Chameleon’s Pub in Mount Vernon Hosting Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer Tapping January 30th!


It’s always great to see a small town bar, especially my favorite watering hole, get their hands on some brews that most small town bars aren’t able to land. Chameleon’s Pub and Grub here in Mt. Vernon will have their own barrel-aged tap takeover that will feature this year’s Goose Island Bourbon County stout and also feature 3 Iowa brewed barrel aged beers. The event is next Thursday January 30th, stop on in if you’re around the Mt. Vernon area! Here are more deets on these tappings:

Winter is in full swing in Iowa and what could be better than belling up to the bar with a barrel aged brew to warm your insides. We will be tapping four beautifully crafted barrel aged brews featuring the nationally renown Bourbon County from Chicago’s Goose Island Barrel House along side three local brews. We will be offering specially priced flights on the night of the event so you can try all four! These beers are very limited and will go fast so be sure to stop before they go.

This year’s Bourbon County Stout, aged in a mix of Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey barrels, yields a rich, complex mouthfeel. Flavors of cocoa, fudge, vanilla, caramel, almond, plus leather and tobacco, permeate this beer and deepen with each sip. At 14.7 ABV it won’t take long to forget the cold and to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Our local options are as followed;

2019 Jesus on a Forklift a barrel-aged imperial rye stout from Exile Brewing Co. of Des Moines, Iowa. This heavy hitter was aged for 9 months in first use Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels and gives of flavors and aromas of rich chocolate, with bourbon and the rye lending some spiciness.

Back Road coconut porter aged in Jim Beam barrels from Millstream Brewing Co. out of Amana Iowa. Black malt and roasted barley give the beer its color, and coffee-like flavors.

Wake the F Up Iowa Imperial Coffee stout from Backpocket Brewing out of Coralville, Iowa. This beer features coffee from our fellow Mount Vernon business owners and friends at Wake Up Iowa Coffee and is barrel aged it in Cedar Ridge and Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels to make Wake The F Up Iowa – an imperial coffee stout that’s plenty boozy, plenty smooth.

Red’s Alehouse Ballast Point Tapping Schedule, TG + Surly, and Bourbon County Happenings

redsHere is the schedule for Red’s Alehouse tapping schedule for the upcoming release of Ballast Point to the Iowa market as well as Surly/TG progressive tap takeover and a special pre-Thanksgiving Bourbon County tapping. Lots of great things happening at Reds in the upcoming months:

Let me hit ya with some knowledge!!

Tuesday November 3rd:
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits tapping. First day in Iowa to get yourself some Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin, Victory at Sea and more! Beer tapping time TBD

Friday November 13th:
Surly Brewing Company and Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Pre-Tailgate Party at the Alehouse! Before the Hawks take on Minnesota on Saturday, come party with some of the best breweries these respective states have to offer. Tap lineup will be announced as we get closer to the date, but you won’t want to miss out on this! Progressive tapping starting at 11am.

Wednesday November 25th:
Pre-Thanksgiving Party with Goose Island Bourbon County. 2014 Barleywine, 2011 BoCo, 2013 BoCo, 2014 Boco, 2013 Lolita and more will be tapped at 11am and the party will go until the law states we have to take your drinks away!


‪#‎redsalehouse‬ ‪#‎nocrapontap‬ ‪#‎ballastpoint‬ ‪#‎bourboncounty‬‪#‎welovebeerevents‬

2015 Bourbon County Lineup Announced

Goose Island chicagoThanks to the Beer Counselor for the link to the Chicago Tribune article announcing the lineup for 2015 Bourbon County Stout. Obviously, not sure what Iowa will see, but you can expect every year to be a Black Friday beer shopping spree and I’m sure it will continue to get busier. The following is courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

  • Bourbon County Brand Stout
  • Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
  • Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, made with Intelligentsia’s Los Delirios Nicaraguan coffee bean
  • Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout, made with blackberry juice, cocktail cherries and sea salt
  • Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, made with maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels, toasted pecans and guajillo peppers
  • Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout, which is being aged for two years in 35-year-old Heaven Hill whiskey barrels.

