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.

Lion Bridge announces 6th Anniversary Beer Releases!

Lion Bridge brewery in Cedar Rapids will be celebrating their 6th anniversary March 5th and in doing so will be releasing a couple of beers. Chocofetti Imperial Birthday Cake Stout and Click Bait double IPA will be released in cans. Here’s more on each of these brews:

Chocofetti (Imperial Birthday Cake Stout, 9%) – We’re havin a party, and everyone’s invited. We brewed this birthday cake stout up all special for our 6th birthday. Think chocolate cake and Funfetti frosting. Go ahead and have seconds.

Click Bait (Double IPA, 9%) – Brewed all special for our 6th anniversary, this batch has 6lbs of hops per barrel! Order a Click Bait to see the shocking results!

Abu Nawas drops: Prairie, Une Annee, Hubbard’s Cave

Three wonderful breweries will be sending some beers our way with Abu Nawas distro. A nice drop of Prairie, Une Annee and Hubbard’s Cave (draft) will be heading to Iowa. Here we go:

PRAIRIE

  • Prairie / American Solera Collab. All Y’all 6/4/12oz CAN – Hazy India Pale Ale. 8.8% ABV. ***NEW VERSION***
  • Prairie Funky Gold Mosaic 6/4/12oz CAN – Mosaic Dry-hopped sour ale. 5.8% ABV.
  • Prairie Standard 6/4/12oz CAN – Hoppy Farmhouse Ale. 5.6% ABV.
  • Prairie Blueberry Boyfriend 6/4/12oz CAN – Sour Ale with Blueberries and Lemon Zest. 5.4% ABV
  • Prairie BOMB 12/12oz – Imperial Stout aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. All the flavors meld to create a truly unique beer. The peppers add just the right amount of heat to complement the intense coffee and chocolate flavors. 13% ABV.
  • Prairie Oh! Fudge 12/12oz – Imperial Stout brewed with Brownies. 11.5% ABV.
  • Prairie Screenshot 12/12oz – Imperial stout with Hazelnut roasted coffee. 11% ABV.

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Une Annee 

  • Une Annee Quad 24/16oz CANS – 4 Pack. The richest of all Belgian ales, the Quadrupel is not for the faint of heart. Pouring deep amber, mellow in color but rich with flavor. Look for plum, dried cherry and fig esters with mild phenolic spice notes and a dry finish. 11% ABV.
  • Une Annee Framboise 24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. American Wild Ale with Raspberries. 7.5% ABV
  • Une Annee Peche 24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. American Wild Ale with Peaches. 7.5% ABV
  • Une Annee Kriek24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. American Wild Ale with Morello Cherry. 7.5% ABV
  • Une Annee Le Seul I – Tart Cherry & Cranberry 24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. Wild ale fermented with Tart Cherries and Cranberries. 7.1% ABV.
  • Une Annee Le Seul XXVIII Tangerine 24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. American Wild Ale Fermented with Tangerine. 6.5% ABV.
  • Une Annee Le Seul VI– Elderberry  24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. Wild ale fermented with Elderberries. 6.5% ABV.
  • Une Annee Le Seul XXVI Boysenberry 24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. Wild ale fermented with Boysenberry. 6.5% ABV.
  • Une Annee Le Seul XXIV Plum 24/16oz CANS – 2 Pack. Wild ale fermented with Plum. 6.5% ABV.

Hubbard’s Cave (draft)

 

  • Hubbard’s Cave Fresh IIPA (Citra & Mosaic) 30L KEG – Imperial IPA  with Citra & Mosaic. 8.5% ABV.
  • Hubbard’s Cave Fresh IIPA (Ariana, Jarrylo, Pekko) 30L KEG – Imperial IPA  with Ariana, Jarrylo, Pekko. 8.5% ABV.
  • Hubbard’s Cave Fresh IIPA (Chinook, Idaho 7, Simcoe) 30L KEG –  Imperial IPA  with Chinook, Idaho 7 & Simcoe. 8.5% ABV.

Beer Dinner! Need Pizza + Gezellig Brewery Team up for 2/27 Event!

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What better way to end the month of February and jump into the (hopefully) warmer month of March than a pizza and beer dinner?!! Need Pizza in downtown Cedar Rapids is teaming up with Gezellig Brewery out of Newton for a 5 course beer and pizza pairing dinner on February 27th!

