Boulevard Tank 7

posted on September 27, 2010 at 9:52 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Boulevard Tank 7

Boulevard Tank 7

Boulevard Brewing‘s Tank 7 arrived in Iowa City recently, and I was excited to try the latest in the Smokestack Series.  Tank 7 replaces Boulevard’s Saison, which I had taken a liking to.

It was a nice, light farmhouse ale.  Initially, it smelled a bit fruity.  The taste was a light and crisp citrus flavor, with a hint of fruit.  It left my palate very crisp and clean, leaving just a bit of citrus.

Have you tried Tank 7?  What was your impression?

Iowa City BrewFest 2010

posted on September 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

Some of the Crew at BrewFest 2010

Some of the Crew at BrewFest 2010

The Iowa City BrewFest 2010 was this past Saturday, and it was a great time.  Each year, the festival continues to grow, and this year there were over 40 different vendors from all over the world, including Germany, Belgium, and the United States.

A few of the beers that stood out to me:

  1. Biere de Mars from New Belgium Brewing.  This was a light brown beer that had a little bit of Belgian ripeness from the Brettanomyces yeast.  It is one of the beers in the “Lips of Faith” series.  I asked the representative when some of the series will start showing up in Iowa, and he said probably November.
  2. American Kriek, New World Trippel, and Stony Brook Red from the Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection.  Each of these were very distinctive beers.  The American Kriek was not as tart as I thought it would be, but still good.  The New World Trippel was a nice example of a Tripel, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Stony Brook Red.  The ladies who were pouring the beer stated that no one really had liked the beer to that point, but it was just my style: sour, funky, fruit-like ale.

Other than the fact that I preferred the glasses given out for the Brewmaster session last year over this year’s version, the Iowa City 2010 BrewFest was a success.  Were you at the BrewFest?  What were your favorites?

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

posted on September 16, 2010 at 9:43 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

New to the scene is Dogtoberfest, Flying Dog’s take on the traditional Oktoberfest style.

I thought it was a great example of an Oktoberfest.  It started nice and malty, and finished with just a bit of burnt caramel flavor. The hop choice added a bit of spiciness, rounding out the flavor.

I am very picky about my Oktoberfest-style beers, and Dogtoberfest is probably now in my top 5 Oktoberfests.

Have you tried Dogtoberfest?  What did you think?

Iowa City BrewFest is Saturday!

posted on September 15, 2010 at 9:35 am by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

The 15th annual (and 4th annual for myself) Iowa City BrewFest is this Saturday, September 18th.  This year will be exciting due to the change in the high-proof beer law made in March.

From John’s Grocery’s event calendar:

With the change in the high proof beer law that happend March 15th, Beer lovers will rejoice at all of the new brews to try at the 15th Annual Iowa City Brewfest. We’re going back to our original location, right next to The Hideaway (former Fitzpatrick’s) on Prentiss Street. Hours and ticket info are as follows: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Brewmaster Pre-Event (20 tickets, crystal tasting glass, all the new, rare, & vintage beers will get released)$40.00 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Brewfest (8 drink tickets, new .2L German made tasting mug)$20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door. All proceeds benifit the American Heart Association.

If you are going, I will be at the Brewmaster session, so I hope to see you there!


Shiner Oktoberfest

posted on September 14, 2010 at 9:34 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Shiner Oktoberfest

Shiner Oktoberfest

I was recently in Northwest Arkansas, and had a chance to pick up a six-pack of Shiner Oktoberfest.  This recipe has been brought back after a five year absence, and I’m glad they did.

It was a smooth Oktoberfest, and had a hint of burnt malt flavor. It had considerably less body than a few of my favorite Oktoberfest beers, but it was definitely drinkable.  It finished nice and sweet.

Have you tried Shiner Oktoberfest?  What was your impression?

Festival of Iowa Beers 2010

posted on September 7, 2010 at 11:11 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Joey and I at the Festival

Joey (right) and I (left) at the Festival

This past Sunday, the sixth annual Iowa Festival of Beers was held in Amana, next to Millstream Brewing.

This year was very exciting because of the opening of a few new breweries in the past year, including Peace Tree Brewing and Madhouse Brewing, along with the availability of “high-proof” beers.

In addition to the Iowa breweries, several of the area homebrew clubs, including those from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, were able to share beers by several of their members.

Some of my favorites included Peace Tree’s Cornucopia, a farmhouse ale (saison), made with sweet corn.

Also, there were several beers from Old Man River Brewery and Restaurant in McGregor, Iowa that were very good, including a dunkel.

The local news was also there, and my friend, Joey, and I ended up in one of the cutaway shots (see the photo).  It was a great day with great beer.

Did you get to the Festival of Iowa Beers 2010?  What was your favorite?

Next »