Mickey’s Irish Pub in IC w/ crowler + growler sale this Saturday (5/9) featuring: Big Grove Richard the Whale Coffee!

More great beer news as we approach this weekend. Not only will Big Grove be hosting another drive-thru with some new beers for us, but you also have a chance at landing a crowler of Richard the Whale Coffee crowler, among other beers, if you head to Mickey’s Irish Pub in downtown Iowa City! Here are the deets and beers they will have at Mickeys:

This Saturday, May 9th, we are selling some special 32 oz crowlers from our friends at Big Grove for carryout only starting at 11am.

-Big Grove Richard the Whale Coffee Variant, 1pp, $28

-Into the Woods Fruited Sour, Big Grove and Cooper Kettle colab 1pp, $16

-Pineapple Mango Main Street Wheat $12

We are also going to have growlers available of the following:
-Big Grove Iowa City Lager
-Big Grove Starcourt hazy IPA
-Big Grove Strawberry Cherry Swirl
-ReUnion Hefewizen
-ReUnion Juice Factory
-Exile Ruthie
-Single Speed Hard Won not Done
-Barn Town Cherry Limeaide

We also have a very limited amount of fresh ReUnion Dr. Dank cans for sale, $3.75 per can.

Add our famous pretzel bites with house made beer cheese, and stone ground mustard for $5 with any beer purchase.

Stop by in person, or call us at 319-338-6860

Iowa Brewers Guild Presents: “BYOB Virtual Beer Festival”!

BYOB

Grab some of your favorite Iowa brewed beers and join your fellow Iowa beer lovers, Iowa beer brewers, and Iowa beer workers as the Iowa Brewers Guild is hosting a “BYOB Virtual Beer Festival” on March 28th with all proceeds will go to Iowa’s brewing industry staff. Here’s more on this great event:

A BYOB virtual beer festival to raise money for Iowa’s brewing industry staff. Though we love to drink beer in the company of friends, the future of one of our favorite pastimes—beer festivals—is tenuous. And so are the livelihoods of our Iowa breweries and their teams. To help our industry staff in their time of need, the Iowa Brewers Guild is holding a BYOB “virtual beer festival,” and you’re invited to join us!

Here’s how it works:

1. Buy a ticket

2. Pick up some of your favorite Iowa beer

3. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram on Saturday, March 28, so we can drink beer together (from a safe distance), with the help of our hashtag, #virtualbeerfest

ALL proceeds will go to affected Iowa Brewers Guild member breweries’ staff that have lost jobs or significant hours!

More info and how to get a limited edition shirt at www.virtualbeerfest.org

Your Iowa Beer Guide to Black Friday!

oakonut

If you are out and about this coming Black Friday there are quite a few options from the beer community to take advantage of. Can releases, bottle releases, and speciality tappings a plenty!
*If you know of an event that I didn’t post up please drop me a line and I’ll add it to the list! 

**Lion Bridge Brewery – Oakonut Delight release. 1 case per customer per purchase starting at 11 a.m., but if you get back in line you can get more! Imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels with coconut, chocolate, and caramel!  

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**Confluence Brewing – If you are in the Des Moines area Confluence has a stellar Black Friday lineup.
-Letter of Marque Rum Barrel Aged DIPA W/ Coconut
-Kiano’s Cut Rye Barrel Aged Rye DIPA
-Conifer Ginelly Gin Barrel Aged Saison W/ Cranberries & Spruce
Tips
-Ghostly Presents Tequila Barrel Aged W/ Agave & Peppers
Doors open at 11 AM. No bottle limits. Enjoy $2 off pours of everything in our taproom until noon!

