Lua Oktoberfest party set for this Saturday (9/17)!

Des Moines will be the place to be this Saturday as Lua Brewing will be celebrating Oktoberfest with a parking lot party! Plenty of delicious food, activities, and of course beer awaits you! Here’s more info courtesy of Lua’s FACEBOOK page!

Join us on Saturday, September 17 for our biggest event of the year: Lua’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Celebration. We’re releasing TWO Oktoberfest-style beers, bringing in authentic German 1 liter tankards, and throwing a huge party to mark the occasion in true München style.
We’re converting our entire parking lot into a huge Oktoberfest tent, bringing in a stage with awesome live bands, and releasing authentic Oktoberfest food and beer, along with much more. This is Lua’s largest event of the year. Read on for more details!

Presale tickets are available at Tickets are $18 and include admission to the event, a take-home Lua-branded 1 liter authentic German tankard (the same style and brand used in Munich), a full 1L fill of either festival beer, and discounted beer refills.
Admission only tickets are available for $5. Day-of tickets will be $22.
Kids 12 & under are free.
We will not mail physical tickets; ticket purchasers will be placed on a entry list and can arrive at any time on September 17.

-Munich-style Oktoberfest tent
-Two Oktoberfest-Style Beers
-Full tap list of contemporary Lua beers
-Authentic Munich-Style Food from Chef James and Friends
-Live Music courtesy of Some Friends – noon-3pm and Kick! starts at 7pm
-Family Hours 11am-2pm – face painting, balloon animals, henna, and airbrush tattoos
-BAGS TOURNEY – email to sign up
-Sausage Toss Contest
-German Patio Drinking Games including stein holding contest for men and women and STUMP (hammer-nail)
-Prizes for best dressed Oktoberfest patrons
-Commemorative 1 Liter German Tankard to keep

-Bratwursts (we partnered with our friends at Old Station Craft Meats to make authentic bratwursts featuring Lua’s Märzen)
-House Schnitzel
-Bavarian Pretzels with mustard and cheese
-Spaetzle and Cabbage

Our regular taplist will be available, but the stars of the show will be our two beers for the Fest: a Märzen and a Festbier. While often confused, they are in fact two distinct German styles, both with fascinating histories.

Märzen is the amber-hued Oktoberfest lager most often made in the USA for Oktoberfest celebrations. But did you know that Märzen is not the style served at the actual Oktoberfest in Munich?
Rather, the authentic Oktoberfest beer now served in Germany is called Festbier, a pale (golden), flavorful lager.
It’s true. It’s also complicated. Märzen indeed was the traditional beer served at Munich’s autumnal celebration starting with the first celebration involving alcohol in 1818. At that time, the style most closely resembled a dunkel, deep brown to black in color with roasted characteristics. Today’s lighter, amber Märzen began to appear in the mid-19th century as technological advances made lighter colored (“pale”) malt possible. This new amber-style Märzen took the festival by storm. It was the preferred Oktoberfest lager until the 1970s when Paulaner, one of the six traditional Munich breweries (the others being Spaten, Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu) began offering a golden lager that it believed would appeal to Germans’ increasing favoritism toward paler beer. This style, later dubbed “Festbier,” was an immediate hit, and by the 1990s, Festbier had become *the* authentic Oktoberfest bier.

Ironically, America’s continuing association of Märzens with Oktoberfest is one of the few instances where American beer norms are perhaps more traditional than our German counterparts.

Lua’s devotion to authenticity in European drinking traditions made our brewing an authentic Festbier an inevitability. But no American Oktoberfest celebration is complete without the amber-hued Märzen that traditionally marks the coming of autumn in the Americas. So to celebrate the right way, we made both. Like all of our continental-style beers, expect unparalleled and painstaking attention to detail and authenticity in the creation and presentation of these classic lager styles.

Oliver’s Oktoberfest (5.7%) is an amber Märzen-style lager brewed with 100% German malts, hops, and yeast. A five-step mash complete with a decoction resulted in a beer that drinks super clean with low bitterness and classic notes of toasted cracker and caramel maltiness.
Festbier (5.2%) was brewed in collaboration with our friends and fellow German-loving lagerheads at Confluence Brewing. Festbier is similar to Oliver’s in that it uses 100% German ingredients and a five step, single decoction mash. Festbier, however, is golden in color and features lighter flavor notes of rich biscuity malt.

Come try both authentic Oktoberfest-style beers and see which you prefer!

A regular admission ticket ($18 in advance, $22 at the door if available) gets you in plus a 1 Liter Oliver’s Oktoberfest branded mug and a 1 Liter (33.8 ounce) pour of your choice of Märzen or Festbier.

Why 1 Liter? Because liters traditionally are the only size served at Oktoberfest. Want less than a liter of lager? In Munich, you’d order a Radler/Shandy, which is a full liter of half beer and half lemonade or soda. Both will be available!

In addition to traditional Oktoberfest beers and pour sizes, our regular beers and sizes will be available.

Come eat, drink, and party like a German all day on September 18 at Historic Sherman Hill’s oldest craft brewery.

A Stop at Barn Town Brewery…Iowa’s Best New Brewery

barn town2017 brought many great things to the Iowa beer scene. More beers on our shelves, expansion of TG and Big Grove, brewers brewing some of best beers in the midwest, and also the introduction of some new breweries in Iowa. One of the newest breweries is no secret as their beers have been all over social media and with their slow but steady process of getting their beers on Eastern Iowa lines, more and more Iowans have been able to enjoy them. The brewery, obviously, is Barn Town.


