As you recall, I was over-the-moon excited for Firetrucker’s release of the CatDragon last week. With a whopping 11.5% abv, this is likely the most alcoholic ginger beer on the planet. As expected, the brewery and the launch party did not disappoint. The place was packed, and even beer celebrities Iowa Craft Beer Tent were in the house. (Yes, beer celebrities are a real thing. And I aspire to be one.) All in attendance laughed over the telling of the epic saga of how the CatDragon came to be.
What are you doing today?! If it’s not heading to the Iowa Craft Brew Festival in Des Moines, change your plans!I, along with some of your favorite breweries will be there. Like who?
What more could you want! Join us for a beer on the bridge! Visit Iowa Craft Brew Festival’s webpage for all the details. Can’t wait to see you there!
A friend of mine recently shared an article, “The 10 Best Craft Breweries in Iowa.” I was proud to see I had been to most of them and agreed with their choices. I will admit though, I was a little surprised to see Mason City Brewing on the list. I knew there was a brewery in town, but I had never been to it. I grew up 40 miles east of Mason City and growing up, we made trips there for various reasons a couple times a month. From what I was certain I knew of Mason, the town was too slow, too old-fashioned for a hip, new brewery. Keeping in mind how incredibly hard it is for me to ever even whisper these words, let alone publish them on public record: I was wrong. Continue reading
Alright, who missed me?! I cannot even fathom that it has been nearly two months since my last post. This blog consumed the lion’s share of my free time for an entire semester. Apparently it paid off, thanks to much love from all of my supporters.
There are no words for how great that 100% felt. To any of you who followed my request to email my professor, THANK YOU! Also, as promised, here is that cliche picture in front of UNI’s campanile I just had to have.
This is what PURE JOY looks like!
So, just in time for Des Moines Beer Week, Iowa Brewtiful is back. I’m still working on the re-formatting tweaks, but I’m too excited to not post something. Stay tuned for posts on my recent brewery adventures, all the latest share-worthy news in the Iowa Beer Scene, and anything else my fingers feel like gabbing about. This week is likely to be full of them, capped by a special invite to the Iowa Craft Brew Festival this Saturday in Des Moines. More on all of that to come SOON. In the meantime, thanks for all the love and support!
Many of you may have noticed that lack of activity on my end in recent weeks. The truth is, I started this blog as a semester-long class assignment, which I have since submitted for grading. This is one of the best assignments I have ever been given, but I’m not going to lie when I say it was a headache.
I have loved all of my brewery trips. But Cedar Falls just does not have an ample supply of breweries nearby, so every post had to be planned around a trip once I had exhausted most of my local resources. I enjoyed all of them, but trying to squeeze them in between a heavy course load, a restaurant job that demands nights and weekends, and then making time to sit down and craft a blog post has been a bit stressful at times.
How life feels 18 days out from graduation
So I feel okay to go ahead and admit that I have not TOUCHED anything blog-related in the last week. But today you all blew me away. In a last-ditch effort to procrastinate my homework, I checked my Google Analytics app. To my surprise, my traffic has been super-steady and ya’ll just keep showing up.
I had been debating whether or not to keep this blog up, because after graduation in 2.5 short weeks I will no longer have free site-hosting and software usage from UNI. But seeing the love today, I don’t feel like I can stop. And I imagine blogging is much more enjoyable when its not being graded.
I cannot promise a post every week. There will be an address change once UNI kicks me off. And you probably still won’t see much of me until after graduation, moving, and life settles down a little bit. But I promise that every time I make it to a new brewery or just have something wonderful to share, I will be back. In the meantime, cheers to you and all your love!
P.S. Feel free to email my professor at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him to give me an A! Seriously.
Few things beat one of those first sunny afternoons of spring in Iowa when the weather is finally warm. Especially when you spend one hanging out at Peace Tree Brewing Company in Knoxville. Which is exactly what I did the Saturday before Easter. Its only a short drive from Des Moines and one that’s worth it if you’re not a local. This was my second trip there, but I’m sure there will be many to follow. They just recently celebrated their 5th Year Anniversary, and I won’t be surprised if I make it to their 50th.
Aren’t you just loving this weather?! Ok, not this weather, but the weather before Monday. And *hopefully* this weekend. I DEFINITELY am. For me, gorgeous weather = biking. I put my bike away for the winter the first week of December and had it back out my the first week of March. That’s a long enough hiatus. If you’re a biker, you know the excitement of a new bike jersey. It’s another way for us to express ourselves within our bike cult. So it should come as no surprise that my first jersey was one from a brewery: Exile Brewing in Des Moines. We stopped in for dinner one night and saw them on display and just had to have them. This year, the Easter Bunny left a pretty new one from SingleSpeed in my Easter basket. Good bunny. Continue reading
Don’t you just love those first warm, sunny Sundays of Spring? Where the temperature pushes 70 degrees and the breeze is just right and its absolutely gorgeous out and you remember why you suffer through Iowa winters? I do. And that’s exactly what I got last week, a work-free, homework-free, gorgeous Sunday with nothing planned. It was just too good not to get the road bikes out and take that first long ride of the season. So we hopped on the trail and rode 7.2 miles worth of trails from West Des Moines to 515 Brewing. Breweries on bike trails are the best breweries, and when we arrived we discovered several others agreed with us. Great minds think alike.
When we walked in, the place was packed I could tell everyone else was in that same happy, Spring Fever mood. Seriously the best. In the name of research, we order a couple flights so we could try all 8 of 515’s current offerings. Continue reading
For this week’s installment of Brewery of the Week, I road tripped to Cedar Rapids in the name of research. Actually, I should say I went to Marion. Marion folk feel the way about saying they’re “from Cedar Rapids” the way Ankeny folk feel about saying they’re “from Des Moines.” You just don’t do that. After arriving to the destination address, I discovered you have to enter Another Road Brewing through the Progress Point Business Center. You then follow the stairs down, journey through a long winding hallway, and arrive at a tiny bar tucked away in the back room of a basement. It felt exactly like a Speakeasy. So of course, I loved it.
It is finally time to pay homage to the first brewery I ever visited: Exile Brewing Company in downtown Des Moines. My other half took me there for our first Valentine’s Day a couple years ago. Clearly this was the way to my heart. And I have loved the place since!
On my most recent trip, I had just come off a long, hectic Friday. I had travelled from Cedar Falls, to Ankeny, to the Des Moines airprot, then West Des Moines, followed by Perry, Woodward, Perry again, Ames, and back to Des Moines. By 5 pm. I was MORE than ready to a beverage to decompress. I joined the rest of the Friday After Work Crowd who was pouring in the door. As usual, Exile didn’t disappoint. My first beer that night was the Praha Dark Czech lager. This beer is almost inky black in color but soooo insanely smooth. I absolutely loved it. With dinner I ordered a Night Fall Porter. The description promised vanilla and velvety chocolate, and “the perfect pairing for the final stretch of winter.” It was also good, but not as good as the Czech.