Northside Oktoberfest set for Saturday September 24th!

northside octoberfestOfficial Press release:

Northside Oktoberfest

Sat, Sep 24 from 12pm – 3pm

The Northside Oktoberfest benefiting Iowa City area non-profits showcases the Bohemian nature of the Northside Marketplace with great craft beers, neighborhood food, beer games, Iowa football and much more! Join us on Saturday, September 24th, as we take over the streets of the Northside, just blocks north of downtown Iowa City. 

Early Bird Tickets NOW available! $55 for BrewMaster tickets & $40 for General Admission (see each price for details). Tickets will increase September 1, 2016.

  • Northside Oktoberfest will feature over 500 beers from over 50 breweries! Here are just a few: Big Grove Brewery, Millstream Brewing Company, Merchant du Vin -Specialty Beer Importer since 1978, New American Brewing Co, Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Cedar Ridge Distillery, Founders Brewing Co., August Schell Brewing Company, Central Waters Brewing Company, Confluence Brewing Company, 515 Brewing Company, Kalona Brewery, Buck Creek Companies, Peace Tree Brewing Company, Lakefront Brewery, Zipline Brewing Co., Boulder Beer Company, Sutliff Cider, Boulevard, Boone Valley Brewing, New American Brewing Co

New for 2016! As an added perk for 2016, your Oktoberfest ticket provides you with one complimentary ticket to the 2016 Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup. These professional men’s and women’s cyclo-cross races will take place after Oktoberfest at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, at 3:30 and 5 p.m. The Telenet UCI World Cup races are a global addition to the already well recognized and attended annual Volkswagen Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross races. Las Vegas, Nevada, and Iowa City, Iowa, are the only two North American locations for this popular UCI cyclo-cross series, and the races will be broadcast live by NBC Sports and internationally by Telenet to more than 35 countries.  Your complimentary admission (valued at $15) includes all-day access to this event, where food, a beverage garden and live entertainment will be available.

The City of Iowa City will provide complimentary parking garage access for the entire day! Complimentary shuttles to and from the fairgrounds will begin operating at 2 p.m. and run through 10 p.m.

Thank you our sponsors John’s Grocery and Little Village Magazine.

*Please note: This is a rain or shine event- No matter the weather the beer still gets poured! (There will be no ticket refunds) 


General Admission
General Admission tickets include: 12pm-3pm tasting time (full access to all samples available), custom tasting glass, UCI Cyclo Cross ticket, and free parking in Downtown ramps!
$43.47 with fees (print at home and mobile)
Buy Tickets
BrewMaster tickets get you entrance to the festival one hour early (11:00 a.m.), an upgraded tasting glass, and the ability to taste Real Ale samplings
$59.40 with fees (print at home and mobile)

Northside Oktoberfest: A Fall Spectacle

northside octoberfestShamed to say that this year was my first Northside Oktoberfest, but after yesterday, I can safely say that it won’t be my last. The folks at John’s Grocery, the City of Iowa City, all of the brewers and vendors really pulled out all the stops and made yesterday’s event one to remember.

I was lucky enough to get a Brewmaster’sphoto 1 ticket enabling me to take part in the “Real Ale” contest. The setup to get in was wonderfully done as lines were moving at a great pace and no one had to wait too long to get in. Once you get in, the Ale tasting began! 11 breweries were a part of this contest. After tasting each beer, the ticketholders were given a wooden token to put into the basket of whom they considered having the best real ale. Some excellent submissions in this contest as folks from Kalona, Big Grove, Tallgrass, Peace Tree, Confluence and more had beers for this contest. In the end, the winner with their double dry citra-hopped Arms Race Pale Ale was Big Grove Brewery in Solon!

photo 2After the real ale contest you then get to walk up and down the streets trying and tasting tons of beer, wine, soda, ciders, etc. I was very impressed with the amount of room given to this festival and to top it off, in the middle of the festival was a huge seating area, similar to a German Beer Hall, where there was a big screen showing the Iowa v. Wisconsin game! That really helped cap a beautiful Iowa day, as being able to sit, eat, and when you wanted a brew you simply got up and hit whatever tent was calling your name. Watching the Hawks beat Wisconsin was the cherry on the top.

