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!

 

Big Grove Richard the Whale release set for Dec. 7th, both locations! Tickets on sale October 9th!

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Big news from Solon and Iowa City today as Big Grove has announced the release of their popular Richard the Whale brew! The release date is set for December 7th and the tickets will go on sale the coming Wednesday, October 9th! They will be doing another golden ticket release so look for that as well! Here’s more on this release:

This year, Big Grove Brewpub in Solon joins the fun! Richard the Whale, our bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout returns for its annual party on Saturday, December 7. If you’re solely looking for a four-pack of bottles and collector’s glass, you’re invited to our Solon Brewpub! Tickets on sale Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8:00am.

This ticket includes a collector’s glass and personal four-pack of Richard the Whale: 2 Richard the Whale, 1 Richard the Whale Coffee, 1 Richard the Whale Chocolate Hazelnut.

This package is $79.00 and can be purchased online here.

Golden Ticket beer, Richard the Whale Vanilla Coconut (500 mL), is exclusively available in Iowa City during the brunch bottle release party from 8:00-11:00am.

Tickets will be available through Eventbrite at this link.

Big Grove Batch #1000 Release Details!

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A big day coming tomorrow (Saturday August 31st) as not only is college football kicking off in our great state but Big Grove Brewery will be releasing their Batch #1000 starting at 10 a.m. at the Solon taproom! Here are the details, hope to see you there!

Details for Saturday’s Release Party: Batch 1000 Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout:
Batch 1000 is our long-boil imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels. This brew, our 1,000th batch of beer brewed in Solon, began its journey in February 2018 and we’ve been aging it since. We’re offering the base beer, Batch 1000, alongside two variants: Chocolate Covered Orange and Madagascar Vanilla Coffee.

The trio is available on draft and in 375 mL bottles beginning Saturday at 10:00am in Solon and Iowa City.

375 mL bottles
Batch 1000: $15 each — 13 cases in Solon + IC
Chocolate Covered Orange: $18 each — 13 cases in Solon + IC
Madagascar Vanilla Coffee: $25 each — 9 cases in Solon + IC

Limit one bottle of each, per customer. You’re invited to get back in line as you wish.

30hop IRL Celebrating 5 Years w/ special Big Grove Tappings TONIGHT 8/21!

SPECIAL BEER RELEASE!!! For @30hop IRL’s 5 Year Anniversary party tonight we will be tapping 3 exclusive beers from @biggrovebrewery!!! The “Big Ed”, “2018 Richard the Whale”, and a double barrel aged “Richard the Whale”. Big Ed will be included with happy hour while the “Richard the Whales” will be exclusively priced. 🍻 With rockinfreakapotamus jamming on the#topofthehop for Rhythm and Brews it will be an awesome night!!!!

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Big Grove Releasing “Velvet” vanilla imperial stout +”Lunar Tourist” hazy IPA in bottles/cans July 20th!

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Another can’t miss Big Grove release approaches as they are set to release “Velvet” vanilla imperial stout and “Lunar Tourist” hazy IPA with South African hops on Saturday July 20th! Here’s more!

Saturday, July 20, Big Grove Brewery is releasing two new beers on draft and in bottles + cans.

Velvet | Vanilla Imperial Stout with Madagascar Vanilla
Lunar Tourist | Hazy Double IPA with South African Hops

Arrive early for brunch and stick around for what will be an all-day party. 9:00AM Doors Open. No tickets required. This event will be hosted at both the Iowa City Taproom and Solon Brewpub.

Big Grove + Odell team up for “Buddy Flight” on July 13th!

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A great chance to chat it up some Big Grove’s finest and also talk to some folks from Odell Brewing Company as Big Grove + Odell will host “Buddy Flight” at Big Grove in Iowa City on July 13th! Here’s the lineup:

Calling all beer lovers! Our friends from Colorado are coming to hang with us, and we’ve got all sorts of shenanigans in the works.

BUDDY FLIGHTS | One flight, two breweries, eight beers:

Odell
– Sippin Pretty (Fruited Sour Ale)
– Mountain Standard (IPA)
– 90 Shilling (Amber Ale)
– Colorado Lager

Big Grove
– Summer Jam (Fruited Sour Ale)
– Colorado Smuggler (Hazy IPA)
– 1939 (Amber Ale)
– Iowa City Lager

KILL THE KEG
Odell is bringing two kegs of their Swannay’s Pils to the party, and two lucky customers, the ones who order the pint that blows each keg, will win an Odell-branded river tube!

Doors open at 11AM, but the fun doesn’t stop ’til the beer is gone.

Big Grove Tap Takeover @ Keg Stand Starting @ 3 p.m. today! Morgan Horse and Richard on the lines!

