Eat Here! St. Burch Tavern; Iowa City, IA

IMG_0243.JPGEver since hearing about the purchase of what was the former Atlas restaurant by the BIg Grove/Pullman group and the announcement of changing it to a fresh seafood bar I’ve been chomping at the bit to visit. Finally, I got to head to St. Burch on Friday night and I must say, my expectations were exceeded.

I did call and make reservations which was a good idea since the place was absolutely packed. We waited down in the den which has sweet vibe to it. A ton of cocktails to choose from and a beer list that included some Big Grove offerings. I kept it a beer night had a couple blood orange arms race although next time I might have to try a couple of cocktails as they looked mighty tasty. After a brief wait our table was ready and I must say, St. Burch’s menu is tough to order from just because of so many terrific sounding options. Fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, chops, etc. all available and all mouth watering. Click HERE for a link to their menu.

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We started off with the seafood tower, which you can see by the picture, I enjoyed a bit too much as I didn’t even get a picture of the food. There are 2 different “tower” options, one that feeds 2-3 and one that feeds 5-6. We got the 2-3 and it was excellent. Fresh oysters on the half shell, two different kinds I believe, salmon spread, shrimp cocktail, and tuna tartare. All excellent, the oysters didn’t stand a chance. Fresh and delicious. My table shared a bunch of entrees. We went with the Duroc pork chop, 2 orders of the lobster pot pie, and 3 fried oyster sliders. I enjoyed them all but the pork chop and the lobster pot pie were simply amazing. The pot pie is something you just have to order because it’s that awesome and you’ll regret not getting it if you don’t. The chop was cooked perfectly and served on a bed of cheddar cheese grits which were excellent as well.

So much good food to order. I did see someone order the short rib and it looked stunning, so I know for sure on my next trip I’ll be getting that and lobster pot pie and the seafood tower and a loose meat sandwich and a shit ton of oysters…… Two HUGE thumbs up to St. Burch, a restaurant that Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area needed. Cheers to Chef Smart and Cory Kent for handling a busy ass night shucking oysters and getting folks seated. Great time here, can’t wait to get back. Until then you guys need to eat here!

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Big Grove releasing Easy Eddy cans and new Hazy Pale Ale called “Starla” Saturday April 21st!

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OOOHHHHHHH YEAH!!!!!! Big Grove brewery will be releasing a small amount of their Easy Eddy in cans on Saturday the 21st of April . It will be a very limited amount of cans available but it will be at both Big Grove locations. These will be flying out so if you’re in the area get there quick and you might as well stay for a release of a brand new hazy pale ale called Starla. Here’s more on Eddy:

Flaked wheat and oats make for a brilliant golden haze in this Unfiltered IPA. Brewed with low bitterness and hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Easy Eddy showcases juicy tropical aromatics of pineapple and mango.

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Big Grove is in the midst of releasing core of their brews to cans and the Easy Eddy release comes as a nice surprise. More news on the canning line will be coming from this brewery in the future as well as more release news… DIG IT!

Abu Nawas Bringing Tre Fontane to Iowa!

Tre Fontane.jpgBig news coming again from Abu Nawas as they continue to supply our state with wonderful beers and they do it again! Tre Fontane, the 11th Trappist beer in the world from the only Trappist Brewery in Rome, will be gracing our shelves starting next week! Cheers to Frederique and Abu Nawas! Here’s the release on this awesome news!

