Iowa Brew News: Big Grove, Contrary, Thew, Lion Bridge, SingleSpeed, Backpocket, Barntown, and more!

cherry pe.jpgTons of news tidbits from the past week to pass along to beer lovers. Iowa brewers have been busy with new releases, canning lines, and getting their beer to our shelves. So much great stuff out there to drink right now, get out there and support local breweries! Next Saturday (June 30th) is packed with beer releases! Big Grove, Barn Town, and Thew all will be doing bottle releases. Huge beer day in Iowa!

**Big Grove Brewery**– Big Grove has just announced that next Saturday (June 30th) they will be releasing bottles of Cherry Pie, a berliner weisse beer with tart cherries, lactose, and spices that is part of their Sugar Bottom Series. Both locations will have bottles, limit 6 per person, and a bit on tap. Make sure you check it out!

**Lion Bridge** – Lion Bridge keeps kicking out beers with the release of 380 South and Majestic Beast this week. 380 South is a collab with SingleSpeed (who did 380 North), and is a hazy IPA brewed with guava. Here’s more on these beers from Lion Bridge:

Lion Bridge and SingleSpeed are connected by more than a highway, and while we may not be mirror images of one another, the commonalities between the two of us are certainly worth noting. Both organizations are passionate about: community, historical preservation, authenticity, and of course, perhaps above all, the creation of great beer.

380 South sits as one half of what is a truly unique collaborative experiment. This hazy, single-hop Denali Pale Ale was crafted at Lion Bridge Brewing in Cedar Rapids, using the same grain and hops as 3-Eighty North, crafted at SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo. The only differences were the yeast, water and the fruit added. 380 South features guava, while 3-Eighty North features mango puree. A side by side tasting of the two sister brews is highly recommended.

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The other Lion Bridge release is a re-release of Majestic Beast. One of my personal favorites. Here’s more on this brew courtesy of Lion Bridge:

This mirthful beverage was dry-hopped with Mosaic Lupulin Powder, as well as a bit of Simcoe and Eukanot. By using hop powder with the green plant material removed, we are dry-hopping a concentrated version of the aromatic oils found in the hops. Resinous and tropical; potent yet graceful. It may just bring a tear to your eye.

contrary.jpg**Contrary Brewing** – heading over to Muscatine and Contrary Brewing company as they continue their line of Milkshake IPAs with a perfectly timed Bomb Pop Milkshake IPA. Here’s more on this brew courtesy of Contrary:

Next in our series of Milkshake IPA is the Bomb Pop! We combined raspberry purée, blueberry purée and lemonade with milk sugar, vanilla and hops. Summer is here! See you soon.

DgDc-kkUwAICgGM**SingleSpeed Brewing ** – everyone knows by know that SingleSpeed cans have it the market. Victory Dance, Ring Around the Gose, Tricycle, and Tip the Cow are all available so if you haven’t gotten some, this is the perfect weekend to grab a couple of sixers!

**Backpocket Brewing** – a widely anticipated release is on the horizon as Backpocket as announced the release of their 6th Anniversary barrel-aged stout. July 7th is the date, mark it on the calendar, make a day of it!

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**Thew Brewing ** – the new kid on the block is going to start bottling soon as Thew Brewing in Cedar Rapids has announced for June 30th. Two amazing sounding stouts and other releases for the day. $50 gets you food and 2 12 oz bottles of their stouts. More below:

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**Barn Town Brewing ** – Barn Town keeps pumping out the releases with another announcement of a guava berliner weisse and a sour IPA. More below:

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Drink This! Lion Bridge Teachable Moment

lion bridgeThese last few days in Iowa have been hotter than…(insert your favorite expression here), and what better way to cool down than with a delicious local brew. With a great week of releases from Big Grove (cans), 3rd Base, and others, I was able to get to Lion Bridge to try their latest release, Teachable Moment, a New-England style IPA. Here are the deets on this brew:

Creamy, soft body, a hazy appearance and a juicy punch from Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe.

