Clown Shoes brews coming from Abu Nawas this week!

CLOWN SHOES CANS:

  • Clown Shoes Zebra Warren 2021 24/16oz CAN – Double IPA Mango and Pink Guava. 8% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes DDH Zen Garden 6/4/16oz CAN – Double Dry Hopped New England India Pale Ale, flush with full-bodied, hazy flavor from wheat and oat in the malt bill and a steady stream of hop additions. Hopped with Azacca, Citra, and Mosaic. 6.75% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes The Beast With No Name 1/12/19.2oz “Stovepipe” CAN – Imperial Stout Blended with Barleywine Ale Aged in Rum, Rye, and Bourbon Barrels. A proprietor’s blend of some of their best barrel-aged ales, this imperial stout can’t be described by a single name, so they didn’t try! 10.5% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes Hammer of the Lion 24/16oz CAN – Imperial Stout blended with Wee Heavy Ale aged in Rum, Bourbon, and Brandy Barrels. Rich malt sweetness paired with complex notes of Rum, Bourbon, and dark chocolate. 11% ABV. 
  • Clown Shoes Leviathan 6/4/16oz CANS – Big, Bold, and Full of Powerful hop Flavor, Leviathan is an intense TRIPLE IPA. Relentless hop additions throughout blend earthy, fruity, and floral notes. 10% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes Rainbows are Real 6/4/16oz CAN – Hazy IPA Infused with Terpenes. 6.75% ABV.  
  • Clown Shoes Space Cake 6/4/16oz CAN – Double IPA with Mosaic and Citra Hops. 9% ABV.   
  • Clown Shoes Galacticake 6/4/16oz CAN – Double IPA Featuring a base brew of Space Cake dry-hopped per Galactica specs, Galacticake combines Clown Shoes signature Double IPAs to make for a bevy of tropical citrus aromas and flavor. A balanced body showcases notes of both pine and citrus. 9% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes Tropical Blender 6/4/16oz CANS – Smoothie IPA with Guava, Pineapple, Mango, and Lactose. 7% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes Haze Cake 6/4/16oz CANS – Hazy Double IPA with Mosaic, Citra, and Centennial hops, Honey, and 2-row malts, wheat. 9% ABV.  
  • Clown Shoes Tuscan Picnic 6/4/16oz CAN – Rosé India Pale Ale brewed with Lambrusco Grape Juice for sweet fruit flavor and a refreshing dryness reminiscent of a picnic under the Tuscan Sun! 6.5% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes Clementine 6/4/16oz CAN – White Ale with Spices, All Natural Clementine Flavor, Sweet Orange Peel, Coriander, Mandarina Hops. 6% ABV.
  • Clown Shoes Mango Kolsch 6/4/16oz CAN – American Kōlsch with All Natural Mango Flavor, Columbus, and Huell Melon Hops. 5.5% ABV.

Hopocalypse Vol. 5, Blackberry Lemon Sour, and Detroit Style pizza all part of Big Grove Drive Thru this weekend!

A perfect weekend to watch some football (Go Bills!), sip on some suds and have a couple slices of pizza. Big Grove can’t take care of 2 of those 3 things for you with their offerings this weekend as the Drive Thru is back baby! Here are this weekend’s offerings:

BEER
Hopping into the tap lines and onto the shelves of Big Grove is Hopocalypse Vol. 5 👾 In this first of three total rounds, we’re releasing a mixed four-pack that includes two 16oz cans of Baron von Taks and two 16oz cans of Knockout and Crash.

Baron von Taks, a west coast double IPA brewed with Simcoe, pays respect to our beloved Brewery Operations Manager, Josh Seiler. He’s a stickler for the details and a no-nonsense fella, so don’t be messin’… ya hear?!

Knockout and Crash are all-nonsense fellas. Wild card brewers, Matt Burkey and Lincoln Hackert are brought to life in 8-bit alter ego form in this Hazy Double IPA brewed with Simcoe. The battle waging between these two troublemakers and the Baron may be worthy of Christopher Nolan’s next blockbuster, honestly.

And because we stop at nothing to please… we are debuting an amazing new fruited sour this week, Blackberry Lemon Sour. With the perfect blend of sweet fruit flavors and sour lemon notes, it’s definitely a new favorite and we can’t wait to share it.

FOOD
Chef Ben is bringing back his Detroit-style Breakfast Pizza for the drive-thru (in Iowa City only)… order it by the slice with sausage or vegetarian and thank us later.