We are we are humbled, honored and grateful to have been chosen to bring Iowa the latest Addition to the Authentic Trappist Beer Family. Tre Fontane Tripel The Abbey of the Tre Fontane is located in Rome in the sacred place where the martyrdom of St. Paul occurred in 67 AD.
The Abbey takes its name from the three fountains which miraculously appeared where the head of the apostle hit the ground in three locations after he was beheaded. Hence the name, Tre Fontane (Three Fountains). Today the Abbey is surrounded by beautiful eucalyptus trees which were planted by Monks starting in 1870. These trees were planted with the belief that eucalyptus had healing qualities that could prevent malaria. In actuality, eucalyptus does not prevent malaria. However, the trees do require a tremendous amount of water, therefore draining the surrounding swampy terrain. As a result the mosquitos, which later were determined to be the actual cause of malaria, disappeared as the swamps dried up. In 1873 with in-depth knowledge of the trees, the Trappist community began production of Eucalyptus oils and extracts.
These products have strong balsamic and antiseptic properties with intense, aromatic scent. They are also a pleasant digestive. In early 2000, thanks to the discovery of an ancient beer recipe, the monks began brewing Tre Fontane using the surrounding eucalyptus as a spice. Several years of intense work have now improved the quality, and finally, in May of 2015, Tre Fontane Tripel was awarded the ATP brand (Authentic Trappist Product). Tre Fontane is the 11th Trappist Beer in the world and the only Trappist Brewery from the ancient holy city of Rome.

 

Beer Trends…2018

With the explosion of IPAs, barrel-aged beers, and sours I got to thinking will there be another craft beer trend that will push one of those 3 styles out?

There are many different sub styles or all three of those; hazy IPAs are the craze right now but maybe a newer or a past IPA sub style will be the next Hazy IPA. Barrel-aging has gone from being with stouts and porters to pushing into sours, IPAs, browns, and more; is this a trend that will continue or will that fade a bit? Sours/goses/berliners/flanders are right up there in terms of popularity and demand as well.

I don’t see IPAs slowing down; sure some substyles will trend up but the overall IPA I think will continue to dominate the craft beer market. The same can be said with barrel-aged stouts/porters. I do think classic styles will continue to make their return to breweries/retail. Pilsners, Kolschs, Lagers, and Porters have seen an increase of demand recently. I’m a huge fan of Saisons and think this is a style, which popular by some degree already, could make a splash as well. Maybe not necessarily a style but that can be factored in to additions would be new Hop varieties. It seems like we are hearing on a daily basis about a new hop and it’s flavor profile.

One style I do see making a big jump, especially with warmer months approaching is the the Mexican-Style lager. Putting a craft spin on what used to be a Corona with lime in it could be a great gateway to craft but also could be excellent for the beach/river/pool come this summer. So, my question, at the end of 2018, besides the first 3 listed above, what will be the new craze in craft beer?

 

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.

The Iowa Beer Blog Presents: 2018 Iowa IPA and Pale March Madness Tournament!

beermadness.pngIf you haven’t checked out iowabeerblog.blogspot.com you need to get over there and check it out as the guy has been posting some great articles and news. He’s also found @iowabeerblog on twitter. He came up with a sweet march madness style bracket for Iowa brewed IPAs and pale ales and the voting starts tomorrow. So check out his site or get on twitter and start voting. What’s your favorite to win? Do you have a dark horse? This should be fun to watch. Cheers iowabeerblog and have fun!

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Coming to Shelves: Left Hand, Sixpoint, Deschutes, New Holland, Central Waters, Avery, 515, Lion Bridge and much more!

A lot of updates of possible beers hitting Eastern Iowa shelves in the next few months on the day where Dogfish Head brewery made its way back to our shelves as well. We also got word the Central Waters was releasing a barrel-aged coconut porter. I’ve reached out to a few places but no one has gotten word on if Iowa will get any of that brew. Onto the update:

sixpoint.gif**Sixpoint Brewery**
-V Righteous Barrel-Aged w/vanilla – not sure if we will see this one or not but this comes courtesy of Sixpoint’s website:

Fire up your Sixpoint app and get ready for release news in the future on this beer.  This is V Righteous from Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, NY.  This beer is a barrel-aged rye ale brewed with vanilla and it will be packaged in 12oz cans.  This beer will hit 10.7%-AbV and remember “hoods make not monks.”  Stay tuned here for on your Sixpoint app for release details coming soon.

