Great Divide 2018 Release Calendar



Winestyles Iowa River Landing Hosting Brrr Fest Blowout Sale and Madhouse Tap Takeover Jan. 26th!

winestylesBrrr Fest weekend gets even better as the Iowa River Landing Winestyles location is hosting a Madhouse Brewing tap takeover Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th during Brrr Fest weekend! Here are the deets courtesy of Winestyles Facebook page:

To help celebrate the BrrrFest Awesomeness, we will be having a 2 dayMadhouse Brewing Company Tap Takeover & BrrrFest blowout sale, Friday and Saturday:

10% off all Beer Sales (15% off for Beer Club members)

25% off a large selection of Beers!!

$2 off all Draws

Madhouse Tap Takeover Featuring:

Freedom Toast
New Release: Gin barrel-aged sour with juniper berries (yet to be named)
New Release: New England IPA (yet to be named)
Honey Pilsner
Hopburst IPA
Monk Town

We will also have some very special beer surprises available for purchase.


Saturday Morning Glory @ Big Grove’s Richard the Whale Release

big groveFirst of all, my brother in law thought “Saturday Morning Glory” would be the perfect name for a tailgating beer, so any brewers that want to jump on to that go for it!

Big Grove’s Richard the Whale bottle release was the perfect way to start off your Saturday morning if you’re a beer lover. For this release, if you bought a ticket you received 2 bottles of Richard the Whale, 1 bottle of Richard Coffee, 1 Richard glass, and also the opportunity to drink many fantastic beers on tap. Even if you didn’t get a ticket, the beers on tap were still an option.

photo 1

So, to start off the morning I went with some Coffee Richard on tap, waiting patiently until that 10:00 tapping of Jean Luc Richard. What seemed like a simple bottle release was just a bit more at Big Grove. Along with all the tremendous beer on tap, the real treat was to be able to shoot the shit with the guys and girls who bring us this terrific beer. The opportunity to talk with the folks responsible for putting on an event, knowing there hasn’t been much sleep and some long ass days and they greet, smile and talk to everyone they can; so thanks to Chad, Danny, Rabbit, Doug, Matt, and Chef Smart..a terrific event and I’m looking forward to the next!

So many great conversations with the fellas from 7G, who are great beer conversationalists all the time, so cheers to Collin, Clint and Garrett from 7G! Also, Bob and Dave from Need and as always, the guy who should be in the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world commercials, Jeremy from Club 76.

photo 2.JPG

Richard and the variants tasted amazing, although I didn’t eat the buffet I’m kind of kicking myself as it looked terrific. Bellied up at the bar with a some great stouts I was offered a glass of Big Grove’s Easy Eddy from Mr. Swift. He told me they switched the yeast strain and what he poured came back as a hazy, juicy, hop bomb. It was delicious! Easy Eddy is tasting great right now folks! They also had a double dry hopped IPA on tap that was very tasty.


Overall, the new space in Iowa City was perfect for hosting this event and the folks who run the show really knocked it out of the park. Beer, food, conversation, (not to mention the sweet ass swag BG has going right now), all made for a fantastic event. When Big Grove has their next release, there’s no question I’ll be there and there’s no question they will try to top how great Saturday’s Richard release was! Check out those sweet as Richard labels as well!  Cheers BG!

Drink These! Lion Bridge BA Gobble Wobble and Coffee Kolsch

lion bridgeA great time for some great beer here in Eastern Iowa. Many local breweries have been busting their ass with some spectacular releases and one of those breweries is Lion Bridge. Last week I was able to make it down and get to taste one of their seasonals in Gobble Wobble and one that we see every now and then in Coffee Kolsch.

Let’s start with the Kolsch. We visited Iowa Taproom last fall the first time I had it and I must say I was a bit apprehensive as I thought the Kolsch style with a coffee adjunct just wouldn’t be that great….but I was completely off in that thinking.

Here’s more on this brew:Our Herr of the Dog Kolsch with a healthy dose of Peruvian light roast coffee added before kegging. A delightfully different beer. Coming in at 4.6%

This is an anytime of day beer. The coffee nose is intoxicating and the flavor isn’t overpowering coffee but definitely there and delicious. I want this with my bacon and eggs or for a post meal drink. If you’re not into the Kolsch style I promise you’ll still dig this beer. Coffee and beer lovers can rejoice, Lion Bridge nailed it with this brew! I just hope it’s still on tap for this coming weekend!

coffee kolsch.jpg

Onto the seasonal release of Gobble Wobble. There are many beers that mark the beginning of fall for me…Founders Breakfast Stout is one for sure and Lion Bridge Gobble Wobble is another! Here’s more on this brew:

Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels set the table, but this rich, malty brown ale is the main dish. No Thanksgiving table is complete without a glass or two of this hearty brew.

