A Quick Look at the Dubuque Beer Scene: Spotlight on Jubeck New World Brewing

jubeckA few months ago I attended the Potosi Beer Festival in Potosi, WI. A very fun event that I recommend you to check it out, if not for the beer but the scenery as well. After that event, my sister and brother-in-law took me to Jubeck New World Brewing. I’ve intended on going to this place for quite some time and I finally got the chance.

Upon entering the first thing I noticed was the eloquent decor and the comfortable vibe that the brewery gave out. No tvs, no loud music, no kitchen, just a place to order a brew, have some pretzels and converse with a friend or patron sitting at the bar with you. Old-school, throwback feel that made me feel like I was in an episode of cheers, which to me, is very complimentary. A very nice change of pace to the hustle and bustle of some places where you try to talk over the TV, music, or loud patrons.

Jubeck New World Brewing is a small microbrewery located in downtown Dubuque, Iowa. Our mission is to create interesting and delicious craft beer while providing a social space that cultivates conversation and camaraderie. Our community is important to us—it literally funded our startup and continues to shape our business.


The Beer

What seems to be a pretty rotating lineup had a few things that caught my eye. I started with their Apricot IPA. Here’s Jubeck’s description of this beer:

American pale ale style beer finished with a healthy dose of Citra hops and dried apricots, added late in the boil, for a subtle fruity flavor. This is one of Jubeck’s signature brews.

Citra hop definitely present and then fades into a fruity finish. Tasty brew, especially on the warm day we had it. The second beer I tried was their Saison. A style I’m really into and a style a really enjoy trying from the local breweries to get their take. Jubeck didn’t have any adjuncts to their saison, it was the pretty straightforward belgian yeast strain saison, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It was refreshing and did the trick.


They don’t have a kitchen but pretzels and gardettos can hold a guy over. However, there are a few places in Dubuque that foodies and beer lovers can congregate.

*Lot 1 – very solid beer selection that rotates constantly. I’ve been there when they’ve had TG, Surly, and Hoptimum on tap. I can’t comment on the food since I don’t believe I’ve eaten there.

*1st and Main – I had a very good burger and some shrimp tacos here. The beer selection was pretty solid as well. A coffee bender from Surly went well with the burger.

*Copper Kettle – always has Bells Two Hearted (underrated/underappreciated brew) in a bottle and their wings and pork nachos are excellent!

*Brazen – I’m missing out on this one as my brother frequents this place and is bragging about it’s greatness! I definitely need to make this a priority of places to go when I’m in Dubuque next. He’s enjoyed cans of Sue many a time here.

*L May Eatery – terrific pizza. Thin crust with sausage and mushroom was excellent and I believe I enjoyed it with a few Sierra Nevada Pale Ales.

Dubuque may be the biggest untapped (no pun intended) market in the Iowa, especially Eastern Iowa. The beer movement has been slow in Dubuque but is slowly starting to show thanks to the efforts from the folks I listed above. Make sure you get local and check out Jubeck, awesome place and great experience along with super friendly staff.  If you’re in the area, give a few of these places a try!

America’s River Festival BrewFest set for Saturday June 13th in Dubuque, IA

2015_ARF-Brewfest-HeaderThe early planning stages are being worked on but right now I can confirm that Dubuque will be holding a BrewFest on Saturday, June 13th in the Port of Dubuque. This festival will pair local breweries to go along with some great music. More details on the brewfest can be found here:


Gates open at noon for VIP ticket holders ($40) and 1:00 p.m. for general admission ticket holders ($30). Here’s the list as of now of the breweries who will be pouring their delicious brew:

*Another Road
*Deb’s Brewtopia
*Green Flash
*Goose Island
*Great River
*Franklin Street
*Lion Bridge
*Old Man River
*Third Base
*Bent River

I’ll keep you posted if more breweries are added.

**I will be attending and I hope to see you there! Cheers!

Dubuque on Ice Brewfest Set for February 21st, 2015

dubuqueThe 4th annual Dubuque on Ice Brewfest is slated to take place on Saturday, February 21st starting at 1:00 and ending at 5:00 p.m. It takes place at the Mystique Ice Arena in Dubuque with a VIP entrance time slated for noon. $35 general admission and $50 for VIP tickets. Tickets will be on sale starting December 10th. Last year saw many breweries in attendance including Exile, Toppling Goliath, Big Grove Brewery and many more. A great event and I hope to see you there! For more info visit www.dubuquebrewfest.com!

