Tallgrass Announces 4 new beers for Explorer Series

tallgrassTallgrass Brewing will be expanding their Explorer Series lineup by adding 4 new beers. According to thefullpint.com the new beers will hit their distro footprint January-April 2016. Here’s more from thefullpint.com:

Each brand in the Explorer Series will be available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft in 1/2 barrel and 1/6 barrel kegs. A mix pack box containing one of each of the Explorer Series beers also will be available April-May. The new brands in the Explorer Series for the first half of 2016 include the following:
  • The Grizz: Fiercely hopped and weighing in at 9.5% ABV, The Grizz is an Imperial IPA with a bright, juicy fruit-like aroma; strong citrus hop flavors and a dry finish. Available January – March.
  • Sweet Tooth: A complex, candy-like Belgian Dark Strong Ale boasting rich malt flavors and dark fruit notes wrapped in the savory-sweet interplay of a salted caramel. ABV 9.2%. Available February – March.
  • Biere de Mars:  A rare style. Traditionally brewed by French farmers in late winter or early spring for quick consumption, the Biere de Mars is smooth, malty and dry, with a toasty, toffee-like quality. ABV 7.0%. Available March – April.
  • Raspberry Jam: A light and refreshing Berliner Weisse, with its crisp natural tartness balanced by the addition of raspberries. Sweet yet tart, with an ABV of 4.3%. Available April – July.
“This next wave of brews represents our love of experimenting with new hop combinations and enhancing big beers with unique flavor profiles,” said Tallgrass founder and CEO Jeff Gill. “It also marks our inaugural foray into mixed fermentation and highlights our passion for creating beers with interesting histories. After launching this series with several barrel-aged beers and a Russian Imperial Stout, we wanted to explore an even wider range of styles and flavors we love.”

More information on these upcoming releases, including detailed tasting notes and can designs, will be available in the coming months at www.tallgrassbeer.com.

Bell’s Hopslam only available in cans and keg in 2016

bellsThe following tweet comes from Bell’s Brewery:

will only be available in cans & kegs in 2016. Look at this beauty.

And more from their website:

One of our most sought after beers, Hopslam Ale, will be packaged solely in six-packs of 12 oz. cans and kegs when it returns in January for its annual release.

The Double India Pale Ale, brewed with Michigan honey, will not be bottled as it has been in the past.

“With construction here at the brewery on top of an already very busy schedule for our existing Bottling Hall, this was the only way to ensure that this beer got to market as quickly and as fresh as possible,” said Bell’s Vice President Laura Bell.

“Our Canning Line is very well equipped to lend a hand and help get this aromatic beer to our fans and customers so that they can enjoy it as it is intended,” she added.

Our current expansion will almost triple our Comstock Brewery’s footprint once it is completed next year. Part of that construction is a new Bottling Hall that will be able to run at triple the speed of our current bottling line.

Future packaging decisions, beyond 2016, will be decided at a later date and as construction wraps up next year.

Hopslam (10% ABV) will be the sixth Bell’s beer to be packaged in cans. Two Hearted and Bell’s seasonal offerings (Oberon, Best Brown, Winter White and Smitten) are packaged in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans. 

Two Hearted (year round) and Oberon (March – August) are also available in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans.

Coming to Shelves: Black Butte XXVII, NB Farmhouse, Next Stone Enjoy By Date, Bells 30th Ann. Imp. Stout

deschutesQuite a few tidbits so far this week and some big hitting beers that we will be seeing coming between now and the fall months. A new BBQ joint opening up in the old Old Capital Brew Works site called Mosleys. It’s coming from the owners of Reds/Big Grove/30hop/Pullman so you know it’s going to be legit. Hope to have more info soon after I talk to one of the owners. Onto the news for the week:

*Deschutes Black Butte XXVII – a beer I look forward to every year since their arrival in Iowa has been Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter. A different spin on this imperial porter has it being brewed with rose water, cocoa nibs, pomegranate molasses. Here’s more from Deschutes:

Our 27th Anniversary Imperial Porter was brewed with Theo’s cocoa nibs, pomegranate molasses and select spices, blended with apricot puree, and then aged in bourbon barrels. The result is a truly exquisite ale with bold chocolate character, inspired flavors of fruit, and just a pinch of spice. The perfect way for us to celebrate our golden birthday with you!

