Ever since SF 2088 was passed in Iowa, I have been anxiously awaiting Iowa brewers to begin producing beer above 6.25% ABV, as well as companies to begin distributing their higher-alcohol selections in Iowa. No company fits the latter situation better than Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
One such beer that is not yet available in Iowa (so I get it in Illinois) is Founders Brewing Co.’s Porter.
It is a very dark, chocolaty robust porter with higher body and sweetness. It poured as dark as night, and had a nice, thick, dark head. It was very smooth, and tasted like caramel and chocolate. Because it is at 6.5%, it is has not yet been distributed in Iowa, but I would drive an hour to buy this beer, it’s that good. Just like the label says, it’s “Dark, Rich, and Sexy”.
So, let’s see if we can send Founders a message that we want their beer in Iowa, now that SF 2088 passed. I say cheers to Founders Porter!
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to try the latest seasonal offering from Flying Dog Brewery, Garde Dog. It is a Biere de Garde style of beer, which is a French farmhouse ale, similar to the saison style, but tends to have a bit less hop flavor and aroma.
This beer poured nicely, and I made sure to swirl the last bit of beer left in the bottle to mix in the yeast. It started out fruity and slightly malty, and had just a hint of spice. The hop flavor was slight, and the balance was perfect. The finish was so clean, it was as if I had just had a sip of water. It was very light and refreshing, and I can’t wait to have one of these on a nice summer day.
Have you tried Garde Dog? What’s your experience with Biere de Garde?
In an effort to improve the small brewer business community, in December 2009, Democrat Representative Richie Neal (MA) and Republican Representative Kevin Brady (TX) introduced H.R. 4278, decreasing the excise tax for brewers producing smaller amounts of beer. This would give smaller brewers and brewpubs a tax break, up to a specific amount of beer produced. The current excise tax law was put in place in the 70’s and has not been updated since then, even though the national production of beer has more than doubled and the number of small producers has increased exponentially. In addition, this may allow the initiation and growth of start-up breweries, providing more selection. The new proposed tax breakdown would be:
The first 60,000 barrels would have the tax reduced from $7 to $3.50 per barrel
Tax on production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels would change from $18 to $16
The current $18 tax would remain for more than 2 million barrels produced in a year
As you can see, this helps small brewers the most, allowing many smaller brewers and brewpubs, including Old Capitol Brew Works in Iowa City, Great River Brewery in Davenport, and Millstream Brewing Co. in Amana, to save money on these taxes.
Since the passage of Iowa SF 2088, we have been anxiously waiting for several higher alcohol beers to begin appearing on store shelves. We just found out the wait is over!
Starting tonight at midnight, John’s Grocery will begin selling several higher alcohol Bell’s Brewery, Inc. offerings, including Third Coast Old Ale Barley Wine, Expedition Stout, Two Hearted Ale, Hop Slam and Consecrator Doppelbock. Although Bell’s Brewery’s sub-6% options have been available in Iowa, this is the first time Bell’s Brewery’s high alcohol beers have been available since the highly publicized disagreement between Larry Bell, president of Bell’s Brewery, and the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division. John’s Grocery will also be selling beer from Iowa’s own Peace Tree Brewing: Hop Wrangler and Rye Porter.
John’s Grocery will have a tasting of these beers from midnight to 2 am, with limited quantities available for purchase. Hope to see you there!
Last night, I enjoyed Boulevard Brewing’s Seeyoulator Doppelbock, which is part of the Smokestack Series. It is a bottle conditioned doppelbock lager, and has been aged on cedar.
Upon tasting, it had a sweet, malty flavor. With the finish, there was a hint of spice. According to Boulevard, this is due to the cedar aging. After trying it, it is now one of my favorite releases in the Smokestack Series.