Thew Brewing 1st Anniversary Party announced for 3/16!

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Thew Brewing will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary on Saturday, March 16th starting at noon. They will be releasing “Darkest Corners”, a barrel aged imperial stout at 5 p.m. Check below for more details. Happy Anniversary Thew!

Celebrate our first anniversary with us!

– Bottle release of Darkest Corners, barrel-aged imperial stout at 5 p.m. $20 each, limit 2 per person
– BOGO River Kings Kölsch all day
– Imperial stout in the Randall (infuser)
– $4 full pours of all other beers on tap (does not apply to kölsch or Randall)
– Free cake while it lasts
– For each beer purchased, receive an entry for prizes (you choose which prize you want to be entered for). Drawing will be at 10 p.m., you don’t need to be present to win.

We’re giving away:
* Brewmaster level Thew Crew membership (eight free beers a month for a year)
* $50 Thew Brewing gift card
* Four River Kings tickets to game of your choice
* Two field-level River Kings tickets to the April 20th game vs. Bismarck Bucks

This week from Abu Nawas: HUGE Evil Twin Drop!

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Abu Nawas continues to get Iowans some delicious brews and this coming week will be no different as they will be bringing a whole bunch of new and returning Evil Twin beers to Iowa; many of them new releases so will start with those:

Evil Twin – New Releases:

*Evil Twin Learn What is to be Taken Seriously 16oz CAN  – NE IPA
*Evil Twin Grand Cru 16oz CAN -21-month Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout & Barley Wine Blend.
*Evil Twin Grand Cru Cuvee 16oz CAN -a double barrel-aged blend of 21-month Maple Bourbon and Marsala Wine Barrel-Aged  Imperial Stout & Barley Wine Blend.

Evil Twin – Draft Releases:

*Evil Twin A Man Who Does Not Love IPAs Loves Too Much –  8% Double Dry-Hopped Galaxy & Wai-iti DIPA,
*Evil Twin Key Lime Pie IPA – IPA brewed with Graham Crackers & Key Limes. 7% ABV
*Evil Twin Learn What is to be Taken Seriously
*Evil Twin Poetry is What Gets Lost in Translation brewed at Westbrook, hopped with Moteuka, Idaho 7, & Citra
*Evil Twin This Must Be Where IPAs Go To Die – Double Dry-Hopped Hazy IPA Hopped with Wai-iti, Amarillo, & Citra
*Westbrook / Evil Twin OFYMD  – Piña Colada Imp Stout 12.8% ABV
*Evil Twin I Love you my Stout – Jeppe Famed Stout 12% ABV

Returning Evil Twin Beers:

  • Evil Twin Even More Jesus 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin Even More Pecan Jesus 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin Hazelnut Imperial Biscotti Break 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin Wet Dream 16oz CAN (Brown Ale with Kenyan Coffee!)
  • Evil Twin A is Apricot 12oz CAN
  • Evil Twin B is For Blueberry 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin E is For Elderberry 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin F is For Fruit Salad 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin G is For Grapefruit 16oz CAN
  • Evil Twin Rhubarb Compote 16oz CAN
  • I Don’t Know How to Put This but This IPA Is Kind of a Big Deal 16oz CAN

 

Iowa Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Oja Release Info

iowa brewingThis coming Saturday, Dec. 22nd, Iowa Brewing Company will be releasing their Barrel-aged Oja and variants. Below are the deets for this event. Cheers!

BARREL AGED OJA RELEASE INFO

Doors open at 11am on Saturday, December 22nd.

German Chocolate Cake Oja: 375ml bottle, $13, two per person.

Rye Barrel Aged Oja: 375 ml bottle, $10 each, one per person.

Available on Draft:
German Chocolate Cake Oja – $8 6oz pour (half tulip)
Rye Barrel Aged Oja – $7 6oz pour (half tulip)

Bottle shares will be allowed in line, please line up at our patio door and keep any open containers inside the patio.