Food only in IC, but beers available in both Big Grove locations. Start your ordering by clicking HERE, cheers!

Clock House releasing “Great Uncle Dunkel” and “Nothing But Plaid” West Coast IPA on 1/8!

Two new beers will be making their way to the Clock House taproom this Friday, January 8th, at 3 p.m. Here are the details on these two new beers courtesy of Clock House Facebook’s page:

Come join us in the taproom on Friday, January 8th as we release two new but old school beers.Great Uncle Dunkel: A dark and bready lager with notes of mild caramel and toast. Brewed with Black Gold Local Craft Premium malt from our friends in Cascade, Iowa.Nothing But Plaid: A West Coast style IPA dry-hopped with Amarillo, Citra, and local 2020 Chinook from Buck Creek Hops in Solon, Iowa. Notes of heavy citrus and floral.Available on draft and in growlers to go

Thew Brewing announces barrel sampling for 1/13 and 2021 Thew Crew memberships plus more!

A lot of news from Thew Brewing today! A barrel sampling coming on January 13th, Thew Crew membership opportunities, and a barrel aged quad release coming? Here we go with this update:

Let’s start with the barrel sampling. All info courtesy of Thew:

Have you ever wondered what beer tastes like at different points in the barrel aging process? This event will give you the opportunity to sample beers from all barrels currently in use in our taproom. Our brewmaster, Chris, will give background on the barrels and the beers created for them.Chris Luken, Cheese Specialist at Oakland Road Hy-Vee, will be creating cheese and meat boards to be enjoyed with the samples. A vegetarian option is available.Cost for the event is $20 and includes one full pour in addition to samples from each barrel. Cheese boards are $15 and will be suitable for two people to share!Email haley@thewbrew.com to register. Please specify which night you are attending (Wednesday, January 13th or Thursday, January 14th), number of tickets, and number of cheese boards. Seating is limited.Appropriate Covid-19 distancing protocols are in place in our taproom. Masks are required when you are not seated at a table.

Thew is now offering memberships for the 2021 year. Membership includes:

Join the Thew Crew! Members at all levels enjoy the following benefits:

  • 20% off flights 
  • $2 off growler fills
  • $1 off four-pack bottles
  • $2 off full pours on Thew Crew Wednesdays
  • Option to create a personalized Thew Crew mug (cost of mug $10; option to use it in the taproom for 2021 or take home immediately)
  • Priority for special releases
  • Thew Crew party with special release beers later in 2021
  • Other special events TBD

For more info click the link here!

Stay tuned for a barrel-aged quad released! Exciting news from Thew! Cheers!

Iowa Eats: Tribute in IRL is worth a visit!

As the restaurant industry goes through the most trying times, it’s so important to visit and support your favorite establishments now more than ever. If that means curbside pickup, a quick to go order, or if you’re feeling comfortable dining in, do it, order, get there, and help keep these folks in business. We are so lucky to have the variety of restaurants in Eastern Iowa that we do and when a new venture pops up in a trying time it’s definitely worth the time to check it out…so…on to Tribute we go.

Tribute is directly across the street from 30hop in Coralville in the Iowa River Landing location and has the same ownership group of the 30hop crew. As a dine in situation, I was extremely comfortable with the staff being masked up, the spacing between tables, and the availability of getting to go/pick up orders if I choose that.

The restaurant itself is a perfect blend of business, date night, and every day casual. It’s a place where all circumstances are welcome. A beautiful bar with give or take 12 taps, and a nice menu of cocktails and an extensive wine list lends something to every drinker. What about the food? I love a place that doesn’t have a 14 page menu and Tribute doesn’t. They have an assortment of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches that can satisfy any palate. So here’s what went down:


BEER
Clock House Witch Slap on tap. I always appreciate having local brews represented and Big Grove, Lion Bridge, Reunion, and Barn Town all had something on the lines. Went with a Witch Slap to pair with the starter of:

STARTER
*Black and Bleu Chips – here’s the thing about this dish, I love bleu cheese, and I know it’s a funky ass flavor that some people can’t get behind, but Tribute takes this pungent cheese, makes a fondue, makes HOMEMADE potato chips and dusts them in a buffalo spice blend and VIOLA! An amazing starter that everyone should try! The chips alone should be bagged and sold separately, absolutely delicious, and the bleu cheese fondue is tangy but not overly funky for those who scoff at that cheese. A dish to crave, a dish for a football day or for a quick app. Craveable.

