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!

Abu Nawas Bringing Tre Fontane to Iowa!

Tre Fontane.jpgBig news coming again from Abu Nawas as they continue to supply our state with wonderful beers and they do it again! Tre Fontane, the 11th Trappist beer in the world from the only Trappist Brewery in Rome, will be gracing our shelves starting next week! Cheers to Frederique and Abu Nawas! Here’s the release on this awesome news!

We are we are humbled, honored and grateful to have been chosen to bring Iowa the latest Addition to the Authentic Trappist Beer Family. Tre Fontane Tripel The Abbey of the Tre Fontane is located in Rome in the sacred place where the martyrdom of St. Paul occurred in 67 AD.
The Abbey takes its name from the three fountains which miraculously appeared where the head of the apostle hit the ground in three locations after he was beheaded. Hence the name, Tre Fontane (Three Fountains). Today the Abbey is surrounded by beautiful eucalyptus trees which were planted by Monks starting in 1870. These trees were planted with the belief that eucalyptus had healing qualities that could prevent malaria. In actuality, eucalyptus does not prevent malaria. However, the trees do require a tremendous amount of water, therefore draining the surrounding swampy terrain. As a result the mosquitos, which later were determined to be the actual cause of malaria, disappeared as the swamps dried up. In 1873 with in-depth knowledge of the trees, the Trappist community began production of Eucalyptus oils and extracts.
These products have strong balsamic and antiseptic properties with intense, aromatic scent. They are also a pleasant digestive. In early 2000, thanks to the discovery of an ancient beer recipe, the monks began brewing Tre Fontane using the surrounding eucalyptus as a spice. Several years of intense work have now improved the quality, and finally, in May of 2015, Tre Fontane Tripel was awarded the ATP brand (Authentic Trappist Product). Tre Fontane is the 11th Trappist Beer in the world and the only Trappist Brewery from the ancient holy city of Rome.

 

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!

Beer Trends…2018

With the explosion of IPAs, barrel-aged beers, and sours I got to thinking will there be another craft beer trend that will push one of those 3 styles out?

There are many different sub styles or all three of those; hazy IPAs are the craze right now but maybe a newer or a past IPA sub style will be the next Hazy IPA. Barrel-aging has gone from being with stouts and porters to pushing into sours, IPAs, browns, and more; is this a trend that will continue or will that fade a bit? Sours/goses/berliners/flanders are right up there in terms of popularity and demand as well.

I don’t see IPAs slowing down; sure some substyles will trend up but the overall IPA I think will continue to dominate the craft beer market. The same can be said with barrel-aged stouts/porters. I do think classic styles will continue to make their return to breweries/retail. Pilsners, Kolschs, Lagers, and Porters have seen an increase of demand recently. I’m a huge fan of Saisons and think this is a style, which popular by some degree already, could make a splash as well. Maybe not necessarily a style but that can be factored in to additions would be new Hop varieties. It seems like we are hearing on a daily basis about a new hop and it’s flavor profile.

One style I do see making a big jump, especially with warmer months approaching is the the Mexican-Style lager. Putting a craft spin on what used to be a Corona with lime in it could be a great gateway to craft but also could be excellent for the beach/river/pool come this summer. So, my question, at the end of 2018, besides the first 3 listed above, what will be the new craze in craft beer?

 

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:

carpe diem 2018

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.