 

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**Bricks Bar and Grill – Bourbon County and Black Friday go hand in hand and what better way to take a break from the early morning shopping and stop by Bricks for a 2020 BCS or variant. Here’s what Bricks will have on the lines:

Featuring Five BCBS beers on draft ~ 2018 BCBS Original ~ 2018 BCBS Bramble Rye ~ 2019 BCBS Original ~ 2019 BCBS Cafe De Olla ~ 2019 BCBS Mon Cheri
Blind Auction for 2 2015 BCBS Rare Bottles ~ 4 2012 BCBS Coffee Bottles

~Breakfast Taco Bar~

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**Iowa Brewing Company – a big day of bottles for Iowa Brewing Company as they are set to release Barrel-aged OREOja Baltic Porter that is finished in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with “America’s Favorite Cookie.” This and the Hurricane Season will be available Friday the 29th @ 11AM only at the Iowa Brewing taproom.

thew**Thew Brewing Company – Thew will be continuing their “Dark Beer” week on Friday with a whole bunch of tappings. Here’s what they have going:

On tap Friday:
– Darkest Corners (barrel-aged imperial stout)
– Double Tappa (imperial brown ale)
– Old Man Strength (barrel-aged old ale)
– Black IPA
– Imperial stout
– Belgian strong

Bottle release deets courtesy of Thew:

We’ve had an old ale aging in a Weller barrel from Buffalo Trace and we’re anxious to share it with you. Old Man Strength will be packaged in 22 oz. bomber bottles and wax sealed.

Thew Crew members will have two bottles each reserved. You may pick your bottles up beginning Wednesday. Member bottles will be held until Friday, December 6th.

For the general public, release will start at noon on Friday. $20/bottle, 4 bottle per person limit.

In addition to Old Man Strength, we’ll have:
– Firkin of Double Tappa with Coconut
– Randall with Helianthus (sunflower saison) infused with fresh cranberries

 

**Quarter Barrel – Darkest Peru Russian Imperial Stout aged 9 months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels with Peruvian Coffee, Peruvian Cacao, and Huacatay (Peruvian Black Mint) will be sold in 4-packs @ The Quarter Barrel Arcade & Brewery! 

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**Big Grove Brewery and Bootleggin’ Barzini’s have teamed up for an exclusive barrel-aged barleywine release only available at Barzinis on Black Friday. This barley wine is aged in Cedar Ridge single malt whiskey barrels and will come in a 375 mL bottle. Barzinis will also have their Bourbon County release.

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**Marto Brewing Company – Marto will be releasing All the Bean Things which is their
first in house collaboration that was brewed with  Barn Town Brewing!
A  13.1% imperial stout brewed with Ugandan vanilla beans, Caturra Coffee Roasting Co. – A Subsidiary of Coffee King, Inc Mexico Altura coffee beans, & Ghana ABOCFA cacao beans roasted by Just the Nib in Lincoln, NE.
Available on tap & limited crowlers to go. $18 per crowler.

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**Clockhouse Brewing – From Clockhouse:

They say, “We all need a little more fruit in our diet.” So we loaded our kettle sour with Raspberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries. The perfect trifecta for starting your post thanksgiving diet.

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need

**Need Pizza – Need tapping some heavy hitters on Black Friday!

2018 Bourbon County Bramble Rye
2019 Madhouse El Jefe
Pours and crowlers available while they last!

Gezellig Brewing in Newton opening June 7th!

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Newton, IA will be the home of Iowa’s newest brewery as Gezellig Brewing will be opening their doors on June 7th! Before the doors to the brewery open however, you will be able to try their beer if you’re in the Muscatine or Pella area as Bonnie’s on the Avenue in Muscatine and the Cellar Peanut Pub in Pella will have the following brews on tap from Gezellig: Turn Down for Brown, Newtonian Haze IPA, and Kviek and Subscribe IPA. These beers will be tapped at 1:00 this Friday, May 24th at those two locations.

Here’s more info on a couple beers mentioned above, and stay tuned for more info on the opening of this brewery. If you want some Gezellig beers on your lines, reach out to them via their Facebook page by clicking here.

Onto the brews:

*Newtonian Haze – Newtonian Haze checks all the boxes. Plenty hazy, a huge fruity nose, and it’s quaffable as all get out. Massive pineapple, papaya, and passionfruit leap out and say ‘it’s gonna be one of those nights, Jim’. Super-charged lemon lime pineapple coats your tongue but doesn’t overstay its welcome. If you wanted a milkshake, Dairy Queen is down the street. This right here is a drinking beer.