Malt: Pale, Wheat, Midnight Wheat, Chocolate, Crystal
Hops: Millennium, Cascade, US Tettnang
Other: Theo Chocolate Cocoa Nibs, Apricot Puree, Pomegranate Molasses
Barrel-Aging: 6 Months in Bourbon (50%)

long table*New Belgium Long Table Farmhouse Ale – a new beer to the breweries 12 oz releases is a Saison that checks in at 6.2% ABV and will be a seasonal release. More from the brewery:

An ode to the communal Saison, LONG TABLE Farmhouse Ale brings together the juicy flavors of Belgian yeast and Nelson Sauvin hops with the spicy and toasty notes of Munch and Rye grains. Grab a seat!

stone*Stone Enjoy By 10.31.15 – the latest release on this wonderfully popular beer will start brewing, as of this post in 72 days, 10 hours, and 1 minute. It will be hitting Iowa in both 12 oz and bombers. Here’s more from Stone:

This exquisite liquid patchwork of more than a dozen hops is a devastatingly fresh double IPA. Freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, hoppy IPAs – but we’ve taken it further, a lot further, with this one. We brewed this IPA specifically NOT to last. We’ve gone to extensive lengths to ensure you get your hands on this beer within an extraordinarily short window, and we’ve sent a very clear message in the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right NOW to enjoy this IPA!

30th*Bells 30th Anniversary Ale – 30 years for beers and what better way to celebrate than to pay homage to their Expedition Stout. The 30th Anniversary will be dark fruit filled, roast, and chocolate. A great beer to age due to the dark malt. It will check in at 11% and be available in 6 packs, not sure if sold as singles or not.

Odell and Avery next to enter Iowa?

odellRumors flying on beeradvocate, specifically from BottleCaps80, that Odell Brewing and Avery Brewing will averyhave representatives in our great state next week trying to work out distribution deals to enter Iowa. Avery has been rumored since the beginning of the year and speculation with Odell has continued since they are in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Missouri. With both of these big dogs in the craft beer world on the verge of entering our market, shelf space once again becomes a hot commodity in Iowa and more decisions for beer lovers is always welcome.

With that too, which breweries are going to get overlooked. There are a few that come to mind that I’ve passed up since they’ve entered our market but if both Odell and Avery enter, we have some the best options for craft beer in the country. A good problem to have for us, some breweries on our shelves might not be too happy. Cheers!

Coming to Shelves: Rogue, Lagunitas?, Founders, Enjoy By, more!

A lot of tidbits in this update as we have a bunch of beers hitting shelves and I know I missed a bunch so feel free to drop me a line if I missed anything. On to the update!

rogue**Rogue** – going with their recent VooDoo Doughnut releases, Rogue is coming out with Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale. A cruller for those who don’t know is just a style of donut. Another interesting flavor from Rogue and their VooDoo Doughnut lineup.

lagunitas**Lagunitas**- it’s been so great having Lagunitas in Iowa. Wonderfully affordable and even better tasting, Lagunitas is right up with Founders and Stone hitting our market. Their newest beer hasn’t been confirmed for Iowa and sounds very  limited. I’ll try to keep everyone updated if we see it here. Lagunitas Born Yesterday is a take on their pale ale recipe. Here’s more from Lagunitas on the beer:


founders**Founders** – according to Founders twitter account Big Lushious has been brewed and bottled and set for delivery. Here’s the tweet:

Founders Brewing Co.@foundersbrewing 2m

2 minutes ago

Big Lushious is on the bottling line today. Available beginning November 24: http://ow.ly/E4dLy 

More from the brewery:

We plan to introduce Big Lushious, a chocolate raspberry stout, this December to mark the eleventh installment in our Backstage Series. Like all of our Backstage Series beers, Big Lushious will be sold in 750mL bottles, with a suggested retail price of $14.99 per bottle.

Big Lushious is a deep, rich stout that’s packed with flavor: roasted malts, all-natural dark chocolate, a subtle suggestion of burnt coffee grounds and a kiss of tart raspberries. At 7.8% ABV, it’s big, sumptuous and extravagant, but also balanced.

“We thought Big Lushious would make a great release for the holidays,” said Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand & Education Dave Engbers. “It’s a luxurious beer for us. It’s meant for bringing to parties and is perfect for sharing with friends and family after a feast.”

Big Lushious will be released in limited quantities across our distribution footprint beginning on Monday, November 24 (note: updated from Monday, December 1, as previously announced),and will be available at our taproom that same week. This will be our last Backstage Series release in 2014—look for more in 2015.

destihl**Destihl Brewing** – coming out with another sour beer in their Wild Sour Series. I was fortunate enough, thanks to sLim, to try their Gose and really really enjoyed it so I will try to get my hands on this one as well. It is a Flanders Red that will clock in at 6.1%. More from the brewery:

Flanders Red is an acidic, sour ale with an initial impression of tart cherries and sour candy that dissipates into a complex palate displaying both a sharp lactic sourness with a backbone of caramel and biscuit malt profiles and minimal hop character. The dry, wine-like finish accentuates the complex malt profile and bright fruit notes showcased in this brilliant red colored hybrid of a modern Flanders and German-style sour.

