Oskar Blues shipping inaugural “BA20 Vol. 1: All Monde” nationwide today!

oskar blues

Oskar Blues brewing company will start shipping their new barrel aged series nationwide starting today. Their BA20 series will kickoff with All Monde. This beer will be available in 12 oz 4 pack cans. I’m assuming this will be relatively limited to certain stops, and I’m not sure exactly who will get it, hopefully I’m wrong though the footprint is a bit wider. Chees!

Here’s more on this brew:

To make All Monde, BA20 Volume 1, the shiny new Spinbot is packed with toasted almonds and Madagascar vanilla beans. A big time imperial stout racked in bourbon barrels for nine oaky months is swirled through until the nutty and sweet flavors are maximized to their full potential. The result is a barrel aged imperial stout with the toasty almond and vanilla flavor dials turned to eleven.

Coming Soon: Enjoy By Tangerine, Oskar Blues, Left Hand, CW Cassian Sunset, Deschutes IPA, Ballast Point

Lots of updates on beers soon to be hitting our shelves here in Eastern Iowa. Onto the goodness:

stone*Stone Brewing*Tangerine Enjoy By – been hearing about this one for quite a while now and it’s finally going to start making its way to the shelves. Tangerine IPA from Stone will be hitting shelves April 25th. It will be available in 22 oz bombers and 12 oz 6 packs. More from Stone:

After brewing this intense double IPA with more than 10 different hops and consistently delivering it faster than any bottled IPA on the planet, we decided to do something different with this Stone Enjoy By IPA—we took it to another level, again. Puréed tangerines were added to the batch to create a devastatingly fresh IPA with a tang of tangerine. The flavors yielded by this addition to the recipe meld beautifully with the bitterness of the hops. True to this series, Stone Enjoy By Tangerine IPA is brewed specifically NOT to last, and should be enjoyed within 37 days.

oskar blues*Oskar Blues* – Passion Fruit Pinner –  Oskar Blues getting into the fruity IPA mix by adding Passion Fruit Pinner to their portfolio. This beer will be available in 12 oz cans and be in at a sessionable 4.3%.

*Left Hand* – Extrovert IPA – Left Hand will be releasing extrovertan American IPA Extrovert. Not to be confused with their sessionable IPA, Introvert. This beer will become available in May along Left Hand’s distro footprint. More from Left Hand:

Meet Extrovert IPA. This April, Left Hand is launching a new American IPA, bringing together a blend of tropical, fruit-forward hops with a malty backbone. Brewed to be enjoyed with friends, Left Hand’s new IPA features a blend of hops and a pleasant, lingering bitterness with a dry finish. Extrovert IPA will join Introvert Session IPA as a year-round offering in six-pack and draft.

Crafted on Left Hand’s new 7 bbl pilot system, Extrovert is the result of over 6 months of development to brew a balanced American IPA that was the perfect complement to Introvert. “It’s a very crowded market, so we knew we needed to set ourselves apart.” states Matt Thrall, Director of Brewing, “Our approach was to develop a recipe that wasn’t just hoppy water, but to create a well-built IPA with complexity and depth.”

With a hopped up attitude brewed to stimulate serendipity, Extrovert is assertive with a big personality of 75 IBUs, yet reveals layers of complexity for the seasoned IPA fan. Extrovert IPA is dry hopped at one pound per barrel with a hop blend that plays well together, consisting of Jarrylo, Cascade, and Comet. Jarrylo is a new sea hop variety, full of nuances with subtle stone fruit notes. Cascade brings pineapple and citrus while Comet adds tropical flavors and aroma and is Extrovert & Introvert’s shared hop variety. In addition, rye and acidulated malt give the beer a dry mouthfeel and distinct bite. The lasting result is a hop melody like a basket of fruit with mouthwatering notes of pineapple, mango, and orange blossom, balanced by sweet biscuity malt. Extrovert finishes with a pleasant lingering bitterness.


