Clock House Brewing releasing variety 4 pack this Friday! Pineapple Coconut Witch Slap + Sour Patch Man Sour among the release!

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Hooray beer! More tasty brews available to us this week! This time from Clock House Brewing Company! They will be releasing a few very small batch beers and include them in a 4 pack variety pack! Here are the deets on this 4 pack courtesy of Clock House’s Facebook page!

We are excited to announce we have 3 new beers coming your way on Thursday, June 4th. These delicious brews were all part of our small batch experimental trial, so supplies are very limited. We will be offering 4-can (16 oz) variety packs to go which includes the following:

1 can of Snoozberry Smoothie– We took our over fruited Snozzberry Sour and added even more fruit to it. This may be the healthiest beer ever made.
1 can of Sour Patch Man– Our kettle sour infused with loads of Sour Patch Kids. Our spin on what adult candy would look like.
2 cans of Pineapple Coconut Witch Slap– Our flagship NEIPA infused with several pounds of coconut and pineapple. If you like beer-adas and getting caught in the rain, this may be for you.

The Deets:
-One 4-pack per customer. These were nano-brews, so supplies are limited.
-No substitutions. These beers will not be available for individual purchase.
-A limited amount of Pineapple Coconut Witch Slap and Sour Patch Man will be available on draft in our taproom. Snoozberry Smoothie will unfortunately not be on tap.
-The variety packs will only be available to purchase online.
-Pickups can be made in our taproom or at the curb.
Online Order form:
https://fs26.formsite.com/kYff6Z/variety/index.html

Drink This! Reunion DDH Dr. Dank!

Another first time to can release (I think anyway) of a wonderful Iowa brewed IPA is double dry hopped Dr. Dank from Reunion brewery in Coralville. Reunion has been very strong in their pale ale/IPA game as their Juice Factory and Tank Puncher grace our shelves and our beer fridges regularly. Yes, it is available in cans right now but….if you go to my favorite place in the area to have a beer, Mr. Jeremy Freerks has a keg he is going to tap at Club 76 in North Libery, so you can fill a growler with this goodness…so stay tuned for that tapping! TBA!

I remember the first time I had Dr. Dank on tap and it was at Need Pizza in downtown CR and thought to myself, if they can this beer up I’d be all over it….well, here we are! Another example of our amazing Iowa breweries continuing to meet the need of the beer drinkers during this pandemic. Let’s get to the details of this beer courtesy of Reunion before we delve too deep:

It’s madness!!! He can’t be serious?!?! Sheer lunacy! He’ll destroy us all!!! Double dry hopped with Columbus, Citra and Mosaic, DDH Dr. Dank reeks of dank resiny goodness and heady, musky, tropical, juicy fruit. Oh, the humanity!!!

POUR
Clean pour, no floaties, dark yellow with some orange hue. Nice thin head and as your pouring you get the waft of the hops. Citrus and resin galore! Just what your looking for in this beer.

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TASTE
With the haze craze upon us, which I do enjoy, I love the bitterness that comes with this beer. Yes, you get the fruit and you get the dank, but the wonderful old school IPA bitterness also shines. The combo is terrific and makes 7.5% ABV beer seem like you need another…and then maybe 1 more…

OVERALL
Reunion had me sold with Tank Puncher and now Dr. Dank has me ready to head back to the store for a few more 4 packs, unless they are already sold out. If you are a hop head and like the dank stickiness that Mosaic and Citra bring and mix that with the resinous from Columbus than you need to Drink This!

Clock House bringing “Pineapple Witch Slap” back on 4/15!

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One of my favorite beers is coming back! Clock House Brewing will be bringing Pineapple Witch Slap to cans next Wednesday (4/15)! This beer will be available from 3-6 next Wednesday…word of warning..you may want to get there quick, depending on limits, I may gorge myself! Voted by me as one of the “Best Beers in Iowa 2019”, I can’t wait to get another taste. Check out my best of 2019 here, and here’s more on this wonderful brew:

The Witches are at it again and have decided to take our Flag Ship “Witch Slap NEIPA” to warmer places. They’ve added loads of Pineapple during primary and secondary fermentation to create a unique tropical twist. Don’t forget your sunglasses and fly into our taproom to enjoy our Hazy, Murky, Juicy Witch, infused with real pineapple! Get some while it lasts!

 

Iowa Brewers Guild Presents: “BYOB Virtual Beer Festival”!

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Grab some of your favorite Iowa brewed beers and join your fellow Iowa beer lovers, Iowa beer brewers, and Iowa beer workers as the Iowa Brewers Guild is hosting a “BYOB Virtual Beer Festival” on March 28th with all proceeds will go to Iowa’s brewing industry staff. Here’s more on this great event:

A BYOB virtual beer festival to raise money for Iowa’s brewing industry staff. Though we love to drink beer in the company of friends, the future of one of our favorite pastimes—beer festivals—is tenuous. And so are the livelihoods of our Iowa breweries and their teams. To help our industry staff in their time of need, the Iowa Brewers Guild is holding a BYOB “virtual beer festival,” and you’re invited to join us!

