365 Iowa Beers 40-45, a blast from the past

Last week I attended the monthly Jimmy Carter Happy Hour at El Bait Shop and tried three homebrews by Derek Day, president of the Iowa Brewers Union. Well, to be more accurate, two of the beers were by Derek, the third was from a brewery that is no longer with us.

Beers 40-42: Nordic Ale, Raccoon River Brewery Cider, Canadian Brett Fin du Monde

Consumed at: El Bait Shop

Notes: Derek’s beers, The Nordic Ale and the Fin Du Monde were quite tasty. I preferred the ale, but the Fin Du Monde was an interesting new experience. The Brett name comes from the type of yeast used in brewing.

The Raccoon River cider was a surprise, since the brewery closed its doors last year. Derek said it had been aging in a cask in the brewery’s basement for 10 years, and he took away 90 gallons of it. It was a dry cider, with the aging giving it a much more robust flavor than traditional ciders. If Derek has it on tap again at JCHO (and with 90 gallons, how can he not?), make sure you try it.


Beer 43: Exile Gigi

Purchased at: 86th St. Hy-Vee

ABV: 5%

Notes: Gigi is a dark lager with a sweet, malty tasty. Very smooth. No complaints here.


Beer 44: Millstream Black Road Stout

Purchased at: 86th St. Hy-Vee

ABV: 6.7%

Notes: This is an oatmeal stout, dark and strong. It’s full-bodied and smooth, but it didn’t leave me feeling like I’d just consumed a full meal. It also felt refreshing enough for a summer day, though I hadn’t been out in the heat much.


Beer 45: Exile Ruthie

Purchased at: 86th St. Hy-Vee

ABV: 5.2%

Notes: I purchased a lot of Exile in this run. Ruthie is a gold lager, a kind of beer I mentioned in another post as not exciting me much. I feel like Ruthie is the exception to the rule; of the brewery’s standard beers, Ruthie is the one I seem to go back to the most. It’s sharp, clean and very drinkable.

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