To read further on each of these releases please view the article here, terrific read:

The Hot 25 of 2013 PART 1!

25Deviating a bit from my last posts as the best “new” beers of the year, I’m going back to a topic that usually gets a lot of great beer talk going throughout the Eastern Iowa beer lovers: The Best Beers of 2013!

Now, all of these beers have to have been available for purchase at any Eastern Iowa beers stores, brewpubs, or breweries. There are a few that stayed on from last year and some brand new ones this year. Overall, it was a really great year for beer in Eastern Iowa and the future continues to look promising. These are all beers I’ve TRIED this year, I have some that are still in the cellar that haven’t been cracked, so I might have left some off. Feel free to email me your list of the best in Eastern Iowa or your state this year! I’ll do this in 5 installments, so without further ado…….

big grove**Big Grove Brewery Good Day to DIPA**
My favorite release so far from the folks in Solon, IA. A wonderfully balanced double IPA that gives you the citrus, reisonous pine, and the balance of the malts that we seek in our double IPAs. If you haven’t visited this place, the beer is excellent and food is just as good. A must visit location if you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. A dynamite combo is this double IPA with their Korean Chicken wings. My mouth is watering!


mornin' delight**Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight**
I’m not sure if I’ve wrote about a beer as much as I have about Mornin’ Delight. The original release garnered a bit of publicity, but it has blown up into much more since that wonderful Saturday morning in Decorah. This and the Kentucky Brunch release might highlight my favorite beer moments of 2013! The trade demand out there is incredibly high for this brew so if you still have a bottle of the greatness, count yourself lucky!

From the brewery:

Brewer’s Choice, debuted at Great Taste of the Midwest 2011. A Russian Imperial Stout. Breakfast of champions, just add pancakes. Made with real maple syrup and a super secret brewers’ ingredient.

RATEBEER: 100/100

backwoods**Founders Backwoods Bastard**
When I think of the fall/winter season this is the first beer that pops into my head. One of the first real “big beers” to hit the chilly months and it is the perfect accompaniment to a chilly autumn or brutally cold winter day. Didn’t finish your case of this? No worries, it ages pretty damn nice as well. From the brewery:

Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
RATEBEER: 100/100

Goose Island**Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout**
As much as I try not to support Anheiuser Busch, I just can’t ignore this brew. It really is that damn good and the variants I’ve had are also excellent. I was fortunate enough to be in East Dubuque, IL area during the release and walked right in to get my allotment. If you haven’t visited Family Beer and Liquor the management there are some of the nicest, most helpful people around. Black Friday will never be the same! From the brewery:

“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.” Brewmaster Greg Hall; 
RATEBEER: 100/100

enjoy by**Stone Enjoy By….**
For my last beer on this installment I go with one of my all-time favorites. Say what you will about Stone, they turn out some fantastic beers and this one is my favorite. A brewery that isn’t scared to push the envelope and give us beer drinkers a unique experience which we enjoy 9/10, hits a major home run every time with this brew! And the good news? We should be seeing more of this on our shelves next week! From the brewery:

You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

RATEBEER: 100/100

There’s part 1 of “THE LIST”, stay tuned to more in the next few weeks! Don’t agree or do agree? I would love to hear your thoughts, unless you’re an uppity prick, then nevermind!

Goose Island BCS Event at Oakland Road Hy-Vee

bcsI just received the following email from the Oakland Road Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids, IA. Hope everyone gets a chance to get a few bottles of this brew!

Stop by this Friday and get your Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. We will start selling at noon on Friday. This will be limited and on a first come first serve basis. We will also be sampling some other tasty treats from Goose Island. Here is a list of what will be pouring


Goose Island 2009 Christmas Ale

Goose Island Matilda

Goose Island Juliet

Goose Island Halia

Goose Island Lolita

Goose Island Gillian

More from Goose Island: Wild Ales are Coming

gooseThe following news is courtesy of


Press Release:

(Chicago, IL) – This month, Goose Island Beer Company is unveiling four Belgian-style wild ales from its diverse and creative portfolio. The Chicago-based beer company will debut two completely new barrel-aged farmhouse ales called Gillian and Halia, and release the 2013 vintage of the much sought after sour ales, Lolita and Juliet.

