Beer Camp Across America Coming to Reds Alehouse Tuesday June 14th

redsSierra Nevada’s popular Beer Camp Across America hits Reds Ale House taplines tomorrow night! (Tuesday June 14th). The 6 one-time only beers are West Latitude, Stout of the Union, Moxee-Moron, Family Values, Pat-Rye-Ot, and Sweet Sunny South. Get to Reds tomorrow night and check them out! More info on the press release below!


Coming to Shelves: NB Rampant cans, Boulevard, Sierra Nevada, Bells Wheat Beer Glass

Payday coming up on Thursday and I’m looking forward to adding a few beers to my fridge this week. I still haven’t gotten my hands on Pirate Bomb! from Prairie yet and hopefully I can still find it, and I’m hoping Toppling Goliath makes an Eastern Iowa drop this week as well. I need to find some of Millstream’s Raspberry Latte Stout and stock up on that as well. Last week I was able to pick up some Bells Double Cream Stout which is a favorite this time of year and I was lucky enough to get a few more bottles of New Belgium’s fantastic Hop the Pond the IPA which would be a welcome sight if it went year round. Hoping to see a few of you Friday night at Blackstone’s Border War! Onto some news tidbits!

rampant**New Belgium Brewing** – the can craze continues as New Belgium will be offering their Rampant IPA in cans. The following comes from

The hop profile heavily features Mosaic and Calypso, bringing stone fruit flavors to the front seat. We’re talking peaches, apricots, things like that. Centennials are in there too, rounding out the aroma with a big citrus blast. Rampant also offers a sturdy malt backbone to balance the flavor in such wonderful way. It is a really great beer, like really great…

New Belgium Rampant IPA will be available in 12oz cans. Release date to follow.

Style: Imperial IPA
Hops: Mosaic, Calypso, Centennial
Malts: Pale, Black

Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. 12oz Cans (Soon)

boulevard**Boulevard Brewing** – Boulevard will be releasing “Last Splash” will be their 3rd release in their Backroads Beer series and this one is a wet-hopped ale. From Boulevard’s Instagram:

We’re bottling Last Splash, an upcoming wet-hopped Backroads beer, for an early November release today. This beer showcases Nugget hops that were shipped to us within hours of being harvested. 

sierra nevada**Sierra Nevada**– this December Sierra Nevada Brewing will be sending out a wild hop IPA. According to their website these are southwest hops that were found “while scrambling down hillsides near their home in New Mexico”. This will be the 5th and final release of the Harvest series of 2014 and the hop varietal they are using is called “Neomexicanus” which has melon, citrus, and apricot aroma and flavor. Here’s some quick stats from the fellas

Quick stats on Harvest Wild Hop IPA:

  • ABV—6.5%
  • BU—55
  • Hop(s)—Neomexicanus
  • Malts—Two-row Pale, Caramel

bells**Bells Brewing** – Bells Brewing has released a glass designed specifically for wheat beers. Here’s the description of the glass from Bells.

Bell’s was approached by renowned Austrian glassware manufacturer Spiegelau with an exciting partnership opportunity to create a custom Bell’s Wheat Beer Glass. Knowing how big of a role wheat beers play at Bell’s, we were excited for the opportunity to give wheat beers some attention and elevate the experience of drinking this flavorful, complex style of beer.  Designed to elevate the experience of drinking not only Bell’s Oberon Ale, Winter White and Oarsman Ale, the glass is poised to become the new standard for enjoying all wheat beers.

What makes the Bell’s Wheat Beer Glass enhance the enjoyment of wheat beers more so than a standard pint glass or hefeweizen glass?

• Raw quartz silica combined with Speigelau’s state of the art production methods help beer sustain head retention and carbonation

• Ultra-pure quartz material makes for unsurpassed clarity and flawless true color presentation of wheat beers

• Laser cut top lip of the glass resulting in crisp, clean delivery of the beer during each sip

• Larger body / bowl of the glass to capture and concentrate more of the delicate, complex aromas that are unique to wheat style beers

• Mouth opening delivers beer evenly across the palate to enhance the distinct mouthfeel, and harmony of sweetness and acidity that comes from the wheat malt in the beer

• Lip at the bottom of the bowl that results in a slight “slosh” after every tip of the glass, causing the carbonation to be re-activated, releasing more of the aromatics after each drink

• Thin walls maintain proper beer temperature longer

New to Shelves: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, NB Lips of Faith + Hop Kitchen

