Coming Soon: Avery Coconut Porter, New Belgium Botanical IPA, Bell’s Special Lager

Quite a few beers will be hitting the shelves in Eastern Iowa in the coming months along with Odell joining the state in distro. On to the news:

avery.jpeg**Avery Coconut Porter** – according to beerstreetjournal.com this beer will become available this May and will be a rum barrel aged beer that will check in at 9.5% and come in 22 oz bottles. More from Avery and beerstreetjournal:

Avery Coconut Porter is a new entry in the brewery’s Botanicals & Barrels Series. The series recently saw the addition of another beer, Vanilla Bean Stout.

Avery Coconut Porter is a chocolatey porter, brewed with fresh coconut, and aged in rum barrels.

Rare rum barrels and an audacious amount of coconut complement the chocolatey nature of this decadent porter.

new belgium.png**New Belgium Hop Botanical Imperial IPA**- the Hop Kitchen Series continues for New Belgium as Botanical Imperial IPA is available this month and might be on draft lines now. This beer checks in at 8.5% and will be draft only release. Here’s more on this beer from New Belgium:

Then we intensified the citrusy, herbal and spicy hop flavors with a blast of essential oils from backyard botanicals basil, sage and juniper to create the freshest IPA around. A touch of dark caramel malt adds a nice cushiony bed to the sip before the beer transitions into a warming, dry finish. Taste the bounty of Botanical Imperial IPA.

bells.jpeg**Bells Quinannan Falls Special Lager – another canned offering is coming from the folks at Bell’s Brewing Company as Quinannan Falls Special Lager will be available in 12 oz cans starting in June. Here’s more from Bells:

The end result is a dry-hopped lager that possesses a crisp, dry bitterness you would expect from a German pilsner, but the use of highly aromatic Simcoe hops from the Pacific Northwest, evoke the fragrant pine forests that inspired this beer.

Baron’s Best of 2015: The Final Chapter

best ofLet’s finish this drug out list off once and for all. With 2015 in the books, 2016 is starting out on a great foot as Lion Bridge’s Barrel-aged January has kicked off and the tapping of Royal Wee is a day away (Wed. 13th). Buster from Big Grove is getting released at the end of the month and Quarter Barrel has opened their doors. Lots of great things in store for Iowa in 2016.

*Big Grove Brewery Desperate Measures – this golden sour big groveale aged in Opus One wine barrels was released along the same time that Richard the Whale was for Big Grove. A well balanced sour that gives you that sour pucker but some fruit sweetness and bit of barrel that help this beer make the list. Would love this for a summer brew too!


nelson.jpeg*Alpine Nelson
– I never had the opportunity to try any Alpine beers prior to Green Flash acquiring them but I’m guessing that Nelson couldn’t have been much better than what we got in bottles…I could be wrong but I really enjoyed this beer. The Nelson Sauvin hop shines in this beer and goes perfectly with the rye malt. Lots of flavor, excellent balance, and extremely drinkable!

lag.jpeg*Lagunitas Born Yesterday – bottled and shipped the very same day? Yes, Lagunitas pulls this one off and the freshness of this beer really showed. Citrus and tropical fruits shine in this 6.5% beer and if it was readily available this would always be in my fridge. I hope Lagunitas releases this one again….so good.

*Lion Bridge Brewery Yard Sale – so happy to see this lion bridgebeer back on tap at Lion Bridge as another citra hop forward brew makes the list. I had this for the 1st time back in May and remember getting two growlers filled after my first taste. Such a great brew.

515*515 Brewing The Basil Protocol – I’m a sucker for a good farmhouse/saison which this beer is, but I admittedly am not the biggest fan of basil. I like it ok, just not a bunch, so when I tried this beer I went in thinking I wouldn’t dig it. I was totally wrong. The basil is there but it meshes so well with the cucumber and pepperiness of the saison to make a wonderfully refreshing beer. Not to mention enjoying it when it was 100 degrees outside…another perfect summertime beer!

firetrucker*Firetrucker Tropical Burn – might be one of the hottest (popular) beers made in Iowa right now and rightfully so. Huge mango and tropical fruits on the nose and on the palate. Galaxy and citra with fresh mangoes makes this a well-balanced double IPA. Very drinkable, but be aware of that 9.1% ABV.

*Big Grove 15 Minuteman – part of the “Citra Triad” release from Big big groveGrove. 15 Minuteman once again showcases the citra hop. Super smooth and refreshing, this is another beer that can get you into trouble because of it’s drinkability. Minuteman and Trident made for a fun couple trips to Big Grove over the holidays!

bells.jpeg*Bells 30th Anniversary Stout – I really loved this beer. It wasn’t barrel-aged but man, this was packed with flavor. Tons of dark chocolate, some dark fruit, and as with many stouts got better as it warmed. I wish I would have the restraint to have aged a couple but I saw them, salivated, drank them.