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It was a sweltering 93 degrees outside when I ordered this brew and it went down quick. The beauty of this beer is not only how deliciously juice it is or how smooth it goes down but it checks in at 5.5% which means a couple of these on a hot day won’t get you too cockeyed! The haze craze continues and this is one that you should get down to the Czech Village to try, pair it with Lion Bridge’s chicken salad sandwich and you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle the heat! Fill a growler or meowler and watch the kids play in the sprinkler while you sip this; what ever you decide to do you should Drink This! brew!

Big Grove Releasing Single Barrel Richards and Richard Coffee with Panama Geisha on 5/4 @1st Ave Hy-Vee. John’s Grocery Single Barrel on 5/31

richard.jpgSome more great news coming from Big Grove brewery as this coming Friday, May 4th, at 1st Avenue Hy-Vee in Iowa City, they will be releasing bottles of Richard the Whale and Richard the Whale with Panama Geisha. They will also release a single barrel version on May 31st at John’s Grocery Here’s more on these releases.

Richard the Whale Single barrel release this Thursday May 4th at 1st Ave HyVee. Bottles go on sale at5 pm with a limit of 2 Richard the Whale & 2 Richard the Whale Coffee with Panama Geisha from JBC.

This single barrel Richard was aged in an Eagle Rare barrel provided by HyVee 1st Ave, Iowa City.

Johns Grocery is releasing the single barrel variant May 31st during their 70th Anniversary party. Their barrel was a Buffalo Trace.

Iowa Beer Week in Review: Big Grove, Lion Bridge, Thew, TG, 3rd Base, BP, Millstream

Quite a few new releases making their ways to our local Iowa breweries with the big news of Big Grove brewery beers hitting our local liquor stores. Here’s more:

**Big Grove**– with a successful release of Easy Eddy cans last Saturday (I would like more of this please!) Big Grove followed that up with the release of 4 packs of First Launch Double Dry Hopped IPA. These cans hit select spots (see poster) and will be followed with the release of Big Grove’s core lineup. Exciting stuff coming from Solon and Iowa City. Also, that cask of Easy Eddy w/pineapple and mango was absolutely terrific. But yes, more Easy Eddy cans please!

first launch

**Lion Bridge Brewery** – swinging over to Cedar Rapids where Lion Bridge has been consistently busy supplying us with new and awesome beers. Zack Morris Cell Phone IPA release was a hit and delicious and they have followed that up with Tidbits Pineapple Pale Ale which was tapped yesterday (4/26). I’m looking forward to sucking a few of those down this weekend. Along with Tidbits, Lion Bridge is getting back to getting some of their amazing Saisons on the lines. This past week Plum Saison was tapped and prior they had their Apricot Saison on the lines. And last but not least for Lion Bridge was the release of one of my favorites…Coffee Kolsch! They even got that on the lines of my local watering hole in Mount Vernon, Chameleon’s Pub and Grub. Guessing Quinton, Rob and Alec did that just for me, thanks fellas!

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thew**Thew Brewing** – the new kid on the block continues to impress with some excellent offerings even though they are less than a month old! This week they released I-380 pale ale which checks in at 6.7% and Kingston Kolsch made its way to their lines. Thew brews have also found homes in a few other establishments in CR and the surrounding area so keep an eye out. Food Trucks and Friday $2 off pours make this your perfect post work pit stop today!

third base**Third Base Brewery** – some excellent beers brewed and consumed on Blair’s Ferry Road this past week as 3rd Base released their version of a hazy New England style IPA, Crooked Monkey. Along with the Monkey they also released a delicious double pils called Intergalactic Pilsner.

backpocket**Backpocket Brewing** – starting this week Backpocket offers 16 oz crowlers to be filled of your favorite Backpocket brew. They also released an Australian sparkling ale and two other beers. SOKOL juicy IPA and a variation of their Australian Sparkling ale made with tangerine purée, vanilla, lactose sugar, cinnamon and clove. Those all tap today (4/27)!

millstream**Millstream Brewing** – Iowa’s oldest brewery has been testing some brews on their pilot system and yesterday tapped a Session IPA. Brewery only for this one so get there and grab a taste.