Power Ballad (New England Style IPA) – another one I’m not quite sure if we will get a sniff or not is their New England Style DIPA. This brew will come in at 8%, stay tuned for more on both of these releases from Sixpoint.

deschutes**Deschutes Brewery**
A ton of info on Deschutes releases for the next 3-4 months from Deschutes’ website:

SOUR SERIES
Pear Bergamot Sour
When:  Year Round 2018
What:  Sour Series (draft only)
The Deschutes Sour Series is a new offering from Deschutes Brewery. An innovative and creative series of stainless, lacto soured beers that vary in the use of fruit, hops, spices and specialty ingredients, all maintain a harmonious and clean acidity ranging from mild to medium. This series combines two trends among craft beer consumers: an emerging interest in kettle sours and a movement toward fruit-flavored beers. This series delivers both in a distinctly Deschutes way that is culinary-inspired and truly unique. Pear Bergamot Sour Ale tasting notes include pear and citrus with a floral aroma. Next up this spring, Black Raspberry Sour.
Beer Geek Information:  4.3% ABV  |  18 IBUs
Where: Available everywhere Deschutes is sold on draft.

RESERVE SERIES
The Ages
When: April 2018
What: Reserve Series (500ml-bottles)
A gueuze-inspired, multi-year blending shapes a wild brew brimming with fruity, spicy esters and savory, tangy pear and white pepper flavors. Deschutes’ first release in a 500ml bottle, this is a beer for the ages.
Beer Geek Information:  7.5% ABV | 15 IBUs
Where: Available everywhere Deschutes is sold.

BOND STREET SERIES
Swivelhead Red
When: February – May 2018
What:  Bond Street Series (12-ounce bottles and draft)
Perfect for that St. Patrick’s Day celebration! This twist on a traditional red ale gets its herbal hop character from European varietals added in American quantities, with a light melon accent from Australian hops, all resulting in a malty brew without the roast that’s sure to turn heads wherever it’s shared. The quirky artwork on the label tells a story and represents all the characters that contributed to this brew.
The Stats:  6.5% ABV | 70 IBUs
Where: Available everywhere where Deschutes is sold.Deschutes Announces Early 2018 Releases

COLLABORATIONS
Fresh Chair Northwest Pale Ale
When: March 2018
What: 30th Anniversary Collaboration with Crux Fermentation Project (draft only)
In celebration of Deschutes Brewery’s 30th birthday, they’ve partnered with several Deschutes Brewery alumni to collaborate on seven exciting brews. The first debut includes former brew masters Larry Sidor and Cam O’Connor now of Crux Fermentation Project, in the creation of a perfect blend of award winning Fresh Squeezed IPA and Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. Encompassing the popular hop varieties Citra, Mosaic and Centennial, a bright and bold hop aroma compliments a drinkable malt body. All proceeds from this beer will benefit restoration of streamflow and improved water quality in the Deschutes River Basin.
Beer Geek Information:  6.5% ABV | 35 IBU
Where: Limited release in Oregon and Washington.Deschutes Announces Early 2018 Releases

Humm Zinger
When: May 2018
What: Humm Kombucha Collaboration
A collaboration with Humm Kombucha, a fellow Bend, Oregon, craft pioneer, this unique kombucha radler combines Humm’s tangy grapefruit with the iconic Cascade hops and Pilsner malt that Deschutes Brewery uses in many of its beers. The finished brew is a crisp and invigorating fresh twist on a radler.
The Stats: 4.3% ABV | 12 IBUs
Where: Limited release in Oregon and Washington.

SEASONAL
Twilight Summer Ale
When: April – August 2018
What:  Seasonal (12-ounce bottles and draft)
Back by unrelenting customer demand, Twilight Summer Ale hits the shelves just in time for summer this year! Originally introduced in 2004, this clever golden-hued ale pours remarkably crisp and clean. A distinctive malt body complements a refreshing hop profile led by a healthy dose of bold Amarillo hops. It’s going to be a great summer.
The Stats:  5.0% ABV  |  38 IBUs
Where: Available everywhere Deschutes is sold.

