Distribution News: Surly, Left Hand, and Lagunitas

surlyIf the following news comes to fruition, Iowa craft beer lovers will be swimming in a bunch more great craft beer! Here’s the latest rumblings from the craft beer forum world:

**For Eastern Iowa Fleck Sales will start distribution Lagunitas in July.**

**Left Hand Brewing will follow Lagunitas and will become available in August.**

**And finally…….Surly brewing should be going to statewide distribution in January.**

Lot of great things on the horizon to go along with the great things we already have. Cheers to a great weekend!

What’s your Session IPA?

India Session Ales are defined as an IPA that has all the hop presence of a regular IPA but has a significant lower ABV level making it “sessionable”. Eastern Iowa shelves have seen a considerable jump in sessionable IPAs and with the warmer “lawnmowing” weather taking over and soon tailgating season begins, this is the perfect time for brewers and breweries to take advantage of this subcategory of IPAs. Let’s focus on what we can get strictly in Eastern Iowa,  and the one that started the trend for us, I believe, is Founders All Day IPA. So let’s break this down a bit, cue the music:

**Founders All Day IPA**
ABV: 4.7%
Ratebeer: 96/100
Beeradvocate: 87/100

foundersFounders started this strictly in 6 pack bottles and then made the genius move of putting it in cans allowing for easier mobility and also easier to dispose of (see Iowa Football tailgating). This was the beer of choice at the Beer Baron’s tailgates last fall and will probably be again this year. All the things you are looking for in an IPA is evident: great hop flavor, a bit of sweet resin, and bit of malt backbone. Founders is a top-tier brewery, and this brew helps solidify that.



schlafly**Schlafly Session IPA** 
ABV: 4.5%
Ratebeer: 88/100
Beeradvocate: 82/100

Schlafly has really made their mark since hitting Eastern Iowa stores with various styles and last summer, their can sessions started showing up. Coming in 6 packs, this beer does a great job in giving you that initial hop flavor and maltiness to balance. This one seemed a bit sweeter to me than the All Day from Founders but still good.


stone go to**Stone Go To IPA**
ABV: 4.5%
Ratebeer: 97/100
Beeradvocate: 89/100

The newer of the sessionable IPAs, Stone gives us what Stone usually does, an intense hop forward beer that packs a punch! I got a lot of grapefruit and pine flavor from this beer with minimal to no malt balance. Stone starts putting this in cans and we might have a competition with Founders.


pop up**Boulevard Pop Up Session**
ABV: 4.2%
Ratebeer: 94/100
Beeradvocate: 84/100

I recently had this for the first time at a local bar which shocked the hell out me that they actually had it on tap. Not really known for their great craft beer, and their options were limited, I went for the Pop Up. I honestly admit I’m not a huge fan of Boulevard’s IPAs, but I do really love their Smokestack stuff, but I thought I’d give it a go. Floral and citrus aroma with slight but evident citrus hop flavor.

**OVERALL** – If you are looking for a summer party brew you can’t go wrong with any of these beers. They are all very good sessionable IPAs. The cans from Founders and Schlafly make it easier to take to a BBQ or picnic and Founders recently introduced a 15 pack of All Day cans. I haven’t had Hop Rise from Central Waters yet and if/when Lagunitas gets here they will have Daytime IPA too. Either way, drinking any of these this summer or fall can easily lead to a (SLIM and Matt, this is dedicated to you)……..

MY PICK: If I had to choose one, gun to my head, I think I would go with Founders All Day IPA. I think it’s the most balanced but also has the great hop flavor. What’s your Session IPA?


Rush River Brewing heading to Iowa via Abu Nawas

rushThe following post was received on Facebook via Abu Nawas Facebook Page.

We’re very excited to be bringing Iowa the good stuff from Rush River Brewing!

Another brewery bringing their brews to Iowa shelves and we are still waiting confirmation on a few others that we have been talking about for the past few months. If you want to know more about Rush River Brewing’s offerings please visit their website here: http://rushriverbeer.com/

Green Flash Hop Odyssey White IPA hitting shelves this week

green flashA new member of the Green Flash Hop Odyssey series will be making its way to Eastern Iowa shelves this week. Green Flash Hop Odyssey White IPA will be showing up soon in the Eastern Iowa market. Here’s more on this beer from the Green Flash brewery website:

There’s a lot going on in this beer with two yeast strains, copious amounts of wheat malt, and a big focus on “C” hops to deliver a citrus explosion.  In fact we lined up more than a dozen hop varieties in the brewery to select 3 hops with the biggest citrus character to dry hop the beer.