*Big Grove/3rd Base Que Amarillo – am I homer for Iowa big grovebeers or what? That wasn’t the intention but it’s hard not to be when so many of our local brewers are kicking out great beers and Que Amarillo is one that stood out to me. I could be wrong, but I believe this was brewed with Jim at 3rd Base Brewery…feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. A Berliner-weisse that is hopped to high hell with Amarillo hops. If you don’t like your Berliner-Weisses’ too sour, this one’s for you. Tasty and refreshing. Maybe if I ask Bill and Jim nicely they will keep brewing it?

calling.jpeg*Boulevard The Calling – Boulevard did a major overhaul of their portofolio in 2015 and some where hits and some not so much in my opinion. One beer that they did a great job on was The Calling. I admittedly am not a huge fan of their Single-Wide IPA so when I saw that they were adding a double IPA to their Smokestack 4 pack series I was excited to try it. Oranges and pineapple with a bit pine round out this heavily hopped double.

space.jpeg*Central Waters Space Ghost – an imperial stout that is brewed with ghost peppers. It sounds like a one and done beer as some of these can be overwhelming with heat, but this is beautifully balanced and gives you just enough heat but not overpowering to go along with the richness from the stout.

*Big Grove Famine – I got to pour for Big Grove at an famiineevent in Dubuque last spring. I got to pour Arms Race, IPA, Que Sera, and….FAMINE! What a treat that was. Introducing a community to this beer and to Big Grove was exciting and I would love to do it again. When people asked what it tasted like, Collin (fellow pourer) and I had to take a drink just to remind ourselves how good it was. Part of the Hopocolaypse series this past Spring. I hope to see a return this year as well!

iabeerbaron’s 10 Beers for Summer

The weather is getting warmer, the grass has just been mowed, and there are various meats sizzling on the grill. You’re conflicted as you reach into your beer fridge and try to decide what beer to go with. Do you go with a lighter pils, a higher ABV IPA, or a dark, thick, stout? The answer? All three are perfect for summer weather! Now I know that most people like to have sessionable beers for summer, but don’t think that a stout doesn’t go down smooth and refreshing on a nice summer evening, or that a big IPA can’t be enjoyed on your deck as you watch your kids play. I could go the route of listing a bunch of sessionable beers but let’s make it fun throw everyone in the pool. All styles are fair game this time of year, and here is my breakdown of what to enjoy this summer. (All available in Eastern Iowa).  Sidenote: I know that I most likely left out some beers unintentionally so feel free to add your favorites.

madhouse10. Madhouse Hopburst
Brewery: Madhouse Brewing
       City: Newton, IA
       Style: American IPA
       ABV: 7.2%
Website: www.madhousebeer.com 
A wonderful American IPA brewed right here, in the great state of Iowa. A great balance of malt and hops make this an easy pick for a very enjoyable summer beer. Enjoy this beer with a bratwurst loaded with sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and onions or a thick ribeye cooked medium rare. Perfect!

big honey9. Millstream Big Honey Hefeweisen 
Brewery: Millstream Brewing
     City: Amana, IA
     Style: Weizen Bock
     ABV: 9.2%
     Website: www.millstreambrewing.com

Another Iowa brewed beer making the list and this is a big boy! A huge aroma and flavor of bananas, rounded out by cloves and tons of honey make this a fantastic beer for a crisp fall day/evening, but also makes for the perfect ending to a warm summer day as well. Enjoy this beer with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to end the evening. 

 

bells8. Bells Oberon
Brewery: Bells Brewery
    City: Kalamazoo, MI
    Style: Wheat Ale
    ABV: 5.8%
    Website: www.bellsbeer.com
Moving onto a more “sessionable” and distinct beer for the summer. Bells Oberon ale is usually on everyones’ summer list when it’s time to talk summer beers, and rightfully so. Citrus and spice flavor make this a very refreshing summer beer pick. Pair this with some grilled fish and a tomato avocado salad and all will be well with your day. 

 

tangerine7. Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat
Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery
    City: Eureka, CA
    Style: Fruit Beer
    ABV: 5%
    Website: www.lostcoast.com

Summer can’t be complete without a trip out west to California. A staple in my fridge throughout the summer months is Lost Coast’s Tangerine Wheat. Not only do I enjoy one or two of these but it is the perfect beer to have on hand for the BMC drinkers to enjoy as well. It seems that most BMC loyalists will always welcome a fruit beer, not sure why, but anyway, this brew has a low ABV and a refreshing tangerine presence. Tough to pair fruit beers but a light salad with a tangerine wheat vinaigrette would do nicely or some shrimp tacos with spicy salsa.

saison dupont6. Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale
  Brewery: Brasserie Dupont
     City: Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium
     Style Farmhouse/Saison
     ABV: 6.5%
     Website: brasserie-dupont.com/
I have really taking a liking to saison styles in the last 6-7 months and it’s all thanks to this beer. Saison Dupont has everything you need in a saison: barnyard qualities, grassiness, banana, black pepper spice, and citrus. Amazing beer for a summer day. This beer would go perfect with a herb seasoned beer can chicken stuffed with lemons and onions!