CW Cassian Sunset.jpg*Central Waters*- Cassian Sunset – really looking forward to seeing this one on our shelves and my guess is it won’t be on the shelves very long. A highly anticipated release from Central Waters will makes its way to our shelves soon. Here’s more on this beer from Central Waters:

Happy April 18th everyone! You know what today is? Today is the day all of our Wisconsin wholesalers can begin selling our newest barrel aged four pack..Cassian Sunset. This week, start looking for this beer to hit your store shelves in limited quantities. All out of state markets will start selling this beer as they get it over the next couple of weeks, but Wisconsin starts TODAY!
An imperial stout aged for one year in used bourbon barrels with the additions of coffee, vanilla beans and cinnamon. The flavor begins with the locally roasted coffee, progresses to the richness of the vanilla beans, and ends with a hint of cinnamon.

deschutes*Deschutes* Sagefight Imperial IPA – sage and juniper berries in an IPA? Sure, let’s give it a shot. This new Imperial IPA from Deschutes will be making it’s way to shelves soon. You might scoff at the ingredients, but keep in mind, this is a 2 time GABF gold medal winner. 7.3% ABV will come in six packs. Here’s more from Deschutes:

In this corner: Citrus Hops from the Pacific Northwest … In that corner, inspired by our central Oregon high desert landscape: sage and juniper! This IPA is piney, resinous, citrusy and big. Let the flavor battle begin – you are the one who wins!

mocha*Ballast Point* Mocha Marlin – Ballast Point keeps kicking out new brews and will be adding Mocha Marlin to their lineup. This english porter with coffee, chocolate, and natural flavors will check in at 6%. Here’s more from Ballast Point:

Our Black Marlin Porter is the perfect beer for a mocha mashup. The addition of the coffee and cocoa plays perfectly off the roast, chocolatey flavors of this English porter, while a hint of vanilla smooths it all out. It’s full-bodied, but not too sweet; try it for breakfast…or dessert.

Baron’s Best of 2015: Part 2

best ofHere we go with part 2. Part 1 dominated by Iowa breweries so Part 2 I’ll mix it up a bit more. Once again, criteria has to be: 1) Available for purchase in Iowa in 2015 2) A beer I’ve ever tried before.



love buzz**Anchorage Brewing Love Buzz Saison – a style I’ve grown to love more and more and with Anchorage, Blackberry Farm (spoiler), and Lion Bridge constantly available, this is a style I’ll continue to enjoy! Roses, peppercorns, and orange peels star in this wonderful brew from Anchorage.

thresher.jpeg**Toppling Goliath Thresher – pale wheat ales were 1st introduced to me at Merkles’ Bar across from Wrigley in the form of 3 Floyds Gumballhead on tap. That was when I 1st started getting into craft so that beer and style are always exciting for me to try. Toppling Goliath takes a pale wheat and adds that TG IPAness to it. Very crushable and refreshing.

prairie.jpeg**Prairie Apple Brandy Noir
– enjoyed this bottle for the 1st time at Lincoln Winebar thanks to Jesse. Served at a perfect temperature, this beer was one to sip on and enjoy. Apple cider, caramel, dark fruits and a bit of burn from the booze made this a perfect winter stout…I just wish I had more.

photo (2)**Big Grove Brewery Trident XII – I think if there was a gun to my head and I had to pick my favorite beer I tried this year, this might be the winner. Melon and citrus flavors combine to bring this 11%ish double IPA seem like a deceitfully drinkable IPA.Plus, you know, I won my family beer fest with this brew.


ob.jpeg**Oskar Blues Death By Coconut
– I heard the 1st release of this was lacking coconut, luckily I got the second batch of this. This beer is an almond joy in beer form. Enjoyed it tailgating prior to the Iowa/Gopher game and hoping to see more of it our shelves. Oskar Blues outdid themselves with this one.


515**515 Passe  –  had this all the way down in Parkville, MO at the Parkville Beer Festival. Dave and company might have made the best pale ale in Iowa with this beer. The perfect combination of citrus and tropical fruit make this one of the better beers of the year. 515 is just a fantastic place to visit and I wish I could get to Des Moines more often.


talggrss.jpeg**Tallgrass Big RICC – I think if there was a vote on the best Tallgrass beer Big RICC might take home the gold. A 10.2% Russian Imperial Stout coming in a can that has a perfect balance of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee. I hope Tallgrass keeps pushing this one down their lines!