Parking: There is free street parking surrounding the brewery, as well as parking ramps within walking distance. Please do not park in the YMCA parking lot across the street.

Iowa Beer Baron’s Top 10 Iowa Beers of 2018!

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This is always a fun but difficult list to compile. Looking back at 2018 Iowa breweries all over the state have made some fantastic beers this year and continue to do so, as we as consumers are very lucky to have such excellent brewers in our state.

Living in Eastern Iowa it has been great to be able to get Big Grove, Lion Bridge, SingleSpeed, and Reunion in cans to go along with the great beers that are already available. I’m sure 2019 will be just as, if not better than 2018 in the year of Iowa beer.

For my list, these are beers that had to have been released in 2018. There are many that I didn’t try, so if your favorite didn’t make the list, my bad, chances are I didn’t get around to trying it. I would love to hear your favorites of 2018. All 10 of these have the chance to be awarded the most prestigious award a brewery can get: The Iowa Beer of the Year Award. GABF, eat your heart out. Beer of the Year will be awarded in my next post! Here we go:

**Big Grove Big Ed  7.8%– this one was a no doubter for me. I was stoked when they released and I’ll be stoked every time they re-release. A case or two every time for me please Big Grove. This juicy double IPA is one of Iowa’s best and is worth seeking out and is a challenger for Iowa Beer of the Year!

**Toppling Goliath Term Oil Maple Cakes – a quick trip to Decorah (which is never a bad thing) and my first trip to TG’s new spot allowed me a pour of this delicious beer. A bourbon barrel aged stout with maple. Absolutely delicious and a perfect breakfast beer!

**Pulpit Rock Seriously Bro’?6.1% – Marquee Pizza celebrated their 1 year anniversary with a terrific taplist that included two beers brewed by Pulpit Rock especially for this anniversary; one of which was Seriously Bro? a milkshake IPA. While, I’m a little behind on the milkshake IPA craze, this one was packed with orange zest and a hint of vanilla. Delicious!

**Lion Bridge Brewing Tidbits 6.7%– this beer was my summer staple. A delicious pale ale brewed with unfermented pineapple led to a tropical and refreshing beer to enjoy in the midwest heat all summer long. I hope to see this one again this summer!

**Barn Town Pink Guava Massacre4.6% ABV -between this and Little Drippy from Dimensional for my favorite two Iowa sours of the year. Guava in a beer just works so damn good and with this sour it was spot on. Luckily, a few places in Eastern Iowa got some bottles of this so I was able to indulge. Well done Barn Town, keep this one coming!

**Lion Bridge Spice Must Flow 8% ABV – this is the perfect beer for me in the fall and winter months in Iowa. Maple Syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg added to a black ale screams cold weather drinking! Lion Bridge added this in cans which made for an easy taste by walking my ass to the fridge.

**Pulpit Rock Koffee and Doughnuts 6.8% ABV – breakfast in glass is served. Pulpit took their Pour Over porter and added a shit load of donuts to it and you have a Koffee and Doughnuts. Hope this one pops back up again as this was delicious.

**Big Grove Richard the Whale Macaroon 10% ABV – their Richard base with the addition of toasted coconut and almonds…this beer blew me away and I couldn’t wait to get another glass. Big Grove has had an amazing year and their beers have been fantastic. This one might have topped them all though!

**Dimensional A Little Drippy – 5.5% ABV – the new kid on the block came out with a bang and has made some terrific beers and these guys are just going to keep getting better. I enjoyed every beer I had at Dimensional but A Little Drippy just hit on all cylinders. Once again guava got the taste buds and the addition of passion fruit and mango make this one damn fine sour!

**Big Grove Color TV – 7.8% ABV – a double dry hopped hazy IPA that lets the galaxy hop shine. Another winner by Big Grove and hopefully another beer that they will make again….and again. Looking forward to what these guys have in store for 2019!