 

all day ipa5. Founders All Day IPA
Brewery: Founders Brewing
    City: Grand Rapids, MI
    Style: IPA
    ABV: 4.7%
    Website: www.foundersbrewing.com 

Association sessionable to IPA isn’t usually ones’ first thought. But Founders Brewing has created a beer that will appease both hopheads and also people who want to sit around at a camp out and drink a six-pack or two of really good beer. Take it on a picnic with a bucket of fried chicken and coleslaw!

summit4. Summit Oatmeal Stout
   Brewery: Summit Brewing
     City: St. Paul, MN
     Style: Sweet Stout
     ABV: 4.7%
     Website: www. summitbrewing.com 

A popular summer destination for my family is supper at The General Store Pub in Stone City, IA. Why? Good bar food, a great locale, and Summit Brewing Oatmeal Stout on tap! A wonderfully, creamy stout, easy to drink and hard to put down your glass. Goes well with some fried foods or just on its own.

tank 73. Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
  Brewery: Boulevard Brewing
     City: Kansas City, MO
     Style: Farmhouse
     ABV: 8.5%
     Website: www.boulevard.com 

A beer that is moving up my “favorites” list is Boulevard’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. Boulevard hits an absolute home run with this brew, and coming in a 8.5%, a bomber of this,  an all-beef hot dog with sauerkraut, jalapeños  spicy, mustard, dill pickle relish, and an L.A. Dodger game will do just fine.

 

green flash2. Green Flash Imperial IPA
 Brewery: Green Flash Brewery
     City: San Diego, CA
     Style: Imperial IPA
     ABV: 9.4%
     Website: www.greenflashbrew.com 

Man do I love this beer. The description of this beer says, “It’s all about the hops!” and there’s no doubt about it. An in-your-face Double IPA with amazing citrus flavor that is slightly balance by malts. My favorite Green Flash beer so far. Smokey, sticky, mouth-watering BBQ ribs and a bomber of this Imperial IPA make for quite an evening.

 

pseudo sue1. Toppling Goliath pseudoSue
Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewery
    City: Decorah, IA
    Style: American Pale Ale
    ABV: 5.8%
    Website: www.tgbrews.com  

Described as an American Pale Ale this beer has more hop presence than some IPAs on the market. If you are craft beer lover from Iowa I’m guessing you’ve had this beer, if not, you must try! All craft beer lovers for that matter! Toppling Goliath is starting to put their name on the craft beer map nationally and this is one of the beers responsible for that. Hard to come by in bottles for the time being but hopefully soon they will be cranking them out quick enough to meet or come close to the demand. Second to none and goes great with some spicy chicken wings, a medium cooked hamburger with grilled mushrooms and swish or  just enjoy this work of art by itself.

**Once again, a fun list to come up with, a fun list to drink, but I know I left some beers out. Feel free to add comments and let me know what your favorite beers of summer are. Cheers! **

iabeerbaron's 10 Beers for Summer

The weather is getting warmer, the grass has just been mowed, and there are various meats sizzling on the grill. You’re conflicted as you reach into your beer fridge and try to decide what beer to go with. Do you go with a lighter pils, a higher ABV IPA, or a dark, thick, stout? The answer? All three are perfect for summer weather! Now I know that most people like to have sessionable beers for summer, but don’t think that a stout doesn’t go down smooth and refreshing on a nice summer evening, or that a big IPA can’t be enjoyed on your deck as you watch your kids play. I could go the route of listing a bunch of sessionable beers but let’s make it fun throw everyone in the pool. All styles are fair game this time of year, and here is my breakdown of what to enjoy this summer. (All available in Eastern Iowa).  Sidenote: I know that I most likely left out some beers unintentionally so feel free to add your favorites.

madhouse10. Madhouse Hopburst
Brewery: Madhouse Brewing
       City: Newton, IA
       Style: American IPA
       ABV: 7.2%
Website: www.madhousebeer.com 
A wonderful American IPA brewed right here, in the great state of Iowa. A great balance of malt and hops make this an easy pick for a very enjoyable summer beer. Enjoy this beer with a bratwurst loaded with sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and onions or a thick ribeye cooked medium rare. Perfect!

big honey9. Millstream Big Honey Hefeweisen 
Brewery: Millstream Brewing
     City: Amana, IA
     Style: Weizen Bock
     ABV: 9.2%
     Website: www.millstreambrewing.com

Another Iowa brewed beer making the list and this is a big boy! A huge aroma and flavor of bananas, rounded out by cloves and tons of honey make this a fantastic beer for a crisp fall day/evening, but also makes for the perfect ending to a warm summer day as well. Enjoy this beer with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to end the evening. 