Gobble Wobble is an Imperial Brown ale that is aged in Wild Turkey barrels. This is the perfect beer for the chilly fall months as the nuttiness that the brown ale gives you is not necessarily consumed by the booziness of the barrel. Don’t get me wrong, the barrel is evident….and makes this beer even more delicious.

Get these and drink these two while you can, they may not be around much longer!


Guest Review by sLim: Barn Town Brewery

barn town.jpegThanks for the great review sLim!

A brewery that had a moderate amount of buzz surrounding it before opening in Spring of this year was Barn Town Brewing. It’s located in far West Des Moines, in a strip mall with several other new local businesses. Because of this, it’s nothing special from the outside but it does still catch your eye when you drive by.

barn town.png

Upon walking in, I noticed the old timey, country-ish decor and atmosphere that the name suggests they’d have. It’s not my fav per se but it’s well done and I thought the staff rocking flannel shirts was a nice touch. They feature a crowler machine which I’m glad to see more and more breweries switching to. The design on their crowlers is really neat too!

barn town2.png

Like a lot of breweries, they started out with just few of their own beers and nothing too noteworthy. Very quickly however, they made the smart decision to offer a bunch of different pale ales & IPA’s (7 out of 17 in their current lineup). Even smarter of them was for most of them to be the hazy variety that are made with popular hops like citra, mosaic, amarillo, etc. This definitely brings in the hopheads and on the Thursday night I was there, the place was full. The quality of the beers justifies this as all 4 beers I tried were fantastic and i’ve heard nothing negative about the beers here from anyone…hop forward brew or otherwise.

Beer menu link – Here are the beers I tried and my thoughts on said beers:


  1. Contrary Reaction (3.75/5) – Berliner Weisse – It’s a fun little sour, good balance of sourness and tartness. They mention an apple note which I got and it was pleasant

  2. Hop Skewer (4.75/5) – Hazy, dry-hopped IPA w/ el dorado & citra hops – Oh yeah, it was hazy alright. This was awesome, I knew little about el dorado hops going into this but I now know that I like them. The best thing about this beer was that it was juicy and not bitter…AND it also wasn’t dank. Sometimes these types of beers have a lingering onion-y note that I can’t stand. They also may have the cat-piss aroma. This beer had neither.

  3. Beggars Night (3.75/5) – Pumpkin and sweet potato ale – I enjoyed this; just on the brink of being too much pumpkin but you should know what you’re getting into when you get this style of beer. Smooth and a lot of flavor for a relatively low ABV.

  4. Chowdah (4.25/5) – Double dry-hopped DIPA – This was the one I’d heard about and that seems to have gotten some mention on the beer forums. I wouldn’t go as far as to say you need to try this beer but you won’t be disappointed if you do. I normally don’t like DIPA’s but this is one I can enjoy. Normally they taste like an IPA on steroids to me but this one was smooth and malty without being too sweet. There’s plenty of great hop flavor courtesy of the mosaic hop (which is my personal favorite…hop), but again…not overly so and there’s not much lingering bitterness. Give this one a whirl if come across it.

The beers were terrific and these guys have potential to make a bigger name for themselves if they start distributing. The final thing to try out was their food and man, they delivered here as well! Check out their menu here and you’ll find it’s a fun mix of burgers, “sandos”, wings, and craft mac & cheeses. The mac and cheese is very customizable and you better believe I was all over that. The pasta would have been great by itself but I added on some bleu cheese, buffalo sauce, and fried chicken and due to this, I was loving life. It was the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had. I’m just one person but as far as I’m concerned, Barn Town is now the best brewpub in the DSM area. You should go there if you like beer and other things that are good. 

 barn town 3.png

Big Grove Brewery Richard the Whale Bottle Release set for Saturday, December 2nd!


Huge news from Big Grove Brewery today as they have officially announced the release of Richard the Whale bourbon barrel aged stout bottles. Click HERE to get the presale event website!

Here’s more on this event from Big Grove:


Richard The Whale Release – 2017

On Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, we unleash 2017 Richard the Whale, our imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels. Pre-Sale Tickets to this event are $50 (plus taxes and fees).  Please read everything carefully; there will be no exceptions to the rules below.  The event will take place at our Iowa City location.

