Backpocket Brewing Opens in Coralville this Week

Backpocket Brewery Tour
Backpocket Brewery Tour

The time has finally arrived!  The new Coralville Backpocket Brewery will be opening this week.  There are pre-registered soft openings Tuesday through Thursday, leading up to the public opening this Friday, June 8.

We plan on making it sometime this weekend, so hope to see you then!

Heartbreak Brewing on Kickstarter

Heartbreak Brewing
Heartbreak Brewing

A startup brewery in Des Moines, Heartbreak Brewing, is trying a new way to fund a portion of the new nano-brewery, Kickstarter.  If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a new way to crowd-source funding for a variety of projects, including music, movies, and, in Heartbreak Brewing’s case, beer brewing.

What makes Heartbreak Brewing unique is it’s planning on going completely electric for reduced cost and reduced carbon footprint.  I spoke with Dan Haggerty, Jr., the owner, and he gave some of the initial details about the brewery:

  • They plan on starting small and expand
  • They will initially keg their beers and bottle some of the main beers.  He also mentioned they are going to support a bottle recycling program that will give points toward growler refills and merchandise.
  • The distribution will start in Des Moines, and go outward from there

I’ve contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that ends June 1st, 2012.  Support more good beer, and help the new brewery!

Samuel Adams Spring Brewers’ Choice Mix Pack 2012

Samuel Adams Spring Brewers' Choice Mix Pack
Samuel Adams Spring Brewers' Choice Mix Pack

For spring, Samuel Adams this year decided to go back to the Brewers’ Choice mix pack instead of again releasing the “American Originals” spring pack. The beers in this year’s spring mix pack show a few big changes, most notably Noble Pils is now a full-time beer, and no longer the spring seasonal.

In the pack, there are 2 bottles each of:

  • Boston Lager (Chosen by Jim Koch)
  • Irish Red (Chosen by Bob Cannon)
  • Black Lager (Chosen by Grant Wood)
  • Alpine Spring (Chosen by David Grinnell)
  • Mighty Oak Ale (Chosen by Andrew Lamont)
  • Whitewater IPA (Chosen by Dean Gianocostas)

It is a large change in a seasonal pack, where the only overlap is the Boston Lager and Irish Red.  New to the pack is the new spring seasonal, Alpine Spring, which is a light, crisp lemon-like brew.  Also in the pack, which is available in six-packs is the Whitewater IPA, which is a cross between a witbier and an IPA, similar to Boulevard’s Collaboration #2, the White IPA.  Finally, the pack is rounded out by the Mighty Oak Ale, which is a carmel-flavored amber ale with vanilla and oak notes.

Have you tried the Brewers’ Choice Spring Variety Pack? What did you think? Which ones did you like? Which ones didn’t you like?

Brrrfest 2012 Highlights

Backpocket Brewery Tour
Backpocket Brewery Tour

This past weekend was the first annual Brrrfest in Coralville.  Here were some of the highlights:

1) We got to “tour” the new Backpocket Brewery.  As of right now, it’s a wide-open building with little more than structure.  A few concept drawings, like the one labeled “Taproom” were placed in front of the caution tape, but it was exciting to see the progress.

2) Over 1,800 tickets were sold, and I’m willing to bet that at any one point, there were around 1,500 people enjoying beer at the 40+ vendors

That's a lot of Brrr Lovers!
That's a lot of Brrr Lovers!

3) If beer wasn’t your thing, Cedar Ridge was present with Bourbon (aged and unaged) and few of their own vodkas and rums.

4) Jolly Pumpkin only had one different beer on tap, but it rotated every couple of hours, so it got you back to the booth

5) At 3PM, Peace Tree tapped a Templeton Rye aged Imperial Stout.  There was a mad rush for the deliciousness, and it was worth it.

Those were my list of highlights for the Brrrfest.  What did you like about the festival?