The $40 ticket gets you 5 courses and 5 beers and attendees get first choice of a crowler fill of any Gezellig brew! Stay tuned for more or follow their Facebook page here. 

Breweries and Beers Announced for 2020 BrrrFest!

We have an early list of breweries and beers that will be available at the 2020 Coralville BrrrFest thanks to the folks at flitebrite. You can access and create your untappd wishlist for the event by clicking here

Here’s the list, I’ll continue to post updates as they come in. Cheers!

-515 Brewing Company
*Dunkel on the Haterz
*Mexican Spring
*OJ Gets Lei’d
*Poobah of Passe
*Puppy Jake
-5ive Cities Brewing Company
-7 Hills Brewing Co.
*Baca Inocula
*Betty’s Private Reserve
*Bi-Polar Vortex
*Bold Blavatsky
*Cerebral Haze
*Muddy Tugger w/Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
-Alluvial Brewing Company
-Backpocket Brewing
-Barn Town Brewing
-Bent River Brewing Company
*Barrel-Aged Marshmallow Stout
*Chocolate Covered Banana
*Lactobaxpress
*Liquified
-Big Grove Brewery
*Buster
*Cask Sera w/white peppercorn + pineapple
*Easy Eddy Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake
*Experimental Sour w/passion fruit, raspberry + vanilla
*Justice for Barb
*Richard the Whale Vanilla Coconut
*Snowbird
*Static
*White Stout
*Xibalba Wade Wisely
-Boone Valley Brewing
-Brightside Aleworks
-Carroll Brewing Company
*Black Lager
*Carroll Red
*India Pale Ale
*Mild
*Tokyo Pils
-Cedar Ridge
-Clock House Brewing
-Confluence Brewing
-Contrary Brewing
*Finger Licken’ Good
*German’s Chocolate Cake
*Punch You in the Eye
*Zoom Doggy (w/maple & cinnamon)
-Court Avenue Brewing Company
-Crawford Brew Works
-Dimensional Brewing
*Dad Bod
*Denim Venom
*Easy Steve
*Gussied Up
*Jumbled Up: Hazel
*Sweet Acoustics
-East Grove Meadery
-Exile Brewing Company
-Fat Hill Brewing Company
-Fenders Brewing
*Morning Ride
-Firetrucker Brewery
*Black Magic Coffee Stout
*Brigade Ale
*Burnout Brown
*Destination IPA East Coast Style
*Tropical Burn Mago DIPA
-Fishback and Stephenson Cidery
*Maple Starship
*Salty Poser
-Fox Brewing
Franklin Street Brewing
-Front Street Brewery
Gezellig Brewing Company
*From Zero to Iffy
*Hug Deal Gone Sideweiss
*Tank in the Frank!
-Green Tree Brewing
-Iowa Brewing Company
*Barrel-Aged In-Tents w/ Trung Nguyen Legendee Coffee
*Barrel-Aged OREOja
*Bohemian Rapids
*Cousin Eddie’s Breakfast Ale
*David Hefehoff
*Double Barrel Hang Fire
*Eagle Lime
*Jinkies! – Lotus, Exp. 07720, Exp. 09326
*Oja’s Peanut Butter Cup Porter
-Jackson Street Brewing
*4 Non Blondes
*Hell’s Half Acre Stout – French Toast
*Imperial Chocolate Peanut Butter Treat
*Nannerbock
*Sioux City Sours & Barrel Aged Stouts
-Jefferson County Ciderworks
-Kalona Brewing Company
-Keg Creek Brewing Company
*Brick Red Ale
*Illuminator VII
*Kashmir Kush DIPA
*Mas Mexican Style Lager
*Moongold Apricot
*Rehashed IPA
-Lake Time Brewing
*Funfetti
*Haze of Our Lives
*Lost Dutchman
*Oreo Speed Wagon
*Peanut Butter Porter
*Welcome to the Jungle Juice
-Lark Brewing Company
-Limestone Brewers
-Lion Bridge Brewing Company
-Millstream Brewing Company
-Mississippi River Distilling
Mistress Brewing Company
-NoCoast Beer Co.
-Parkside Brewing Company
*Belly Dancer Chai Stout
*Kyle
*No Scurvy
*Raspberry Mother
-Peace Tree Brewing Company
-Pivo Brewing
*Balltown Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Milk Stout
*Dorchester British Best
-Pulpit Rock Brewing Company
-Quarter Barrel Arcade & Brewery
-Reclaimed Rails Brewing 
-ReUnion Brewery
*Cosmic Creamsicle Juice Factory
*Imperial Banshee (2019)
*Ocean Sprayed Cranberry Gose
*Reunion Lager
*Rock ‘N Roll Bus Driver
*Tank Puncher IPA
-Second State Brewing
*Schwarzbier
*Vienna Lager
-SingleSpeed Brewing 
*A-Two-Hoo
*Gable
*Hard Won Not Done
*Slightly Heightened Conversation V2.0
*Tip the Cow
*Tip the Cowconut
*Two Cows (Walk into a Barrel)
*Victory Dance
-Thew Brewing
*Candy Double Tappa
*Hello Hazy
*Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree
-Third Base Brewing
*At the Heart of Winter
*Smoak ‘Em If You Got ‘Em
-Toppling Goliath Brewing
*Cherry Fandango
*Dorthy’s New World Lager
*Dragon Fandango
*King Sue
*Mornin’ Delight
*Pompeii
*Pseudo Sue
*Supa’ Sumo
*Term Oil
-Torrent Brewing Company
-Twisted Vine Brewery
*5 Horizons Black Lager
*Cali-Steamer
*Snowlicious
*Twisted Blonde
*Westown IPA
*Whadda Juicebag
-West O Beer
-Wild Culture Kombucha
-Wilson’s Hard Cider
*Old Blue
*Pina de Iowa
*Sutliff Hard Cider
-Worth Brewing

