Iowa City Brewfest 2012

Brewfest 2012!
Brewfest 2012!

It’s been a couple of weeks since Iowa City Brewfest, 2012, and I’ve had some time to reflect on the event.

With the “Brewmaster” ticket, we were able to enter an hour early, and many brewers had special or limited release beers.  Some of the more memorable ones included:

Overall, I was impressed with the high quality of the unique beers, but a bit disappointed by the low number of special beers.  For example, in the past, New Belgium and Boulevard brought beers either not yet available or a special barrel-aged beer, but this year both brought their widely available beers, from their Lips of Faith (New Belgium) and Smokestack Series (Boulevard).

Overall, it was a very good experience, but with the “Brewmaster” ticket, which has been very valuable in years past, it wasn’t quite as memorable.  My only hope is that the larger breweries recognize what a great beer hotspot Iowa City is, and start saving some of those memorable beers for us!

Did you go to the Iowa City Brewfest 2012?  What was your take?

Iowa City Brewfest 2012 is Saturday

Welcome to Brewfest!
Welcome to Brewfest!

Just a reminder that the 2012 Iowa City Northside Octoberfest / Brewfest is this weekend, with the Brewfest on Saturday.

It looks to be an exciting year, since the number of Iowa breweries has grown in the last year, as well as a few new out-of-state breweries (Schlafly, Founders, Tallgrass Brewing, and Green Flash to name a few), not to mention the new Backpocket Brewery in Coralville.

The most recent addition to Iowa’s shelves is Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California.

Hope to see you there!

Northside Octoberfest/Brewfest 2011

Brewfest 2011

This past weekend was the first Iowa City Northside Octoberfest.  This year, Brewfest was combined with the celebration, to expand the audience of the event.  In addition to Brewfest, there was live music, food  vendors, and Sodafest for those who wanted to try different sodas.

At Brewfest, there were almost 90 different beer vendors with over 400 different beers.  Some of my favorites included two new Lips of Faith Beers from New Belgium: Kick and Clutch.  Kick was described as a slightly-sour pumpkin cranberry ale.  The beer had a lot of cranberry flavor, but the pumpkin was very light.  Clutch was a slightly sour brown ale.  It reminded me a bit of New Belgium’s 1554 with a bit of sourness.  Look for both these beers in Iowa soon.

Also, Peace Tree Brewing had several very nice special beers for the festival, including a bourbon-barrel stout (their Belgo-style Black River Gumbo Stout aged in bourbon barrels), a slightly-funky and a bit sour Cornucopia with Brett yeast, and a light and fruity German-style Kolsch.

Did you go to Brewfest 2011?  What were some of your favorite beers?

Iowa City BrewFest 2010

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?

Iowa City BrewFest is Saturday!

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!