Drink This! My Beer of the Summer (so far); Big Grove Three Peat Wheat

The dog days are upon us and the typical Iowa July is officially here as the temps and humidity keep making us thirstier and thirstier for a cold brew. And while there are many great Iowa beer options out there I recently had the chance to try Big Grove’s latest wheat, Three Peat. Here are the deets:

Passion fruit, pineapple, and plum come together to create an exceptionally light and refreshing fruited wheat ale that’s bursting at the seams with all the right flavors – you’ll want to have it on repeat… or maybe more 😉

This wheat beer is brewed with pineapple, passion fruit, and plum and checks in at 5.2%. While this may sound like an over the top fruit beer, it’s not. In fact BG brewers did a great job on balancing the three fruits and not making this an over the top sweet treat. Big Grove knew exactly what they were doing with this one…hot ass Iowa months ahead, let’s make a summer slammer and this sure is hell is it. Easy drinking on their beautiful patio and add with a tuna poke bowl and you’re in heaven.

So, go grab yourself a pint or a growler and just hope they keep making this one as we hit these hot months. Any chance we can get these mutha in cans BG? My mouth is watering…I’m going to need one of these again really soon. Make sure you get out there and Drink This!

Drink This! Marto Brewing Coco Mo

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I was pretty stoked to see Marto Brewing crowlers make their way from Sioux City over to Eastern Iowa. I’ve been wanting to try these guys for a long time and hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll get to visit the brewery itself.

This beer is reminiscent of SingleSpeed’s Coconut Migration so just like with that one, you have to be a Pina Colada or pineapple/coconut combo fan to dig on this. On the flip side, this is could be a gateway beer for those Pina Colada lovers out there as well. Seeing this in Cedar Rapids goes to show the lengths these Iowa breweries will go and the time/travel/and hard work that they put in to get their beers into our hands.

POUR

Orange/yellow pour. Huge white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of the tropics: coconut/pineapple sweetness. Almost a creamy mouthfeel to this beer. Very enjoyable on this hot and humid early Iowa Summer day!

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TASTE

I pretty much covered this already. It’s a pina colada lovers dream in beer form really. This is your perfect poolside companion except in crowler form!

OVERALL

There’s a time and place for every beer and the time and place for this one is right now. The heat is rolling in, the humidity is making your shirt cling to your sweaty back, it’s time for you to finish mowing your lawn, pulling your weeds, playing whiffle ball with your kids, and grab a chair, plop your sweaty ass down and crack one of these in your driveway and soak the day in! The perfect time to Drink This!

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!

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!

Surly “Frost Pack” to include Dark Phase Stout and Liquid Stardust

A new brew and a brew in for a 2nd round will be part of Surly’s 4th variety pack of 2019. Dark Phase Stout will be a new addition to Surly’s profile and Liquid Stardust will make it’s 2nd round to their lineup and they will be accompanying their flagship Furious and their citra pale ale Xtra in this pack.

Dark Phase Deets:
5.5% ABV
Hops: Warrior
Malt: Golden Promise, Aromatic, Crystal, Chocolate, Black Malt, Roasted Barley
Pour: Bright black
Aromatics: Chocolate, coffee, burnt sugar
Bitterness: Low

Liquid Stardust Deets:
7% ABV
Hops: Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra
Malt: Pilsner, Acidulated, Carafoam
Pour: Dark yellow
Bitterness: Medium

My take:
Dark Phase
Graciously, Surly sent me 2 of each brews to try out. Dark Phase is a solid stout. Will it knock your socks off? Probably not, but the profile of what you’d like in your everyday stout is there. Chocolate, coffee, and a tad bit of tobacco/smoky bitterness. I’d give this baby a solid 3.5/5 bottlecaps.

Liquid Stardust
Surly markets it as a sparkling IPA and untappd has it has a Brut IPA. Same thing? Not sure. With most Brut IPAs I’ve had, the pilsner malt stood out, with this one, the hops shined. Reminiscent of Stone Enjoy By when that first got released. Dry finish, easy drinking, but watch out for that 7%. 4/5 bottlecaps. I’ll take more of this!

Drink This! Clock House Low Bandito Cherry/Coconut

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One of my favorite tap rooms to visit is at Clock House Brewing. Something about that space that just makes me feel comfortable, and the fact that they are turning out some damn tasty brews too. I stopped in on a relatively slow Sunday afternoon and was lucky enough to have a pour of their Low Bandito Cherry/Coconut barrel-aged stout.

Low Bandito is their imperial stout and they’ve made some different variants of that tasty brew. I’ve had the vanilla, chocolate, coconut variant and really enjoyed that but the Cherry Coconut really stood out! Here’s more on this brew:

Driftless Glenn Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. Aged on tart cherries and coconut

Wonderful aroma from the barrel that blends really well with the subtle coconut flavor. Cherry wasn’t prevalent right away but after it warmed the cherry really shined through. I ordered a Hazy Clock Tease while I let the Bandito sit for a while just to get more from that tart cherry. This checks in at a 9.6% but it was trying not to order a second draw.

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I’m not sure how much of this brew Todd and Clock House have left so you might want to make the trek to downtown CR to get yourself a taste of this delicious brew. It is CR Craft beer so that can be your reason to get out and Drink This!

Drink This! Big Grove Color TV Double IPA

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Stout weather is surely upon us but IPA season never ends. Here in Eastern Iowa we sure have been spoiled with a bunch of releases from our local breweries as they continue to provide us with delicious beer. 

Yesterday, Big Grove Brewery released a new double IPA called Color TV. Here are the specs on this beer:
7.8% ABV
-Double dry hopped with galaxy hops

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I definitely dig me some galaxy hops and this beer was packed full of. Terrific aroma of citrus fruit and the the first sip is instant orange and mandarin flavor. My untappd Rated R description was that his beer is like a bunch of oranges banged it out with your favorite IPA on a bed of clouds. The thing with me and hazy IPAs are sometimes the flavor doesn’t flow from first sip to last drink, Color TV however, does just that. I could have sat at BG in Solon all day yesterday and sipped on this beer. Following Easy Eddy, Big Ed, and with Richard the Whale release on the horizon, it’s hard not to get stoked for anything Big Grove pushes out. 

Eastern Iowa beer lovers rejoice, our local breweries continue to roll and quench our thirst with some of the best beers around and hopefully I’ll see some of you at the Richard the Whale release on December 1st! Drink This! while you can!