Will the top 25 of 2012 make it into the top 25 of 2013? With many brands hopefully on the horizon and more Iowa breweries starting to brew in 2013, I would expect a change for 2013’s top 25. Rumors of Oskar Blues, Odell, Lagunitas, and more coming to Iowa along with Toppling Goliath and Backpocket bottling, it will be a great year for beer in Eastern Iowa.
Without further ado, the last 5 beers of the Top 25 list has arrived. Would love some feedback as to what you think should be included or what should have been left off the list. Here we go!
Green Flash Imperial IPA – 9.4% – Imperial IPA – Another newer brewery to the Eastern Iowa market, Green Flash has been producing some really fantastic beers. A great balance of intense hops with malts makes this a must try IPA. From the brewery:
“San Diego-style IPA, as it has come to be known by many, is a super-hoppy, high gravity, yet highly quaffable ale. Green Flash Imperial IPA is created in this new tradition, with intense hop flavors and aromas from a unique blend of Summit and Nugget hops. It’s all about the hops!”
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA – 7.2% – India Pale Ale – Sierra Nevada beers have been on our shelves for sometime and can be overlooked. This IPA has more of malt presence than some on the shelves but the massive hop flavor helps with the sweetness of the malts. Great stuff, now available in cans as well. From the brewery:
Torpedo is an assertive American IPA deep reddish-gold in color, with a smooth and bready malt presence and over-the-top hop aromas. The beer has a solid bitterness and a massive hop flavor, yet remains easy drinking with a pleasant dry finish.
Founders Breakfast Stout – 8.3% – Imperial Stout – One of my all-time favorite beers that, according to the label, makes it ok to drink beer for breakfast. In all reality, this would be the perfect companion to a plate of bacon and eggs. Huge coffee presence that doesn’t take away from the qualities of a stout. You still get the creaminess, chocolate bitterness, that blends perfect with the coffee flavor. Awesome beer! From the brewery:
You’ve got to love coffee to truly appreciate this phenomenal brew. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee. We’re actually not sure if this is some type of coffee cake or a beer. Either way you can drink this ale with a fork. Breakfast Stout has an intense fresh roasted coffee nose topped with a cinnamon colored frothy head that seems to never fade and makes you wish breakfast could last forever.
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – 10.5% – Imperial Stout – Huge malt presence with roasted barley that fits perfectly with a mild hop presence. Not overpowered by the bourbon aging, it’s there, but not dominating the flavor of the beer. Nice little burn from the alcohol but not over the top. A perfect beer for a cold night! From the brewery:
Around the time of the Louisiana purchase, beer was shipped in barrels. if one had been lucky enough to receive a used Bourbon barrel of Imperial Stout, this is what his/her happy taste buds would have encountered: roasty, rich, malty imperial stout with a strong dose of caramel, oak, and Bourbon character. This is the perfect beer to pair with hearty, cold weather dishes, smoked meats, and virtually any dessert.
Peace Tree Templeton Red – 7% – Sour/Wild Ale – Peace Tree, located in Knoxville, IA, has a very impressive lineup of beers. Many of them almost made the top 25. Their Blonde Fatale, Gumbo Stout, Hop Wrangler, and Hop Sutra are all excellent beers, but the one that stood out most this year was their Templeton Red. Bourbon nose with this beer and the flavor has the caramel, oak flavor that makes this beer tremendous. From the brewery:
Joe loves to experiment with barrel aged beers and was lucky enough to score 25 Templeton Red Barrels last June. Addded to these barrels was a red ale which was allowed to pick up some wild fermentaion. The result is a deliciously tart, red ale with hints of Templeton Rye Whiskey and oak. It comes in at about 7% ABV and is a very smooth drinker.