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.

Abu Nawas Drops: Evil Twin, FreeThought, Public Access, Fat Orange Cat, Hoof Hearted, Abomination, + Nightmare Brewing

Huge drop of beers coming from Abu Nawas this week! Lots of releases across the state this week!

Evil Twin

  • Evil Twin Watermelon Spritzer 16oz CAN – Watermelon Gose brewed with Salt & Vanilla. 5% ABV.
  • Evil Twin Cocktail Series: Tangerine Tonic 16oz CAN – Gin & Tonic-Inspired Sour DIPA brewed with Tangerine. 8% ABV.
  • Evil Twin Cocktail Series: Bellini 16oz CAN – Bellini style Sour DIPA brewed with Peaches. 7% ABV.
  • Evil Twin Cocktail Series: Mojito 16oz CAN – Mojito-style Sour DIPA brewed with Lime & Mint. 7% ABV.
  • Evil Twin Cocktail Series: Negroni 16oz CAN –  Negroni-style Sour IPA brewed with Juniper, Blood Orange, & Rhubarb. 7% ABV.💗💗💗
  • Evil Twin Cocktail Series: Passionfruit Margarita 16oz CAN – Margarita-style Sour IPA brewed with Passionfruit, Lime, & Orange Peel. 7% ABV.
  • Evil Twin Imperial Wedding Cake Break 16oz CAN –  Yes, this is a beer brewed with an actual wedding cake. What started as a gift to a friend on his big day quickly made it online with crazy ratings and thus, the latest (one-time) iteration of Imperial Biscotti was born.

FreeThought

  • FREETHOUGHT Museum Dose 16oz CAN – Museum Dose is a botanical sour ale with strawberries, sarsaparilla + birch. It’s a celebration of Spring, an homage to nineteenth-century soda fountains + a total trip. 6% ABV. 🥤⛲
  • FREETHOUGHT Madcap CAN – Madcap is a smoky sour ale inspired by campfires, s’mores + hot cocoa with the flavor profile of a mezcal sour cocktail. Brewed with raw wheat, flaked + malted oats, lapsang souchong, cocoa + tamarind. Hopped with noble hops + dry-hopped with Simcoe lupulin powder. 6% ABV. 💖💖💖
  • FREETHOUGHT Phosphorescent 16oz CAN – All-Galaxy, Uber-Hopped New England Pale Ale. 5.5% ABV.
  • FREETHOUGHT Shibumi 16oz CAN – IPA Cuvée with Cherry, Miso + Chamomile 5.5% ABV. 🍒🍒

Public Access

  • Public Access Triumphant Intermission 16oz CAN – Double Dry-Hopped IPA with Citra, El Dorado and Comet. 7% ABV. 🌠🌠🌠
  • Public Access Emergency Broadcast 6/4/16oz CAN – Double Dry Hopped Hazy New England Style IPA. 5.2% ABV.
  • Public Access Omniscient Signal 6/4/16oz CAN – Double Dry Hopped DIPA with Oats and hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Simcoe. 8.3% ABV.

Fat Orange Cat

  • Fat Orange Cat Someone In My Head 16oz CAN – Double Dry Hopped New England style DIPA with Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, & Apollo. 8.8% ABV.
  • Fat Orange Cat It’s Not Yesterday Anymore 16oz CAN – New England style IPA. Gorgeous hazy blonde colored brew with soft pine, uplifting lime zest, and hearty hoppy bitterness on the finish. Hopped with Azacca, Eureka and Mosaic. 7% ABV.
  • Fat Orange Cat FOC I Don’t Like Mondays 24/16oz Can 4 Pack – New England Style IPA hopped with Mosaic & Simcoe. 7.5% ABV.

Hoof Hearted

  • Hoof Hearted Thanks For Letting Us Play Tonight 16oz CAN – Double Dry-Hopped All Galaxy New England Style IPA. 5.5% ABV.
  • Hoof Hearted Everbody Wants Some Galaxy 16oz CAN –  All Galaxy New England style DIPA. 8% ABV.