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A big tap takeover is taking place today in Des Moines at the Keg Stand as Big Grove has brought out some big guns for you Des Moines beer lovers! Here’s what you’ll find!

-2018 Richard
-Macaroon Richard
-Coffee Cake Morgan Horse
-Strawberry Rhubarb Gose
-Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout

A great way to spend your Tuesday so get over there for a taste or two! Cheers!

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La Vecina opening this week! Soft opening review!

The newest venture from Sam Hall, owner/operator of Marquee Pizza and Clinton Street Social Club, is set to open its doors this coming week. La Vecina, located in the popular Iowa River Landing district, is going to be opening their doors this coming Wednesday to the public. Hours are going to limited in the first couple of weeks so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates. Check it out here:

I was lucky enough to attend their soft opening on Friday night. When asked to describe the cuisine, the easy answer is Mexican food, which in most regards can get my ass to that place, but this is a bit more than that..maybe a lot more than that. I’ve never been to San Diego but for some reason this cuisine put me on a beach in Southern California; the freshness, open fire grill, and ambiance of the restaurant make it hard for you not to be California dreaming. Sam and staff had to have done their research…the technique, the flavors, the freshness and the care put into every dish were exactly what you’d expect from a west coast “mexican” restaurant. Enough of my jabber, let’s look at the dishes:

STARTERS

The guac: It’s hard to mess up guac, but it’s easy to overdo it as well and La Vecina makes the best guac I’ve ever had. The thing everyone needs to realize is that the chips/tortillas are freshly made. Not just pressed, but the corn is ground there, pressed, and then made into tortillas/chips. Crunch rim, soft and chewy middle. Load those suckers up with guac, or pic #2 is a shrimp ceviche that I would walk through broken glass to get to.
Pic #3 is octopus. Don’t be scared folks, it’s amazing. The sauce that completes the char on the octopus compliments it perfectly. Soft and tender and refreshing dish. On to the queso fundido…my recommendation…just order this dish…you may want two…cheesey and amazing and served with fresh tortillas, cilantro and pickled onions which complement it perfectly. You can’t go wrong with the starters here.

TACOS

I missed a few pics but I tried the four tacos on the menu. You get three to an order and you are wanting more and more…

*Carnitas – you really can’t go wrong. Tender meat, fresh veggies, and a perfect complement of salsas.

*Fried Avocado Tacos – the surprise of the night. Crispness from the avocado with a chewy interior mixed with the fresh veggies and sauce…yes..I would eat a million of these bad boys.

*Fish Tacos – a huge chunk of white fish. Flaky, delicious and that spice from the salsa makes you happy you have drink next to you. Wonderful fish taco.

*Brisket Tacos – the meat was as tender as you’d expect. The beauty was the guava bbq.

It wouldn’t be hard to put 3 of each taco down during a sitting. Everyone had a something unique about them but everyone was delicious. Share with someone, order all 4 and share. Worth it.

DRINKS

I don’t know shit about cocktails, but I tried everyone on the menu. Watermelon, jalapeno, basil, bell pepper…a mix huge mix of ingredients with the finest booze around and you can’t go wrong when pairing with a taco or ten. Plus, Big Grove has El Lenador on tap..a craft spin on a Mexican lager which was a perfect pairing to everything.

I can’t say enough about how great this place is going to be. Our waitress was beyond terrific and each dish was unique, fresh, and exactly what makes it stand apart and should make you want to get to La Vecina. Sam, Staff, Chefs…keep rolling…this is EXACTLY what the area needs. Cheers!

Shakespeare’s Celebrating 20 years on June 8th w/ Richard Macaroon, Carpe Diem, GAZPROM!, and more being tapped!

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Make your calendar for June 8th folks! Shakespeare’s in Iowa City will be celebrating 20 years with a plethora of wondrous beers being tapped! Check it out!

Big Grove Releasing “Morgan Horse” barrel-aged maple imperial stout on 4/20! + 3 others!

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Big news from Big Grove this week as they prep to release “Morgan Horse” barrel-aged maple imperial stout on April 20th along with 3 variants of that brew. With that, they will be releasing “Color TV”, their double dry hopped New England style IPA as well. Both Big Grove locations will be participating in the release. Hope to see you there, check below for more info!

If you’re a fan of our Richard the Whale parties—or fond of fun parties in general—here we go again! Saturday, April 20 is the release of our new Barrel-Aged Maple Imperial Stout, Morgan Horse + 3 AWESOME variants.

Joining Morgan Horse at the party is the second coming of Color TV, our Double Dry Hopped New England Style IPA brewed with galaxy hops. Arrive early for brunch and stick around for what will be an all-day party. 9:00AM Doors Open. Free coffee for anyone in line.

No tickets required. This event will be hosted at both the Iowa City Taproom and Solon Brewpub. More info to be released in the coming weeks. Thanks for the support!