One of the best beer events of the year is coming up and tickets are available! On Saturday June 4th, you could have the opportunity to sample the best of what Iowa craft producers are making! VIP tickets are sold out but general admission tickets are still available! The Iowa Craft Beer Festival is the perfect place for you to try craft beers, ciders, and food! Here’s more on this event and the link to purchase tickets below courtesy of the Iowa Brewer’s Guild:
It’s the unofficial start to Iowa summer- the Iowa Craft Brew Festival!
Join the Iowa Brewers Guild on Saturday, June 4th and sample beer, cider and more from over 70 Iowa craft producers. The Iowa Craft Brew Festival happens at Des Moines Waterworks Park and every ticket includes unlimited sampling and live music. Food trucks, free parking, water, and plenty of space- we’ve got everything to start summer right. Grab your friends and join us!
General admission is only $45 and gets you in from 1-4pm. Tickets are selling quickly so purchase yours today!
Enchanted Island v1 – Imperial Tiki Sour ale – 16oz cans
Enchanted Island v1 is returning in 16oz format featuring pineapple, orange, coconut and nutmeg
Coastal Sunshine v3 – 16oz cans The return of one of the best sellers – version 3 features Tangerine, Passion fruit, mango and Soursop
ElectroJet Hazy IPA 6.8% This herculean feat of haze-craft is an IPA of singular bomb-diggityness, packed to the rafters with Galaxy and El Dorado hops, and just enough Simcoe to tie the room together. The result of this lupulin-laden trifecta is an unquestionably choice adult beverage that explodes with thunderous notes of juicy peach flesh, bright citrus, ripe mango, and stone fruit. It’s a breathtaking bouquet that’s going to ignite your sensory synapses in a rapturous conflagration of pure pleasure.
Dingo Magic IPA
Should you choose to unleash the contents of this can, you’ll be met with an unrelentingly delightful barrage of bright citrus, guava, peach, and sundry tropical radness, all coming together to form a liquid palanquin upon which to gently deliver your tastebuds into the loving arms of the flavor gods. Should you choose not to open this can, that’s also totally fine. We respect your agency.
German Chocolate Cake Stout 8% ABV A Collaboration with XUL brewing, this beer features Cocoa Nibs, Coconut and Pecan Nuts to give a delightful and dessert filled experience. It unsurprisingly tastes just like cake.
Double Mango Sour – 6% ABV
Next up is Double Mango sour, made with both Mango Puree & Mango juice… Untitled art does Mango incredibly well, so I’m personally excited to sip on this one and enjoy the upcoming weather.
This past weekend I had some time to hang out with my oldest and I asked him where/what he wanted to eat. He simply responded, “Bar food”. So after a quick trip to Big Grove in Solon we headed to Shueyville, about 10-15 minutes from Solon, and hit up Shuey’s Restaurant and Lounge.
We were greeted right in by a very friendly staff and had drinks ordered within seconds. Easy Eddy for me, root beer for the lad. Tap lines were typical of your small town bar with some craft on, Easy Eddy seems to be an option no matter what bar you hit and tastes good all the time so the choice was relatively simple.
Although I wasn’t very hungry, their menu has a lot of intriguing options. I let my sign go crazy, if queso is on the menu, he’s going to order it, that with an order of sliders and a mushroom swiss burger. A lot more than I anticipated but was game to try it all. Queso came out first and was delicious, warm and crispy tortilla chips. Paired well with the beer. Sliders and burger next, meat quality tasted wonderful, perfectly seasoned. The crinkle cut fries served as the side also went well with the queso dip.
Overall, so much more I want to try. The food was delicious and tasted fresh, the staff was friendly and welcoming, the feel of your small town bar was definitely there but also a place you could bring your whole family for a delicious meal. A place I will frequent and a place you should check out too!