 This golden beer pours with beautiful, fluffy white beer foam that lasts due to its bottle conditioning.  Feel free to rouse the yeast that settles in the bottle for a fuller texture and a more cloudy white appearance.  The citrus aromas that jump from the glass are largely tangerine up front with other types of citrus notes that mingle with the Belgian yeast esters.  Hop flavors of bitter orange zest dominate the brew and linger to the finish with a nice play of American and Belgian yeast combo.

Update on Iowa City/Coralville’s newest beer bar: 30 Hop












Iowa River landing’s website recently gave its Facebook followers an update on the progress of 30 Hop, which is an American Grill and Craft beer bar. Owners of Big Grove Brewery, Blackstone, Vesta, and Reds Alehouse have announced a possible opening at the end of July and recently hired a chef. Here’s the article courtesy of http://www.iowariverlanding.com:

30hop will be the next business to open in the Iowa River Landing. It is a restaurant/bar with the area’s first rooftop patio. Located directly east of the University of Iowa Healthcare Clinic on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 9th street as guests turn to approach Von Maur.

After utilizing the owners’ network of Big Grove Brewery, BlackStone, Reds Alehouse, and Vesta in search of a chef with a fresh perspective, 30hop is excited to announce the hiring of Ryan Funk as Executive Chef.

Ryan is originally from Iowa City, graduated from the Art Institute of California-San Diego before helping Top Chef contestant, Brian Malarkey, open Burlap restaurant in San Diego. After the corporation shifted focus, Ryan was integral in the transition of Burlap restaurant to another concept, Searsucker. This is where he furthered his culinary skills working alongside voted San Diego best Chef Anthony Sinsay. During his time in culinary school, Ryan was a student worker allowing him to gain extra mentoring from some of the best Chef Instructors in the Nation.

Ryan will provide a refined perspective on modern American cuisine for 30hop. He will focus on introducing fresh & seasonal ingredients in a creative way, while making the dishes approachable and unique with an Asian inspired twist.

30hop is looking to open towards the end of July. The restaurant is currently looking to hire 130 employees. Please email Managing Partner Dan Blum at dan@30hop.com for questions, employment information, and to set up an interview. Ryan Funk is available at ryan@30hop.com. The website is under construction, but is available at www.30hop.com.

Deschutes future releases: Bock, Belgian IPA, Black Butte XXVI



The following information comes from beerpulse.com. More beers heading to our shelves this summer, should be great beers all summer long!

Deschutes Doppel Dinkel Bock

(Bend, OR) – Deschutes Brewery shared a newsletter update this week including some info on upcoming beer releases. More below…

Doppel Dinkel Bock 10.5% Alc. by Vol. / 17 IBUs

This third Conflux Series brew features a collaboration with Distelhauser Brewery of Germany who have been brewing beer since 1811.

A connection between our two breweries was discovered over 10 years ago, so we decided it was high time we created a beer together to celebrate this beautiful relationship.

Our brewmasters decided on a Doppel Dinkel Bock or Imperial Spelt Beer. Spelt is an ancient species of wheat traditionally used to bake bread, but the malty, wheat and slightly spicy flavors of this ingredient combine with very fragrant notes (including bubblegum, clove, banana, and just a hint of citrus), to give this beer a ton of flavors and an outstanding aroma. Double down with this Doppel Dinkel Bock collaboration…its smooth, full bodied and drinkableness (is that a word?) will make the Bavarian in you, very proud! CONFLUX SERIES NO. 3

AVAILABILITY: Late June in 22 oz. bottles and on draft in limited quantities in most states where Deschutes Brewery beers are sold

Deschutes Foray Belgian IPA label

Foray Belgian Style IPA 6.5% Alc. by Vol. / 60 IBUs

A brand-new addition to our lineup, this beer made its way into bottles the same way all of our Bond Street Series beers do – by being a popular “experiment” at our pubs. When our “focus group” of pub patrons rave about one of our pub exclusive beers loud enough and for long enough, we make every attempt to make it more widely available to our fans. This bright golden color and medium bodied Belgian Style IPA complement dry, fruity esters and tropical fruit flavors. Foray is a journey during which Belgian yeast delivers hints of apples and pear, and the citrus Galaxy hop aroma make this a trip worth taking. BOND STREET SERIES

AVAILABILITY: June – September in 22 oz. bottles and on draft where Deschutes Brewery beers are sold

Deschutes Black Butte XXVI

Black Butte XXVI ~11% Alc. by Vol.