 

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!

Abu Nawas drops: Limited Decadent brews!

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A big Decadent drop coming this week from Abu Nawas and in that drop are some extremely limited brews. Check out the list and have a great weekend!

Decadent:

  • Decadent Ales Orange Cream Pop 16oz CAN – All Citra dry-hopped IPA with a proprietary blend of sugars, Madagascar vanilla bean and a touch of orange zest. 7.1% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales Passiflora 16oz CAN – Passiflora is the South Pacific version of our Multiflora DIPA. Brewed utilizing a blend of New Zealand hops, this brew produces notes of guava, citrus, and passionfruit. 9.6% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales Coconut French Toast 16oz CAN – DIPA brewed w/ Vermont Maple Syrup, Coconut, stovetop caramelized sugars & cinnamon. Hopped w/ Simcoe and Mosaic. 8.6% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales Coco Ecto 16oz CAN – IPA with Orange, Tangerine with a hint of coconut makes this “ecto” brew stand out from its companions. 8.7% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales Coconut Almond Macaroon 16oz CAN. Double Dry-Hopped All-Mosaic IPA brewed with Coconut & Almond. 8.2% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales Coconut Citrus Citra16oz CAN – Triple Dry-Hopped All-Citra IPA brewed with Coconut & Citrus Fruit. 10.8% ABV
  • Decadent Ales Blueberry French Toast 16oz CAN – Double India Pale Ale with blueberries, maple syrup, and cinnamon. 8.6% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales Raspberry French Toast 16oz CAN – Double India Pale with raspberry, maple syrup, and cinnamon added. 8.6% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales S’mores 16oz Can – All Mosaic Double Dry-Hopped DIPA brewed with Graham Crackers & Marshmallows. 9.1% ABV.
Decadent NY Exclusive:
  • Decadent Ales NY Vanilla Latte 16oz CAN – IPA with cold-brewed coffee and Madagascar vanilla bean. 7.2% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales NY Opulence 16 oz CAN – Opulence is our flagship double dry-hopped IPA. Notes of grapefruit, orange and pear and white grape dance on the palate while undertones of caramel complement the citrus aroma. 8.3% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales NY Nebulous 16oz CAN – Double IPA focusing on the Galaxy hop – double dry-hopped and balanced by a variety of supporting hops. 8.9% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales NY Double Whipped Strawberry Cream Pop 16oz CAN – Hazed up version of Strawberry Cream Pop – extra strawberry added. 7.4% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales NY Apple Crumb Cake 16oz CAN – IPA designed to bring out all the fall flavors reminiscent of an apple crumb cake: Apple puree, Lactose, Cinnamon, and Vanilla bean are combined for a sweet and decadent ale. 7.5% ABV.
  • Decadent Ales NY 72 Nelson 16oz CAN – DDH DIPA with Nelson Hops. 8.4% ABV.

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!