Some new beers are making their ways to Eastern Iowa shelves. Sierra Nevada Beer Camp has hit the shelves and also some new Lips of Faith and Hop Kitchen beers from New Belgium. Here’s a look at the new brews:

beer campSierra Nevada Beer Camp consists of three different beers. This year we get an IPA, Belgian Style Black IPA, and Imperial Red. Here’s the release from the brewery:

Our Beer Camp® brewhouse is where our best ideas are born. Here, we develop recipes, try new techniques and turn concepts into new beers. At Beer Camp, we invite our biggest fans to the brewery for a week of in-depth, hands-on learning. Each camp challenges our brewers to make a new and unique beer—the crazier the ingredients the better. Each year, we release some of our favorite Beer Camp creations in the bottle, but mostly, the beers are very limited draught-only rarities. If you see one at a bar near you, search out the lucky camper, buy them a beer and get their stories first hand because while the beers may disappear quickly, the memories will last a lifetime.

*Belgian Style Black IPA
Style: Black IPA
ABV: 7.7%

From the brewery:

This beguiling black IPA takes a tropical detour with a dose of new world hops, featuring lemony Sorachi Ace and fruity Nelson Sauvin varieties. A Belgian yeast works with the exotic hop profile, emphasizing its complex and fruity flavors.

Style: IPA
ABV: 6.9%

From the brewery:

This IPA sacrifices nothing for its drinkability, flexing big time flavor and complexity. The light color disguises the dept of the malt backbone, a pillar that balances the potent whole-cones of the piney-citrus Cascade and tropical fruit-like Citra hops.

*Imperial Red
Style: American Strong
ABV: 8.5%

From the brewery:

Our aggressive Imperial Red Ale is a massive mix of smooth malts and West Coast hops that have no patience for the lupulin leery. This crimson beer starts with caramel-like malt flavor that can’t suppress the assertive, citrusy hop finale. 

new belgiumNow, onto New Belgium. The Lips of Faith Series and the Hop Kitchen series continue to go strong and now they are adding Yuzu Berliner Weisse and Coconut Curry Hefeweizen to their Lips of Faith series. Being added to the Hop Kitchen series is French Aramis IPA. Here’s more of a breakdown on these three beers.

*Yuzu Berliner Weisse
Style: Berliner Weisse
ABV: 8%

From the brewery:

Yuzu is a strange fruit- citrusy and bold. Those three words: strange, citrus and bold are the perfect beginnings for a great beer. So, our brewers paired yuzu with the sourness of a Berlinerweiss to create this beerlicious Yuzu Berlinerweiss. Brewed with pale malt and wheat this Berlinerwiess was acidified with Lactobacillus for a light, dry mouthfeel and tart refreshment. Hazy and straw-colored, the yuzu fruit brings a tropical charm to a traditional beer.

*Coconut Curry Hefeweizen
Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 8%

From the brewery:

Coconut Curry Hefeweizen has been pouring down the history of American Home Brewing for many years, from the legendary Charlie Papazian to the 2010 National Homebrewer, Remi Bonnart. The latter helped New Belgium brew this hazy, straw-colored gem to life. The aroma is bold and big with coconut and curry tones and a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. With a vast spice list of cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime, and cayenne pepper this beer carries a bit of heat but the alcohol soothes the finish. Coconut Curry Hefe will leave an inquisitive smile on the drinker’s mug.

*French Aramis IPA
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.7%

From the brewery:

A drier IPA for the summer, brewed with French Aramis hops to create an aroma of fresh cut flowers and garden herbs.

If you try anyone of these beers I would love your thoughts so pass a line my way!

Top 25 Beers of 2012 (available in Eastern Iowa) Part 3 of 5

top 2

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got to drink some wonderful beers. I’m hoping to get this list done by New Year’s Day so here we go with part 3 0f 5.



stoneStone Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA – Imperial IPA – 10.8%

Yes, another Stone brewery beer is on this list. But that has to tell you how great their beers are and how lucky we are to have them on our liquor/grocery store shelves in Eastern Iowa. This beer was my favorite of the year until I ran into their Enjoy By IPA, but still an amazing beer. Huge citrus hop presence in the nose and the flavor is much the same. It was one of those beers that you were lucky to try one, but if you saw 20 bottles you should buy the whole lot. Description from the brewery:

And as Stone Ruination IPA turns 10, we thought we’d make ourselves a nice little birthday present to celebrate. But what kind of selfish jerks would we be if we didn’t share?! Behold, the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA. (Clever name, eh? That’s why us folks in the Marketing Dept. get the big bucks!) It’s an amped-up version of Stone Ruination IPA, with a bit more malt to bring the abv up from 7.7% to 10.8%, and a very heavy dose of hops. “Classic” Ruination uses 2.5 pounds of hops per barrel–which is more than double the amount we use in any other of our core beers–but for Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA, we went double again, using an impressive 5 pounds of hops per barrel, including about a pound each of Citra and Centennial in the dry hop. (Hell. Yes.)