Part 2 in the books! Let me know your thoughts!

Coming to Shelves: 2 New Beers from Boulevard, Gubna,, Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged?

A few updates for this week has Boulevard releasing two new beers into their lineup. Boulevard has a very busy looking schedule for 2015 and with the successful release of Coffee Imperial Stout one can assume that the next two will be just as successful. Here’s what’s coming:

the calling*Boulevard The Calling IPA – a new addition to the Smokestack Series, this beer will be released in 4 packs and comes in at 8.5% ABV.It will be available starting March 3rd. More from Boulevard:

The Calling, which will be available on draft and in four packs of twelve ounce bottles, is the result of several months of hard (delicious) work by our brewing team who sought to create an IPA with a juicy, tropical fruit aroma that leaps from the glass. A simple malt base composed solely of our two row base malt serves as a platform for giant, punchy hop flavor and aroma provided by a blend of Simcoe, Bravo, Topaz, Cascade, Mosaic, Equinox, Galaxy, and Amarillo hops. Read that sentence again. We are not messing around here, folks. The Calling also receives an addition of lemon peel during the last five minutes of the boil to add an extra citrusy punch. At 8.5 ABV and 75 IBU, The Calling is the IPA we knew we had to brew. As of this minute, our goal is to get The Calling out to you on draft in early to mid-February with bottles to follow soon.

spring belle*Boulevard Spring Belle Saison – this new Saison from Boulevard will be available in 6 packs and will be their new spring season offering. Using magnum and simcoe hops for bittering and lemondrop and calypso for flavor this beer also has flavor of roses, chamomile, and elderflower and checks in at 6.2%. More from Boulevard on this brew:

At 6.2 ABV and 35 IBUs, Spring Belle is composed of a fairly traditional saison malt bill of our two-row base pale malt and a touch of malted wheat. Magnum and Simcoe hops are utilized for bittering while late hopping with Calypso and Lemondrop lends bright, pear/citrus notes to the beer. During whirlpooling, the time when beer rests briefly after boiling before being cooled and transferred to the fermentation cellar, our brewers infused the wort with just over 70 pounds of a blend of rose petals, chamomile and elderflower. Infusing these flowers while the wort is still hot, but not boiling mimics the extraction you would see when brewing tea that incorporates these flowers. We find that this method lends subtle floral aromas and flavors that play nicely with the spicy phenolic notes contributed by fermentation with our house Belgian yeast strain.

sierra nevada
*Sierra Nevada
is releasing two new barrel-aged beers and according to mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com they will both be Bock style beers with one being aged in bourbon barrels and the other aged in whisky barrels. No word on whether or not these will be bottled or just keg release, or even if Iowa will see them at all. I’ll keep you posted on this.

oskar*Oskar Blues Gubna- coming in March is this imperial IPA from Oskar Blues with a slight tweak to the hop profile. According to beerstreetjournal.com the 2015 version will have whole leaf Galena hops, Sorachi Ace, and Columbus and dry-hopped with El Doroado, Comet, and Chinook. It will check in at 10% ABV. More from the brewery:

Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made with three malts and one hop. Its light amber color and slightly spicy malt character are derived from the use of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt respectively. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Summit hops are used exclusively in the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma but it doesn’t end there. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows the 10% ABV monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs already present. This beer should greet you with a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle and finish with a brisk, clean bitterness. Columbus in early and mid kettle.

Update: Dates for Oskar Blues and Hopslam in Eastern Iowa

hopslamiaWell, it looks like we may be waiting a tad longer for Oskar Blues and Hopslam to hit our shelves in Eastern Iowa. I just saw a tweet from Johncy’s Liquor Store in North Liberty:

Hopslam February 2nd. Oscar blue January 27th

If you hear of any other places with different release dates please let me know. I’ve heard rumors of Oskar Blues cans at certain locations but haven’t confirmed. Cheers!