**Barn Town Brewing** – heading over to the Des Moines area we have Barn Town continuing to pump out some very tasty ales. The addition of their beers to tap lines at 30hop, Marquee, and Tin Roost has been welcomed with open arms. Pulp non-Fiction is back on the lines at the brewery which hopefully means we will see it back on the lines near us. Along with that, they released Appaloosa, a New England style IPA that checks in at 7.3% and is currently available at Marquee Pizza in Coralville! They also announced that Sticky Juice will be their next bottle release. Stay tuned for more news on that!

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**Toppling Goliath** – the big news out of TG this week is the return of the popular Scorpius Morchella, a double IPA. This beer has been brewed and distro has started so keep your eyes peeled for this bad boy!

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**That’s all I have for this week. If I missed something or you have news or brews to share drop me a line! benmed15@yahoo.com Cheers!

Benz Beverage Depot Announce 14th Annual Beerfest Set for May 12th!

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The following comes from Benz Facebook page, stay tuned for participating breweries and beer availability:

Details

14th Annual Benz Beerfest
Tickets available in-store or online at benzbeerfest.com

$40- VIP Ticket (Limit 700)
$30- General Admission

$5 in store discount (per ticket) from March 1st – April 31st

VIP tickets come with a special Benz Beerfest tasting glass and it allows you to come in to sample beer an hour before it is open to the public.

1:00pm-2:00pm (VIP hour)
2:00pm-5:00pm (General Admission)

Madhouse Brewing Announces 2018 Carpe Diem Release Party for Friday March 2nd!

madhouseOne of my favorite beers is going to be available again! Starting this Friday, Carpe Diem will once again grace our presence and if you are in the Des Moines area you need to hit up the Madhouse Taproom to get a taste of this terrific brew! Here’s more from a Madhouse Brewing press release:

carpe diem 2018

The official release event for Carpe Diem will be held at Madhouse on Friday, March 2nd.
Doors open at 4pm!
  • Bottle sales will begin promptly at 4pm.
  • Distribution will depend on what stock is remaining after the release party.
  • As always, bring your favorite bottles for sharing!
Carpe Diem is a bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Breakfast Stout made with oats, cacao nibs, Kona coffee, and Iowa maple syrup. 13.5% ABV.

Une Annee Beers Hitting Iowa Shelves with Abu Nawas?

une annee.pngA little rumor making its way around has Illinois based brewery Une Annee is coming to Iowa through Abu Nawas and it sounds like it’s going to happen sooner than later. If you don’t know much about Une Annee they are Belgian inspired brewery with Belgian inspired beers located in Niles, IL. Expect sours, wild ales, lambics, stouts, and much more from these guys! Hopefully more information will trickle in, but this is an exciting brewery to hit our shelves if/when it happens. Stay tuned for more, in the meantime, check out their website to learn more about their brews: uneannee.com

 

Coming Soon to Shelves: Surly, Founders, Great Divide Yeti

surlySome new brews will be hitting Eastern Iowa shelves in the next few months. Here we go with the update:

Surly Brewing
Surly will have a few new brews coming soon. Hopshifter IPA, BAOW!, which is a barrel-aged oat wine, and Surly Twelve which this year will be an Imperial Pilsner. Here’s more on each new brew:

*Hopshifter IPA

There are three things you need to know about Hopshifter, Surly’s newest year-round beer:

  1. It’s a new IPA. From Surly. That should be enough, but we committed to three things in the first sentence.
  2. It’s crafted to reduce gluten.
  3. The next one you have may very well be different from this one.

Let’s address the last point first. Hopshifter started in our Beer Hall as a way for our brewers to tinker with experimental hop varieties. They’re often so new that they don’t have sweet names like Amarillo or Mosaic yet, just an alphanumeric code. They’d fill a tank, put it on draft, and keep drilling down. It was a Surly-wide learning process, from our brew team to the hop-hunting IPA lovers who visit our Beer Hall. We made a dozen versions of Hopshifter over the last year, dialing in what worked and eliminating what didn’t.  We’re now confident enough to send the new variations out into the world.

While the end result is now being distributed, the philosophy developed over these months remains the same: Once that tank is gone, it’s gone. The hops shift at will. Embrace the temporary.