Ice Ice Prrrty 6.2% ABV Ice Ice PRRRTY is a Slushy Style Sour that’ll grab ahold of you tightly, then flow like a harpoon daily and nightly. Will it ever stop? That’s up to you to put down this absolute banger stuffed with lemon, cherry, plum, coconut, and lemon slushy mix. ⠀
Lizard People IPA DBL IPA The world is run by interstellar lizards in people suits, and as a nod to those who are really pulling the strings is Lizard People. Our reptilian overlords concocted this soft, juicy, & citrusy double IPA in some smoky back room of a super secret, non-descript, possibly government building – we don’t know or really care to know for that matter. It’s delicious and we don’t want to find out what happens when you ask too many questions.⠀
Slang Du jour Cranberry/Raspberry/Lemon/Strawberry Y’all ever had a Cranberry Raspberry Lemon Strawberry Cobbler? Ok, us neither. But we thought it sounded amazing so we loaded up this Slang with Cranberry, Raspberry, Lemon, Strawberry, Granola, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Lactose, & Vanilla Beans. This cacophony of awesomeness is the cobbler mashup that dreams are made of and we’re pretty sure you’re gonna dig it as much as we do.⠀
Struggle Bus – Breakfast Sour 6.4% ABV a Breakfast Sour with Orange, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, a little Coconut & cinnamon, and Maple Syrup seems a little weird but not THAT weird, right? So we’re bringing it back and we think it’s goddamn delicious, and we can’t wait to hear what you think!
Ectogasm IPA Ectogasm is a juicy, hazy, and soft NE IPA brewed with Citra & Mosaic hops. The Flagship IPA of Drekker brewing!
Berry Prrrrty Paradise he newest PRRRT, a fruited sour loaded up with Blueberry, Blackberry, Plum, Key Lime, and Cream of Coconut for a stupidly tasty tropical berry flavor!⠀
Braaaaaaains Lemon Apricot – 7.3% ABV a new Braaaaaaaains! We stuffed this one with all of the lemon & apricot we could find and then hit it with our double secret smoothie treatment of sea salt, lactose, and vanilla beans.⠀
Garbage People DBL IPA – 8.5% ABV Don’t know about you guys, but we were always a little more Garbage Pail Kids than Cabbage Patch Kids. We grew up (technically, but not really) and we aren’t kids anymore so we’re just Garbage People. This Double IPA is hopped with Mosaic, Galaxy, Citra, and Vic Secret with some serious dank, orange zest, bubble gum, & apricot flavor and aroma. So crack one of these and decide which Garbage Pail Kid you feel like? Nasty Nick? Maybe a little more like Spacey Stacey? Let us know, we’ve got a feeling you’re Garbage People too.
Heaps – Coconut Milk Stout Heaps is a Coconut Milk Stout brewed with a big, smooth, chocolatey malt bill with a chef’s kiss of lactose to pump up that body and then it was conditioned on cacao nibs and heaps on heaps of toasted coconut! Heaps, we tell ya! ⠀
When local breweries/restaurants get involved in raising awareness for non-profits, it sure makes your heart full. Clockhouse Brewing continues this wonderful tradition as they have teamed up with the “I Know Jack” foundation to raise awareness for cancer patients and their families. Let’s drink this beer, let’s keep this fight going…here’s more from Clockhouse:
We’re very excited to announce we recently teamed up with the I Know Jack Foundation and brewed a delicious NEIPA to help spread awareness and raise funds for this incredible local non-profit. By raising funds, they support cancer patients and their families through survivorship. We are collaborating to help further their goal to raise awareness about cancer, support those affected by cancer, assist with cancer research, and improve the survivor’s quality of life. We understand that cancer affects the entire family and that it takes a community to beat cancer. With that in mind we be donating a part of the proceeds of I Know Jack NEIPA back to the foundation. I Know Jack NEIPA is dry-hopped with Azacca, Nelson, and Strata which leaves notes of white wine, lemon peel, and citrus. Available in 16oz 4-packs, growlers, and draft.
Who are the people that are brewing the wonderful beer in the state of Iowa? I’m sure some of you know many of them and others, maybe not. I thought it would be great to get to know the brewers of Iowa, their backgrounds, their likes, and what they have coming up in the future. First up, Court Avenue Brewing’s James Heckathorn!
NAME: James Heckathorn
BREWERY: Court Avenue Brewing Co.
LOCATION: 309 Court Avenue; Des Moines, IA
How long have you been brewing and where have you brewed?
I will have been brewing professionally 2 years in August of this year. Before that, I worked at various other breweries in FoH positions – Twisted Vine, 515 and then Reclaimed Rails, where I was given the opportunity to brew on their pilot system. I had about 3-4 beers that were well received, especially under the tutelage of Mike Street, who gave me excellent guidance and advice throughout. It’s how we became such good buds!
Aaron Knapp, the brewer before me at CabCo, was also bartending at Reclaimed with me and when he was getting ready to take on his new adventure at Epic Brewing in Colorado, he asked me to apply for his position at CabCo. I didn’t feel ready but my friends and family rallied behind me and encouraged me to apply and the rest is history.