Coming Soon to Shelves: Hopslam, Central Waters, Rogue, New Belgium, Oskar Blues

Some new beers should be making their way to Eastern Iowa shelves very soon. The yearly anticipated release of Bells Hopslam, Central Waters Bourbon Barrel aged stout and possible cherry variant, Rogue releasing a spring pumpkin beer and New Belgium coming out with a porter for spring. Here we go:

hopslam**Bells Hopslam** – the annual release should be hitting our shelves in the next week or two. It will be interesting to see how the sales go as l saw last years $19.99 six packs sitting for a while in a few stores.

**Central Waters Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout**- a highly anticipated release from stoutCentral Waters is now available while supplies last. I saw Johncey’s in North Liberty post that they had it but it would be gone relatively quick. If you are lucky enough to find some, snag it up, it ages well and this is an underrated brew. Going off of that, rumor has it some Iowa accounts might see the bourbon barrel-aged cherry variant of cherrythis brew. I cannot confirm this but have heard rumblings. This would be a most welcome beer, as I’ve longed to try it!

**Rogue Pumpkin Savior Ale** – Rogue will be releasing this witbier that uses pumpkins that had been frozen from their fall harvest for the spring of 2015. More on this beer from http://www.beerstreetjournal.com:

Created with pumpkins grown at rogue farms in 

pumpkinIndependence, Oregon. This year we had an abundant harvest that left us with extra pumpkins after we brewer  pumpkin patch ale. So rather than let our precious pumpkins rot in the field we decided to save them by freezing them whole and brewing a spring pumpkin wit.

Rogue Pumpkin Savior Ale will be available of 750ml bottles in Spring, 2015.

Style: WItbier (w/ Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Ginger, Cloves)
Availability: 750ml bottles
Arrival: Spring, 2015

portage**New Belgium Portage Porter** – this beer will be hitting the shelves soon and will be available through March. Here’s more from http://www.thefullpint.com:

With New Belgium Brewing so close to the Cache la Poudre river, there’s a lot of us at the brewery that love to kayak and paddle,” said New Belgium’s Collaboration Business Analyst, Tye Eyden. “This time of year is great because the snowmelt begins and the rivers start to rise. But, often times, that will bring precarious conditions and rapids that we might have to portage around. Portage Porter pays tribute to that awesome experience – the obstacles are part of the fun!”

**Oskar Blues PINNER Throwback IPA** – this beer will be available this month, but with the rollout of Oskarpinner Blues in Iowa so fresh, I’m not sure when we will see it. Dry hopped with many different hops including a new variety, this “session” IPA comes in at 4.9%. Hopefully we see it soon!

**If you see any of these beers available please drop me a line and let me know where! Cheers!**

Oskar Blues Heading to Iowa?

oskar bluesJust received the following picture from a friend on twitter. If you read carefully the bottom of the first paragraph that is posted you will see the following, “Oskar Blues will also add distribution in Missouri, West Virginia and IOWA in 2014.”


Some great news here if it holds up, let’s hope it does, especially since we got the big N-O from Odell for distribution. Here is a quick list of beers available from Oskar Blues:

*Dales Pale Ale
*Mama’s Little Yella Pils
*Old Chub – Scottish Strong Ale
*Deviant Dales –  IPA
*G’Night – imperial red
*Gubna- Imperial IPA
*Ten Fidy – Imperial Stout

Hopslam Rollout News; Oskar Blues distributions news (not good)

hopslamEastern Iowa, we are not too far away from Hopslam! releases! Here’s the latest from Bell’s and Reds Alehouse. The following comes from Bells Brewery blog.

Hopslam will start shipping to areas in Michigan the week of Jan. 6. It will begin shipping to Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Ohio and Arizona the week of Jan. 13. It will then start shipping to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Kentucky and Pennsylvania the week of Jan. 20.

Wanting to hit a Hopslam! party? Here’s what Reds Alehouse in North Liberty has in store! (Credit @chinslovesiowa for the pic. Or visit Flannigans in Coralville.


oskar bluesIn other Eastern Iowa beer news. Another big time brewery’s first quarter release has somehow left Iowa on their distribution map, but hopefully this is one we see sooner than later because they are pumping out some of the best beers around. Here’s more from Oskar Blues:

 Oskar Blues Brewery has announced a handful of new market launches right out of the gate for 2014. First quarter new markets include a re-introduction to Idaho (Craig Stein Beverage), Minnesota (Original Gravity group of distributors), Kansas, Nevada and Delaware, along with increased distribution in southern Alabama.