Jubeck’s New World Brewery opening in Dubuque July 17th!

jubeckJay Jubeck has announced that his brewery in Dubuque will be opening their doors on July 17th. They currently feature 5 beers on their website:

Golden Hybrid Beer

A light hybrid session beer of blondish gold hue with a slight honey-like sweetness and a mild herbal hop character.

Lavender Honey-Wheat

A delightfully refreshing light wheat ale with a subtle spicy herbal flavor.

Warrior Stout

A bold imperial stout with a full-bodied, roasty, malty flavor.

Dark IPA

Wonderfully dark and slightly roasty, but not too much roasted malt bitterness.

Apricot Pale Ale

American pale ale style beer finished with a healthy dose of citra hops and dried apricots, added late in the boil, for a subtle fruity flavor.
Jubeck recently interviewed with KCRG to discuss the upcoming opening. Here’s the link to that interview:

Update on new Dubuque Brewery: Jubeck New World Brewing

jubeckI just received the following email from Dave at Jubeck New World Brewing:

  Jay and I have been busy working to bring Jubeck New World Brewing into existence since the completion of our successful (Thank You!!) Kickstarter compaign wrapped up at the end of May. We thought the year’s end would be a good time to give you all an update on the progress so far and what is done and what needs to be done.  As I finished my draft, I realized it’s probably too long and TMI for a lot of our busy friends, so let me summarize here:

  • We have a space: 115 W. 11th St., formerly the location of the Asian Grocery, the 1000 ft2 between the Aragon Tap and the old Asian Gourmet Restaurant.
  • The place had been gutted, so we’re starting from scratch on the build-out.   
  • Build-out is proceeding – we have the place framed out and are in the process of rough plumbing/electric/ventilation work.
  • We’re doing most of the work ourselves and have a lot of work to do; if you’re inclined to lend a hand, please let us know!
  • We’re shooting to have the place ready in March.  Hopefully our licensing will have come through by then too so we can start making beer!
  • Thanks again – this would not be happening without you!

A few more details:  

    Jay and I settled on our location after considering many other properties along the Main/Central corridor and in the Warehouse District.  We settled on 115 W. 11th.  It’s on the north side of 11th between Main St. and Iowa Street.  Our space is 1000 square feet on the street level, with a full, open basement underneath.  We selected this site for numerous reasons:  we liked the location, relatively close to lower Main,  the Warehouse District, Bluff St. etc., and right around the corner from all of the great businesses that have sprung up on Upper Main and the Summer Farmer’s Market.  We’re in a neat historic building with a great landlord Ken Lin that has a lot of enthusiasm for his property, the area and our business.  We’re really happy to be working with him and he’s been helpful at every turn.  The size of the space is on the small size, but having a nice usable basement with a new cement floor and drain will allow us to have our fermentation, cold storage and keg storage down there, making more room for all of you upstairs!

    Ken’s plan for his building is to invest in renovation to make it a nicer space in the long haul, so when the last tenants moved out, he gutted the place to make structural repairs.  He left the old tin ceiling, took the old lath and plaster off the walls exposing the brick beneath, and removed layers of flooring to get back down to the original hardwood.  This will in the end yield a really nice place with a historic feel, but has required quite a bit more work from us for the planning and build-out phases of our venture.

    We took possession of the space at the end of August.  At that time, we only had a shell – there was no water, electric, gas, heat, ac, nothing.  We got a few outlets and electricity turned on , got our plans drawn out, got everybody at the City (Zoning, Building Services, Health, ADA, etc.) to say “yes” in principal, got our building permit and went to work.

    Since then, we’ve made good progress, hit some temporary road blocks, and learned a thing or two about what it takes to put together a commercial space.  So while it’s going a little slower than we had originally hoped, we’re still super excited about how the space will be and looking forward to the day that first batch is happily boiling in the brew kettle.

    A quick summary of the work done since we took possession:

  • Tear out of old ductwork, lines, fixtures no longer in use, and overall clean up of the place
  • The entire facade was replaced, complete with nice new big windows and entry door.
  • The old tin ceiling was blasted and painted and the expsosed brick walls sealed.
  • Subfloor and framing of bathrooms, brewing area, bar area and stairway completed.
  • New furnace and ductwork in.
  • Gas lines run, gas reconnected and HEAT ON! (just in the nick of time).
  • Basement floor epoxied.
  • Old windows closed up and insulated.
  • Rough plumbing drains and vents.