I’ve had a few of their beers on tap at 30hop and Tin Roost but finally got to make a quick stop at the brewery itself as I was passing through Des Moines. A very easy trip right off of I-80 in a newer developed area that is very close to Jordan Creek Mall for any shopping aficionados, (beer helps shopping), Barn Town was the perfect pit stop after a long ride from Colorado. College Football games on their many TVs, a shuffleboard table against the back wall, and most important for my family is that it is kid friendly.

So I decided to do a sampler of 4 and enjoyed the 2 stouts and berliner-weisse I had but the Hop Skewer really stuck out to me so I got a regular draw of that. A murky juice bomb of an IPA that leaves you wanting another glass. Barn Town did a great job with this beer, good enough for me to get a crowler to take home.

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Barn Town’s menu is pretty unique. Some great sounding sandwiches, burgers, sides, and more. My wife decided on the crab rangoon chicken sandwich with is exactly what it sounds like. Fried chicken with a rangoon/cream cheese spread, chili sauce and wontons. It was very tasty, something I would order again. What did my fat ass order? Oh, just the Poutine burger… two patties, covered with melted cheese and gravy and served over know..the lighter fare. It was delicious, plus their ranch that they serve with the fries is very good.

So many good things happening in the Iowa beer world and Barn Town has just added to it. The Des Moines area has a great thing going with breweries like Barn Town, 515, Firetrucker, Confluence, Exile and also the beer bars; El Bait, Iowa Taproom, Keg Stand, etc. A 2 hour trip to Des Moines needs to happen more often for myself, although I’m very content with my local offerings, it’s nice to see what’s going on elsewhere in the state.

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.

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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!

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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. 

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Guest Beer Review by sLim: Firetrucker Under Lager: Search and Rescue IPL

Thanks to sLim for taking the time out for a review. If you’re in Des Moines you might find him slinging some suds at El Bait Shop! Always good to have sLim keep us posted with Central Iowa happenings in the beer world.

aviary_1422738811110A new beer from a new central Iowa brewery is Firetrucker’s Under Lager: Search and Rescue IPL. Once again, Firetrucker takes on a style that is hard to find on shelves and in drinking establishments. They’ve previously brewed a California Common, a smoked sour porter (collab with C.I.B), and a hard ginger beer. The hops that were used during the boil were magnum and cascade. It was dry hopped with cascade and northern brewer.The india pale lager is a style that is best described as a hybrid type of brew.TIt was dry hopped with cascade and northern brewer. Per Greg Kitsock from Washington Post,  It’s brewed at colder temperatures like any lager would be; but then is hopped much past the point that a typical lager would be. One has to be careful during that process as a lager cannot withstand too aggressive of hopping.

Here’s more on this beer from the brewery: “Our India Pale Lager has a complex flavor profile with sweet grapefruit and citrus up front that leads into a lingering minty bitterness”

My personal opinion…I get more of the citrus flavor than anything else. It’s a balanced, hoppy front but the back end is where this beer shines. It has a lasting, floral taste that creates a merge between a fine pilsner and a flavorful, sessionable ale. I applaud Firetrucker’s efforts to think outside the box and release a beer that no other local breweries have tried their hand at. This beer is a hit and I look forward to seeing them try their hand at various other styles…sour, imperial stout perhaps? We can only hope but the word on the street is the next seasonal to be released is a double-mango IPA; which I’m extremely excited for. Des Moines already had some breweries come out with great double IPA’s like Confluence’s Rock Dodger and 515’s Hopititus C. It’ll be interesting to see how Firetrucker’s take on this highly popular style goes over.

STYLE: India Pale Lager (IPL)

ABV: 4.9%

PURCHASED AT: Firetrucker Brewery, 716 Southwest 3rd Street in Ankeny

POUR: Dark gold with a thin, white head.

AROMA: hoppy with a touch of grapefruit.

TASTE: definitely hoppy up front but with a thicker, malty finish that more resembles a lager than an ale

Untappd rating: 3.4/5

My rating: 3.75/4

My recommendation: I enjoy this unique style. At 4.9% ABV it’s sessionable and delivers plenty of hoppy, ale flavor.

Madhouse Brewing Barleywine Release Party Nov. 20 info


2014 Madhouse Barleywine Release Party

Where: Madhouse Brewing Company. 501 Scott Ave. Des Moines, IA. 50309

When: Thursday, Nov. 20th. 6-10pm.

What: Madhouse will be hosting an open house to celebrate the release to two barrel-aged Barleywines:

2014 Barleywine. Aged 10 months in Tennessee whiskey barrels. 10.5% abv. Aromas of butterscotch, whiskey, caramel and oak. Rich and creamy texture with flavors of brown sugar, fig, molasses, and baking spice.

2014 Gnarlywine. Barelywine aged 20 months in Jasper Winery Port barrels. 13.0% abv. Dark fruit and currant aromas blend with caramel and chocolate flavors.


This will be the first opportunity to purchase bottles of these products. Tastings and pints will also be available. We will also be opening remaining bottles of 2013 Barleywine for sampling.


Bottle Share: Guests are encouraged to bring bottles of home-brewed or commercial examples of their favorite Barleywine for sharing.


Meats and cheese samples will be available which are selected by Madhouse staff to pair with Barleywine.


Music provided by DJ Brodacious

For more info-

Brewing phone- 515-988-5535