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*Turn Down for Brown -Cool kids beware. Your old man loves this beer and wants to tell THOSE 3 stories all night on repeat. Slight roasty coffee, sweet chocolate, and a hint of vanilla from German Ariana hops are rounded out by a bittering addition of UK Challenger and carefully selected caramel malts. Hunker down in brown town buddy. It’s gonna be a long night.

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Restaurant Review: Ramsey’s Metro Market; Marion, IA

IMG_0510.JPGI had noticed quite a few check-ins on untappd coming from Ramsey’s in Marion and talking with Leisha at Benz she highly recommend I give the place a try. Located on 7th avenue amongst the quaint and unique looking strip of stores in Marion, Ramseys is definitely a hidden treasure for wine, food, and more importantly for me…..beer.

Upon entering the restaurant you can’t help but notice the
walls of the place lined with hundreds of bottles of wine. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know shit about wine. I wish I did, but I don’t. But the amount of wine that was neatly shelved to the ceiling in this place was a pretty awesome view. According to their website they house 140 different wines, 70 bottled beers,
and 10 tap beers.

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The tap lines are what I wanted to see. I customarily bellied up to the bar, was greeted with a beer and food menu and we were off.

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A recent expansion has given Ramseys a perfect spot on the other side of the bar to house their 10 lines and I was really thirsting for a taste of North Coast Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse and the Funkwerks Dry-Hopped Provincial, both of which I had heard were on tap. Started with the Tart Cherry and was very happy with the choice. Good fruit, not overly sweet, add in that bit of tartness and it’s an excellent drinking companion for the summer months. Another perk of the trip was being able to sit and talk with Josh about the restaurant, other local places, and the beer they have or want to have. Excellent guy to talk the food scene and beer with!

IMG_0511.JPGOnto the food. Grilled cheese, salads, paninis, subs, and always a daily special which the night I was there was a smoked pork loin dish. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was going with the Italian panini. Throw some pepperoni and pastrami on any sandwich with some pepperoncinis and I’m sold. Food arrived fairly quick and I was ready for beer #2 as well. Funkwerks Dry Hopped Provincial it is. Absolutely wonderful beer! Tropic fruits with that dry hopped addition make this a beer to seek if you haven’t tried it yet! This beer with the tartness from the pepperoncinis on my sandwich made this a pleasantly surprising pairing.

I would like to think that when I go back I would try the special or something else on the menu, but the sandwich is made for me. Loved it! If you find yourself in Marion or nearby, give Ramseys Metro Market a shot, you won’t be disappointed. Check out their Facebook page for their daily specials: Ramseys

Restaurant Review: Hudson’s Southside Tap; Iowa City, IA

hudson'sA visit to a familiar area of Iowa City was in store for my wife and I as we were on our way to visit Hudson’s Southside Tap in Iowa City. We used to live in the Pentacrest Apartment complex downtown (very close to the bars….too close to the bars) and frequently visited the Pancheros on that side of town. Oh how I wish Hudson’s would have been there during that time!

IMG_2280.jpgWalking into the restaurant you are greeted with an inviting pub feel. Dark wood tables and a bar area that highlights the booze and taps. Very cozy, a place that I could spend hours in and feel right at home. I of course noticed the 40 tap handles on the back wall and was excited to dig into a few beers.

On the menu, I was expecting basic IMG_2282.jpgpub fare, but Hudson’s gives you more than that. An upscale pub fare if you will. When checking out new places I like to order multiple items, or I’m a fat ass who overeats, could be either of those…but anyway, I started with some basic chicken wings.

photo 2 (7)I’m a big fan of great chicken wings…not breaded (except for the Wig and Pen, love those), fried until crisp, with the perfect amount of sauce, and I must say, Hudson’s has some of the best wings I’ve had in some time. Their homemade blue cheese dressing and ranch where icing on the cake. Would go back to try their other sauces, but I would have no problem ordering the basic Frank’s sauce wings again.

