Eat Here! St. Burch Tavern; Iowa City, IA

IMG_0243.JPGEver since hearing about the purchase of what was the former Atlas restaurant by the BIg Grove/Pullman group and the announcement of changing it to a fresh seafood bar I’ve been chomping at the bit to visit. Finally, I got to head to St. Burch on Friday night and I must say, my expectations were exceeded.

I did call and make reservations which was a good idea since the place was absolutely packed. We waited down in the den which has sweet vibe to it. A ton of cocktails to choose from and a beer list that included some Big Grove offerings. I kept it a beer night had a couple blood orange arms race although next time I might have to try a couple of cocktails as they looked mighty tasty. After a brief wait our table was ready and I must say, St. Burch’s menu is tough to order from just because of so many terrific sounding options. Fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, chops, etc. all available and all mouth watering. Click HERE for a link to their menu.

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We started off with the seafood tower, which you can see by the picture, I enjoyed a bit too much as I didn’t even get a picture of the food. There are 2 different “tower” options, one that feeds 2-3 and one that feeds 5-6. We got the 2-3 and it was excellent. Fresh oysters on the half shell, two different kinds I believe, salmon spread, shrimp cocktail, and tuna tartare. All excellent, the oysters didn’t stand a chance. Fresh and delicious. My table shared a bunch of entrees. We went with the Duroc pork chop, 2 orders of the lobster pot pie, and 3 fried oyster sliders. I enjoyed them all but the pork chop and the lobster pot pie were simply amazing. The pot pie is something you just have to order because it’s that awesome and you’ll regret not getting it if you don’t. The chop was cooked perfectly and served on a bed of cheddar cheese grits which were excellent as well.

So much good food to order. I did see someone order the short rib and it looked stunning, so I know for sure on my next trip I’ll be getting that and lobster pot pie and the seafood tower and a loose meat sandwich and a shit ton of oysters…… Two HUGE thumbs up to St. Burch, a restaurant that Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area needed. Cheers to Chef Smart and Cory Kent for handling a busy ass night shucking oysters and getting folks seated. Great time here, can’t wait to get back. Until then you guys need to eat here!

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Big Grove releasing Easy Eddy cans and new Hazy Pale Ale called “Starla” Saturday April 21st!

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OOOHHHHHHH YEAH!!!!!! Big Grove brewery will be releasing a small amount of their Easy Eddy in cans on Saturday the 21st of April . It will be a very limited amount of cans available but it will be at both Big Grove locations. These will be flying out so if you’re in the area get there quick and you might as well stay for a release of a brand new hazy pale ale called Starla. Here’s more on Eddy:

Flaked wheat and oats make for a brilliant golden haze in this Unfiltered IPA. Brewed with low bitterness and hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Easy Eddy showcases juicy tropical aromatics of pineapple and mango.

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Big Grove is in the midst of releasing core of their brews to cans and the Easy Eddy release comes as a nice surprise. More news on the canning line will be coming from this brewery in the future as well as more release news… DIG IT!

2018 The Tappening Set for Dubuque on Saturday, June 9th!

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The City of Dubuque will once again host The Tappening this summer. This year’s event will be on Saturday, June 9th from noon-4pm. Below is an early list of participating breweries; stay tuned for more breweries and hopefully a specific beer list as well. Click HERE for a link to the event and ticket information!

7 Hills Brewing

Backpocket

Bent River Brewing

Big Grove

Catfish Charlie’s

Confluence Brewing

Duber – Dubuque Bier Co.

FireTrucker Brewery

Franklin Street Brewing Co

Front Street Brewing

Galena Brewing Co

Generations Brewing Company

Iowa Brewing CO

Jubeck Brewery

Millstream

Potosi Brewery

Prairie street Brewing Co.

Big Grove Brewery Cans Coming in April!

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Big Grove Brewery will be putting their first cans into market this coming April with the release of First Launch, a double dry hopped IPA and then May will see the release of 4 of Big Groves core brews to cans; Boomtown, Arms Race, IPA, and West Main Wheat. Here’s the link to a great Press Citizen article with some great video on the release.

https://www.press-citizen.com/story/entertainment/2018/03/29/big-grove-brewery-can-their-beers-sell-iowa-city-cedar-rapids-stores-beyond/462300002/

Big things happening at Big Grove; can’t wait!

A Trip to Thew Brewing; Cedar Rapids Newest Brewery

thew.jpgOn Sunday afternoon I was finally able to head down to Thew Brewing. Thew and Local Pour restaurant have taken over Diagonal drive and 2nd street to make it a pretty great spot to check out in Cedar Rapids. Thew opened about a week ago or so ago, right around St. Patrick’s Day and have now gone to regular hours except being closed on Mondays. Here’s Thew’s mission statement:

Built on a foundation of passion for great beer. Built for the community. Built for you.

