to find around the area. The one downfall is that it is only available on draft, no bottles. El Bait Shop in Des Moines had it on nitro tap for a while, and it was fantastic! There seems to be a lack of really good stouts on tap lines throughout the Eastern Iowa area, save for Guinness, so this would be a great addition for any bar/restaurant to have, especially during the winter months ahead. From the brewery:
While it may resemble a popular Irish Stout, our Oatmeal Stout is quite different. Most notably it’s sweeter. Chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors round out this smooth, full-bodied beer.
Another highly anticipated release beer that really can pack a punch with the high ABV. A nice winter sipper and even though it is brewed by the evil AB-InBev, this is a must try brew. From the brewery:
“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.” Brewmaster Greg Hall;
IBU’s 60-High Color – Midnight
Was 11% abv,
2007 and 2008 – 13% abv
2011 – 14.5% abv
2012 – 15% abv
The third stout to hit this part of the top 25 is one that is constantly available in my fridge. A great beer to accompany the cold weather and the snow Bells paints the perfect picture for what a stout should be; tan head, aroma of chocolate and coffee, and the sweet, creamy flavor that accompanies great stouts. Terrific beer! From the brewery:
Sweeter and smoother than Kalamazoo Stout. A beer for special winter occasions. Great with chocolate desserts. Available October-March.