Abomination

  • Abomination Brewing Bro Beer 16oz CAN – ****NOW IN CANS*** Extremely crushable New England session IPA brewed with flaked wheat and oats. Gently dry hopped with 100% galaxy hops! Juicy, tropical and hazy! The perfect beer to crack open with your bro’s! 4.7% ABV. #beermonster
  • Abomination Bedtime Stories 6/4/16oz CAN – Imperial Milk Stout with Graham Crackers, Flaked Oats, Vanilla Beans and Marshmallows. 9.3% ABV. #beermonster
  • Abomination Hop Roulette 6/4/16oz CAN – Rotating Hop series DIPA featuring Pacific Jade. 8.8% ABV. #beermonster

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Nightmare Brewing

Nightmare Brewing Colombian Necktie 16oz CAN – Gose Soured on Colombian Mangoes, with Lulo, Soursop, and Colombian Lime zest. 7.2% ABV.

Iowa Eats: Goldfinch Tap & Eatery; Marion, IA

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Last night I was lucky enough to attend a soft opening at Goldfinch Tap & Eatery (740 10th St. Marion) and I’m already eager to get back and try some more things on their menu.

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Goldfinch is headed by Andi Sofranko (Lincoln Winebar fame) and Chef Brandon Banaszek (Pullman fame) and is located in the old Louie’s Scoreboard location in Marion. With the addition of Goldfinch, Marion has a lot of beer/food offerings. Ramseys, Uptown Snug, Zoeys, and Tomasos are all located in the same area, so definitely an up and coming spot!

Let’s get to the nitty gritty. First thing on my mind…..

BEER
What looks to be an ever changing tap list that appeals to every beer drinker. Many local brews from Lion Bridge, Big Grove, SingleSpeed, Clockhouse and more to go along with the domestics of a Busch Light. Easy Eddy was my pick and it went down great with the apps we had.

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FOOD
The appetizer selections at Goldfinch are going to be a hot spot. A lot of great options to choose from, at the time they were out of the Buffalo Cholouah wings so we went with french onion dip, cheese balls, and loaded fries. Great pub food selections. The french onion dip was outstanding. I was worried it would be too sweet but was not, excellent starter. Cheese balls were good and crispy on the outside and served with a side of ranch..what’s not to love? The cheese fries were a nice combo of crispy bacon, green onion, and then a cheddar cheese/ranch combo which played together nicely. My kids loved them all!

 

At the time we arrived, they were out of their main entrees, which wasn’t a problem, although every one of them sounded great. Cavatelli with a sweet corn sauce??? YES PLEASE!! We went with some mac and cheese, pork tenderloin, and their burger. All tasty, all packed with flavor. The pork tenderloin will no doubt be an item they sell a lot of and this one is crispy and not over breaded. The burger was wonderful. I love a burger where the meat shines and this one does! Mac and cheese with crumbled bacon is just something that everyone should have!

 

Tip of the cap to the chefs and staff at Goldfinch, a busy soft opening night that they pulled off. They will be opening their doors to the public this Friday (9/13) @ 3:00 p.m. and then 2:45 on Saturday for the Iowa/Iowa State game. Happy hour is everyday from 3-6 so make sure to take advantage of their awesome list of cocktails, beers, and wine! Check it out!

Clock House Brewing releasing Pineapple Witch Slap 9/26

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Clock House Brewing company will be releasing a pineapple variant of their popular Witch Slap hazy IPA on September 26th! To make it even better they will be releasing this beer in 16 oz crowlers! Here’s more from Clock House!

The Witches are at it again and have decided to take our Flag Ship “Witch Slap NEIPA” to warmer places. They’ve added loads of Pineapple during primary and secondary fermentation to create a unique tropical twist. Don’t forget your sunglasses and fly into our taproom to enjoy our Hazy, Murky, Juicy Witch, infused with real pineapple! Get some while it lasts!

Iowa Brewing releasing Double Barrel Hang Fire + more on Oct. 12th!