Kroul Farm/Pullman Bar and Diner Beer Dinner #3: Best gets Better

 

Year 3 of the Pullman/Kroul Beer Dinner is in the books and just when you think they can’t top last year’s event, Chef Ben Smart and staff roll up their sleeves and do just that. Sunday’s event wasn’t exactly fall-like to start the day as temps were in the high 80s, so a tip of the cap for sure goes to the Pullman staff as they slaved over open-pit fires to cook up our terrific meal. Even though it was hot early on, the weather chilled a bit as the sun set and you really can’t beat the ambiance of sitting at a Kroul Farm picnic table with friends as you sip a beer or glass of wine and get served some of the best and unique food I’ve had. Cheers to the Kroul Family, Cory Kent, Chef Smart and staff, this is my favorite event of the year! Onto the food!

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DISH #1 – Pan con Tomate – Bread, Heirloom tomato served with Broadbent Vinho Verde
Bread with a tomato puree? Sounds simple, and it is, but it was delicious. Local tomatoes with olive oil and salt put on top of some grilled bread and a glass of white wine, great start to the meal!

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DISH #2 – Sea Urchin Bavarois served with Broadbent Vinho Verde 
I had never had sea urchin before, but now I want sea urchin more often. The dish was presented and looked similar to a chowder dish with some charred sweet corn and that’s exactly how it tasted. Almost like a mix of a chilled lobster bisque/lobster chowder and the added local sweet corn really made the dish stand out. This was one I would have taken a whole bowl full of, excellent dish.

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DISH #3 Cedar Plank Salmon with slow roasted grilled lemons, herbs, shishito peppers, squash, and olives served with Prairie Standard Saison
Admittedly, I’m not a huge salmon guy, but, this dish was very good. Perfectly cooked salmon and a squeeze of some of the grilled lemon and tons of fresh dill on top made this a dish I could eat often. 3/3 so far Pullman crew!

DISH #4Potato Gnocchi with pumpkin puree, chanterelles, pistachio pistou, La quercia guanciale, and sheep’s milk cheese served with Prairie Standard Saison
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this dish as I’m hit and miss with pumpkin but this was a home run dish, from the presentation of being served in hollowed out pumpkins to the execution itself to the flavors. The gnocchi with pillow soft and combined with the pistachio and cheese with a little bite of the crispy and salty la quercia (pork cheek I believe) I had a hard time not finishing this dish in seconds. Blown away by this one. Keep it coming Pullman.

DISH #5 Duo of Kroul Beef – tenderloin, ribeye, and sauce bordelaise with mushroom pithivier, kale, carrot, currant, pine nuts, and aged balsamic, served with Trim Cabernet
I always look forward to the main course although the dishes leading up are just as terrific, but with this being Kroul’s beef that they were serving made it even more special. The beef was wonderful, perfectly cooked, tender and salted exactly how it needed to be. To cook for 110-120 people and execute it the way the Pullman staff did shows their talent, you worry about it being overcooked but that’s not the case at all. The beef was phenomenal but the thing that really sealed the deal for me was the Mushroom Pithivier, which essentially was a pie with sliced potatoes, mushrooms, and cheese. I savored every bite of it. Extraordinary meal!

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DISH #6The Space Donut – Sweet potato mousse, walnut shortbread, white chocolate goat cheese cremeux, pear, salted caramel ice cream paired with Cafe Amaretto
Onto the final course…dessert. I’m not sure how the staff could top last years parsnip cake served with Jean Luc Richard, but they came pretty damn close! The parsnip cake is my all time favorite dessert, hands down, but they brought out the big guns for this Space Donut. Chef Smart described it to every table how they concocted it and I’m not going to even try to replicate him, let’s just say it was tasty, eye-appealing, and very unique.

I’ve said this since the Kroul Farm dinner started 3 years ago and I’ll repeat myself again…this is a can’t miss event for food lovers, wine lovers, beer lovers, and people who just enjoy sitting and chatting with others. I look forward to this event every year and hope it continues. Thanks again to the Matt Kroul and family, Chef Smart and Staff, and Cory Kent for spoiling us once again this year! Cheers!

