365 Iowa Beers 316-325: Confluence and Rock Bottom

Last weekend I went to check out the “At Home With Monsters” Guillermo del Toro exhibit in Minneapolis. It was pretty cool. Then yesterday came the disappointing news that the Hellboy film series would be rebooted without de Toro or Ron Perlman’s involvement. I like the new team (directed by Neil Marshall of The Descent and all the best Game of Thrones episodes, Hellboy played by Stranger Things’ David Harbour), but I love the world del Toro had built.

So I’ll kick this off ranking my favorite “things” played by Doug Jones in del Toro films:

  1. Faun, Pan’s Labyrinth
  2. Abe Sapien, Hellboy
  3. The bug thing he was in Mimic
  4. Angel of Death, Hellboy 2
  5. His proto-Master form in The Strain

And now the beers

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Beer 326: Confluence Virtuous Endeavor Dubbel

ABV: 7.7%

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Beer 327: Confluence Virtuous Endeavour Tripel

ABV: 9.9%

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Beer 328: Confluence Virtuous Endeavor Quad

ABV: 10.7%

Notes: I went to a tapping of Confluence’s Virtuous Endeavor series. They’re similar enough that I’ll write them up altogether. They’re Trappist style ales, very strong. I loved them all, but they did kind of blend together when consumed in quick succession. I drank all these beers while watching the premiere episode of the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Beer and riffing go great together.

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Beer 329: Confluence Barrel-Aged Benedict Stephens Barleywine

ABV: 11.6%

Notes: I think this is the first barleywine I’ve had in this challenge, and the first of four barrel-aged beers Confluence tapped that day. A great beer, made even better with added bourbon flavor.

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Beer 330: Confluence Barrel-Aged Sour ‘N Dipity

ABV: 6.9%

Notes: I wasn’t sure what to expect from a sour stout, but it didn’t strike me as very sour. Drinkable, but not outstanding.

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Beer 331: Confluence Barrel-Aged Campfire Black Lager

ABV: 6.6%

Notes: This was awesome. It’s a black lager aged in a Cedar Ridge barrel. So smooth, so flavorful.

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Beer 332: Confluence Barrel-Aged Imogene Red Irish Ale

ABV: 7%

Notes: Also great, named after an Iowa small town where brewer John Martin’s grandma lived. For a barrel-aged beer, it’s very light and drinkable.

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Beer 333: Rock Bottom Fire Chief Red Ale

ABV: 5.8%

Notes: As my challenge comes to an end, I wanted to pay a visit to another of the chain breweries in West Des Moines. This beer has a nice mix of Meridian hops and rye. A little sweet.

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Beer 334: Rock Bottom Sweet Magnolia Brown

ABV: 5.2%

Notes: A brown ale, saved from boringness by a hint of sweetness thanks to honey.

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Beer 335: Rock Bottom Vienna Lager

ABV: 4.7%

Notes: Another take on a Budweiser-style lager, which is hard to make not boring. This did not succeed in overcoming that challenge.

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