Craft Beer Week is May 17-23

American Craft Beer Week is May 17-23, 2010.  So this week, when you have a beer, enjoy one from one of America’s craft brewers!

Some of the Iowa brewers to enjoy this week (and some of my favorites):

Enjoy Craft Beer Week!

IPTV Iowa Journal – State of Beer in Iowa

I was finally able to watch the Iowa Public Television show, Iowa Journal, that was aired last Thursday night on the state of beer and the brewing industry in Iowa. It was a panel discussion that included three beer experts: Iowa Brewers Guild president and head brewer at Raccoon River, Dave Coy, Sioux City Journal beer writer Tim Hynds and John’s Grocery manager and bier guy Doug Alberhasky.

The panel discussed how beer in Iowa will expand and gives the consumer better choices after the March 10th passage of SF 2088.  The episode is available online.

Good, Better, and Best Beer to Enjoy on St. Patty’s Day

Lovely Day for a Guinness!
Lovely Day for a Guinness!

It’s that time of year again, when you get out your green, and celebrate your Irish-ness, even if you aren’t Irish.  Now, there is a hierarchy to quality of beer on St. Patrick’s day, and I’m going to break it down for you.

Here’s the category breakdown:

Good: Green beer.  This is what most folks think of when they think of St. Patrick’s day.  This is usually no more than your regular run-of-the-mill light beer with green dye in it.  It’s pretty boring and not very exciting, except it’s green.

Better: Killian’s Irish Red, Michelob Irish Red.  These are a couple of brews that don’t fall into your green-beer category, but are still owned by the big guys.  They are close to your craft-brewed products, but they are not as good.  One advantage to these is that they are usually available.

Best: Boulevard Irish Ale, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Smithwick’s, Raccoon River Stonecutter Stout, Gray Brewing Co. Busted Knuckle Irish Style Ale, etc.  Many of these beers are either made in Ireland, or are craft brews that are made by some excellent craft brewers who strive to create an authentic Irish-style stout, Irish Style Red Ale, or other Irish beer.  If you can get your hands on these, this is the best choice.  You’ll thank me later!

So, when you decide what to have to celebrate today, just go for one of the “Best” beers, because that’s what St. Patty’s is all about!  Enjoy the best!

Raccoon River Stonecutter Stout

Stone Cutter Stout
Stonecutter Stout

The other day, I had the chance to try the Stonecutter Stout from Raccoon River Brewing, based in Des Moines, Iowa.  According to their website, it is named for “the stone masons who worked on the State Capitol, the Hotel Fort Des Moines, and many of the other historic buildings in Des Moines”.

The stout is a dry Irish stout, very similar to Guinness.  It has a slight sour taste, and finished clean.  It was very drinkable and  left a nice chocolate aftertaste.  Needless to say, it went down very smoothly.  It’s a great one to have on St. Patrick’s Day!

Have you tried the Stonecutter Stout from Raccoon River?