With select national availability, these Goose Island creations will be part of the brewery’s Vintage Collection, which includes award-winning beers like Sofie, Matilda and Pere Jacques. Each of the barrel-aged ales features a unique story, locally sourced fresh fruit and exceptional, complex flavor profiles.

• Gillian was inspired by an amuse bouche that was often prepared by the wife of Goose Island Brewer Keith Gabbett. New for 2013, Gillian is a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale that brings together fresh ingredients sourced locally from family farms in Michigan and Illinois. Gillian is partially aged in wine barrels with 10,000 pounds of strawberries, 4,000 pounds of honey and white pepper. Its refreshing effervescent body is slightly tart and is complemented by a
pronounced white pepper note that folds nicely into the sweeter hints of strawberry and honey. Gillian is 9.5% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.


• Halia, Hawaiian for “remembrance of a loved one”, was brewed by Goose Island Brewer Brian Taylor in memory of a dear friend who loved peaches. New for 2013, Halia is a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale aged in wine barrels with 12,000 pounds of fresh peaches, sourced locally from a family farm in Michigan. The result is a bright, effervescent beer with a soft, hazy body that finishes slightly tart and a little sweet with the pleasant character of ripe, juicy peaches. Halia is 7.5% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.

• Juliet is fermented with wild yeast Brettanomyces, and aged in wine barrels with 9,000 pounds of blackberries, sourced locally from family farms in Michigan. Tart and fruity, with complex notes of wood, tannin, dark fruit and spice, Juliet is a unique choice for beer and wine drinkers alike. Inspired by the sour beers from the Cantillon Brewery in Belgium, we named Juliet after the sister of the owner and fourth generation brewer of Cantillon – homage to a gracious host on many travels to Belgium. Juliet is 8.0% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up
to 5 years.


• Lolita is a rose-colored Belgian Style Pale Ale fermented with the wild yeast Brettanomyces and aged in wine barrels on 30,000 pounds of fresh raspberries, sourced locally from a family farm in Michigan. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and a crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise. Lolita is 8.2% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.

“We’re incredibly proud of the depth and breadth of our barrel-aging program and excited to introduce two new and incredibly tasty beers to our fans with Gillian and Halia,” said Brett Porter, Brewmaster for Goose Island Beer Company. “The passion our brewers have for innovative brewing is unparalleled and it’s evident in their new creations.”

The sours are part of Goose Island’s wine barrel-aging program, which began in 2007 with a small 10-barrel batch of Juliet. The brewery has introduced several more beers aged in wine barrels since then including the award-winning Lolita, Madame Rose and Sofie. Goose Island now ages a variety of styles in thousands of barrels each year. Over the course of a year – the brewers at Goose Island sample, score and test beer from the barrels on a weekly basis – waiting for the flavors to peak before creating the final blend.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Release Date

bbcsBlack Friday usually has mothers’ and wives dragging their spouses out in the wee hours of the day to shop for the holidays. This year, it might be easier to get the fellas out and about as Goose Island will release their much anticipated Bourbon County Stout beers and variants on Black Friday. Here’s more from

(Chicago, IL) – Goose Island Beer Company announced its lineup of Bourbon County Brand Stout variants for the upcoming winter season on Friday. More details below…

This Black Friday, November 29, Goose Island Beer Company will be releasing this year’s much anticipated Bourbon County family.

The original bourbon barrel aged stout, Bourbon County Brand Stout, will be available in limited quantities in ALL STATES, where legal.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout is made with our neighbors and collaborators Intelligentsia Coffee with Los Inmortales coffee beans from El Salvador. Available this year in 4pks in limited quantities.