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Here’s the full fact sheet:

Beer news: CANS! (March); Pear Bergamot Sour (January); Swivelhead Red (February); Fresh Chair Northwest Pale Ale (March); The Ages, Twilight (April)

BEERS

Cans!

When: March

What: Fresh Squeezed IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale & Pacific Wonderland Lager (12oz, 6pack cans)

The weight is over! Three brands of Deschutes Brewery beer are now available in lighter, convenient packaging, more easily transported to any occasion. Fresh Squeezed IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Pacific Wonderland Lager will soon ship to distributors and land on retail shelves in 12-ounce cans. Up next,19.2-ounce single serve cans of Fresh Squeezed IPA will follow. Adventure awaits. Go-CAN-do!

Where:Available everywhere Deschutes is sold.

Introducing the Deschutes Brewery SOUR SERIES

Currently pouring: Pear Bergamot Sour

When: All year

What: Sour Series (draft only)

The Deschutes Sour Series is a new offering from Deschutes Brewery. An innovative and creative series of stainless, lacto soured beers that vary in the use of fruit, hops, spices and specialty ingredients, all maintain a harmonious and clean acidity ranging from mild to medium. This series combines two trends among craft beer consumers: an emerging interest in kettle sours and a movement toward fruit-flavored beers. This series delivers both in a distinctly Deschutes way that is culinary-inspired and truly unique. Pear Bergamot Sour Ale tasting notes include pear and citrus with a floral aroma. Next up this spring, Black Raspberry Sour.

Beer Geek Information:  4.3% ABV  |  18 IBUs

Where: Available everywhere Deschutes is sold on draft.

RESERVE SERIES

The Ages

When: April Release
What: Reserve Series (500ml-bottles)

A gueuze-inspired, multi-year blending shapes a wild brew brimming with fruity, spicy esters and savory, tangy pear and white pepper flavors. Deschutes’ first release in a 500ml bottle, this is a beer for the ages.

Beer Geek Information:  7.5% ABV | 15 IBUs

Where: Available everywhere Deschutes is sold.

BOND STREET SERIES

Swivelhead Red

When: February – May
What: Bond Street Series (12-ounce bottles and draft)

Perfect for that St. Patrick’s Day celebration! This twist on a traditional red ale gets its herbal hop character from European varietals added in American quantities, with a light melon accent from Australian hops, all resulting in a malty brew without the roast that’s sure to turn heads wherever it’s shared. The quirky artwork on the label tells a story and represents all the characters that contributed to this brew.

The Stats:  6.5% ABV | 70 IBUs

Where: Available everywhere where Deschutes is sold

COLLABORATIONS

Fresh Chair Northwest Pale Ale

When: March
What: 30th Anniversary Collaboration with Crux Fermentation Project (draft only)

In celebration of Deschutes Brewery’s 30th birthday, they’ve partnered with several Deschutes Brewery alumni to collaborate on seven exciting brews. The first debut includes former brew masters Larry Sidor and Cam O’Connor now of Crux Fermentation Project, in the creation of a perfect blend of award winning Fresh Squeezed IPA and Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. Encompassing the popular hop varieties Citra, Mosaic and Centennial, a bright and bold hop aroma compliments a drinkable malt body. All proceeds from this beer will benefit restoration of streamflow and improved water quality in the Deschutes River Basin.

Beer Geek Information:  6.5% ABV | 35 IBU

Where: Limited release in Oregon and Washington

Humm Zinger

When: May

What: Humm Kombucha Collaboration

A collaboration with Humm Kombucha, a fellow Bend, Oregon, craft pioneer, this unique kombucha radler combines Humm’s tangy grapefruit with the iconic Cascade hops and Pilsner malt that Deschutes Brewery uses in many of its beers. The finished brew is a crisp and invigorating fresh twist on a radler.

