Iowa Celebrating a Jolly Pumpkin Wedding!

jolly

Our favorite sour-only brewery has sent Abu Nawas a few things that are only going to be sent to a very limited set of non-Michigan places, including a special beer Ron Jeffries brewed in honor of his son Daemon’s wedding next weekend in Hawaii. The wedding beer is Keiki No More (Children no more…) It’s brewed with raspberry, lime and lime peel, and then aged in wood 5 months and given another dose of raspberries. We are encouraging everyone to raise their glass to the happy couple when they have the beer and tag Jolly Pumpkin with the below hashtags: #JollyWedding #FromIowaWithLove

Keiki.jpg

Here’s more on Keiki No More:

Keiki No More is a saison base that was then refermented with raspberry, lime, and lime peel. This is a very special beer, brewed in celebration of the marriage of Ron and Laurie’s son Daemon and his bride Ashley. The addition of raspberry has given this beer a brilliant pink grapefruit hue. Eruptions of sweet raspberry jam and our house funk fill the nose. While the tastes of raspberry cobbler, ripe raspberry funk, subtle hints of key lime pie, and light acidity, will have you falling head over heels in love.

This beer will be on draft in Iowa at Marquee Pizza, El Bait Shop, and Cheese Bar. Along with that big and super limited release Abu Nawas will also be bringing limited supplies of the below Jolly Pumpkin beers as well. If you can get to Marquee, Cheese Shop, or El Bait Shop, order Keiki No More, raise your glass and toast the newlyweds but also toast Jolly Pumpkin and their staff and be grateful that our state gets their wonderful beers!

 

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Iowa Beer Week in Review: Big Grove, Lion Bridge, Thew, TG, 3rd Base, BP, Millstream

Quite a few new releases making their ways to our local Iowa breweries with the big news of Big Grove brewery beers hitting our local liquor stores. Here’s more:

**Big Grove**– with a successful release of Easy Eddy cans last Saturday (I would like more of this please!) Big Grove followed that up with the release of 4 packs of First Launch Double Dry Hopped IPA. These cans hit select spots (see poster) and will be followed with the release of Big Grove’s core lineup. Exciting stuff coming from Solon and Iowa City. Also, that cask of Easy Eddy w/pineapple and mango was absolutely terrific. But yes, more Easy Eddy cans please!

first launch

**Lion Bridge Brewery** – swinging over to Cedar Rapids where Lion Bridge has been consistently busy supplying us with new and awesome beers. Zack Morris Cell Phone IPA release was a hit and delicious and they have followed that up with Tidbits Pineapple Pale Ale which was tapped yesterday (4/26). I’m looking forward to sucking a few of those down this weekend. Along with Tidbits, Lion Bridge is getting back to getting some of their amazing Saisons on the lines. This past week Plum Saison was tapped and prior they had their Apricot Saison on the lines. And last but not least for Lion Bridge was the release of one of my favorites…Coffee Kolsch! They even got that on the lines of my local watering hole in Mount Vernon, Chameleon’s Pub and Grub. Guessing Quinton, Rob and Alec did that just for me, thanks fellas!

lion bridge.jpg

thew**Thew Brewing** – the new kid on the block continues to impress with some excellent offerings even though they are less than a month old! This week they released I-380 pale ale which checks in at 6.7% and Kingston Kolsch made its way to their lines. Thew brews have also found homes in a few other establishments in CR and the surrounding area so keep an eye out. Food Trucks and Friday $2 off pours make this your perfect post work pit stop today!

third base**Third Base Brewery** – some excellent beers brewed and consumed on Blair’s Ferry Road this past week as 3rd Base released their version of a hazy New England style IPA, Crooked Monkey. Along with the Monkey they also released a delicious double pils called Intergalactic Pilsner.

backpocket**Backpocket Brewing** – starting this week Backpocket offers 16 oz crowlers to be filled of your favorite Backpocket brew. They also released an Australian sparkling ale and two other beers. SOKOL juicy IPA and a variation of their Australian Sparkling ale made with tangerine purée, vanilla, lactose sugar, cinnamon and clove. Those all tap today (4/27)!

millstream**Millstream Brewing** – Iowa’s oldest brewery has been testing some brews on their pilot system and yesterday tapped a Session IPA. Brewery only for this one so get there and grab a taste.