 

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Iowa Brewing announcing another big release coming this fall! On October 12th they will be releasing double barrel Hang Fire, a variant of last year’s anniversary Hang Fire release. Along with Hang Fire, they will be releasing some other brews as well. Here’s more courtesy of Iowa Brewing:

For our first anniversary we brewed an Imperial Stout called Hang Fire. For our second anniversary we released four barrel-aged variants of it (Aquila-Nilla, Brunch AF, Rubus & Templeton). But that wasn’t all… The legacy of Hang Fire continues! We took one of the Templeton Hang Fire barrels and put that back into a fresh Rye barrel for an additional year! Behold! Double Barrel Hang Fire, two years in barrels and finished with chipotle, cinnamon and cocoa nibs.

But that also isn’t all…

Once upon a time we had a Belgian-style Tripel that we called, Tripel. We put some of that Tripel into a Cedar Ridge port wine barrel which was used to create one of their Single Malt silver label whiskies. We then let that barrel chill for two years! This magic liquid is now known as Barrel-Aged Tripel and will also be available in bottles.

“Is there more?” you ask…

Yes! We will be debuting the newest batch of our Juicy-Hazy IPA series, Jinkies! AND perhaps something else that’s extra fun, so stay tuned…..

Pricing TBD
Double Barrel Hang Fire, 375 ml bottle
Barrel-Aged Tripel, 375 ml bottle
Jinkies!, 16 oz. 4-pack

Iowa Brewing releasing “Jinkies” part of their hazy IPA series on 9/11!

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Iowa Brewing will be continuing their hazy/juicy IPA series this week with the release of “Jinkies” on September 11th. This release will be available in 4 packs @ 10.99 and also on draft. Here’s more from Iowa Brewing:

Jinkies! it’s time for another version of our Hazy/Juicy IPA series (previously known as Juicy McJuice Pants)

This newest batch features a delicious blend of El Dorado, Strata and Amarillo hops.

The beer will be available on draft with 16 oz. 4-packs to go @ $10.99 – the last version sold out in a couple hours so we’ll be canning a little more this time around but don’t dawdle, it won’t last long!

Quarter Barrel “Darkest Peru” Imperial Stout 4 pack going to the Pop Culture Trivia winner on September 10th!

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Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery with some fun news to share. On September 10th they will be hosting a Beer and Pop Culture Trivia Night on September 10th and the winning group on this night will be receiving a 4 pack of their yet to be released 4 pack imperial stout called “Darkest Peru”! Here’s more on this tasty sounding brew:

It’s a 14% abv imperial stout that was aged in bourbon barrels for 9 months and with Peruvian coffee, Peruvian cacao nibs, and an herb called Huacatay that is also known as Peruvian Black Mint (it’s not particularly “minty”, but just adds some spice to the heat).

And for you trivia freaks who happen to be beer freaks…here’s how you sign up for this event:

Maybe you can’t pronounce Reinheitsgebot, and for all you know, the ingredients in beer are hops, skips, and jumps … but you’ve grown up on movies, music, and TV that more than occasionally reference the world’s greatest beverage. Queue up some old episodes of Cheers, re-watch Strange Brew, channel your inner Barney Stinson and join us for Beer in Pop Culture trivia on Tuesday, September 10. The Quarter Barrel is the featured brewery at this year’s BrewNost International Beer Festival at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, so we’ve teamed up with them for a little pre-game fun.

We cap Trivia at 20 teams. The cost is $5 per team and registration proceeds will benefit the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. You need your team size and team name to register. Teams are limited to 6 members or less. Trivia sells out so register now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beer-in-pop-culture-trivia-registration-70730072551.

Come early to eat, drink and be merry before Trivia starts at 7:30pm. Prizes will be given to the 1st and 2nd place teams!

Also, go visit the NCSML staff at the BrewNost table where you can purchase a raffle ticket for $10 to win a trip to Prague with airfare for 2 and 7 nights with breakfast at Hotel Rott. BrewNost will also be giving out throwback glasses and will have a special BrewNost giveaway free to enter! To purchase tickets to BrewNost visit: NCSML.org/BrewNost

Another great local event with another great local beer to be had. Get to Quarter Barrel and give your team a shot..even if you don’t win…you might be able to get a taste of Darkest Peru sometime…if you’re lucky!