*Deviled Eggs– your grandma’s deviled eggs keep getting a makeover with restaurants as of late. Don’t get me wrong, Grandma made a fine ass deviled egg, but that chive oil and pickled shallot put these over the top.

*Ahi Stack – a dish that satisfies the Asian craving. You hungry for Chinese? You want sushi? You need a light dish? This checks all those boxes. A bed of ahi tuna mixed with a ginger soy sauce with perfectly grilled bread. Decadent, light, and mouth watering. You want this in your life.



*French Onion Burger – the flavor is in the name. If you’re a French onion soup fan, then it’s easy to say this burger is for your. Swiss cheese, onions, parsley chutney, served on brioche bun with some onion jus on the side is exactly what you’d expect for the delicious soup transformed into a burger. Don’t forget to double dip that burger!!



-Tribute has something for everyone. No matter your dietary needs they can hit on it. If you just like a wide arrange of delicious food, give them a look. Head in for a comfortable/socially distant experience or get an order to go. Worth a look folks, they’re doing it right!

Beer Baron’s Top 10 Iowa Beers of 2020!

What a year it has been! With all that is going on our local breweries still put out a ton of amazing beers and this was the toughest “Top 10” I’ve had to come up with. As the year winds down, a heartfelt thank you to all the brewery/restaurant workers out there working their butts off to get us excellent beers and delicious food while trying to keep their businesses afloat. Keep supporting local people!

List criteria:
*Beer must have been released in 2020
*Iowa brewed only
*Annual releases not counted unless a new adjunct was added to the beer

I know that I’ve missed many, my goal in 2020 was to get to as many Iowa breweries as possible and I was able to get to many that I hadn’t been before and hopefully that trend continues in 2021. After you read my list I would love to hear what your Top 10 is this year! Follow me on twitter @iabeerbaron or join the Iowa Beer page on Facebook. Cheers to you all!

*Richard the Whale Vietnamese Coconut Coffee – 12.5% – the last few years of the Richard release, the golden ticket addition has added excitement but also even more creativity from the BG brewers and crew to up the ante every year to produce an amazing beer and this year was no different. The balance between the coffee and coconut blends perfectly with barrel and the vanilla rounds it out perfectly. A truly decadent and delicious beer. To quote Virginia Madsen from “Sideways”, “You know, the day you open a Richard the Whale Vietnamese Coconut Coffee….that’s the special occasion”.

Big Grove Richard the Whale Vietnamese Coconut Coffee

*Lion Bridge Off Grid – 6.6% – there may not be a better beer to showcase the trying year many people have faced in 2020. Off Grid was brewed after the derecho storm left many in the Cedar Rapids area without power, shelter, etc. Brewing with generator power, not only did Lion Bridge get beer to us, they gave us one of the best IPAs brewed in Iowa in 2020 and I hope we get a taste of it again in 2021….minus the derecho.

Lion Bridge Off Grid

*Barn Town Nelson Sauvin Neon – 6.5% – as Barn Town’s Neon is becoming more available in Eastern Iowa, it has certainly taken its place amongst my ever revolving beer fridge as a staple. However, Barn Town decided to showcase different hops in their popular IPA and after tasting Nelson Sauvin Neon, dare I say I want more of this version? I love Nelson hops and the addition of this adds a nice peppery finish to an already delicious citrus IPA.

*Lua Algorithm – 4% ABV – trips to Des Moines in the last year certainly have been more common to get some to go beers from many of the breweries in that area and one certain stop has been Lua. Lua’s lineup of beers range from wonderful pilsners, hoppy IPAs, BA stouts, and one their extremely popular Pushpop lineup of brews! There were many that I really enjoyed but Algorithm was the one that stood out to me most. The combo of orange, mango and peaches can be enjoyed any time of the day! Lua is currently doing curbside only for the foreseeable future so make sure you place an order with them and pick up some amazing beer and food!

*Clock House Peanut Panic Porter – 5.5% – Clock House has had an amazing year with their beer releases and with the addition of a canning line they can get us our favorites more efficiently and timely. Of all the beers I’ve had of theirs this year, (I think I’ve had them all), their Peanut Panic Porter stood out. I’m a huge porter fan, Founders Porter is still one of my all-time favorite beers, and when Clock House added peanuts to this beer I was sold. Now, this isn’t a overly sweet “peanut butter” beer, this is boiled raw peanuts and some added cocoa nibs making this one of the best porters I’ve had and definitely the best peanut porter I’ve ever had. Still on tap I believe, give it a shot!

