Iowa Craft Beers & Breweries

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BREWERY OF THE WEEK: Madhouse Brewing!

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

Bourbon + Beer = Love

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

Brewery of the Week: Broad Street Brewing!


I have been told to go to Broad Street Brewing in Reinbeck for years.  Literally, years.  I’ve always meant to.  Reinbeck is only 20 miles down the road.  The population is only 1600, and I’m no stranger to a small town. I grew up in a patch of 240 people contently nestled in the middle of a cornfield, tens of miles from the nearest stoplight.  I have driven hours one way and back in a single day just to visit a brewery.  So I do not honestly know what took me so dang long to get over there. Continue reading

Brewery of the Week: Firetrucker Brewery!

I’m not going to lie, before my first trip to Firetrucker, I was a little skeptic.  I have this inherent fear of theme restaurants, as most of them spend so much time investing in their “theme” and not nearly enough time investing in their menus and service.  So while I can always appreciate something that pays homage to our brave firefighters, I was a little leery that this would be all firetrucks and dalmatians and no good beer.  I could not have been more wrong. Continue reading

Brewery of the Week: SingleSpeed Brewing!

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? Continue reading

Biking and Breweries: The Best of Friends

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

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

Iowa Brewtiful

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.

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