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.
1. Peacetree’s Templeton Red | Knoxville, IA
For being aged in a bourbon barrel, this is much less bitter than other varieties. Most tend to have a bourbon aftertaste, while this has a wheatier aftertaste. Is wheatier a word? It is now. This beer is aged 12 months in Templeton Rye casks, leaving you with hints of whiskey, vanilla, and oak. It is only available in the winter (perfect for getting through those long winter nights) and only comes in 22 oz bottle form. I actually just purchased another bottle while its still on the shelves.
2. Toppling Goliath’s Naughty Templeton Porter | Decorah, IA
I’m not going to lie, at this point I am not convinced this brewtiful thing is not more than a figment of my imagination. My other half and I took a road trip to Decorah last spring—yes there is such a thing as spring still (I hope)—to ride the Trout Run Trail when we were training for RAGBRAI. After a hilly, grueling 12 mile ride where I sweat buckets AND shattered my iPhone screen, I was certain that I deserved a trip to TG. As it happened, we struck gold and showed up on a day when they had Naughty Templeton on tap, a take on their Naughty 90 Oaked IPA. Of course we took a growler home. There are no words to describe how insanely awesome this beer is. It was only when I started this blog that I learned it is not available all the time, just whenever the brewmaster decides to snag some Templeton barrels. So if you ever are lucky enough to catch it on tap, savor it. AND CALL ME SO I CAN COME GET SOME!
3. Madhouse’s Templeton Rye Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout | Des Moines, IA
They did not have this on tap when I went to Madhouse in Des Moines (insert “WAHHHH! emoji here). So I did not get to try it there. BUT, consolation, they did have a few other Barrel-Aged Selections that we were pretty excited about, so I quickly got over it. We did have one Tennessee whiskey barrel-aged porter that I really liked, so I can assume the stout is as equally delicious. But in due diligence to my research, I will keep trying!
A few others I found elsewhere that are probably worth a try. I feel like I need a separate bucket list just for beers.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale | Stone Brewing Co. | San Diego, CA
Rye-On-Rye | Boulevard Brewing Co. | Kansas City, MO
Bourbon County | Goose Island Brewing | Chicago, IL ***It is important to note that Goose Island carries an entire Bourbon County line of bourbon-aged beers (BC Stout, BC Coffee, BC Barleywine, Proprietors BCS, BC Vaniila Rye). I can personally attest that the BC Stout is phenomenal, and next year I will be finding the Bourbon County Stout. The hype behind these beers is a little crazy. For good reason (Read about that here).
These are just a few of my favorites. The Internet Machine suggests a variety of other breweries have used the barrels in past, including Rock Bottom Brewery in Des Moines, Court Avenue Brewing in Des Moines, and various breweries in Colorado. If I come across any other great finds I will keep you posted!