Here’s how it works:

1. Buy a ticket

2. Pick up some of your favorite Iowa beer

3. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram on Saturday, March 28, so we can drink beer together (from a safe distance), with the help of our hashtag, #virtualbeerfest

ALL proceeds will go to affected Iowa Brewers Guild member breweries’ staff that have lost jobs or significant hours!

More info and how to get a limited edition shirt at www.virtualbeerfest.org

Big Grove Brewery Celebrating 3 years w/ 4 new can releases on 3/14!

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Big Grove in Iowa City will be celebrating their 3 year anniversary on March 14th and in doing so will be releasing 5 beers, 4 of which had yet to be canned. This beers will be available in Iowa City and Solon locations on March 14th! Here’s more from BGB!

Iowa City Lager | German Style Pilsner
Color TV | Hazy Double IPA w/ Galaxy
Passion Fruit Vanilla | Fruited Sour Ale
Creek Jumper | New World Pale Ale
Bananas Foster | Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Bananas

Available ONLY at Big Grove Brewery in Solon and Iowa City starting Saturday March 14. Both locations opening at 10:00AM.

Drink This! Lion Bridge Home Baked 2020

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We are in the middle of Lion Bridge’s Barrel-Aged January and last night I was able to get a sneak peek of one of, if not, their most sought after beers, Home Baked! (Thanks Lange Brothers!).

I wouldn’t say last year’s release of Home Baked was a surprise hit since all of what Lion Bridge releases is of the best quality, but I think after a few social media posts, untappd check ins, and Iowa Craft Beer Crew posts this beer hit “best of Iowa” status quickly and the demand went through the roof! Attention from the 2019 version continued through the year and the countdown to today’s release (1/15) began! Here’s the deets from LB on their brew:

Dessert for your desert island. Fudge and saigon cinnamon meld with a little bit of hazelnut goodness to produce something we liken to a cookie in beer form

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I was lucky enough to be a +1 at the early release for Lion Bridge’s CSA members and eagerly watched with bated breath as the beer tender poured my beer. Served at the perfect temperature, maybe even let sit a bit after the initial pour, the aromas of hazelnut and cinnamon hit your nose immediately. The first sip is cinnamon with the roasted hazelnut, almost a coconutty taste to it followed by hit of fudge. The second sip…. pure decadence!

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The beauty of this beer is that not one adjunct dominates the flavor, they all mesh perfectly well and you get a hit of each with every sip. This is a beer to seek out, to beg a buddy to mule for you if you can’t get to CR, to pray to the beer gods that one winds up in your kitchen ready to be poured. Every sip comes with a smile!

This is one of the best beers that is brewed in Iowa…without a doubt and this year’s version may even be better than the 2019. Lion Bridge does it again…place of employment is canceled today, beer releases at 3:00 p.m…..hmm.. it looks like the beer gods want me to get more of this I believe! See you there and Drink This!

Beer Baron’s Top 10 Iowa Beers of 2019!

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Another Top 10 list coming at you as I present to you, dear reader, my top 10 “Iowa Beers” of 2019! Once again, this list is of beers released in 2019, Iowa brewed, and with annual releases (Richard the Whale, GAZPROM!) they aren’t counted unless the brewery releases a beer with that base and a new adjunct to it. I’ve missed out on many beers this year, one being the B.A. Cake Walk from Pulpit which many of you were lucky enough to try. Another great year in Iowa Beer as our breweries keep turning out amazing things!

I’d also love to hear your Top 10 beers of the year, so shoot back on me here or on the Iowa Beer page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter! So, after tedious nights of drinking amazing beer, here’s my top 10 (in no particular order)!

**Big Grove Brewery Richard the Whale Hazelnut + Chocolate -11.5%- this is a beer that was overshadowed by the golden ticket release of Richard Coconut Vanilla, and maybe rightfully so as that beer is amazing, but if you have a bottle of this, drink it! You’d be hard pressed to find a beer with that much hazelnut flavor that is balanced perfect with chocolate. Big Grove continues to shine with their Richard series!

**Confluence Brewing Smoothest Road Hazy Triple IPA- 10% – Confluence teamed up with Weldwerks Brewing to come up with this Triple and they really nailed it. Smoothest in the title and that’s exactly what can be said about a triple that drinks like a regular hazy. Delicious and easy drinking, watch out for that 10% on this baby! Keep this coming Confluence!

