Surly Tap Takeover @Mt. Vernon Rd. Hy-Vee; Cedar Rapids Jan. 29th

surlyAre you ready to get SURLY!! This Friday January 29th in our Market Grille, Surly Brewing Company will be taking over all of our tap lines!! This is going to be an awesome event that you will not want to miss!! We will be featuring a great variety of Surly brews, including Furious, Over Rated!, Bender, Coffee Bender, Hell Lager, Doom Tree, CynicAle,  as well as 2 Special Release Surly Beers!! To go along with all of these amazing brews, our very own Pit Master, Smokin Shawn will be serving up some truly mind blowing grub!! He will be offering Smoked Chicken Wings, Pork belly Nachos, Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Beef Brisket Sandwiches, as well as Carolina Pork Loin Sandwiches! Shawn and our Chefs also made some amazing sauces using Surly Brews. For desert we are offering a NY Colossal Cheese Cake with Surly Bender Chocolate Raspberry Chipotle Sauce!! And if all of that was not enough, there will be fantastic music from Blues Musician Kevin BF Burt!! Come join in all of the fun this Friday from 5-10pm in our Market Grille. to see all of you there!! 

Baron’s Best of 2015: Part 3

best ofMan, I’m sure dragging this out! Things to do folks! Here we are with part 3 of my favorite beers of 2015. Once again, these are beers I’ve had for the first time and are available for us to purchase here in Eastern Iowa. I appreciate the comments some of you folks are leaving with your thoughts and what you liked to drink in 2015, keep them coming in! Part 3, let’s do it!

surly*Surly Darkness – this is just the imperial stout, non-barrel aged version as I was to slow to get to the store to get myself a bottle of the b.a. version. Even so, I really enjoyed the basic imperial version of this beer. I’m not huge on dark fruit stouts usually, but this one was so wonderfully balanced that I wouldn’t think twice about buying a few more bottles of this. Chocolate covered cherries, coffee, dark chocolate, and other dark fruit flavors round out this excellent brew!

xhops.jpeg*Toppling Goliath X-Hops Gold – the best of the X-hops series in my opinion. Lot of fruit in this beer; honeydew melon, pineapple, some citrus round out this easy drinking pale ale. I’ve heard it’s similar to King Sue in the flavor profile but I haven’t had the most recent batch of the King, but I would gladly take a few more bottles of this.



classic*Blackberry Farm Saison – I thought about putting their Summer Saison in and also their Fall Saison that is aged in oak barrels, but I keep going back to their regular Saison. Crisp, dry, and gives you that belgian yeast with the spiciness of black pepper and fruitiness of lemon. Lovely brew, a staple in my fridge.


dick the whale*Big Grove Brewery Richard the Whale – what a great beer and the variants were excellent as well, but I’m going back to the regular Richard as my favorite of the 3 (although the Hazelnut tastes amazing right). Richard is a Russian Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill barrels. A lot of great chocolate notes from this beer and as it warms it tastes even better as the bourbon starts to shine. Creamy, delicious, and warming, Big Grove really knocked this one out.

lion bridge*Lion Bridge Sorachi Liberace – a sorachi ace hopped saison? Yes please! I drank a ton of this beer during the fall months. Citrus flavor from the hops meshes perfectly with the saison yeast. This beer is perfect for anytime of the year and hopefully will be available for drinking a growler on the deck this summer and listening to baseball games.

Surly Darkness Descends on Iowa Nov. 30th!

darknessReceived word (and a bottle of Darkness, woohoo!) from Surly Brewing that Darkness will indeed be hitting Iowa shelves starting on Nov. 30th! This russian imperial stout checks in at 11.5% and comes in 750 mL bombers. Here’s more on this year’s version of Darkness:

Our 2015 vintage bottling of Darkness features a screeching bat-nightmare by local artist Brandon Holt. No creature is more adept at navigating in the Darkness than a bat. Emerging from a deep and ancient cave, this year’s twisted nocturnal creature has evolved a et of adaptations well suited to detecting and devouring uncommon nourishment.

Notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, and raisins emirate from his lair. If you can evade the talons and teeth, the think body of this Russian imperial stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous character.

Reds Alehouse Presents: Toppling Goliath and Surly Takeover Info for 11/13/15

redsA great looking list of brews will be tapped at Red’s Alehouse this Friday starting at 11:00 a.m and continues throughout the day. Here’s the info from Reds:


This Friday’s beer lineup and details!

There will be NO Happy Hour on draft beers this Friday.

toppling goliath8oz and 16oz pours will surlybe offered on most beers.

Tapping at 11:00am:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. PseudoSue (no growlers)
TG Golden Nugget
TG Dorothy’s Lager
TG Light Speed (no growlers)
TG Smoove Opferator
Surly Brewing Company Furious
Surly Overrated
Surly Cacao Bender
Surly Todd the Axe Man (no growlers)
Surly Dumpster Fire

Tapping at 5:00pm:
TG Sosus (no growlers)
TG Zeelander (no growlers)
TG Thresher (no growlers)
Surly Brett Mikkels (no growlers)
Surly Abrasive (no growlers)
Surly Pentagram (no growlers)

Tapping at 7:30:
TG Mornin’ Delight (no growlers)
Surly Darkness (no growlers)

Starting at 5:30, tickets will go on sale for a 7oz pour of Mornin’ Delight AND Darkness. 1 ticket per person, $25/ticket, must be present and 21+ to purchase. If there is any beer left after all tickets have been collected, 7oz pours can then be purchased.

Beer Man Murph, Brewmasta Mike, and Chris Flenker from TG along with Omar, Jordan, Splinter, and Holly from Surly will be at Reds that evening. Man, that’s a whole lot of bigwigs under one roof!!

If you’re at Kinnick tailgating the next day, look for all of us! We’ll be floating around!

Surly Abrasive coming to Iowa next week?

surlyA beer I thought that was released in January sounds like it is going to hit our shelves and taplines next week as Surly Abrasive appears destined for Iowa markets. Talk on forums and boards are saying it will be released next week as the Keg Stand in Des Moines will have a keg available on November 5th. With Ballast Point coming next week as well, this could be an expensive but great month for beer lovers! I’ll post more on Abrasive releases in Eastern Iowa when they become available! Cheers!

Red’s Alehouse Ballast Point Tapping Schedule, TG + Surly, and Bourbon County Happenings

redsHere is the schedule for Red’s Alehouse tapping schedule for the upcoming release of Ballast Point to the Iowa market as well as Surly/TG progressive tap takeover and a special pre-Thanksgiving Bourbon County tapping. Lots of great things happening at Reds in the upcoming months:

Let me hit ya with some knowledge!!

Tuesday November 3rd:
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits tapping. First day in Iowa to get yourself some Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin, Victory at Sea and more! Beer tapping time TBD

Friday November 13th:
Surly Brewing Company and Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Pre-Tailgate Party at the Alehouse! Before the Hawks take on Minnesota on Saturday, come party with some of the best breweries these respective states have to offer. Tap lineup will be announced as we get closer to the date, but you won’t want to miss out on this! Progressive tapping starting at 11am.

Wednesday November 25th:
Pre-Thanksgiving Party with Goose Island Bourbon County. 2014 Barleywine, 2011 BoCo, 2013 BoCo, 2014 Boco, 2013 Lolita and more will be tapped at 11am and the party will go until the law states we have to take your drinks away!


‪#‎redsalehouse‬ ‪#‎nocrapontap‬ ‪#‎ballastpoint‬ ‪#‎bourboncounty‬‪#‎welovebeerevents‬

Surly Nein Iowa Release Details

neinSurly Nein, an imperial smoked hefeweizen, will be hitting a few tap lines around Iowa in the coming weeks. Here’s more from Surly’s website:

We’re celebrating our 9th anniversary this year with the release of NEIN, an Imperial Smoked Hefeweizen. We want to celebrate with all of you, so starting on Monday, September 28, we’re having release parties for NEIN in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago and Iowa. We’ll have NEIN on draft at all the events as well as NEIN merch giveaways, so come out and raise a glass to nein years of Surly!