 

Lion Bridge releasing Oktobot + Oktobot 3000 today! (9/4)

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Fall season is underway and what better way to ring it in than sitting in the Czech Village at the Lion Bridge patio and sipping on their fall favorite Oktobot…and if you’re feeling froggy……their Barrel-aged imperial Marzen Oktobot 3000 is available too! Here are the deets courtesy of Lion Bridge:

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Our odes to Oktoberfest become self-aware on draft and in package TODAY at 3pm.

These Imperial Oktoberfestbiers are the finest we’ve ever made and super excited to share with you all.

Oktobot (Imperial Märzen, 7.7%) – A fusion brew with German and Czech roots in the recipe as well as the name (“robot” is a word with Czech origins). Munich and Bohemian Pilsner Malt are the motherboard to this amped up version of the style, while a healthy dose of German hops provide fuel to keep it running. This is the non-barrel aged version. Look to Oktobot 3000 for even more power. Available in 6 packs.

Oktobot 3000 (Barrel-Aged Imperial Märzen, 8.5%abv) – A fusion brew with German and Czech roots in the recipe as well as the name (“robot” is a word with Czech origins). Munich and Bohemian Pilsner Malt are the motherboard to this amped up version of the style, while 6 months in Rye Whiskey barrels greases the cogs and makes sure it all computes. Available in 4 packs.

Madhouse closing their doors in September…Sundae Fundae their last release set for Sept. 20th!

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Sad to see a brewery close, especially one that has been satisfying Iowa beer lovers for 10 years. At the end of September, Madhouse Brewing will be closing their doors but not before one last release. Here are the details for Sundae Fundae release…and a quick thank you to the folks at Madhouse for 10 great years. Cheers to you guys!

After 10 years in operation, Madhouse will be closing at the end of September. We’d like to thank all of the people who have supported us over the years, many of whom have become good friends.

Friday, September 20th, from 4-11pm, will be our last release party. We’ll have our Neapolitan barrel-aged stout available in bottles, and will be giving away free Madhouse pint glasses to the first 200 people. As always, bottle shares are encouraged, and we’ll be opening some stuff from the Madhouse library. Live music provided by Brian Congdon.

New release beers-

Sundae Fundae- Bourbon barrel-aged Neapolitan Stout with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberries. 13.5% ABV. Available draft and 375ml bottles. $12. Limit 6.

Maui Wowie- Barrel-aged sour with pineapple and coconut. 7.4% ABV. Available draft and 500ml bottles. $10.

Madhouse Oud Bruin- Traditional barrel-aged Belgian-style sour red-brown ale. 6.8% ABV. Available draft only.

Mic Drop- Fresh batch of our 100% Citra hops IPA. 7.2% ABV. Draft only.

Iowa Eats Destination: Luna Valley Farm; Decorah, IA

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Sitting on a beautiful farmstead somewhere on the outskirts of Decorah, Iowa is one of the best hidden food destinations Iowa has to offer. Luna Valley Farm and their brick oven pizza coupled with the setting that they offer make this an Iowa eats destination for sure.

Most of my blog visitors have more than likely been to Decorah as it has two of Iowa’s most popular breweries in Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock. Both places are well worth the drive there as well and I’m also a big fan of Mabe’s pizza…BUT…..if you are there on a Friday night, no dinner plans, get google maps up and get to Luna Valley. Not only can you eat there, drink some great local brews, but you can also go glamping in one of their cabin/tents! Also, they are only open from 4-8 and ONLY on Fridays! Get there early, grab a seat in the barn, and enjoy.

Seeing how many people made it there on this particular Friday night makes me want to rethink calling it a “hidden” food destination. It’s a popular spot, very popular. Once the dough is out, that’s all she wrote. Luckily, we got there in time and got our orders in. The first thing I noticed when ordering was the excellent beer selection! Pulpit Rock, TG, PIVO and a few others on tap. I ordered a Saftig, and that beer and that setting is about as good as it gets!

 

The pizza was wonderful. Chewy crust, fresh toppings, and a great sauce. We went with the Iowaiian – bacon, pineapple, and jalapeno and the margherita and friends got the Pepperoncini pizza. All 3 were fantastic! Even with how busy they were the staff was extremely friendly, helpful and added to what was a memorable evening! Check it out the next time you hit Decorah on Friday night, you won’t be disappointed in this Iowa Eats Destination!