Pre-Sale Ticket holders will be guaranteed:

-Admission to the event
-TWO 12 oz. bottles of 2017 Richard the Whale
-ONE 12 oz. bottle of 2017 Richard the Coffee Whale with JBC Roasters Karuthi Kenya Coffee (95 points Coffee Review)
-ONE exclusive Richard the Whale glass

In addition, the first forty (40) people through the door will receive a Golden Ticket, which will give them the opportunity to purchase ONE 12 oz. bottle of Richard the Coffee Whale with JBC Roasters Ninety Plus Gesha Estates Limited Batch #227 Coffee (97 points on Coffee Review). JBC’s Panama Geisha coffee is, perhaps, the most sought after in the world.  For this batch, JBC released only 140 four-ounce packages.  This particular batch of Geisha won the 2017 World’s Brewer’s Cup in June 2017 in Budapest.  We were fortunate enough to get our hands on a small amount.  Please be aware that these bottles of Richard the Coffee Whale were extremely expensive to produce. They will be $25 for those with a Golden Ticket.  You do not need to have a regular Pre-Sale Ticket to receive a Golden Ticket; the first forty people through the door are eligible.
More information on Ninety Plus Gesha Estates Limited Batch #227 coffee can be found here:

We will be loading up our Beer Trailer with some of our favorite barrel-aged beers during the event (which we’ve dubbed our “Barrel-Aged Trailer”), including 2017 Richard the Whale, 2017 Richard the Coffee Whale Karuthi Kenya, Jean Luc Richard, Lagunitas High Westified, Sierra Nevada Coconut Cocoa BA Narwhal, and some special surprises.  We will also have a breakfast buffet available for a small additional charge.

7am – Doors open to Big Grove Brewery & Taproom (Iowa City). The first forty people through the door will receive a Golden Ticket to purchase Richard the Coffee Whale with Ninety Plus Gesha Estates Limited Batch #227 for $25. Our main bars and the “Barrel-Aged Trailer” will be open and pouring.  Growlers and crowlers will be available for purchase of to-go beers at the main bars.

8am – Breakfast buffet opens (additional charge).

9am –  Pre-Sale Ticket holders may begin picking up their bottles of 2017 Richard the Whale and Richard the Coffee Whale.  Golden Ticket holders may begin purchasing their bottle of Richard the Coffee Whale with Ninety Plus Gesha Estates Limited Batch #227 for $25.

10am – Each year we do a special Richard the Whale variant.  This year’s–Jean Luc Richard–is Richard the Whale with Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.  Jean Luc Richard will be tapped and available for purchase at 10am.

12pm- Bottle pick up ends. Event continues with barrel-aged beers and cheer.

-The event is open to the public.  We will serve breakfast starting at 8am and our regular menu starting at 11am.
-2017 Richard the Whale and 2017 Richard the Coffee Whale Karuthi Kenya bottles will be available only to Pre-Sale Ticket holders. No additional bottles will be available for public sale during the event.  Pre-Sale Ticket holders may pick up their bottles between 9am and 12pm during the event.  Pre-Sale Ticket holders who fail to pick up their bottles during this time period will forfeit their bottles.  We will not hold bottles past 12pm.
-2017 Richard the Coffee Whale with Ninety Plus Gesha Estates Limited Batch #227 will be available for purchase for $25 to the first forty people through the door (regardless whether they have a Pre-Sale Ticket).  Golden Ticket holders may purchase a bottle of Richard the Coffee Whale with Ninety Plus Gesha Estates Limited Batch #227 for $25 between 9am and 12pm.
-If you plan to come early and wait in line, please clean up after yourselves.  We will provide trash cans.  Please do not bring open bottles into the taproom.

-All ticket buyers must be 21 years of age or older at the time of purchasing the Pre-Aale Ticket.
-Individuals may purchase only one Pre-Sale Ticket. If an individual’s name appears on more than one ticket, all tickets and bottle sales will be null and void.  This is to ensure more people have access to this release.
-NO PROXIES. The individual who purchased the Pre-Sale Ticket must be present with a valid ID and print out or mobile confirmation of his/her Pre-Sale Ticket.
-Pre-Sale Tickets are non-transferrable. You must enter the name of the person attending at the time of purchase.
-We will be monitoring the line to ensure the first forty people receive Golden Tickets.  Please be respectful of all attendees. If different members of your party arrive at different times, please do not invite them to join you at the front of the line.