The opening salvo is the experimental Bru-1 hop, along with Citra and Chinook. You’ll get pineapple, mango, and tropical aromatics to go with a light-bodied, moderately bitter brew. It’s the perfect introduction to this groundbreaking series of beers. If you have any questions on what Hopshifter variation you’re drinking, check the bottom of the can or the wrap. We bought a laser that etches the hop name(s) onto them. Lasers are cool.

If you’ve been to the Beer Hall, you know that we’ve had gluten-reduced beers on the menu for a while now. You can read the whole story here, but the nickel version is this: We use an enzyme called Brewer’s Clarex™ to eliminate haze in our beer. That haze consists of the proteins that trigger gluten sensitivities. Without it, you’re left with an approachable, gluten-reduced IPA that tastes like an actual IPA.

(Since we still brew with grain, we can’t call Hopshifter gluten-free, even if it meets the less-than-20-parts-per-million criteria. Hence, it’s gluten-reduced. Read the Hopshifter FAQs and the lab report on this batch.)

Other things worth knowing:

  • Hopshifter will be a can-only release. We can’t guarantee gluten-sensitive draft lines outside of the dedicated ones we have in our Beer Hall.
  • The malt bill is simple. Hops are the showcase.
  • 6% ABV.
  • Tanner put a secret monster on the can.
  • Enjoy this one. It won’t be around long. (On the off-chance that this one isn’t for you, again, it won’t be around long.)

Given the limited amount we’re brewing, Hopshifter’s footprint will also be smaller than our other core brands. You can find it in select Surly markets the week of February 5th.

*Surly BAOW! 
Little is known right now about this beer other than it is a barrel-aged oat wine that will be packaged in 750 mL bottles and be aged in rye whiskey barrels. Stay tuned for more release info on this one.

*Surly Twelve
Info courtesy of mybeerbuzz.com:

This morning we get our very first peek at Twelve 12th anniversary beer from Surlybrewing in Brooklyn Center, MN.  The beer will be an imperial pilsner brewed with Weyermann Eraclea Pilsner Malt from the Mediterranean and Spalt Select hops created by head brewers Jerrod Johnson and Ben Smith.  Look for Twelve to be packaged and bottle conditioned in 750ml bottles that will carry the Independent Craft Seal from the Brewers Association.  According to the 2018 Surly Release Calendar, this beer will be coming in June 2018.  Stay tuned for AbV.

Founders Brewing –

Founders will be adding to their year-round lineup with a new Lager. Here’s more on this beer courtesy of Founders Brewing:

founders.jpg*Solid Gold

Our brewery was built on an attitude of no regrets. An attitude of taking risks to bring the best beer possible to our fellow renegades and rebels. Never brewing to style, but always brewing what we want to drink. Our take on a classic, Solid Gold is a drinkable golden lager brewed with the highest quality ingredients. Challenging what a lager can be? That’s something we won’t regret. 4.4% ABV, 20 IBUs.

Solid Gold will be released in 6-pack cans, 15-pack cans and on draft throughout our entire distribution network – that’s right, no bottles.  It will have a SRP of $7.99/6-pack and $14.99/15-pack. It will start shipping in February and will be available year-round.

For those of you familiar with the Solid Gold we’ve featured in our taproom for years, this is not the same beer. Our Brewmaster, Jeremy, completely revamped the recipe and it now features lager yeast, corn and Lemondrop hops for just the right hit of flavor.

Great Divide 

Vanilla Oak Aged Yeti

great divide.jpegOur last updated comes from Great Divide Brewing company as they extend their Yeti series with a oaked vanilla version of this popular brew. Here’s more on this brew courtesy of Great Divide’s website:

Yet another extension of our Yeti clan, Vanilla Oak Aged Yeti is the next flavor evolution for our cherished imperial stout. Sweet vanilla tones meld into the oak characteristics as the two flavors support and enhance one another. A pairing fit for a beast, the vanilla and oak are uplifted by the bold and roasty character we all know and love from Yeti.

ABV: 9.5 |  AVAILABLE: Seasonal |  SIZES: 22 oz, 15.5 gal and 5 gal kegs