Big Grove Releases List of Sour Beers for Sept. 14th Beer Dinner

big groveWow! This sounds like it’s going to be another terrific night at Big Grove and the dinner menu hasn’t even been released! Abu Nawas is bringing some heavy-hitters go along with what Bill, Rabbit, and T are dishing out from the brewery. Here’s the release:

Sour Dinner Release

Big Grove Brewery Richard the Whale Release Schedule and Tasting Notes

big grove


Here’s what we’ve been waiting for! The Big Grove Brewery Richard the Whale Release information big groveand tasting notes. The regular Richard the Whale was absolutely delicious and these variants are sounding amazing as well! I hope everyone gets a taste of what a great local Iowa brewery can do with dedicated brewers and staff. Cheers to Big Grove and I hope to see you at the 2nd Anniversary party!

Big Grove Brewery Thirsty happens.™ Richard the Whale Tasting Notes and Release Schedule

Click the link below to open up the PDF file to check the schedule! 

Richard the Whale Release Info (1)

Big Grove Brewery’s Bitchin Birthday Bash Details!

big groveIn late August the town of Solon will be flooded with beer lovers for almost one whole week as Big Grove Brewery celebrates their 1 year anniversary with an array of fantastic brews and some unique and wonderful food. I just came from the brewery and picked up a release brochure and here is what is planned, I wish I could make all events but if you are going drop me a line and I would love to meet up for a brew or 10. Here we go!

Tuesday, August 26 @ 6pm

“Cry Havoc! and Let Slip the Hos of War.”

$50 tickets (tax and tip included)

Carnitas tacos made from a whole roasted hog served with house made salsas and accoutrements. Preview ALL special release beers! Includes one 1/6 bbl each and all you can eat/drink. Only 50 seats available.


Wednesday, August 27 @ 6 pm

“All Hops, All the Thai’m”

$29 tickets (tax and tip included)

That BBQ buffet and full flight of DIPAs, Bell’s Hopsolution and a selection from Lagunitas.


Thursday, August 28

“Acid Funk”

Sour beer highlights with HotRod Lincoln performing on the patio. Tapping BGB young sour peach.


Friday, August 29

“The Pin is Mightier…”

BGB and Summit casks on the bar. 3 pm tappings.


Saturday, August 30

“Hawks Host Panthers, Big Grove Hosts Single Speed.”

A taste of Cedar Falls for the Hawkeye opener.


Sunday, August 31

“Aging Gracefully”

We’re taking over Iowa Street for a barrel aged beer release day, with live music. Sepher will be manning the outside grill for Persian Kabobs and housemade pita.


For more info check out Big Grove Brewery on Facebook for follow them on twitter. An exciting week that I can only hope I can be a small part of! Cheers!

The Hot 25 of 2013 PART 1!

25Deviating a bit from my last posts as the best “new” beers of the year, I’m going back to a topic that usually gets a lot of great beer talk going throughout the Eastern Iowa beer lovers: The Best Beers of 2013!

Now, all of these beers have to have been available for purchase at any Eastern Iowa beers stores, brewpubs, or breweries. There are a few that stayed on from last year and some brand new ones this year. Overall, it was a really great year for beer in Eastern Iowa and the future continues to look promising. These are all beers I’ve TRIED this year, I have some that are still in the cellar that haven’t been cracked, so I might have left some off. Feel free to email me your list of the best in Eastern Iowa or your state this year! I’ll do this in 5 installments, so without further ado…….

big grove**Big Grove Brewery Good Day to DIPA**
My favorite release so far from the folks in Solon, IA. A wonderfully balanced double IPA that gives you the citrus, reisonous pine, and the balance of the malts that we seek in our double IPAs. If you haven’t visited this place, the beer is excellent and food is just as good. A must visit location if you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. A dynamite combo is this double IPA with their Korean Chicken wings. My mouth is watering!


mornin' delight**Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight**
I’m not sure if I’ve wrote about a beer as much as I have about Mornin’ Delight. The original release garnered a bit of publicity, but it has blown up into much more since that wonderful Saturday morning in Decorah. This and the Kentucky Brunch release might highlight my favorite beer moments of 2013! The trade demand out there is incredibly high for this brew so if you still have a bottle of the greatness, count yourself lucky!