Suggested Pairings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak 
Appetizers: Kimchee, ceviche, bacon-wrapped jalapeños (or habaneros)
Entrées: Salt and pepper shrimp, jambalaya, roasted pork chops with apple sauce, pineapple curry 
Desserts: Apple pie with caramel sauce, toffee bars, spiced carrot cake 
Cheeses: Aged Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Roquefort, Mimolette 
Cigars: Ashton Classic Majesty, Litto Gomez Diez, Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Invictos Corojo Robusto

evil twinEvil Twin Biscotti Break – 8.4% – Imperial Porter

A perfect beer to drink during the winter months in Iowa. Nice robust flavors of nuts, biscuits, coffee, dark chocolate, and malts. The flavor is sweet, caramel and coffee dominate with a nice bitter finish. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this one and the price tag is relatively hefty, anywhere from $15-$20 for a bottle, but definitely worth seeking and trying in my opinion. From the brewery:

Editors note: the first edition was brewed at Fanø Bryghus, Denmark for the Beer cruise Rome-Barcelona, June 2011 and held 7.5% ABV. 

Porter made with espresso, vanilla and toasted almonds for the Beer cruise Rome-Barcelona, June 2011. Italy has a certain “je ne sais quoi” – fab food culture, highly decadent history of art and cool countryside. Some might argue the people are loud and flamboyant, they steal our women, and their soccer players melodramatically flop on the pitch. Listen – that’s all part of the secret Italian ingredient – keep it cool, confident, arrogant and extravagant. Forza Italia! 
Malt beverage with almonds, vanilla beans and coffee added.

double troubleFounders Double Trouble – 9.4% – Imperial IPA

Another relatively new brewery in Eastern Iowa this year that has multiple beers on my list. I think it goes to show that local breweries are going to have to up their game a bit to compete for shelf space with the craft beer greats such as Founders and Stone. Powerful double IPA with strong citrus flavor. Very drinkable and be cautious as it comes in at 9.4% ABV. Great stuff, can’t wait for spring release! From the brewery:

An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops have got you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front paired with a malt balanced backbone and a smooth bitter finish. 86 IBUs.



Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – 10.4% – Imperial IPA

The first time I had this beer I was enjoying one with my brother. His first comment upon opening the beer is that it smelled heavily of weed, which I guess must be a good thing, because this beer blew me away. In your face hop presence in both aroma and flavor. A very aggressive beer, not for virgin craft beer drinker. From the brewery:

A group of hop-heads and publicans challenged our Beer Camp (#19) brewers to push the extremes of whole-cone hop brewing. The result is this: a 100 IBU, whole-cone hurricane of flavor. Simply put- Hoptimum: the biggest whole-cone IPA we have ever produced. Aggressively hopped, dry-hopped and torpedoed with our exclusive new hop varieties for ultra-intense flavors and aromas. 

Hops, hops and more hops are the stars of this big, whole-cone Imperial IPA. Resinous ‘new-school’ and exclusive hop varieties carry the bold and aromatic nose. The flavor follows the aroma with layers of aggressive hoppiness, featuring notes of grapefruit rind, rose, lilac, cedar and tropical fruit – all culminating in a dry and lasting finish. 

Beer specs: 
ABV: 10.4%
Original Gravity: 22.8 Plato
Final Gravity: 4.5 Plato
Bitterness Units: 100 IBU
Color: Orange Amber
Bittering Hops: German Magnum
Aroma Hops: Simcoe & New Proprietary Variety
Dry Hops: Simcoe & New Proprietary Variety
Torpedo Hops: Citra & Chinook
Malts: Two-row Pale, Golden Promise, Munich & Wheat
Yeast: Ale

great river
Great River Redband Coffee Stout – 6% – Stout

Brewed in the great state of Iowa used with their local coffee shops coffee beans this an intense coffee stout. Huge coffee flavor that pairs perfectly the dark chocolate and roasted malts in this stout. Nice bitter finish that lingers for a bit. A great beer, and glad to have this made in Iowa. From the brewery:

We love our local roaster’s New Orleans Iced Coffee so much we decided to use their beans in our brew. Redband Stout is made with Indonesian and Ethiopian beans using our 18-hour cold brew extraction method, resulting in a satisfying brew with intense coffee aromatics. The marriage of two of our favorite beverages.