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.

Best “NEW” Brew of the Year: Double IPA

2013Continuing on with the “best of the year”posts keep in mind these are beers that I’ve had for the 1st time ever this year and we are moving onto the double/imperial  IPA category. A very tough category to pick one winner as I had quite a few brews on my list. But, after weighing each carefully I came to a conclusion that some might not agree with, especially since Pliny the Elder did not win as I enjoyed that brew for the first time this month. Now, I’m not saying Pliny isn’t a good beer, it’s actually an excellent brew, I just happened to enjoy the one I picked a bit more.

A brewery that seems to do no wrong when it comes to beers and one that is so in demand it is hard to find anything of theirs outside of Chicago, 3 Floyds Brewery has been dominating ratings, taste buds, and the IPA/Double IPA category. With fine ales such as Dreadnaught, Arctic Panzer Wolf, and the ever elusive and constantly sold out Zombie Dust, they are top-tier in this category (and others). Just when you think that they couldn’t do any better they bring to you my Double IPA of the year…….Apocalypse Cow!

The label is what catches your eye, and if you are familiar with 3 Floyds, you know they make killer labels. Now, what makes this brew a little bit different from other double IPAs, is that it is made with lactose. Lactose is what gives milk stouts their sweet, creamy richness. I was kind of apprehensive before cracking this bottle for that reason but after that first sip all of that went out the window. Sweet, but not too much, a lot orange juice flavor for me, and the creaminess from the lactose made this a wonderfully easy drink which is relatively frightening considering the 11% abv. Some negative reviews I’ve seen have knocked the sweetness, but I didn’t think it was nearly as sweet as others said. A beer to seek out to say the least. Here’s more from the brewery:

This complex double India pale ale has an intense citrus and floral hop aroma balanced by a velvety malt body which has been augmented with lactose milk sugar. With this different take on an IPA we have brewed an ale that is both pleasing to drink and, once again, “not normal.” Cheers! 100 IBU 11.0%ABV

I dont’ see this one as often, it is only a limited release during the summer, but if you see it, but it, (actually buy as many as you can), and enjoy as much as I did.

Three Floyds2013 New Imperial IPA of the Year: Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow
ABV: 11%
Ratebeer:         99
Beeradvocate: 94

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! **