**Clock House Brewing Pineapple Witch Slap– 6% – what a great year for Clock House as Todd and crew have been busy cranking out some delicious beers and even a few can/crowler releases. One of the most notable for me was an off shoot of their popular Witch Slap IPA, Pineapple Witch Slap. All the greatness from Witch Slap with some fresh tasting pineapple added to it. What I like the best in adjunct beers is when it doesn’t taste artificial, and this beer was the perfect example. Fresh pineapple, the perfect beer for a warm day or any day for that matter!

**Lion Bridge Brewing Home Baked – 11% – this was the beer that started off my 2019 and to top this beer would be quite an accomplishment! I must be a sucker for hazelnut in my stouts, and add some cinnamon and fudge and you have one of the best beers ever brewed in Iowa!

**Toppling Goliath Double Dry Hopped King Sue-7.8% – I’m not sure when this was actually released so if it was early then 2019, my bad. But, I recently had my first bottle of it and it has to be up there with the best IPAs brewed in the state. Delicious beer!

**Dimensional Brewing Imperial Peanut Butter Cup – 10% – was lucky enough to get this on tap on trip to Dubuque. If you did peanut butter porters/stouts then this is one you need to try. Not overly sweet either, that can be a deal breaker for me. Dimensional continues to do great things after celebrating their 1 year anniversary!

**Big Grove Richard the Whale Vanilla Coconut – 11.5% – one of the best beers of the year no doubt! The “golden ticket” beer has exceeded the hype. The coconut shines, and once again not too sweet. I don’t know how Big Grove can outdo themselves again next year, but I’m sure they will. A beer of the year nominee!

**Pulpit Rock Gravy Boat – 7.1% – I know it’s not the B.A. Cake Walk that would make everyone’s list if you tried it, but Pulpit is continually making great beers of almost every style. Their sours/stouts/pils/pastry stouts/IPAs are all delicious. Gravy Boat is an IPA that I could drink many of, and in fact, many of these pairs well with some Need Pizza!

**Clock House Snozberry Sour – 5% – one of the best kettle sours I’ve ever had as Clock House loaded this baby up with blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Sessionable and not overly tart. This would be ideal on a hot summer day!

**Lion Bridge Double Maple GAZPROM! – 12% – barrel aged January was amazing in 2019 and expectations have been set high for 2020! One of the highlights along with Home Baked was Double Maple GAZPROM! They upped the maple dosage and turned this into an even more decadent delight!

Well, there’s this year’s list…..Once again, sooooo many great beers being produced in our lovely state that it is hard to get your hands on all of them! It’s a great problem to have! Cheers to the breweries and the folks in the brewing industry and thanks to all the readers of this blog and my @iabeerbaron twitter handle, as well as the Iowa Beer Facebook members. I would love to hear your top 10 so give me a shout! Cheers!

 

Richard the Whale 2019 Release Review

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Just when you think Big Grove can’t do any better with a big time release, 2019 Richard comes around! From top to bottom, one of, if not the best release I’ve been to!

It would be hard for a brewery to top what Big Grove did in 2018 with Macaroon Richard and Double Barrel Richard but they pulled it off and the star of the show may be my front runner as 2019 Iowa Beer of the Year and that was Coconut Vanilla Richard.

My buddies and I arrived at around 5:30 and the line was probably 50-60 deep by that point with a big congregation of beer lovers circling the fire pits outside and tasting some great beers. The beauty with some of these releases is people sharing some really hard to find beers while waiting in line with complete strangers. All one big beer loving family. The doors opened at 8 and as you walked in with your precious golden ticket you were greeted by the Big Grove family with a fist bump or a high five. We found some seats, ordered ourselves a Coconut Vanilla and were blown away. Liquid almond joy with a kiss of barrel. Outstanding beer!

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The beer wasn’t the only star of the show as a brunch buffet that included fresh shucked oysters, homemade bagels and lox, a Richard donut wall, bacon, potatoes, sausage, etc. is what really puts this release over the edge. Throughout the morning you would see Big Grove brewers and employees talking and interacting with many of their customers.

A four pack, glass, a pour, brunch, golden ticket, and a friendly ambiance and overall wonderful experience are what makes this a can’t miss event every year. Cheers BG crew, can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2020!

 

Lion Bridge releasing “Oakonut Delight” Imperial Stout on Black Friday!

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Black Friday has gone from Christmas shopping to beer shopping for many of us and Lion Bridge brewery has thrown their hat into the ring! On Black Friday, tap room only, they will be releasing “Oakonut Delight” Imperial Stout! Here’s more on this delicious sounding brew courtesy of Lion Bridge:

Oakonut Delight will be a brand new Imperial Stout from us at Lion Bridge. Coconut, Chocolate, Caramel and 10 months in whiskey barrels. Really looking forward to this.