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.
I am hoping that if I promise to give you TWO Brewery of the Week posts this week, you will all forgive me for shorting you last week. I will try not to let you down again. I will spare you the list of excuses, but in truth this post was incredibly hard to write. I have been torn up about how to best approach this subject. I would never want to paint an Iowa brewery in bad light because I seriously believe in the greatness of all the options we have here and the potential we have to be a hotspot in the brewing world. However, I am also an overly honest person by nature and could never lie to my readers. Continue reading
You already know how I feel about Iowa having great beer. But I don’t know how I could write this blog without mentioning another Iowa great: Templeton Rye. For those of you who don’t know what it is, one, HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN A CAVE?! And two, if you’ve heard of it but aren’t certain what it is I borrowed this description from their website:
When Prohibition outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in 1920, many enterprising residents of a small town in Iowa chose to become outlaws – producing a high caliber and much sought-after whiskey known as Templeton Rye, or “The Good Stuff” to those in the know. Based on the original Prohibition era recipe and aged in charred new oak barrels, Templeton Rye provides a smooth finish and a clean getaway.
So what happens when you mix Templeton awesomeness and craft beers? Beverages of epic proportions! I wanted to give a shout out to a few of Templeton Rye Aged Beers, both in Iowa and out of. Continue reading