From the brewery:

Brewer’s Choice, debuted at Great Taste of the Midwest 2011. A Russian Imperial Stout. Breakfast of champions, just add pancakes. Made with real maple syrup and a super secret brewers’ ingredient.

RATEBEER: 100/100

backwoods**Founders Backwoods Bastard**
When I think of the fall/winter season this is the first beer that pops into my head. One of the first real “big beers” to hit the chilly months and it is the perfect accompaniment to a chilly autumn or brutally cold winter day. Didn’t finish your case of this? No worries, it ages pretty damn nice as well. From the brewery:

Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
RATEBEER: 100/100

Goose Island**Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout**
As much as I try not to support Anheiuser Busch, I just can’t ignore this brew. It really is that damn good and the variants I’ve had are also excellent. I was fortunate enough to be in East Dubuque, IL area during the release and walked right in to get my allotment. If you haven’t visited Family Beer and Liquor the management there are some of the nicest, most helpful people around. Black Friday will never be the same! From the brewery:

“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.” Brewmaster Greg Hall; 
RATEBEER: 100/100

enjoy by**Stone Enjoy By….**
For my last beer on this installment I go with one of my all-time favorites. Say what you will about Stone, they turn out some fantastic beers and this one is my favorite. A brewery that isn’t scared to push the envelope and give us beer drinkers a unique experience which we enjoy 9/10, hits a major home run every time with this brew! And the good news? We should be seeing more of this on our shelves next week! From the brewery:

You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

RATEBEER: 100/100

There’s part 1 of “THE LIST”, stay tuned to more in the next few weeks! Don’t agree or do agree? I would love to hear your thoughts, unless you’re an uppity prick, then nevermind!

A Trip(s) to Big Grove Brewery; Solon, IA

big groveA 10 minute drive from the Baron’s house in Mount Vernon lies the  newest endeavor biggorvesignfrom the Swift family (Red’s Alehouse, Blackstone, etc) in Solon, IA, Big Grove Brewery. I’ve been there numerous times now as it has become my destination of choice. Take a right off of Highway 1 on main street in Solon and you will see Big Grove. Usually packed and the bartenders constantly draining the tap lines with wonderful beer, this place has become a hotbed really quick.

On my visits I’ve tried and enjoyed most of the beer that Big Grove makes on site. They also have a terrific lineup of guest taps featuring some the best craft breweries in the country. I’ve enjoyed their wheat, ipa, porter, and their Dirty Little Secret which is an American strong ale with a bit of raspberry; all very good. They are constantly brewing new beers so check out their Facebook page here:

I also usually end up drinking a few Toppling Goliath pseduoSue’s which they’ve had on tap on multiple occasions.

As far as food goes, this might be one of the best restaurants around. I’ve enjoyed and would order again the following:
*Deviled Eggs – yes deviled eggs.
*Korean style wings and regular buffalo – the Korean wings pack some subtle heat but are so flavorful and go well with an IPA.
*Potted Pig – liked a whipped pork pate – so good with mustard and pickles (and of course beer)
*Burger – juicy and delicious
*Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich – my go to. I alway order extra housemade pickles. This is the best chicken sandwich you will ever eat.
*Pulled pork sandwich – sweet with some heat. Awesome sandwich. big gorve
*Tator Tot Casserole – Amazing!
Mac and cheese – some of the best I’ve had. My kids love it as well.

The menu constantly changes with the seasons as they try do stay local and fresh which is greatly appreciated.

Bottom line: This place is a must try. The best thing going around the area.