photo 3 (2).JPGThere are also some slider options on the menu and I went with the pulled pork slider. Perfect amount of sauce, excellent pork with a touch of smokiness, very good slider. My wife had a short rib philly cheese steak with jalapeno cream photo 4 (5).JPGcheese. It was excellent, albeit a bit messy, but something we would order again. My main dish was the shrimp po’ boy. I’m a po’ boy junky, would eat them everyday and this one added it’s own touches to a traditional sandwich. A creole spiced may addition added to this sandwich. The shrimp were huge and cooked perfect and the bread was crunchy on the outside but nice and chewy in the middle.

photo 5 (2).JPGAll of these items, (I finished everything) were washed down with a Big Grove Brewery Que Sera and then a Boulevard Tank 7. For being relatively new they did a nice job getting Iowa beers on tap and I can see more Iowa tap handles as Hudson’s continues to get their feet wet.

There hadn’t been much of a reason for me to visit Iowa City’s south side anymore, but Hudson’s has now given me that reason. Looking forward to going again….oh yeah, we took our loud 1 year old daughter and wait staff couldn’t have been more friendly and playful with her. Highly recommend a visit to this local tap!

 

Restaurant Review: Need Pizzeria; Cedar Rapids, IA

needSo many great restaurants in the Eastern Iowa area that it is difficult to choose at times. During a latest trip down to Benz Beverage Depot for some fine ales my wife and I decided to give a newer pizza place in the downtown area a try. So off to Need Pizzeria we went! Here’s more about Need:

Need Pizzeria was founded by David Stephan and Robert Wagner.  David is a native Cedar Rapidian, Washington HS Grad.   Robert is from Cascade, Iowa and has lived in Cedar Rapids for many years. Their industry relationship began following high school; working together at CR Country Club.  Each owner has cut their teeth in multiple restaurant/bar locations with a combined 20+ years of experience in 3 states.

IMG_2216.JPG.jpegThere was a lunch special of a bratwurst pizza with sriracha glazed bacon and mashed potatoes that struck my interest right away. Upon walking in I noticed the uniquely designed coolers for the Iowa beer taps. Old refrigerators that were housing beers from Lion Bridge, Big Grove, Backpocket, Exile, etc. Very cool idea.

I knew I would be getting the Brat specialityIMG_2215.JPG.jpeg pizza so my wife and I wanted to test just a basic pie so we went with a pepperoni pizza. While waiting we of course ordered a couple of brews. I went with the Lion Bridge Sorachi Liberace and my wife a coffee stout.

The look and smell of the pizzas alone told us we made the right decision for lunch. Chewy crust, excellent sauce, and a bit of spiciness from the pepperoni made this a terrific pie. Loved it! I’m a big fan of just a plain pepperoni pizza and this one hitIMG_2211.JPG.jpeg the spot! Onto the brat pizza! Sweetness from the caramelized onions, a bit of heat from the sriracha glazed bacon and the perfect amount of fattiness and spice from the brat made this a pizza worthy of ordering again and hopefully them making again!

Overall, a great lunch, plenty of leftovers as the portions were very big. A trip we will be taking again very soon! Check out Need if you are in the downtown Cedar Rapids area!

Oskar Blues Brewing Coming to Iowa!

oskar bluesMultiple sources have confirmed to me that Oskar Blues is indeed ready to hit the Iowa market. From what I am hearing it sounds like it will be in January of 2015. Rumors and speculation have been going on for the last few years about Oskar Blues hitting our state; especially since Stone, Deschutes, Green Flash, Founders and others have done so well here. Another great brewery adding to our shelves, making the decisions even more difficult than they already are! A great problem to have. If you want to know more about what beers Oskar Blues has to offer visit their website at this link:

http://brew.oskarblues.com/

Mellow Mushroom Pizza and Beer Coming to Coral Ridge Mall

mellowI noticed a big sign where the former Bennigan’s used to be at Coral Ridge Mall advertising that the Mellow Mushroom will be opening in that location in the future. Mellow Mushroom offers “southern style” pizza and also a beer club which sounds very similar to Old Chicago’s beer club. They advertise 100 beers 64 on tap? I believe. That number might be a bit off. Here’s a link to their menu:

http://mellowmushroom.com/corpmenu