**Barn Town Brewing** – heading over to the Des Moines area we have Barn Town continuing to pump out some very tasty ales. The addition of their beers to tap lines at 30hop, Marquee, and Tin Roost has been welcomed with open arms. Pulp non-Fiction is back on the lines at the brewery which hopefully means we will see it back on the lines near us. Along with that, they released Appaloosa, a New England style IPA that checks in at 7.3% and is currently available at Marquee Pizza in Coralville! They also announced that Sticky Juice will be their next bottle release. Stay tuned for more news on that!

appaloosa.jpg

**Toppling Goliath** – the big news out of TG this week is the return of the popular Scorpius Morchella, a double IPA. This beer has been brewed and distro has started so keep your eyes peeled for this bad boy!

scorpius

**That’s all I have for this week. If I missed something or you have news or brews to share drop me a line! benmed15@yahoo.com Cheers!

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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Coming Soon: Next Boulevard Imperial X Stout, New Oskar Blues IPA, Founders, Great Divide, Alpine coming?

Quite a few tidbits on this Thursday to pass along. The next Big Grove double IPA gets released tomorrow and I’ll also be pouring some fine Big Grove brews tomorrow during ragbrai in Solon, so if you’re around stop by and say hi. Onto the news this week:

tart cherry**Boulevard Smokestack Series Imperial Stout X Cherry Tart – the next release in the series for Boulevard gets a little sour! They add tart cherries to fermentation. This brew will come in at 11% and will be available caged and corked in 750 mL bottles and be available in September.

**Oskar Blues Blue Dream IPA – the latest release from the brewery as it was oskar bluesrecently unveiled at the Brevard, NC facility. Little is known about this release right now except it will be another can offering and will check in at 6.4% abv. Stay tuned for more on this brew.

founders**Founders Spectra Trifecta – following Mosaic Promise and Black IPA comes Spectra Trifecta. A kolsch style beer, this will be coming in at 5.9% and be available in September. Here’s more from the brewery:

Brewed in the traditional kolsch style, which requires fermenting ale yeast at a colder temperature and give she beer a clean finish without fruity yeast esters. This bright, golden beer is brewed with a trifecta of natural ingredients: earthy, floral and slightly sweet chamomile; a touch of citrusy lemongrass; and a hint of spicy fresh ginger.

whitewater**Great Divide Whitewater Hoppy Wheat – the newest seasonal release which was originally a gold medal winner at GABF in 1994 is back in 6 packs of cans and bottles. It checks in at 6.1%.  Here’s more from the brewery:

WHITEWATER is an American wheat ale built for exploration. The bold hop profile adds complexity to this crisp, balanced ale, while hints of citrus, light floral notes, and a satisfying bitterness leave a perfect reminder of trails climbed and rapids subdued. Whitewater is the perfect complement to any adventure.

alpine**Alpine Brewing hitting the Iowa Market in August – the beeradvocate forum is bursting with news that Alpine Brewing, which was recently acquired by Green Flash, will start hitting the market (Des Moines specifically) in August. According to some folks from Doll Distribution it will start with kegs and then bottles will roll out in November. I hope this means the same for Eastern Iowa!

*Any news or new beers you want to talk about? Send me a line: benmed15@yahoo.com

Surly Invasion Begins March 3 @ Woolys in Des Moines

surlyThe following comes from Surly’s Facebook page and it looks like they are ready to enter the market full-time with a bang! Here’s their post:

As we mentioned yesterday, the Surly invasion of Iowa begins Tuesday, March 3 in Des Moines with a very special concert by our friends Doomtree at Wooly’s. And, we are loading up a fancy bus in Minneapolis and are making the trip down for the show and we want you on it. Wanna get on so we can get up? If you think you should be on the bus, hanging out with Doomtree and the Surly crew, convince us. Tell us your sob/stalker/fan story and why you should be on the bus in the comments below. By 2/12, we’ll pick and announce some winners. We will depart from Minneapolis around 1pm on Tuesday, March 3 and we’d hit up a couple of spots for some beers en-route to the show. Then when Doomtree leaves the stage that night, we get back on the bus to head to Minneapolis. We will arrive back at the brewery at 3am or so. It’s rock and roll errr… hip hop! And, it’s not a road trip for the delicate. Tell us your story in the comment section below.

