365 Iowa Beers 236-249: Solid stouts and an awesome Exile

I’m closing in on another milestone number, though 265 is the beer I’m really counting down to. That puts me within the final 100 of this challenge. I’ve consumed beer 265 at this point, so I’m in the home stretch. The real challenge is the fact that there aren’t many more beers I can find at stores. I guess I’ll just have to spend more time at local breweries and the Iowa Tap House.

Yes, you should pity me.


Beer 236: No Coast Yoga Poser

ABV: 6%

Notes: Another Christmas beer (evening, this time). I really am behind on this. This was an OK beer, but it didn’t especially stand out to me. I’d rank this at the lower end of the No Coast beers I’ve tried. Not bad, just not memorable.


Beer 237: Twisted Vine Double Diablo Red

ABV: 9.1%

Notes: I had this during a night out at Up-Down with my family (wife and siblings, not my kids). This goes down way too easy for a beer this strong. Great flavor, clean and smooth.


Beer 238: Toppling Goliath Tsunami

ABV: 5%

Notes: I like pretty much every Toppling Goliath beer I drink, but at this point I’m not sure I can differentiate them when I have them more than a week apart. Their pale ales are all running together. This one was a little lighter, smooth and easy drinking.


Beer 239: Exile Tres Leches Milk Stout

ABV: 5.5%

Notes: Oh. My. God. This beer is amazing. Like my favorite in recent memory. It’s like dessert in a bottle. After a few beers, most people are worried about their blood alcohol content. With Tres Leches, it’s your blood sugar that will be raised.


Beer 240: Kalona Brew Wit

ABV: 5.7%

Notes: It’s been too long since I’ve had a Kalona beer. This is a Belgian-style wheat, smooth and clean. Probably better for summer than January, I’ll pick up another six pack come grilling season.


Beer 241: Confluence Saison Des Moines

ABV: 7.5%

Notes: Much like a Belgian-style beer, I usually think of saisons as summer beers. How do you make it winter appropriate? With cranberries and spruce tips. Dry, with a lingering fruit taste from the cranberries. If you find this on shelves anywhere, pick up a bottle.


Beer 242: Iowa City Brewlab Faverham’s Finest Bird

ABV: 5%

Notes: I believe this is my first ICBL beer, and it was pretty good. Light, with a good caramel taste. It’s an ESB, which I still say needs to be the next trend in Iowa beers. Make it happen, beer people!


Beer 243: Turner Alley Van Dyke Brown

ABV: 12%

Notes: Very strong. It was aged in Cedar Ridge barrels, with the result being a more exciting beer than most browns. Browns usually bore me, but if you bourbon them up a bit, they get a hell of a lot better.


Beer 244: Alluvial Ryeiot

ABV: 6.4%

Notes: I love a good rye IPA. I’ve made my own a few times, but mine can’t measure up to Alluvial’s. I feel like this overall entry of beers was really strong.


Beer 245: Millstream Blitzen Baltic Porter

ABV: 8%

Notes: A strong porter from the holidays (I’m so freaking behind). This felt like an interesting change from Millstream’s regular beers, while still fitting into their more traditional style of brewing.


Beer 246: Wilson’s Cherry Crush

ABV: 4.5%

Notes: A very tart cider, with just the right hint of sweetness. Also very rich. I’d say a flight-size serving was just the right amount.


Beer 247: Jacked Cider House Blueberry

ABV: 6.8%

Notes: I didn’t plan to have two ciders in this flight, but the keg for my first choice blew, so I had to pick another beer quick. This was very smooth, not too sweet and had a very interesting color. I much preferred this to the Cherry Crush.


Beer 248: Turner Alley Alizaria Crimson 

ABV: 6.5%

Notes: A hoppy imperial red ale. I don’t remember much, and my notes suck. I rate this as “Interestingly named.”


Beer 249: Reclaimed Rails Hazelnut Oatmeal Pale Stout

ABV: 6%

Notes: They call this a pale stout, but it seemed pretty dark to me. Nice flavor, hearty, with a bit of sweetness. Overall, a solid beer.


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