It’s only natural that I start my Brewery of the Week posts off with my favorite one, Singlespeed Brewing. Yes, I understand that living in Cedar Falls, I am limited on my options. But as someone who spends an awful lot of time in the Des Moines area and the breweries there, I would still take this one, hands down, any day of the week. For those of you who haven’t been there, you are seriously missing out. Nestled nicely on a bustling corner on Main Street, Singlespeed opened in December of 2012. Aside from the incredible ambience, cool community seating, and awesome bike décor all over the walls, what I love most about this brewery is their beers! And isn’t that the way it should be? Their system is pretty awesome for a nanobrewery of their size. They have a few “flagship” beers on a fairly regular rotation, complimented by one or two seasonal offerings and a beer or four that were brewed simply because the brewmasters felt like it. It’s great.
They wowed me right after Christmas with a little gem called the Cocoa Mint Milk Stout, a product of cocoa nibs, Sidecar Coffee Roasters Espresso, and organically grown mint leaves. So, so delicious. I got a growler filled and hauled it to family Christmas in Des Moines, and it had disappeared in mintutes. As if that wasn’t good enough, I walked in Friday to discovered they had made a second version, a Cocoa Espresso Milk Stout. It’s essentially the same thing, without the mint. And perfect for the blizzard that fell in our laps this weekend. The odds of me traipsing back down this week are as high as the Panthers beating Drake on Saturday! (No, I do not care that the Bulldogs have won their last three games.)
The other thing I love about Singlespeed is their innovative beer cocktails. They are always changing, always feature one of their latest brews, and always manage to contain much more alcohol than I can taste. So they are slightly dangerous. I tried the Amber Apple this weekend. It was a combination of Scarlet, an Amber India Red Ale, mixed with Cedar Ridge Apple Brandy, nutmeg, and bitters. (Side note: they almost always have something from Cedar Ridge featured on the menu, paying homage to the great state of Iowa in another way. Check them out here.) I did not even taste the brandy, so this one may have been a little higher up on the Slightly Dangerous Scale. Needless to say, I did not drive home.
If you live in Cedar Falls and have not been here, go! Go now! And if you’re not from in town, its worth the drive. They have a great ever-changing beer menu. They have a great ever-changing food menu. There are always great rotating guest beers from craft breweries around the country. Occasionally on a Friday night you might wander in to find a local band dressed in 80’s band uniforms doing an impromptu set. On a summer Saturday you may just find Deschutes’s Brewery on Wheels parked out front. And they’re just great people, doing what they love.
SingleSpeed Brewing | 128 Main Street Cedar Falls, IA