Stone**Stone Brewing** –  Enjoy By 12/26 and Stone Master of Disguise both are scheduled to be shipped out of California on November 14th. Not sure when we will see it on shelves but it shouldn’t be much after the 14th date. More on Master of Disguise from a previous post here: https://iabeerbaron.com/2014/10/17/1st-look-at-stone-master-of-disguise-imperial-golden-stout/


Huge news of Green Flash purchasing Alpine Brewing as well. If they add Alpine to the Iowa market we have a tough lineup of beers on the shelves to beat! As always, if you have news, rumors, or reviews you would like posted drop me an email! Cheers!

Coming Soon to Shelves?! Abrasive, Sucks, The Abyss, Millstream Raspberry Latte Stout

surlySome things that may or may not be heading to Iowa in the upcoming weeks/months. There are a few that haven’t been confirmed for Iowa but we have seen in the past. So here are a few things that we will hopefully see soon.

*Millstream Raspberry Latte Stout – per a twitter conversation with @millstreambrew this will hit with distributors on December 6th. A great sounding stout for the winter months from an Iowa brewery.

*Surly Abrasive – a few reports/posts from message boards saying we can expect this when Surly rolls into Iowa full force come February. Hope to see a little trickle of it before then since it’s brewed in November, I believe.

Lagunitas Sucks – the 32 oz are supposedly suppose to hit our shelves in the next coming weeks. Haven’t heard about sixers of it but I would assume they would be as well. Anyone else have info on that to share it would be greatly appreciated.

Deschutes The Abyss- release at the brewhouse first and then to distro markets early November. Haven’t heard if we will be getting this one but I’m assuming so since we had last years.

**If you have any beer news or work in the beer industry and want something reviewed or a press release to give, contact me on twitter @iabeerbaron or benmed15@yahoo.com.

Distribution Rumor: Is Victory Brewing next to hit Iowa shelves?

victoryI’ve heard from multiple sources that Victory Brewing Company representatives have visited the state of Iowa and may be looking to have their beers enter the state. No timetable or deal is in place but they were here so take it for what it is worth. I wouldn’t mind having some Dirtwolf, Storm King, or White Monkey on the shelves! This would lead to more talk of our market having too many beers to choose from, which will be a future topic to discuss. 

Victory Brewing Company opened its doors to the public on Feb. 15, 1996. What was once a Pepperidge Farm factory became home to a 144-seat restaurant, 70-foot-long bar and a full-scale brewery. In its first year, Victory Brewing Company brewed 1,725 barrels of beer.

Since then, Victory has increased the size of the restaurant to 300 seats. The brewery has also expanded, producing  93,196 barrels of beer in 2012. As loyal craft beer drinkers continue to show their dedication to flavorful, quality beer, Victory plans to continue its own growth. Onward to Victory!


Retro Beer Company Launching in Dubuque, IA June 2nd!


999401_521468181258814_1893418816_nGet ready Dubuque. We are ready to celebrate with you. Retro Beer will be launching in Dubuque, Iowa at various locations the week of June 2nd! We would love for you to come out and meet the Retro Beer team. Here are two events we would like to invite you to:

  • Hartig Drug in Dubuque will be hosting a beer tasting on June 5th from 4-6pm.
  • On Friday, June 6th we will have a tent at the Dubuque Relay For Life from 5-10pm giving away free promotional items such as Retro Beer bottle opener key chains and T-shirts! Come say hello.

1619362_659154430823521_2454454448649266294_nGo to the link below to learn about the rest of launch week, and be sure to follow us on our Retro social media sites! 

Retro Beer Launch Week: https://www.facebook.com/events/588174581290784/

Relay For Life_ Retro  Beer

Q: How did Retro Beer Company come to be?

Put simply, we are three friends that wanted to make a difference in the world and have fun doing it. We were literally sitting around a table drinking beer one night, and we talked about how we can make a difference. This led to our idea to launch a beer that gives back.


Q: 100% of your profits go to local causes, was this the initial intent when you started?

No, we originally were thinking we would do 10% or 20% like others have done, but after talking with some distributors and retailers, we figured out quickly this was not enough to make a difference. We went all in at 100%.


Q: You guys will be going to Dubuque, IA soon, what attracted you guys to Dubuque?

We were attracted to the rivertown story that Dubuque has to offer. A town full of history, hard working people, and good ol’ Midwest values. Dubuque has a great community and great craft beer focus. Dubuque is just like Retro Beer in that we have a local community focus and a great craft beer!  We felt like our Retro values of community, generosity, and philanthropy would really resonate with the people here. We also wanted a market that represents America in the best possible way. If our message resonates here, it will work in other cities  where people care about each other and care about giving back as well.