This announcement follows a 37 percent (32,000 bbls) increase in 2013 while adding Michigan and Indiana. Oskar Blues also filled distribution voids in Central California, Eastern North Carolina and the balance of Tennessee and Kentucky in late summer of 2013.

Oskar Blues Brewery packaged 59,000 bbls in 2011 and doubled that production, reaching over 119,000 bbls in 2013. That growth has been fueled by the addition of the second Tasty Weasel Taproom and Brevard, NC, brewery, which began brewing in December 2012. The Oskar Blues Brevard Brewery shipped more than 46,000 bbls in their first year of operation as East Coast distribution grew throughout the year.

In addition to capacity increases, Oskar Blues added key player Lou Romano as National Sales Director in October and promoted Chris Russell to Business Development Director, in preparation for 2014. These two industry veterans lead a staunch group of regional managers and a sales force that has grown to over 45 strong.

Distribution News: Iowa not getting Stone Dayman Coffee IPA, Nebraska Brewing, Oskar Blues

stoneJust found this interesting article over at beerpulse.com about Aleman/Two Brothers/Stone Dayman Coffee IPA being distributed around the country and it looks like us Iowans might be out of luck getting this brew. This isn’t finalized yet so hopefully we will see this product.

Available in: Limited 22oz bottles and draft

Stats: 8.7% ABV, 42 IBUs

Hops: Cascade and Citra

Malt bill: British and American Pale Malt, Crystal and Vienna Malts

Distribution (not necessarily finalized): AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, MD, MA, MO, NC, NM, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, and WA

Tasting Notes, provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele

Appearance: Clear amber with a tan head of foam.
Aroma: It’s difficult to discern which aroma hits first—the wonderful, citrusy tropical fruitiness of the Citra hops or the deep-roasted elegance of the coffee roasted especially for this brew.
Taste: The taste of this beer follows right along with the aromatics. Roasted coffee and citrusy hops play well together as the beer flows across the palate along with hints of toasted malt and a wonderful lingering bitterness.
Palate: Dry with a nice lingering bitterness. The coffee flavors hang on pleasantly after the hop bitterness recedes.
Overall: The Aleman guys developed a wonderful IPA recipe. The addition of coffee bringswonderful layers of totally unexpected roast components that make this beertruly unique. I’ve never had anything like it and I look forward to enjoying several pints. It’s been a pleasure to put this brew together with Aleman and Two Brothers.

Suggested food parings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak

Appetizers: Stuffed portobello mushrooms with blue cheese, pancetta-wrapped shrimp, carne asada tacos, Korean BBQ
Soups and Salads: Arugula salad with vinaigrette, chili concarne, hot and sour soup
Entrees: Caul fat-wrapped snapper, braised pork belly, meatloaf, chile relleno
Cheeses: Cabrales blue cheese, Fiscalini Bandage Wrapped Cheddar, Bayley Hazen Blue, Rogue Caveman Blue
Desserts: Bitter chocolate, tiramisu, toffee peanut butter brittle, dark chocolate-dipped strawberries
Cigars: Flor de las Antillas Toro, Rocky Patel Decade, Camacho Corojo Figurado

nebraskaIn other news, in a few correspondences with Nebraska Brewing Co. (http://www.nebraskabrewingco.com/main.asp)  looks like they will be making their way back to our shelves, and hopefully soon. Here’s the email I got:

We are actually in the process of selecting a distributor and firing up distribution in Iowa (again).  We’re glad to hear you like the beer!  I’ll check out your blog and stay tuned for updates on our expansion into Iowa.

oskar bluesA few months ago it sounded like Oskar Blues and Odell was just a matter of time before they would be hitting our shelves in Eastern Iowa, since then, it’s been very quiet on that front. This was a tweet I  found on http://www.beerpulse.com talking how Oskar Blues is going international, kind of kick in the balls for Iowans wanting this brewery, but I’m guessing the money is there for Oskar.

.@OskarBlues has gone international per Chris Katechis. 32 US states & now a full truckload for Sweden & few other European cities. #CObeer