Enjoy By Coming in 12 oz bottles? and Millstream hitting the Double IPA Trail

enjoy byThe ever popular Enjoy By Series from Stone still has the 2.14.15 out and around and then they will release their 3.14.15 to celebrate PI day, after that March release it sounds like they will start releasing the Enjoy By series in 12 oz starting with their 4.20.15 release. No word on what markets will be receiving that shipment or if the 12 oz will be in 4 packs or 6 packs. Stay tuned for more. (www.mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com).

millstreamOnto some Iowa brewery news. Iowa’s oldest brewery is looking to get back into the Double iPA game. Millstream will be releasing beers under their Double Plus Hop Series starting with Our Bitter End Double IPA. Here’s more from the brewery’s release:

It seems like our brewmaster, Chris, has finally said enough is enough. He’s on the path to make some pretty hoppy brews this year and they’ll be part of our Millstream Double Plus Hop Series. For all you insane hop heads here it is: Our Bitter End Double IPA will be released May 1st. 90+IBU’s, mouth puckering, hazy with green, more floral than botanicddal gardens in June beer! Hoppy Hour Double White IPA will come out in July and the Dogs on Skis Double Black IPA will be released in October.

Here’s a peak at the Bitter End Double IPA brewing today! 8.5 pounds of bitter hops to this decadent brew.

Top 15 Iowa Beers for 2014: Part 1

So many great things have happened in Eastern Iowa this past year. The number of nationally renowned breweries that have hit our shelves has made our choices as consumers a bit more difficult but also more fun. But for me, the biggest events of the last 12-18 months has been the opening of some new breweries in the Eastern Iowa area. Big Grove in Solon is a little more than a year old, Lion Bridge is still in infancy age but making headlines with their fantastic beers, Millstream hitting a homerun with their raspberry latte stout, Backpocket pushing out new beers at a high rate, and Kalona really making its mark with their impressive lineup. Some breweries in Des Moines I didn’t get to spend much time at, so if you didn’t make the list, chances are I didn’t get out to try your brews. A New Year’s Resolution I need to make is to visit every Iowa brewery, but with 3 kids it can be a bit of a chorelion bridge.

Onto the first part of my list:

*Lion Bridge Coffee Compensation* – a variant from their gold medal winning Workman’s Compensation, this brew is made with Ethiopian Banko Beans and is the perfect breakfast beer if there ever was one. So good, and now available in growler fills.

*Madhouse Brewing V.I.P. Double Porter* – I really enjoyed last year’s version but madhousethis years has a bit more tasty barrel on it that I really enjoyed. Luckily I stocked up a snagged 5 bottles for myself. Comes in at 10.5% so pace yourself, a good one to share, but I’ll take the bottle myself.

west o*West O Beer Coco Stout* – with all things imperial and barrel-aged it’s nice to have just a fantastic stout to drink during these winter months. I was lucky enough to try this while it was on tap at Lion Bridge and I’m glad I did. Chocolate and coffee in the forefront of this Great American Beer Festival gold medal winner!

*Big Grove Que Onda Roja* – in the world of sours Big Grove is starting to make theirbig grove mark. One of the more complex beers I’ve had this year and I the first time I tried it I was pretty confused. Did I love it? Dislike it? Well, after a few more tastings, this beer is becoming more and more sour and more and more likable. Awesome brew that’s getting better!

great river*Great River Imperial Gingerbread Stout* – this was a happy accident finding this on tap. Shopping with my wife when we decided some coffee was in order. Went to Brewvana in the New-Bo district and was surprised to see this on tap. This is what Xmas should taste like! Not overally spiced, just the perfect amount of clove and spice. Tasty brew!

**Okay, part 1 is done. Part 2 coming soon. I hope to hear from some of you on your lists. I have 10 to go and it’s going to be difficult! **