Each year, we celebrate our anniversary with a huge double version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. Our brewers love to experiment and they always add some fun new ingredients to this beer. In the
past, we’ve added chilies, chocolate nibs, dates, figs and tart goodness. This year, we’ve added cranberries, pomegranate molasses and Theo’s cocoa nibs to this 50 percent bourbon barrel-aged awesomeness. Like all of our Reserve Series beers, we encourage you to drink one upon its release and put some away for later. Some things just get better with age! Head on over to our Bend or Portland Pubs on June 27th for a snifter or bottle of this beer. We’d love to celebrate with you! RESERVE SERIES

AVAILABILITY: June 27th in 22 oz. wax-dipped bottles and on draft in limited quantity in all. 25 states where Deschutes Brewery beers are sold.

Retro Beer Company Launching in Dubuque, IA June 2nd!


999401_521468181258814_1893418816_nGet ready Dubuque. We are ready to celebrate with you. Retro Beer will be launching in Dubuque, Iowa at various locations the week of June 2nd! We would love for you to come out and meet the Retro Beer team. Here are two events we would like to invite you to:

  • Hartig Drug in Dubuque will be hosting a beer tasting on June 5th from 4-6pm.
  • On Friday, June 6th we will have a tent at the Dubuque Relay For Life from 5-10pm giving away free promotional items such as Retro Beer bottle opener key chains and T-shirts! Come say hello.

1619362_659154430823521_2454454448649266294_nGo to the link below to learn about the rest of launch week, and be sure to follow us on our Retro social media sites! 

Retro Beer Launch Week: https://www.facebook.com/events/588174581290784/

Relay For Life_ Retro  Beer

Q: How did Retro Beer Company come to be?

Put simply, we are three friends that wanted to make a difference in the world and have fun doing it. We were literally sitting around a table drinking beer one night, and we talked about how we can make a difference. This led to our idea to launch a beer that gives back.


Q: 100% of your profits go to local causes, was this the initial intent when you started?

No, we originally were thinking we would do 10% or 20% like others have done, but after talking with some distributors and retailers, we figured out quickly this was not enough to make a difference. We went all in at 100%.


Q: You guys will be going to Dubuque, IA soon, what attracted you guys to Dubuque?

We were attracted to the rivertown story that Dubuque has to offer. A town full of history, hard working people, and good ol’ Midwest values. Dubuque has a great community and great craft beer focus. Dubuque is just like Retro Beer in that we have a local community focus and a great craft beer!  We felt like our Retro values of community, generosity, and philanthropy would really resonate with the people here. We also wanted a market that represents America in the best possible way. If our message resonates here, it will work in other cities  where people care about each other and care about giving back as well.

There is a booming craft beer focus in Dubuque. We believe this is the place to launch our purpose for great craft beer enthusiasts. One thing about Iowa is….they love their beer!


Q: How would you describe your beers? What styles do you offer?

Our first beer launching on June 2nd is our Give-a-Shift Czech Style Pilsner. It is a crisp Pilsner that tastes great after a long day. Our hope is consumers will always enjoy more than one beer, which helps out our causes even more.


Q: Will there be any new beers coming in the future?

Yes, we already have our next beer named and are working on bringing it to market in the fall. For-the-Record Belgian Ale is a palate satisfying, not too overpowering, quality Belgian Ale. It has a high level of hops but the flavor is nicely balanced out for a smooth flavor.


Q: Will your beers be on tap at various Dubuque locations or be available in bottles?

It will only be available in bottles to start because we found out that you need to commit to large minimum keg quantities from keg suppliers. Since we are just launching we are not ready for that yet, but we hope to be soon.


Q: What beers, brewers, or breweries were your inspiration?