BeerCast #5: Talking Drink Local Festival and Thew Brewing!

drink local.jpegWe were live from Thew Brewing in downtown Cedar Rapids for our 5th installment of BeerCast. We had awesome conversation with Mark Jensen and Matt Franklin from Cedar Rapids Brewing Society on their upcoming Drink Local! Festival which is happening this weekend at Benz Beverage Depot in downtown CR. Tickets available here. $25 now or $30 at the door. We were also joined by the proprietors Thew Brewing, Travis and Haley Flenker who talk about what is coming up for their brewery in the next few weeks. And of course, at Beercast wouldn’t be complete without wonderfully deep conversations from our host Scott and the rest of our panel. This will be the best hour and a half of your life! Check it out!

Une Annee Beers Hitting Iowa Shelves with Abu Nawas?

une annee.pngA little rumor making its way around has Illinois based brewery Une Annee is coming to Iowa through Abu Nawas and it sounds like it’s going to happen sooner than later. If you don’t know much about Une Annee they are Belgian inspired brewery with Belgian inspired beers located in Niles, IL. Expect sours, wild ales, lambics, stouts, and much more from these guys! Hopefully more information will trickle in, but this is an exciting brewery to hit our shelves if/when it happens. Stay tuned for more, in the meantime, check out their website to learn more about their brews: uneannee.com

 

Best of Iowa Beer (Part 2 of 2)

baron.jpgFinally, after a few weeks I’m finally getting back to finishing the Top Ten list that everyone’s been waiting for….(crickets)…..Anyway, with all the great things happening in the Iowa beer scene, every year making a list becomes that more difficult. There are so many breweries I would like to visit, and some I wish I could spend more time at. New Year’s Resolutions are always fun but sometimes get forgotten. I, however, will make one of my Resolutions happen…I will make it to some more Iowa breweries, I will continue supporting my local breweries, and I will continue supporting the Iowa Beer Community! Onto the final five!

backpocket*Backpocket 5th Anniversary Stout – many are hailing this as their Iowa Beer of the Year and it would be hard to argue. I thought I had missed out on this beer until a lunch trip to Backpocket Pilot Pub in downtown Cedar Rapids and to my astonishment, 5th Anniversary was still on the lines. After a Grinch-like smile, I went ahead and ordered one…..and then another….and then…kidding, only two but it totally lived up to the hype. If you still are sitting on bottle..you lucky bastard…

The deets:

12.3% ABV

Russian Imperial Stout

third base*Third Base Miserable in Mexico – I had this beer at the 2017 Brrr Fest (missing this year unfortunately) and was blown away. Jim has been making some great beers for a while now and has 3rd Base as an under the radar brewery.  Miserable and Mexico would have been the perfect beer to have these past few weeks in chilly-ass Iowa. Booziness from the bourbon, a bit of heat from the pepper and a ton of chocolate. Boozy Mexican hot chocolate..yes please! Well done Jim and 3rd Base!

The deets:

12.5% ABV

It all started when we put our “Endless Descent Into Ruin” imperial stout in a bourbon barrel and let it rest for 8 months. It emerged as “Miserable.” We then took Miserable and infused it with chocolate and chili peppers. Grown up Mexi Hot (Cold) chocolate

pulpi*Pulpit Rock Rechoncho – Another Brrr Fest 2017 beer and another imperial stout to add to my list. Another brew similar to a Mexico hot chocolate but with some added vanilla to it. Pulpit Rock has become a big time player in the Iowa beer game in a short amount of time and 2018 will be even bigger and better for them.

The deets:

12.2% ABV

Spanish for Pudgy – this decadent stout was brewed with Ancho and Chipotle chile peppers, cocoa, cinnamon, Mexican vanilla beans, & coffee.

barn town*Barn Town Brewery Pulp Non-Fiction – the new kid on the block has taken off pretty damn fast as a must try brewery! I finally got to visit and not only were the beers tasty but the food was excellent as well. Check out my write-up on Barn Town here: I was pleasantly surprised to this brew on tap at 30hop and have since seen some Barn Town pop up at a few other Eastern Iowa locations and hopefully we see them hit even more spots in 2018. A hazy, NE style juice bomb full of the murky, hoppy goodness!