What is the size of your brewery?
Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company is a 7bbl system. A Specific Mechanical 2 vessel that has seen its fair share of brewers, hah! We are nearing 26 years here at CabCo and this system is at least that old. Being so manual and involved, it really brings a certain aspect of romanticism to brewing that I find appealing. Most days, at least!
What beer from Court Avenue would you pick to give to complete stranger to try and why?
I would honestly give people two beers, one to show where we come from and one to show where we are going.
Pointer Brown Ale is the oldest recipe in house, a beer that has been consistently brewed since we opened our doors in 1996. It’s an English Brown Ale, so expect chocolate, caramel with a touch of dark fruit and a full mouthfeel that is infinitely drinkable. A true Iowa classic.
Earthbound NEIPA is our newest flagship that I began developing about a year ago. Hazy IPA is the style that got me into brewing and it continues to be a style I am passionate about. This is my take on the archetypical representation that everyone has come to expect in hazy IPA. Citra, Mosaic and a bit of El Dorado, plenty of oats and wheat malt and a low flocculating yeast strain. Earthbound is the first step forward in a modern vision of CabCo.
Who would be at your drinking table, dead or alive, to share a beer with?
This is a great question! Fritz Maytag – he did so much for craft beer and it would be cool to get insight into the beginnings of modern craft beer; Christopher Hitchens – He was a witty guy and I think he’d keep drinking long after everyone else had left the table. Would be a bender for the ages; Conan O’Brien – I could be his friend, definitely.
Do you have a favorite food and beer pairing?
A pilsner and sushi or spicy wings with an IPA!
What is your favorite beer in the world not made by Court Avenue and why?
Ayinger Bavarian Pils is a beer that continues to stay with me and luckily we can get it here. Any well done German pilsner, really.
Anything you’d like to pub for Court Avenue? We will be releasing our 4 -way collaboration with Flix Brewhouse, Reclaimed Rails and Brightside Aleworks on the 31st of March. Cosmic Bear is a massive imperial pastry stout that was aged on star crunch and marshmallow.
I also gotta mention our Mug Club – It’s the best way to become a CabCo insider and it comes with a whole mess of perks for $40 a year. 10% off your tab, 24oz pints in your mug for the same price of a regular pint, a Mug Club Party every month where we shower you with a new beer release and free food, and last but not least, exclusive bottles that are only available to Mug Club members. Rumor has it the next bottle is an Eagle Rare BA imperial stout aged on a ton of vanilla beans…..
Huge thank you to Mr. Heckathorn for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions! Make sure to say to him and the other staff at Court Avenue Brewing when you visit, sign up for their Mug Club and keep an eye out for the Eagle Rare BA imperial stout! Cheers!
Lua Brewing out of Des Moines will be releasing some amazing beers in bottles and cans on Saturday, April 2nd! This is going to be an immensely popular release and it’s first come/first serve so plan accordingly! Here are the details from Lua:
Barrel Aged Stouts and Our First Can Release
Please join us Saturday, April 2 at 11am for our first CAN RELEASE. We’ll also release two new barrel-aged stouts.
The stouts will be released in 4-packs with two 375mL bottles of each blend for $100. Cans will be in 4-packs. All will be sold on a first come, first served basis when we open at 11am. Limits TBD.
WANDER (14.2%) is a blend of imperial stout bases aged 23 months in Willett and Weller bourbon barrels. Baker’s chocolate, espresso, vanilla, barrel.
FLEETING (13.9%) is a blend of imperial stout bases aged two years in Weller and Heaven Hill Rye barrels, before being rested on a massive amount of coconut. Rich fudge and coconut.
SUN FOR MILES (6.6%) is our new *flagship* hazy IPA. Generous amounts of your favorite hops were added both in the whirlpool and at dry-hopping, giving Sun For Miles bright flavors of POG juice, white peach, and sticky cannabis.
TINY BEAM OF LIGHT (5.7%, not pictured) is our beloved all-citra Hazer Lazer™. Crushable, sessionable, yet immensely flavorful, TBOL boasts dank aromas of nectarine, melon, and passionfruit. This beer is meant to be consumed in multiples.