Make sure to check out our event page for each party for details and get ready for NEIN to hit stores, bars and restaurants near you!

NEIN draws from the traditional banana and clove notes of Hefeweizen yeasts and layers on deeper toned malt flavors, a distinctly smoky character from oak-smoked wheat malt and charred “honeycombs” of white oak. All of the malt comes from Weyermann Malting, a family-owned operation in Bamberg Germany, which is the center of Rauchbier (smoked beers) in Germany. The inspiration came from a trip that our head brewer Todd Haug recently took to Bamberg to visit the Weyermann facility.Here’s the Iowa release info:

Iowa – Parlor City Pub & Eatery, Hessen Haus and El Bait Shop
Wednesday, Sept. 30, Starts at 4pm
Hessen Haus – 101 4th St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Wednesday, Sept. 30, Starts at 5:30pm
Parlor City Pub & Eatery- 1125 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Thursday, Oct. 1, Starts at 4pm
El Bait Shop – 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Todd the Axe Man Update

surlyReceived the following email from Surly detailing the Todd the Axe Man release. Very excited for this beer to be available in cans! Cheers!

Next week Surly Brewing will be launching a new canned beer – Todd The Axe Man, a west coast-style IPA,
Todd The Axe Man was originally a collaboration brew with Amager Brgyhus in Denmark. Surly’s director of brewing operations Todd Haug visited the brewery in 2014 and brought them the Golden Promise malt Surly uses for several of its other beers, from the UK. Along with Citra and Mosaic hops, they brewed Todd The Axe Man, named by Amager in honor of Todd’s other career as a metal guitarist.
Todd The Axe Man became a firm favorite at the Surly Beer Hall in Minneapolis, so much so that Surly decided to can it. Cans of the new beer will be available across Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Chicago starting next week.
Surly will be celebrating the launch of Todd The Axe Man on Monday July 27 at Pat’s Tap in Minneapolis from 3pm,

Surly “Nein” marks Breweries 9 Year Anniversary

neinSurly will be celebrating their 9 year anniversary by releasing “Nein”, a beer that was inspired by a visit to Germany that is brewed with oak-smoked wheat malt and fermented with German Hefeweizen yeast and then smoked on charred oak. This beer will be available in 750 mL bottles, the release date and ABV are still unknown and whether Iowa will see any of this at all is still a question. Stay tuned for more on this unique brew. Here’s more on it from Surly:

 Who would have thought, when we sold our first keg in 2006, that we would raise our 9th Anniversary glasses in a new brewery, restaurant, and beer hall? So much has changed in such a short time, both at Surly and across Minnesota. The state’s beer scene is exploding and we are proud to have been part of the boom. Two things, however, haven’t changed a bit – Todd’s distinctive take on beer styles and our local artists’ amazing talent. Erica Williams’ meticulous design for NEIN is the perfect match for Todd’s approach to his craft.

A Trip North to Minny

minnyA weekend guys trip that has happened in a few years was back on as a group of friends and myself decided to check out Target Field and its surroundings. We try to hit a new stadium when we go but little did I know that selecting Minneapolis and Target Field would open up the what wondrous wonderland of beer this state has!

fulton brewingGetting up there early Friday let us hit up Fulton Brewing Company ( which is only a few blocks from the stadium. A very cool atmosphere with indoor/outdoor seating and tonight an excellent food truck with some great tacos. For brews, I started with the Sweet Child of Vine, an IPA with a good sized malt backbone. A tasty brew and a good way to start the trip. Following that I went with The Expat, a spicy saison that is brewed with a bunch of rye. A tasty and refreshing brew. Fulton was a great start and a very cool place that I recommend hitting up if you’re in the area.