*Big Grove HDTV – 9.2% – galaxy hops gone mad! Big Grove took their popular Color TV and added a bunch more galaxy hops to it to give us this baby! A wonderful welcome addition to Richard the Whale day, HDTV is not only delicious, but it’s deceptively drinkable coming in at 9.2%. You still may be able to find cans of this in the wild or certain bars (Club 76 has it on tap).

Big Grove HDTV

*Single Speed Barrel-Aged Double Donuts – 10% – aged in Cedar Ridge single malt whiskey barrels? Yes please! Single Speed took inspiration from their popular Zach’s Mexican Donuts, threw it in some amazing whiskey barrels and barrel-aged Double Donuts was born! Luckily I have a few cans left of this and I have every intention to sit by the fireplace and watch the snowstorm blow in tomorrow night and sip and enjoy this wonderful brew!

*Pulpit Rock Double Dave-O – 7.6% – I remember having this beer way back in January at Marquee Pizza in Coralville during their anniversary celebration. Marquee always did a great job getting Pulpit Rock on tap (Thanks Sam!) when many places couldn’t and I remember thinking that it’s going to be nice being able to visit here, have some great food and sip on some Pulpit beers…..things have changed a bit because of the pandemic but Pulpit sure has adapted to the changing times and have done an amazing job getting their cans available in certain locations around Eastern Iowa (Need Pizza + Reds Alehouse). Double Dave-O stood out because of the hop profile. Citra and mosaic, two of my favorites made this a quenching IPA leaving me wanting another one!

Pulpit Rock Double Dave-O

*Dimensional Imperial Cinna-Man Bun – 11.7% – there are some beers that you can be a little hesitant to order because you’ve already played it out in your head how it was going to taste. With this particular beer, I thought for sure it would be way too sweet for me with over the top cinnamon, admittedly I was completely wrong. Dimensional brought balance to a beer that could have gone the complete opposite direction, especially for a pastry stout. Another great fall/winter beer to sip on, wish I had some more of it!

Dimensional Imperial Cinna-Man Bun

*Clock House Sweet Innocence – 5.2% – 42 lbs of black cherries added to this kettle sour which made for a truly refreshing beer to sip on on hot ass August night in Iowa. This is a beer that I hope to see again during the warmer months and if you haven’t tried it, if Clock House does release it again, it’s worth the trip to Cedar Rapids!

Clock House Sweet Innocence

There is the list! It’s always fun to compile but never easy to narrow down! With such a trying year in the beer/restaurant industry it is amazing on how these breweries have adapted to keep their businesses alive and to also keep us stocked with beer. A huge cheers to all of them and I hope you continue to support your local brewery and businesses. I know I probably missed your favorite of the year so please let me know what your list looks like! Cheers!

Clock House releasing “Frayed Knot” BA stout 12/23!

Clock House will be releasing a barrel aged stout on December 23rd just in time to help keep us nice and warm during the holidays! “Frayed Knot” BA stout will be available for purchase starting this Wednesday at noon! Here’s more on this brew from Clock House:

The cellar doors have opened. This Monster Imperial Stout was Aged for over a year in Cedar Ridge No. 9 Reserve Rye-Bourbon Blended Barrels then Rested on Cacao Nibs and Vanilla Beans.Bombers of Frayed Knot will be available at noon on Wednesday, December 23rd until supplies last. These will be sold exclusively inside our taproom. Pre-sales will not be offered.$20 per bottle.

Reunion releases 4 new BA Stouts!

A busy week for Reunion Brewery as they released 4 new barrel-aged stouts this past week, 2 of which are exclusive only to certain stores. Below are the details of these 4 new brews and where you can find them! Cheers!

*Imperial Banshee w/ vanilla + almond – 13% ABV – A veil of inky blackness. Roast soaked in booze and oak. Distant screams in the dark. The Banshee has been waiting. The Banshee is calling. Vintage 2020 of our feared Imperial Banshee Imperial Stout aged 10 months in Cedar Ridge Bourbon barrels. 30 cases of this variant, visit your local liquor store to find it!

*Imperial Banshee – 10% ABV – Our 10% abv Russian Imperial Stout is an inky black, roasty, barrel aged monster. Aged in Wild Turkey and Four Roses bourbon barrels for 7 months this ale is layered in rich notes of bourbon, vanilla, toasted coconut, and cocoa. 30 cases of this variant, visit your local liquor store to find it!

