My 5 Favorite Iowa Craft Beers

Standard

After my journey with Iowa craft beers for this blog, I have come to truly love some of them. I’ve decided to make a list of my five favorites with the reasons why they are great.

5. Backpocket Brewing Jackknife

The Jackknife from Backpocket Brewing company is an American pale ale. I’m not huge on India pale ales or other really hoppy beers, but I’m a big fan of Jackknife. It is slightly hoppy, but not overbearing. It is refreshing and perfect for sitting down after a day in the hot summer sun.

4. West O Pilsner

West O brewing based in Okoboji has produced an awesome pilsner. While it doesn’t have an extremely distinct flavor, the West O Pils is really easy drinking. Perfect for anybody looking to launch into the artisan beer scene.

3. Toppling Goliath Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is the only India pale ale that will be on this list. It is a little hoppier than I like, but it has a great mixture of maltiness to balance it and also great hints of citrus, which I really enjoy in a hoppy beer.

2. Backpocket Brewing Gold Coin

The Gold Coin is another easy drinking beer. It is a Helles lager of German style. It’s an every-man’s beer. I enjoy the smoothness and drinkability of this particular beer. It’s a perfect beer for watching the game or hanging with some friends at a barbeque.

1. Exile Brewing Hannah

Hannah has not only become my favorite Iowa craft beer, but my favorite wheat beer as well. It is a Heferwiezen, which is a German wheat beer. It is smooth, light-colored and has flavors of clove and fruits. It surpassed Boulevard Wheat as my favorite wheat beer because it is not quite as bitter. I’m a big fan of Exile and it’s beers, but Hannah has definitely won my heart.

Taps at the University Library Cafe in Des Moines. They are made from an old card catalog cabinet.

Taps at the University Library Cafe in Des Moines. They are made from an old card catalog cabinet.

Iowa may not be one of the most well known areas for craft beer compared to California, Colorado or Texas, but it has an amazing selection of breweries that produce great local beer. Iowa will continue to create great beer in the future and I’m excited to see what they produce.

Badass commemorative from the Little Giant Beer Summit.

Badass commemorative from the Little Giant Beer Summit.

I encourage everyone (who is over the age of 21 of course) to get out and try an Iowa beer. The state has microbrews available all over the place and they all have a great selection for beer lovers. Everyone can find something they’ll love. Brewers also hold great events like the Little Giant Iowa Beer Summit. So I challenge you to find your five favorite Iowa craft beers over the next year!

Advertisements

515 Brewing Company: Undead Red

Undead Red beet ale at 515 Brewing in Des Moines
Standard

Since I collected all of my candy on Beggar’s Night, I decided to head out for a few drinks on Halloween night. I loaded up a friend and drove down to 515 Brewing Company at 7700 University Avenue in Clive. The tiny taproom of the nano-brewery was filled with ghouls, creatures and puns. Everything from the devil to deviled eggs were present. At the back of the room, Guru BBQ was serving tacos and everyone was enjoying a great beer.

Continue reading

Exile Brewing Company: North by Midwest

North by Midwest at Exile Brewing Company
Standard

My post this week is a little late, but I’ve been traveling this weekend and visiting friends in southeast Iowa. Last week I made my second trip to Exile Brewing Company at 1514 Walnut in Des Moines. Exile has quickly become one of my favorite spots. The food is amazing, I’m always impressed with the staff and I love the dimly lit, almost 1950s feel of their restaurant area.

Continue reading

Exile Brewing Company: Hannah

Standard

Last week I made my first journey to Exile Brewing Company in downtown Des Moines, Iowa at 1514 Walnut Street. Exile offers 13 seasonal brews and four main beers: Ruthie, Gigi, Betty and finally, Hannah, which I decided to try.

Hannah is Exile’s Bavarian Wheat beer. It is brewed with a top-fermented style unlike its Bavarian brothers, the Munich Helles and golden lagers that made that area famous. It is a golden brown color with an orange tinge and is cloudy. This separates wheat beer from lagers and pilsners, which are usually clear and golden.

Continue reading

Little Giant Beer Summit

Standard

Saturday, I headed down to El Bait Shop at 200 S.W. 2nd Street for the second annual Little Giant Beer Summit. As I arrived, hundreds of people were gathered inside of and in the back patio/parking lot area of El Bait Shop to partake in the festivities.

Crowd at the Little Giant Iowa beer summit at El Bait Shop on Saturday.

Crowd at the Little Giant Iowa beer summit at El Bait Shop on Saturday.

The Summit was created to bring together the “little giants,” a group of over 40 small, but mighty Iowa breweries. El Bait Shop has been known for supporting local brews, boasting over 120 beers on tap and over 150 beers in bottles. Most of these beers are microbrews and decent chunk of them come from Iowa, so it’s no surprise that last year, Co-owner of El Bait Shop, Jeff Bruning, had the idea for the summit. The summit offered over 70 Iowa brews along with the rest of Bait Shop’s huge selection.

Continue reading

Backpocket Brewing: Gold Coin

Standard

Thursday evening, I sat in a booth at the University Library Cafe at the corner of University and 35th ready to take on my new artisan beer experience. I didn’t want to start out my adventure with anything too “out there”, so as I scanned the Library’s menu of over 50 beers, I landed on the Gold Coin from Backpocket Brewing in Coralville, Iowa.

Continue reading