Next on the build-out agenda:

  • Finish rough plumbing, wiring and ventilation (contractors).
  • Drywall.
  • Install cold room in basement.
  • Build shelves in bar area and other storage.
  • Install bar top and tables.
  • Tile brewing area and bar area.
  • Mud, paint drywall.
  • Hang vent hood, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures.
  • Install bathroom floors.
  • Hang ceiling in bathrooms and over fermentation area in the basement.


    So, yes, there’s a lot to do yet, but it’s all headed in the right direction.  At the present, a lot depends on getting our contractors in to finish the rough mechanicals so we can start putting it all back together.

    I was intentionally a bit more descriptive in the “to do” list than I might have been for this reason: if anyone has time or talents they’d like to volunteer to help out on one of these jobs, we’d be very happy to have you.  I should mention that we’ve already had several brave and helpful individuals down to help for an hour or a day or more – thank you very, very much.

    Even though we are still a few months before we get down to actually start brewing beer, it’s already been quite a trip.  Jay and I are excited about how things are unfolding and it is more clear to me everyday that this is going to work and that you, the community, and the City are on our side.  This is, at once, pleasurable, gratifying and humbling.  It is my sincere hope that when you find yourself on 11th St. surrounded by friends and tasting that first pint, you won’t be disappointed.

    Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year,


Restaurant Review: Copper Kettle; Dubuque, IA

copper kettle


Last week I was back in my old stomping grounds of Bellevue, Iowa and my sister had brought to my attention a new restaurant that opened in Dubuque.

She sent me a link that contained descriptions and pictures of the Copper Kettle . As soon as I saw the picture of the scotch egg I was sold. The menu looked unique and very appealing and so I headed to Dubuque salivating. The inside of the restaurant was very inviting, nice Dubuque Brewery memorabilia and a very nice bar. A somewhat open kitchen so you can see how your food is being prepped. It took a while to figure out what I wanted, I decided to start off with a scotch egg. Copper Kettle’s scotch egg is a soft-boiled egg, wrapped in italian sausage, rolled in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. It is served with a mustard sauce and once you mix the runny yolk with the mustard sauce and take a bite, you are in heaven! A very rich dish, but very delicious as well. My main meal was a pork belly sandwich with kimchi slaw. The pork belly was fork tender and the kimchi added the perfect amount of heat and tang to the meal. I also tried my sisters kimchi chili which was excellent and the pulled pork nachos of my brother-in-law, which had homemade pickled jalapeños, were excellent as well. I did not order a beer but their tap lines left a lot to be desired, four taps with Bud Light, Stella, a Potosi brew, and the fourth I can’t recall but I did notice behind the bar a huge selection of Green Flash brews and also Bells Two Hearted, so you don’t need much else.

Here is my sisters review of the Copper Kettle:

I chose to start my meal off with one of their lunch specials of the day – kimchi chili. I had only had kimchi once before (homemade), so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this dish; however, the first bite pleasantly surprised me. The kimchi didn’t overpower the chili but it brought the perfect amount of spice and kick. I would definitely order it again. You could also tell that Copper Kettle uses a higher quality beef which I very much appreciated. My brother, the baron, ordered a Scotch Egg for all of us to try as well. I had a couple bites of this, which was all I needed. It’s a rich dish, and the flavors were outstanding. I loved the spiciness of the sausage. I found myself eating the lettuce garnish with the mustard/mayo spread on the side too. My husband ordered a plate of pulled pork nachos and we all dug in to these. You could taste the smokiness of the pork and it was incredibly tender. I think the nachos were a hit for everyone. For my main meal, I decided to order something on the lighter side to counter all of the heavy appetizers. I ordered the Greek salad. It was light and refreshing dressed with a simple olive oil dressing. The kalamata olives provided the perfect amount of saltiness. I also had a couple bites of my husband’s mushroom & Swiss burger. This was probably my favorite bite of the day – I was craving this burger a couple days later.

 Copper Kettle is doing it right. Their menu is fairly small but every dish on it is made with the utmost quality and with incredible flavor. If you find yourself in the Dubuque area, I highly encourage you to stop by 30th & Jackson for a delicious lunch or dinner. You won’t be disappointed!

If you are in the Dubuque area and want to stray off the beaten path, away from the Applebees and Ground Rounds of the world, for a great cooked meal,  you need to try Copper Kettle!