*The Knob Diablo – 12% ABV – This one we’re really excited about. Our buddies @waterfronthyvee were kind enough to hook us up with a 15 year old Knob Creek barrel. We pulled some of the base beer for our Cocoa del Diablo out of the cellar to rest in this extremely special barrel. This single barrel Imperial Stout is thick and creamy with 15 years worth of bourbon notes. Available EXCLUSIVELY @ Water Front Hy-Vee in Iowa City!

*I Already Had This Last September – 12% ABV – Another barrel aged stout you say? But I ALREADY HAD THIS LAST SEPTEMBER! This is a very special stout collab we did with the goons down @johnsgrocery last September. A long boil RIS that was rested for a full year in a single Jefferson Reserve barrel. This silly stout will be at John’s Grocery this weekend so go snag some before they drink it all! Available EXCLUSIVELY @ John’s Grocery in Iowa City!

Huge Prairie delivery coming from Abu Nawas!

Time to stock up for the holidays and Abu Nawas is delivering some brews to do just that! Prairie drop coming this week!:

Prairie Artisan Ales:

  • Prairie Artisan Ales Moscow Mule 6/4/12oz CANS – Moscow Mule Double Hard Seltzer with Housemade Ginger Syrup and Fresh Lime Juice. 8.7% ABV. MOSCOW MULE WILL BE DELIVERED ON DECEMBER 28th!
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Weekend 12/12oz – Imperial Stout with Coconut, Cacao Nibs, and Marshmallow. 13.3% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Paradise 12/12oz Bottles – Imperial Stout with Vanilla and Coconut. 13% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales / Evil Twin Bible Belt 12/355 ml Bottles. Prairie Version of A Collab of Epic Proportions. Bible Belt takes elements we love from Prairie Bomb! and combines them with Evil Twin Brewing’s world-famous stout, Even More Jesus. 13% ABV. (Praire Version)
  • Evil Twin / Prairie Bible Belt 24/16oz CAN – A Collab of Epic Proportions. Bible Belt takes elements we love from Prairie Bomb! and combines them with Evil Twin Brewing’s world-famous stout, Even More Jesus. 13% ABV. (Evil Twin Version)
  • Prairie Artisan Ales BOMB 12/12oz – The Beer that started it all for Prairie. Imperial Stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers. 13.0% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales PeKan 12/355 ml. Another winner from our friends at Prairie. Imperial stout aged on Pecan and Vanilla. 11.5% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Seasick Crocodile 6/4/12oz CANS – Sour Ale with Cranberries, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. 5.4% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Millennial Mansion 6/4/12oz CANS – Imperial Sour Ale with Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Lime, Blueberry, Cherry, and Marshmallow. 7.7% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Rainbow Sherbet 6/4/12oz CANS – Have you ever drank a rainbow? Well, now you can! Sour ale with raspberry, pineapple, and orange. 5.2% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Flare 6/4/12oz CAN – Gose with Citrus Fruits and Coriander. 5.4% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Key Lime Pie 6/4/12oz CANS – Sour Ale with Key Lime and Vanilla. Tart/sweet balanced and tastes like a damn Jimmy Buffett song. 5% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Phantasmagoria 6/4/12oz CAN – Big, Bold Double IPA. 8.0% ABV.  
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Standard 6/4/12oz CAN – Light, crisp farmhouse ale dry-hopped with Motueka hops, a lovely New Zealand hop with a spicy lime like flavor and aroma. 5.6% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Vape Tricks 6/4/12oz CAN – Sour Ale Aged on Cherries. 5.9% ABV. 

TICKLE ME ELMO PRESENTS:

  • Prairie Artisan Ales Barrel-Aged Mocha Noir 12/12oz Bottles – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout with coffee and Chocolate. 14.2% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Barrel-Aged Bourbon Weekend 12/12oz Bottles – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout with Toasted Coconut, Chocolate, and Marshmallow. 14.2% ABV.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales Barrel-Aged Bourbon Paradise 12/12oz Bottles – Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Coconut and Vanilla. 13.7% ABV.

Big Grove releasing “A Real Nice Surprise” 12/18!

I got the dates wrong on the original post! My bad! What is quickly becoming a favorite holiday IPA will be making its way back to our beer fridges just in time for the Xmas! Big Grove “A Real Nice Surprise” double NE IPA will be available the week of December 18th! Here’s more on this brew:

Our gift to you this holiday season, this hazy DIPA, packed with Simcoe, Idaho 7, Citra, and Mosaic is our hoppiest beer on record! This beer checks in at 9% ABV.

Also, if you missed out on HDTV from the Big Grove release I’ve seen it trickle into the wild so check your local liquor store to see if they got any. Cheers!