SCIENCE IS MAGIC THAT WORKS (9.0%) is the result of some seriously cutting edge science in collaboration with our buds at Toppling Goliath and Sapwood Cellars. We utilized a revolutionary thiol-releasing yeast strain from Berkeley and Phantasm, a new-age form of powderized grape skin from New Zealand that is loaded with thiol-precursors. Mash hops, whirlpool hops, and a generous dry-hop with some of TG’s dank, extraordinary Nelson Sauvin hops produced huge notes of passionfruit and sauvignon blanc grapes. Thanks to TG and Sapwood for pushing the envelope with us on this one.
NAPPING UNDER THE ECHO TREE (7.0%) is a fruited sour featuring dragonfruit, passionfruit, mango, and guava.
SOME GRACE (7.0%) is a berry donut inspired sour, and features Oregon marionberry, boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry, and over 2,000 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.
Glyn-Mawr Winery-The Local in downtown Mount Vernon has decided to build off of their popular wine club and offer a Local Beer Club for those interested. The link to the form is below and is free to join but signing up requires an obligation to purchase one variety 12 pack per quarter. This is an awesome deal for any beer lovers and would be a great gift as well! Check out the details below and click the link to sign up:
We’re so excited to roll out The Local Beer Club as a partner to our Wine Club!
This clubs offers a loyalty program to our customers, filled with savings & perks!
As a beer club member, you will enjoy:
15% off your variety 12-pack each quarter!
10% off all branded merchandise AND 10% off growler fills everyday!
Half price on our new growlers!
Invitations to beer club member exclusive events!
A free Local pint glass with pick up of your first order!
Our club is free to join…your obligation is agreeing to purchase one variety 12-pack per quarter (we curate the 12-pack) to take home and enjoy!
If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, just complete this Google form to get started!
A personal favorite makes it’s return as Java Gypsy is coming back to Clock House with a two variants available! Release is on March 12th, here’s more from Clock House:
JAVA GYPSY is back on Friday March 11th. And this year we brewed up something special for you! We brewed not 1 but 2 specialty brews for you, featuring our friends from @roasterscoffeehiawatha and @roastedonross .
For the first variant we decided to team up with Roasters Coffee House in Hiawatha! One of our favorite beans from them in the past has been their medium roast Caramel Pecan. If you can remember way back to our very first coffee porter (yes the one without a name) we actually used this flavored bean to craft that delicious brew. These beans provide very strong notes of pecan and sweet caramel that meld together in perfect harmony.
We teamed up with Ross Street Roasting Co and ordered a variety of their delicious offerings. After cold steeping three types of beans we were blown away by the results. All three were unique and delicious. It was hard to select our favorite from the group! After much thought and consideration we decided on their Bohemian Gothic. This bean gave our porter notes of chocolate and subtle smoke without coming across bitter. We’re excited to release this delicious offering! Be sure to look for their beans in stores.
We will be selling mixed 4-packs for $14. And each volume will be available on draft as well.
When Reunion was teasing this release and having Wake involved in the brewing process, I was already sold. Reading further about this release and being a fan of Brett IPAs, I was super excited to have the chance to get my hands on some of these brews! Here’s the description from Reunion:
Brewed in collaboration with the wizards of WAKE BREWING. This nightmarish IPA was fermented with Brettanomyces Claussenii for a funky and tropic twang and dosed with heaps of Cryo Mosaic, Citra Lupomax and El Dorado Lupomax.
There have been a few Brett IPAs that I’ve really enjoyed. I was lucky enough to score Allagash’s “Little Brett”, which I enjoyed, but wanted a bit more hop presence. The Stone Enjoy After Brett IPA was tasty and I did purchase multiple bottles and enjoyed them. Crooked Stave has been a favorite brewery of mine and their Hop Savant was outstanding, tons of barnyard with a splash of hops….and then Tropic Nightmare came along….
First of all, this beer is beautiful..I’ve had a fresh pour from Reunion and multiple cans and it’s a stunning beer. Orange juice look with a thick frothy white head. Aroma is hops up front, dank and lovely. If you keep your nose in the glass for a bit longer you get that barnyard funk that brettheads love and desire!
Extremely refreshing! The funk shines and is wonderfully balanced with the hop bill. Tartness from the brett on the back of the tongue but also that refreshing and juicy splash of hops. Complex and delicious. Lots of flavors going on in this beer and for me, all of them wonderful.
This has been such a sight for sore eyes release. Something different, something new and a tip of the cap to Reunion and Wake for going in on a style that hasn’t necessarily dominated the market and totally crush it with Tropic Nightmare. Worth seeking, I’ll need more! Get to the brewery on the Coralville Strip and Drink This beer!