Five short years ago, the landscape of Iowa beer changed. Since the passing of SF 2088, countless breweries have been introduced to Iowa, with many more on the way. Most recently, both Surly (Minnesota) and Oskar Blues (Colorado, North Carolina) entered the state. So on this anniversary, raise your glass and say “Cheers!” to better beer!
Well, it’s been one year since the March 10, 2010 signing of SF 2088, which included a resolution to allow higher alcohol beers to be brewed by Iowa brewers.
So what’s changed? In addition to brewers outside Iowa being able to more easily sell their high-gravity beers in the state, it has become much easier for the breweries in Iowa to brew these stronger beers, such as Double IPA‘s and the majority of Belgian-style beers. This has allowed Iowa breweries to compete with those in other states, and will give Iowa breweries the chance to make almost any beer style they want without the state coming down on them for having stronger beers.
Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are several of the beers in the higher-proof category that came out in the past year (this doesn’t include all the beers local breweries and brewpubs created, such as Third Base Brewery and Rock Bottom Brewing):
- Double IPA
- Imperial Stout
So, in the past year, the beer landscape in Iowa has become more diverse and flavorful. Even the local Iowa City paper recently wrote about the changes in the state after the law was passed.
Now is a great time to be a beer lover in Iowa, and it will only get better from here. Have you enjoyed the change in the beer scene in Iowa? What other changes would you like to see?
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.
Just found out from The Full Pint that Millstream Brewing will be brewing their first high proof beer (thanks to SF 2088) next week. According to the website, it will be a 8% Weizenbock (a dark wheat beer). They mentioned most will be kegged, but also left open the possibility that a limited quantity of 22 oz. bombers will be available. They anticipate it should be done sometime in June.
Also mentioned was that Millstream hopes to bring out 4 different high proof beers this year, and will allow customers to choose which one will go into regular production.
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!