What goes hand-in-hand with Iowa breweries? State-wide treasure and national claim to fame: RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI is this thing that I love that I never had any intention to. I never in a million years thought I would EVER want to be that person that rides 40-80 miles per day for seven days in a row. I didn’t even think I still wanted to ride a bike on a regular basis. I mean, I have a car! But when my other half wooed me into bike rides in the Des Moines area with promises of cool bars and breweries along the bike trail, I decided to give it a go. And then the rides got further and further.And the 2014 route was announced and it was going through northern Iowa and was practically in my back yard. The next thing I knew, I was committed to training for RAGBRAI.
Photo courtesy of Bike Tech, Cedar Falls
As it turns out, I did not realize until I was already to the point of no return that biking is a cult. Continue reading
There are few things I love more about the great state of Iowa than our explosion of local breweries. In 2012, the Brewer’s Association listed 33 breweries in Iowa. Today, there are 57 and two more opening soon (according to Iowa Craft Beer Tent’s ongoing list).
I discovered my love for craft beer shortly after I moved to Iowa City in the fall of 2006. At that time, the only brewery I knew how to find was the one with a catchy song about the Colorado Rockies. But there is something in the air in that city. The longer you breathe it, the more you transform into a hipster. Naturally, I was a typical 19 year-old girl who hated beer, unless it was all I could get my underage hands on. All I really wanted was a Malibu and pineapple. And then I discovered Blue Moon. And it was freakin’ delicious.
Fast forward a few years later, I had a thirst for soaking up beer knowledge and trying new beers, an Old Chicago tour under my belt, and I considered myself an aficionado–or at least a wannabe one. However, I still hadn’t actually made it to a brewery. But as soon as I went to my first one–Exile in Des Moines in February of 2013–I was hooked! We are truly blessed in Iowa to have all these fantastic brew halls-long-establish and springing up–at our disposal. And we’re Iowans! When we’re not busy tipping cows and partying in corn fields, clearly we have nothing better to do, right?
So when my digital advertising professor challenged my class with the assignment of writing a blog about something that we not only enjoy, but is related to our future career goals, Iowa craft beer and breweries are the first thing that came to mind. And then I wondered, WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD DID I NOT START DOING THIS SOONER? I love my go-to breweries where I’m a regular, and I am ALWAYS down for a road trip to visit a new one.
So: stay tuned for the featured Brewery of the Week, Iowa Breweries in the News, and my own personal ramblings about the beers I’m drinking and the breweries I’m adventuring to. I am always open to comments and suggestions, and if you know an awesome place, TELL ME! I will probably come visit. And I’ll probably even buy you a beer.