The Stats: 4.3% ABV | 12 IBUs

Where: Limited release in Oregon and Washington

SEASONAL

Twilight Summer Ale

When: April – August

What: Seasonal (12-ounce bottles and draft)

Back by unrelenting customer demand, Twilight Summer Ale hits the shelves just in time for summer this year! Originally introduced in 2004, this clever golden-hued ale pours remarkably crisp and clean. A distinctive malt body complements a refreshing hop profile led by a healthy dose of bold Amarillo hops. It’s going to be a great summer.

The Stats:  5.0% ABV  |  38 IBUs

Where: Available everywhere Deschutes is sold

boulevard**Boulevard Brewing + Zipline Brewing Collab**

-Linkin’ Up Hot Dust IPA – here’s info on this brew courtesy of mybeerbuzz.com:

Today we get to see a new collaboration beer coming from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, MO.  This is Linkin’ Up and it is a collaboration with Zipline Brewing in Lincoln, NE.  The beer is a hop dust IPA that will hit 6.2%-AbV & 47 IBU and the beer will be packaged in 12oz bottles at Boulevard.  Stay tuned for release info.  We also have the Zipline Brewing double-version below called Getting’ Down hop dust DIPA (8.5%-AbV, 750ml bottles).

left hand**Left Hand Brewing**

-Peach Beerllini Radler – a refreshing sounding brew coming soon from Left Hand. Coming in at 4.1%, this brew does not have a release date quite yet but one could expect to see it before the warmer months hit!

-Belgian Style Dubbel Nitro Cans – courtesy of mybeerbuzz.com:
This morning we have another new nitro can coming from Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, CO.  This is Belgian-Style Dubbel Nitro and yep…it’s a Belgian-style Dubbel ale charged with nitrogen.  The beer hits 7.9%-AbV & 30 IBU and this is the 13.675oz Ball cans.  According to the Left Hand Release Calendar, this beer is a seasonal release coming in March/April.

Limerence.png**Odell Brewing**

-Limerence Meyer Lemon Blonde Ale – not much is known on this brew yet but it will be part of Odells Exclusive Release Series. Other than label, nothing much else is known, stay tuned for on this tasty sounding brew.

515**515 Brewing**

-Castaway Porter – 515 released this brew last Thursday. If you dig a good coconut porter then this is one you’ll want to seek out.

 

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**Lion Bridge Brewing**

-Dinner Sauce IPA – here’s what the brewery had to say about this brew

We’ve got a brand new brew for you this week! Friday we’re tapping Dinner Sauce IPA, a true everything beer. Lemony and herbal with some tropical fruit character and just enough wheat creaminess to balance out the dryness. Go ahead, have seconds, you deserve it!

-Olde No. 17 – 

The official beer of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society and brewed to commemorate its 40th anniversary. This is the classic pub stout you know and love with a twist; 100 lbs of organic mashed potatoes were added during the brew to increase the dryness and slightly boost the alcohol. Roasty, with hints of dark chocolate, nuttiness and rich creamy mouthfeel. Slainte!

aloha.jpg**Ballast Point**

-Aloha Sculpin

With Aloha Sculpin, we used Brux Trois yeast to turn our award-winning IPA into a tropical oasis, with bright and refreshing notes of mango, pineapple and guava, along with a slight haze and smooth mouthfeel

Cellar Sale! Reds Alehouse Opening their Cellar Sunday, February 25th

Courtesy of Reds Alehouse Facebook Page:

🚨🚨 BIG NEWS 🚨🚨 We are opening our cellar for the first time in years to the general public! Sunday, February 25th from 10am to 3pm, you will get the first chance to take home some very rare bottles of beer. These bottles are first come, first serve – no reservations! We will be adding all left over bottles to our beer list, however, Sunday is the only day you’ll be able to purchase at a discount! There will also be bottle give-a-ways and rewards for attending.