We really like Lagunitas and are inspired by their focus on quality beer.  We also draw inspiration from some of the great Retro beers like PBR, Coors, Guinness, and the original craft beer, Sam Adams.


Q: Is there anything else the public needs to know about Retro Beer Company?

I know it is cheesy but our tag line really says it all…Retro Beer Company, ”Shifting the purpose behind beer!”


Huge Green Flash Hop Odyssey Update: 2014 Releases

green flashHuge update on Green Flash future releases for their Hop Odyssey series. This update is courtesy of http://www.beerpulse.com. Short version:

White IPA
Available: Jun-July

Citra Session

Cedar Plank

Symposium IPA

It sounds like Eastern Iowa should have all of them except maybe the Cedar Plank as that sounds a bit more limited, but I could be wrong on that front.

Long version courtesy of http://www.beerpulse.com:

(San Diego, CA) – Green Flash Brewing Co. announced this week that the latest beer in its Hop Odyssey / Epic Journey (which is it?) series will make its taproom debut on June 3rd. Distribution will follow soon thereafter. There are still three more beers to be released in this collection later in the year. Below is a sneak preview.

While developing the recipe for our White IPA, we lined up malted wheat and more than a dozen hop varieties to select the three hops with the most citrus character: Simcoe, Amarillo and El Dorado. A citrus hop explosion leaps from the glass with big tangerine aromas up front, while hop flavors of bitter orange zest dominate and linger to the finish.


Our Citra Session™ IPA is brewed with high-quality Marris Otter and Vienna malt but the flavor is dominated by the Citra hops introduced throughout the boil and again in the dry hop for maximum aroma intensity. Notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit make this hop-laden brew a perfectly potable summer session IPA.


[No Label Approval Yet]

Cedar Plank™ Pale is the result of fresh innovation applied to San Diego favorite, 30th Street Pale®. This well-hopped brew is aged with Spanish Cedar, which imparts an intense cigar-box cedar aroma. Peppercorn spiciness and tannins from the wood enhance the bitter hop flavors with a long, lingering finish. A refined twist on a best-selling local beer.


Originally created for the 2008 Craft Brewers Conference, Symposium IPA™ was brewed in true San Diego form, with input from several local brewers. Extravagantly hopped with Simcoe, Tomahawk, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial layered throughout the brewing process, this beer is pale copper and medium bodied.


Southern Tier Update, Millstream’s newest Xtreme Release

southern tierI just received word from a very reliable source that Southern Tier Brewing coming to Iowa has been put on the backburner until at the earliest 2015. A lot can change between now and then but that is the latest word on their distribution to Iowa. Still waiting on more for news on Oskar Blues, Lagunitas, Alaskan, and a few others. Hope to see a few new brews on the shelves this summer, if not, Eastern Iowa shelves have a abundance of terrific brews on the shelves.


dogs on skisOne brewery we can always rely on is Millstream. They will be releasing their newest Xtreme Series brew soon and it is going to be a Black IPA called Dogs on Skis. Here’s more about this beer from www.millstreambrewing.com.

This beer takes on the characteristics of both a very hoppy IPA and a Stout all in one beer. It showcases the malty, coffee, roasted notes as well as the bitterness that continues to play in an IPA.   We also partnered up with one of our local favorite bands, Dogs on Skis, to come up with this special beer!        

8% ABV     87 IBU     20 OG         5.5 FG
Malts:  2 Row, Munich 20L,  ESM         Hops:  Millennium, Cascade,
Chocolate, Black Wheat, Roasted                 Willamette, Mt Hood

                                               Available June – August

Stone Enjoy By 7-04-14 to be Nationwide Release

Stone-Enjoy-By-07.04.14-IPA-e1400247911129-200x200Stone Enjoy By looks to be heading back to Iowa for the 7-04-14 release. Here’s more information and I hope to get an exact release date soon, this is courtesy of http://www.beerpulse.com:

Quick update on Stone Enjoy By 07.04.14…if you follow us on Twitter, you learned about this last week. According to Stone Brewing Co.marketing materials, there is a tentative list of markets and this one appears to be going far and wide.

In case you missed it, Quadrotriticale will be released the same week.

And starting this Monday, look for the new collaboration release, Kyle Hollingsworth Keri Kelli Stone Collective Distortion IPA.

Limited availability in: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT and WA