Target Field at last! What a beautiful stadium folks. Even though I’m a Dodger fan it sure is fun hitting different stadiums and Target Field would be right up there with one of the nicest I’ve been to. The pick for beer here was pretty easy, a lot of Surly around so why not do what the locals do and grab a Furious or 3. Pairs well with the Walleye or foot long hot dog. I didn’t venture out too much to look for other brews but I did see a couple Fulton Brewing taps as well. Beautiful place, will visit again!

Bar hopping after turned a bit fuzzy so I’ll skip the rest of Friday night so we will head right into the Saturday festivities. Woke up a bit groggy but Surly was looming on the horizon. A cup of coffee, a few tylenol, a greasy breakfast, and I was good to go. Using Uber is recommended as well, save you a dime or two.

photo 1 (1)Upon entering the Surly ( compound I was blown away by its appearance. It looks like a glorious German Beer Hall on the inside and the outside looks like the greatest tailgating party with people drinking some of the greatest beer! photo 1Seriously, for beer fans, this is a must visit. A bit of a wait but well worth it to get a table. I got my Todd the Axeman so I didn’t care where I sat but our table was ready and I was ready to pig out. The menu was terrific. When I see charcuterie on the menu, I sold. House made sausages and pates, and low and behold, a childhood favorite, BRAUNSCHWEIGER! The Axeman was the perfect cure for a little hangover so I decided to order another along with the schweiger but I also saw Hog Frites. Pig + Fries + cheese = heaven. Why the hell not? Order that too, buddy got some lamb sausages and we are good to go. Surly beer is loved as well as it should, but having a restaurant of this size to go along with your brewery YOU MUST HAVE TERRIFIC FOOD! And they come photo 3 (2)through. Some of the best I’ve ever had. The hog frites stole my heart and those alone are worth the trip up north, Fries topped with pulled pork, giardiniera, cilantro, garlic, photo 4 (1)and a pepper jack cheese sauce! YES! Home run meal! We took the beer tour and spoke to a few employees which got us another free drink, another Axeman. Got to taste fresh Overrated, Coffee Bender, Hell, which were all terrific, and then chilled on the lawn watching people play bags. An ideal afternoon was had, one of my favorite beer experiences of all time.

photo 2 (1)

photo 2

After that we had to hit a few more breweries. We started with Dangerous Man dangerous manbrewing. ( Dangerous Man is located in NE Minny, and you can only get their beers at their taproom. I was recommend this place by many Twitter friends and from the fine folks at Benz. The recommended beer was their Peanut Butter porter. Luckily they had it on regular draft and nitro. I was thinking this beer was going to be too sweet but it ended up being one of the best beers of the trip. More nutty than sweet to go with the chocolate, smoky porter base. I loved it! I loved it so much I had another glass. Dangerous Man is in a very unique/old style neighborhood and with a food truck parked outside to don’t have to go too far. I also had a few tasters of their IPA which was outstanding. Highly recommend!!

photo 3Our last brewery stop of the day was Indeed Brewing Company ( This was another brewery that came highly recommended. Every brewery we visited was heavily populated so you know these guys are doing things right. The best part of Indeed aside from the beer was…..wait for it….. A SHUFFLEBOARD TABLE! YES! GAME ON! Note to future breweries/pubs/restaurants: GET A SHUFFLEBOARD TABLE! Since it was the end of the night I decided to keep it lighter with the brews and went with their Shenanigans Summer Ale. I noticed they had a Mojito shenanigans as part of their “Derailed Series” and tried that as well. A bit too mouthwashy for me but the regular summer was terrific. A few games of shuffleboard (won by yours truly and sLim) and a couple of brews and it was time to call it. Actually we ended up going for a late bite to eat but again, things got a bit fuzzy.

Overall, an A+ trip. Really recommend the trek north. The amount of breweries is stunning. I love that different neighborhoods have breweries somewhere on one of their streets and THEY ARE BOOMING with business. The recipe seems simple enough I guess: good beer + good food + good environment = JACKPOT!