365 Iowa Beers: Beers 1-5

I enjoy a good beer, and a good challenge. I’ve decided to combine the two for a potentially crazy idea. I want to try 365 Iowa beers in the next year.

Are there 365 Iowa beers? I haven’t actually counted. The Iowa Taproom has 100 some available, then there are seasonals and smaller batch stuff like what 515 Brewing Company does.

There’s also homebrew, which I’ll be counting for this challenge.  There’s The Jimmy Carter Happy Hour at el Bait Shop, and my father-in-law is a pretty skilled brewer. Two of his beers are in this first batch. That’s probably something of an anomaly (he doesn’t brew so much that his beers would be a significant presence on this list.

This challenge might even get me brewing again myself. I have a kit I’ve been meaning to make for two years or so.

My goal is to not try more than two Iowa beers in a day. I don’t want this to make me sloppy. They can be beers I’ve tried before, but they’ll only count once for the year. So unless I make some big mistake, you shouldn’t see multiples of Blonde Fatale on this list.

Here are the first five beers:

 

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Beer 1: Exile Gorilla Press IPA Redux

ABV: 7%

Purchased at: Iowa Taproom

Notes: This beer had just been added to the Taproom’s menu earlier in the week, so I thought I would give it a try. it was very hoppy, with some citrusy notes. More sweet than bitter.

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Beer 2: Confluence Weather Beacon

ABV: 7.6%

Purchased at: Valley West Hy-Vee

Notes: This is a variant on Oktoberfest, paying tribute to the city’s once famous weather beacon. It was rich. I split one of Confluence’s quart bottles and felt content content after finishing it.

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Beer 3: Toppling Goliath PseudoSue

ABV: 5.8%

Purchased at: Paradise Biryani Pointe

Notes: This is a really easy to drink beer. TG has more exotic and adventurous brews, but this is a nice entry-point beer for the company. It paired really well with my curry.

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Beer 4: Trappist Ale

ABV: 6.5-7% (estimate)

Consumed at: Chateau 4th St.

Notes: One of my father-in-law’s homebrews. He’s not a monk, though I’m sure he would enjoy parts of the lifestyle. This is a strongish-beer, that can really sneak up on you if you have a few too many.

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Beer 5: Amber Ale

ABV: 5ish%

Consumed at: Chateau 4th St.

Notes: Another dad-in-law brew. It’s basically a Fat Tire clone, maybe a little lighter than the name brand.

I’ll post updates once a week or so. If you’re an Iowa brewery/bar that would like to exchange a free beer for a mention on this blog, I’m not too proud to accept that (I am currently unemployed, after all). I’ll note any beers consumed under this arrangement. Of course, any homebrews will have to be drank without payment changing hands.

You can reach me at joelawler AT gmail.com

I’d also like to point out that the Iowa beer logo belongs to the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.

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