I can’t comment much on the food as I prepared photo (2)myself for lunch at Brix Wine and Cheese Shop but it seems that most of the food that I saw looked delicious. Burgers, brats, pizza, steak sandwiches, it looked like a little bit of everything. Brix was tremendous. Some charcuterie and cheese to pair with Exile’s Raspberry Bohemian beer sure hit the spot.

photo 3So many great brews, so little time! Luckily I found a bunch that kept calling my name throughout the day. Call me a snob, put for a beer festival, I usually avoid hitting the lines where they are pouring out of cans or bottles, unless it’s something very rare to get. I usually stick with who brought some kegs in. The beers that really stood out to me were:

*Big Grove Brewery Que Sera w/ raspberries and honey. This was a blow away beer. The raspberry addition added that perfect amount of fresh fruit flavor and the honey added that sweetness to set off the tartness of this berliner weisse. I kept going back for this one and was very happy I got to try it!

*Lion Bridge Brewery Sorachi LIberace – a heavily hopped Saison using Sorachi Ace hops photo 4and once I had my nose in the glass I got a whiff of juicy fruit bubble gum and the same on the tongue followed by the dry grassiness that a saison gives. This will not be available at the brewery for another week I believe, so to be able to try it was a real treat. Another winner from the 2-time gold medalists at GABF.

*515 Brewing Reaper in the Rye – I could easily put their OJ IPA on here as well but
I’ve had that one before and wish I could have it whenever I wanted but I’ll go with their newer release. This heavily hopped cascadian dark/Black IPA was so good I had to go back for 2nds and then 3rds. The amarillo hops shine and pair nicely with the photo 5 (1)spiciness that the rye brings to the table. An excellent brew!

*Exile Raspberry Bohemian – I missed this at their tent but was informed it was on tap at Brix Wine and Cheese Shop. Luckily, I planned on getting a bite to eat at Brix so that confirmed my decision. A bit sour and tangy with the perfect amount of raspberry. This is a beer that I would love to keep stocked in my fridge. Refreshing and delicious!

*Peace Tree Sour Mash Saison – wasn’t sure what I would think of this one but I really enjoyed it. Very sour and tart but also refreshing and extremely drinkable. Between this and the No Coast citra-hopped Peace Tree really had a great day!

*Firetrucker Resuscitator Doppelbock – goes to show that almost every style of beer was well represented at this beer festival. Firetrucker showcasing a style that I usually don’t go out of my way for but after tasting theirs, I would be more than happy having this in my beer fridge arsenal on a constant basis. Excellent body, malty aroma, and the caramel and nuttiness on the flavor makes this the perfect beer for fall. Give me a slice of pumpkin pie to pair with this beer and I’m in heaven!

Lots of great bottled stuff like Goose Island Bourbon County, some great offerings from Founders, 30th Anniversary by Bells, Silva Stout from Green Flash, and quite a few things from Abu Nawas. A great event that I can’t recommend enough! Looking forward to next years already and I hope to see you there!

List of After Oktoberfest Parties for this Saturday 10/3/15

northside octoberfestA few after parties will be happening this Saturday once Oktoberfest draws to a close. A chance to try more beer and here are the places that will be hosting:

Founders and Stone @Sanctuary 5-10pm
405 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: KBS, ReDankulous, All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, Vertical Epic, Ruination 2.0, Delicious IPA, & Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard

Oskar Blues @Joe’s Place 5-10pm
115 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: $4 Pinner Pints & Barrel Aged G’Knight
Come hang out with the OB Brewery Rep

Boulevard @Mosley’s 5-10pm
525 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: Rye on Rye, Collaboration #5, Funky Pumpkin & Tank 7

Peace Tree @Donnelly’s Pub 5-10pm
110 E College St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: Blonde Fatale & Sour Mash

New Belgium @Blackstone 5-8pm
503 Westbury Dr #1, Iowa City, IA 52245
Featuring: Apple Oscar Ale & LaFolie
Meet the Brewer

Lagunitas @Gabes 8-10pm
330 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: Lagunitas Daytime & IPA
8pm-10pm: The Jumbies on the patio & DJ Lagu inside

New Belgium @The Mill 8-12am
120 E Burlington St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Featuring: LaFolie & Peach Oscar Ale
Meet the Brewer