New releases this year include:

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine:
Aged in third use bourbon barrels (previously bourbon and Bourbon County Brand Stout)
Available in 4pks in limited quantities

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout:
Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries
Available in 22oz Bombers in even more limited quantities

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout:
Available ONLY IN CHICAGO, thanks for all the support over the past 25 years.
Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with coconut toasted by our brewers
Available in 22oz Bombers in VERY limited quantities

Tailgating Beers 2013

8bitAs another Iowa Hawkeye football season approaches I sit here wondering what happened to all the talk of Bells canning their beers or Founders All Day IPA hitting shelves. I was banking on Founders All Day IPA being my go to this tailgating season, but the delay in the canning and then the delay in the distribution leaves Iowa without it for now. So, what other options do I have? I know some people are rebels and take in bottled beer, I personally, find that to be a pain in the ass. Bottles take up more rooms, can break, and are more difficult to dispose of. I know Founder’s Centennial is coming out and I haven’t had anything from Okoboji Brewing or Wild Onion yet so that’s why they aren’t on there. Anything I missed, feel free to comment!

**CORALVILLE WINE AND SPIRITS NOW HAS 12 packs of Founders All Day IPA**

So let’s breakdown what craft beer we can find in cans and whether or not it could make for a tailgating option. These are beers we can find in Eastern Iowa:

*Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat -4.2% ABV –  Is this considered craft now that AB-Inbev owns it? I don’t think it is but it is better than slugging pack 30 BMC products. Not my favorite, but a step in the right direction.

*Great River Brewing 483 Pale Ale – 5.3% ABV – definitely a solid choice. Supporting the Iowa craft beer scene and getting a solid pale ale in return. The 5.3% ABV isn’t too high, but maybe not as sessionable as some would like.

*O’Fallon Brewing 5 Day IPA – 6.1% ABV – an average IPA that might go down well when the heat is sweltering for the first game, but maybe too well. ABV is getting up there. 1 or 2 of these and then hit the lighter stuff.

*Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale- 5.2% ABV – I will more than likely have some of this on hand. A couple of these will do nicely with the food and the hot day. Not too high on the ABV, which is nice for a 2:30 kickoff.

*Great River Brewing Big Cock IPA – 7.0% ABV – too heavy for this guy, but some might want to get a bit pissed quick. The name is also kind of a turn off for me.

*Samuel Adams Boston Lager – 4.9% – another one that will probably be iced in my cooler. Very sessionable and after all these years this beer still tastes good.

*Tallgrass Brewing Buffalo Sweat – 5.0% – this one might be a bit to creamy for the first few game, but once the cooler months role in, I will definitely be enjoying this for breakfast.

*Great River Dos Pistolas – 4.8% – this vienna lager might just be perfect this Saturday. Decent flavor, low ABV, pairs well with food. Might have a winner.

*Tallgrass Ethos IPA – 6.8% – as much as I would love to sit and drink this stuff this weekend, the ABV might be a bit too high, but maybe just a few?

*New Belgium Fat Tire – 5.2% – a decent pick, must not hitting my taste buds correctly at the moment.

*Tallgrass Halcyon Wheat – 5.0% – would be very refreshing for this hot weekend and the ABV would make this work well.

*Big Sky Moose Drool – 5.3% – my wife really enjoys this beer so it will be in the cooler, a nice break for the usual light beer nightmare that consumes most tailgates.

*O’Fallon Wheach – 5.1% – really good fruit beer that will do nicely this weekend. I only can do around 2 of these before the sweetness takes over.

*New Belgium Ranger IPA – 6.5% – maybe…but probably not. A good choice for an IPA, just not a tailgating beer unless 3-4 is your limit for the day which this would work great.

*Great River Redband Stout – 6.0% – same category as Buffalo Sweat, once the cooler months arrive this is great for breakfast.

*Sam Adams Octoberfest – 5.3% – might see this in my cooler as well. Always a must try seasonal and now available in cans!

*Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – 5.6% – nearing the line of too high ABV but it worked well for me last year.

I guarantee I’m leaving some great beers off this list so please let me know what I’m missing. Chances are there will be a nice mix of brews in the Baron’s cooler and more than likely some Grain Belt as well. Might sneak a few bottles in but not too many. Have a safe and enjoyable first tailgate everyone!

**Forgot Peace Tree Sidekick** Thanks for the head’s up Todd!