Since 2017, Thew Brewing Company has been dedicated to enriching every community it touches. In addition to crafting the finest of ales, we aim to make the world a better place to live. We are excited to invite you along for our journey.

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My first impression of the place was how cool their logo and branding is. Colorful, vibrant, and easy to recognize. The taproom itself was exactly what I was hoping for, tap lines full and ready, a couple of TVs showing March Madness, customers thoroughly enjoying themselves, wait staff who can talk beer and you give specifics on every beer you try and good company. Just a great feel at Thew taproom. They don’t offer food but they will soon have food trucks parked out back and you can also bring in food from other places.

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Alright, onto the beers. When I was there Thew offered three different flight options as well as buying full pours and half pours of their brews, which I think is a terrific idea. I went with the IPA flight, here are my notes:

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**Euchre** – pale wheat ale – 7.5% – I loved the spice from the hops on this beer. Very refreshing and with some excellent citrus flavors and the peppery spice finishes it off nicely. The ABV is remarkable hidden as this drinks like you could put many down. Will be even better this summer.

**Neon Golden** – pale ale – 6% – this was an interesting pale ale. Not sure on the hop profile but I got almost like a coffee/smoke flavor on this one. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, thought it was very good actually, just threw me off. So far, 2 for 2 from Thew!

**Tickle Torture** – New England IPA 7.7% – this beer was so nice I had to have it twice. The haze craze continues with Thew’s offering and they nailed it. The nose on this really shines with fruit and the creamy mouthfeel and flavor follow smoothly. Wonderful beer, probably will get only better. I’d like more of this please!

**Old and In the Way** – Double IPA- 8.5% – another solid offering from Thew. Their take on a West Coast style IPA and hit on the spots you would associate with that style. Nice hoppy bitterness and resin and pine flavor. Looking forward to what else Thew brews up in the IPA category/subcategory!

After the flight I knew I wanted to try this Irish Stout that was on nitro. I consider myself a big fan of Guinness. It’s a beer I don’t really tire of, and so I had to try Thew’s Beer for Leprechaun’s:

**Beer for Leprechauns** – Irish Stout – 4.3% – yup, this’ll do. Picturing many of these going down the hatch next year for St. Patty’s Day. Tobacco, chocolate, and just a kiss of coffee. If you’re a Guinness fan, you’ll love this. Hope to have my fridge stocked with this beer in the future!

Overall, I was beyond impressed with this place. The fact that Thew is barely 2 weeks old and kicking out some terrific beers already is remarkable. It’s only going to get better folks, this place will be kicking out some of the best beers in Iowa sooner than later.

Benz Beverage Depot Announce 14th Annual Beerfest Set for May 12th!

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The following comes from Benz Facebook page, stay tuned for participating breweries and beer availability:

Details

14th Annual Benz Beerfest
Tickets available in-store or online at benzbeerfest.com

$40- VIP Ticket (Limit 700)
$30- General Admission

$5 in store discount (per ticket) from March 1st – April 31st

VIP tickets come with a special Benz Beerfest tasting glass and it allows you to come in to sample beer an hour before it is open to the public.

1:00pm-2:00pm (VIP hour)
2:00pm-5:00pm (General Admission)

Madhouse Brewing Announces 2018 Carpe Diem Release Party for Friday March 2nd!

madhouseOne of my favorite beers is going to be available again! Starting this Friday, Carpe Diem will once again grace our presence and if you are in the Des Moines area you need to hit up the Madhouse Taproom to get a taste of this terrific brew! Here’s more from a Madhouse Brewing press release:

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The official release event for Carpe Diem will be held at Madhouse on Friday, March 2nd.
Doors open at 4pm!
  • Bottle sales will begin promptly at 4pm.
  • Distribution will depend on what stock is remaining after the release party.
  • As always, bring your favorite bottles for sharing!
Carpe Diem is a bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Breakfast Stout made with oats, cacao nibs, Kona coffee, and Iowa maple syrup. 13.5% ABV.

The Iowa Beer Blog Presents: 2018 Iowa IPA and Pale March Madness Tournament!

beermadness.pngIf you haven’t checked out iowabeerblog.blogspot.com you need to get over there and check it out as the guy has been posting some great articles and news. He’s also found @iowabeerblog on twitter. He came up with a sweet march madness style bracket for Iowa brewed IPAs and pale ales and the voting starts tomorrow. So check out his site or get on twitter and start voting. What’s your favorite to win? Do you have a dark horse? This should be fun to watch. Cheers iowabeerblog and have fun!

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