 

bells8. Bells Oberon
Brewery: Bells Brewery
    City: Kalamazoo, MI
    Style: Wheat Ale
    ABV: 5.8%
    Website: www.bellsbeer.com
Moving onto a more “sessionable” and distinct beer for the summer. Bells Oberon ale is usually on everyones’ summer list when it’s time to talk summer beers, and rightfully so. Citrus and spice flavor make this a very refreshing summer beer pick. Pair this with some grilled fish and a tomato avocado salad and all will be well with your day. 

 

tangerine7. Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat
Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery
    City: Eureka, CA
    Style: Fruit Beer
    ABV: 5%
    Website: www.lostcoast.com

Summer can’t be complete without a trip out west to California. A staple in my fridge throughout the summer months is Lost Coast’s Tangerine Wheat. Not only do I enjoy one or two of these but it is the perfect beer to have on hand for the BMC drinkers to enjoy as well. It seems that most BMC loyalists will always welcome a fruit beer, not sure why, but anyway, this brew has a low ABV and a refreshing tangerine presence. Tough to pair fruit beers but a light salad with a tangerine wheat vinaigrette would do nicely or some shrimp tacos with spicy salsa.

saison dupont6. Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale
  Brewery: Brasserie Dupont
     City: Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium
     Style Farmhouse/Saison
     ABV: 6.5%
     Website: brasserie-dupont.com/
I have really taking a liking to saison styles in the last 6-7 months and it’s all thanks to this beer. Saison Dupont has everything you need in a saison: barnyard qualities, grassiness, banana, black pepper spice, and citrus. Amazing beer for a summer day. This beer would go perfect with a herb seasoned beer can chicken stuffed with lemons and onions!

 

all day ipa5. Founders All Day IPA
Brewery: Founders Brewing
    City: Grand Rapids, MI
    Style: IPA
    ABV: 4.7%
    Website: www.foundersbrewing.com 

Association sessionable to IPA isn’t usually ones’ first thought. But Founders Brewing has created a beer that will appease both hopheads and also people who want to sit around at a camp out and drink a six-pack or two of really good beer. Take it on a picnic with a bucket of fried chicken and coleslaw!

summit4. Summit Oatmeal Stout
   Brewery: Summit Brewing
     City: St. Paul, MN
     Style: Sweet Stout
     ABV: 4.7%
     Website: www. summitbrewing.com 

A popular summer destination for my family is supper at The General Store Pub in Stone City, IA. Why? Good bar food, a great locale, and Summit Brewing Oatmeal Stout on tap! A wonderfully, creamy stout, easy to drink and hard to put down your glass. Goes well with some fried foods or just on its own.

tank 73. Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
  Brewery: Boulevard Brewing
     City: Kansas City, MO
     Style: Farmhouse
     ABV: 8.5%
     Website: www.boulevard.com 

A beer that is moving up my “favorites” list is Boulevard’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. Boulevard hits an absolute home run with this brew, and coming in a 8.5%, a bomber of this,  an all-beef hot dog with sauerkraut, jalapeños  spicy, mustard, dill pickle relish, and an L.A. Dodger game will do just fine.

 

green flash2. Green Flash Imperial IPA
 Brewery: Green Flash Brewery
     City: San Diego, CA
     Style: Imperial IPA
     ABV: 9.4%
     Website: www.greenflashbrew.com 

Man do I love this beer. The description of this beer says, “It’s all about the hops!” and there’s no doubt about it. An in-your-face Double IPA with amazing citrus flavor that is slightly balance by malts. My favorite Green Flash beer so far. Smokey, sticky, mouth-watering BBQ ribs and a bomber of this Imperial IPA make for quite an evening.

 

pseudo sue1. Toppling Goliath pseudoSue
Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewery
    City: Decorah, IA
    Style: American Pale Ale
    ABV: 5.8%
    Website: www.tgbrews.com  

Described as an American Pale Ale this beer has more hop presence than some IPAs on the market. If you are craft beer lover from Iowa I’m guessing you’ve had this beer, if not, you must try! All craft beer lovers for that matter! Toppling Goliath is starting to put their name on the craft beer map nationally and this is one of the beers responsible for that. Hard to come by in bottles for the time being but hopefully soon they will be cranking them out quick enough to meet or come close to the demand. Second to none and goes great with some spicy chicken wings, a medium cooked hamburger with grilled mushrooms and swish or  just enjoy this work of art by itself.

**Once again, a fun list to come up with, a fun list to drink, but I know I left some beers out. Feel free to add comments and let me know what your favorite beers of summer are. Cheers! **