The deets:

7%

A juicy & hazy NEIPA brewed with Simcoe, El Dorado & Citra. Roy-al-ly hopped!

lion bridge*Lion Bridge Majestic Beast – I’ve been a fan of all of Lion Bridge’s IPAs when released but it seems recently they’ve really upped their game. Dangler was delicious, they now have Triple IPA that’s been barrel-aged slightly and one that I hope that they bring back is Majestic Beast. A 7% IPA that is extremely drinkable made with a journey into Lupulin powderes. Lion Bridge continues to impress, in every beer style, in food, in what it means to be a local business. More of this please!

The deets:

7%

First foray into lupulin powders has produced this mirthful beverage. By using a hop with the green plant material removed we are only dry hopping a concentrated version of the aromatic oils found in eukanot and mosaic. Resinous and tropical; potent yet graceful.

There you have it! The list of Best of Iowa beers 2017. Chances are your list looks a bit different but that’s what makes drinking and trying local beer great! It was stressful, I’m sweating and need a beer. I also have to give a shout out to Nick Jubeck for creating the Iowa Beer Baron logo at the top of the post! Thanks man, check out and like his Facebook page by clicking here: Cheers to the breweries who make the beers, the restaurants and bars that serve them and cheers to 2018!

Old Chicago Coralville Hosting Tallgrass Tap Takeover Wed. March 23rd

tallgrassOld Chicago in Coralville will be hosting a Tallgrass Brewing tap takeover this Wednesday night. Tallgrass will be bringing some of their big guns from the Explorer Series as well as a pin called “Buffalo Sex”. One of my personal favorites, Big RICC, will be on tap as well. The complete lineup and release poster is below, make sure to check it out if you are in the area!

We will be tapping  3 beers from the explorer series. Bourbon barrel buffalo sweat, bourbon barrel vanilla bean buffalo sweat, and big RICC. We will also be tapping a pin at 5 pm that is called Buffalo Sex. It is Buffalo Sweat with chocolate and cherry!

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Bricks Bar and Grill Cedar Rapids Planning “Bricks University” Beer Education Program

bricksA fantastic opportunity to talk, learn, and taste all things beer is coming up from the folks at Bricks Bar and Grill in Cedar Rapids. Bricks University classes will be starting in January and will feature New Belgium Brewing Company. More classes will follow each month and the cost will be $25 per class. Here’s more info from Sam Tracy of Bricks:

We wanted to put together a program that allows people to be correctly educated about craft beer, so we’re bringing the best sources possible: the people brewing and selling the beer for featured breweries.  The goal is to have this be a laid back and fun thing that people of all levels of knowledge will be able to enjoy but also learn from.
The actual ‘classes’ include the following for $25:
– 30 minutes (or so) “lecture” that will cover some form of the brewing process or beer history (this is yet to be decided per class so far but will depend on each presenters strong suit).  Prior to this, everyone will be able to choose a pint out of the featured brewery’s core beers to sip on while they listen.
– 30 minutes (or so) “lab” that will include a pre-determined flight of four beers (there may be some fun surprises) that the rep or brewer will go through and talk about styles and expectations, how to enjoy, etc.
– The rest of the time is up basically for people to hang out, ask questions, enjoy the food provided, and just have a good time socializing in general.
The first class will be on January 23rd from 2-4 pm and will feature New Belgium.  The rest are not fully set in stone but we’re looking for the following months to be:
  • Peace Tree (February)
  • Boulevard (March)
  • Founders (April)
  • Big Grove (May – “Graduation Party”)
This is something we would like to continue doing on a fairly set schedule so in the future we will bring in different breweries.