There is a booming craft beer focus in Dubuque. We believe this is the place to launch our purpose for great craft beer enthusiasts. One thing about Iowa is….they love their beer!


Q: How would you describe your beers? What styles do you offer?

Our first beer launching on June 2nd is our Give-a-Shift Czech Style Pilsner. It is a crisp Pilsner that tastes great after a long day. Our hope is consumers will always enjoy more than one beer, which helps out our causes even more.


Q: Will there be any new beers coming in the future?

Yes, we already have our next beer named and are working on bringing it to market in the fall. For-the-Record Belgian Ale is a palate satisfying, not too overpowering, quality Belgian Ale. It has a high level of hops but the flavor is nicely balanced out for a smooth flavor.


Q: Will your beers be on tap at various Dubuque locations or be available in bottles?

It will only be available in bottles to start because we found out that you need to commit to large minimum keg quantities from keg suppliers. Since we are just launching we are not ready for that yet, but we hope to be soon.


Q: What beers, brewers, or breweries were your inspiration?

We really like Lagunitas and are inspired by their focus on quality beer.  We also draw inspiration from some of the great Retro beers like PBR, Coors, Guinness, and the original craft beer, Sam Adams.


Q: Is there anything else the public needs to know about Retro Beer Company?

I know it is cheesy but our tag line really says it all…Retro Beer Company, ”Shifting the purpose behind beer!”


Huge Green Flash Hop Odyssey Update: 2014 Releases

green flashHuge update on Green Flash future releases for their Hop Odyssey series. This update is courtesy of http://www.beerpulse.com. Short version:

White IPA
Available: Jun-July

Citra Session

Cedar Plank

Symposium IPA

It sounds like Eastern Iowa should have all of them except maybe the Cedar Plank as that sounds a bit more limited, but I could be wrong on that front.

Long version courtesy of http://www.beerpulse.com:

(San Diego, CA) – Green Flash Brewing Co. announced this week that the latest beer in its Hop Odyssey / Epic Journey (which is it?) series will make its taproom debut on June 3rd. Distribution will follow soon thereafter. There are still three more beers to be released in this collection later in the year. Below is a sneak preview.

While developing the recipe for our White IPA, we lined up malted wheat and more than a dozen hop varieties to select the three hops with the most citrus character: Simcoe, Amarillo and El Dorado. A citrus hop explosion leaps from the glass with big tangerine aromas up front, while hop flavors of bitter orange zest dominate and linger to the finish.


Our Citra Session™ IPA is brewed with high-quality Marris Otter and Vienna malt but the flavor is dominated by the Citra hops introduced throughout the boil and again in the dry hop for maximum aroma intensity. Notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit make this hop-laden brew a perfectly potable summer session IPA.


[No Label Approval Yet]

Cedar Plank™ Pale is the result of fresh innovation applied to San Diego favorite, 30th Street Pale®. This well-hopped brew is aged with Spanish Cedar, which imparts an intense cigar-box cedar aroma. Peppercorn spiciness and tannins from the wood enhance the bitter hop flavors with a long, lingering finish. A refined twist on a best-selling local beer.


Originally created for the 2008 Craft Brewers Conference, Symposium IPA™ was brewed in true San Diego form, with input from several local brewers. Extravagantly hopped with Simcoe, Tomahawk, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial layered throughout the brewing process, this beer is pale copper and medium bodied.


Coming to Shelves: Bells Cans, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum/So. Hemisphere

bellsEastern Iowa should be seeing some familiar faces on shelves soon but in a different form. Bells will be releasing Oberon and Two Hearted Ale in cans, (who’s ready to tailgate?). Did everyone get some Blacknote? I have one and am looking forward to popping the top! Also coming is Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum and Southern Hemisphere Fresh Hop IPA. Here’s more courtesy of http://www.beerpulse.com:

Four-packs of both Oberon and Two Hearted (16 oz. cans) have begun shipping from our brewery.

Sierra Nevada:

Five hop varieties conspire for flavor domination inHoptimum®, our hopped, dry-hopped and torpedoed Imperial IPA. We’ve made every one of its 100 IBUs count, so hold tight on the whirlwind journey of grapefruit rind, pine, herbs and tropical fruit.

sierraThe second of five beers in our 2014 Harvest series, Southern Hemisphere Harvest®capitalizes on the springtime hop harvest in New Zealand—yup, opposite of our fall hop harvest! Several varieties are picked, dried and shipped to us within just seven days, and we pack their fresh floral and herbal flavors and aromas into this complex, kiwi-inspired IPA.