Friday, August 21, 2015

East Coast Meets Midwest

 Earlier this year, I had the incredible opportunity to get a private tour of Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware by the Brewery Supervisor Dan.  It turns out, Dan is also a fellow Iowan, and recently returned to the Midwest for some family time.  Once again, I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Dan, and we took a trip to Toppling Goliath in Decorah for a few beers.

 TG had another busy day at the brew house, but we were lucky enough to meet up with Brewmaster Mike and TG designer, Jon.  I showed incredible strength by not to having my phone out taking pictures of  two brewers from two of the best Craft breweries in the country, and the awesome beers we drank that day.  So, not shown from TG was naughty 90, Sosus, and Morning Latte.  To find out more about these beers, check out their website.  What I will say is, Naughty 90 was an incredibly well balanced IPA that was barrel aged to perfection, Sosus is a juice like Mosiac hop bomb that is a must have for every beer lover, while Morning Latte very easily could replace my morning coffee.  Thanks again to Dan, Mike, and Jon for taking some time to have a few beers with this beer geek.  I always enjoy learning more about the craft beer business, and getting to know these guys more.  Don't worry Jon, someday soon, my 20 year old Magic the Gathering decks will destroy yours, and show that I'm a geek about more than just beer!

In honor of Dan driving across country just to have a beer with me. Ok, maybe to see family and friends too, I had to prepare with two great brews from Dogfish Head.  Above, is Palo Santo Marron, and it may just be my favorite beer of all time.  Weighing in at 12% ABV, this wood aged Brown Ale is thick, rich, roasty, and just plain amazing.

In complete contrast, Festina Peche (shown to the left,) is a 4.5% ABV tart and refreshing Berliner Weisse that is perfect for the hot and humid Iowa summers.  If you can't get to the East Coast, do yourself a favor and find these brews in WI and IL, they are worth it.

This little treasure was picked out by my wife on our Delaware vacation, and I'm so glad she did.  This is a 10% ABV Imperial IPA brewed with honey, and dare I say, every bit as good or even better than Bell's Hopslam.  That may sound like blasphemy coming from the Midwest, but this beer is fantastic.  The other great thing about the beer is the label.  The character on the front looks like a cross between the former wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior, and the Cartoon Muscle Man from Regular Show.  If only we had room to bring back more!!
I mentioned this beer in an earlier entry, but it was so good, I thought it deserved a picture and a second mention.  Cane Blade is another Imperial IPA (anyone sensing a theme) that is thick, sweet, and has perfect balance.  It's extremely smooth, yet has a great malt/hop complexity that keeps me going back for more.  although, at over 8% ABV I may not be going back for more on the same night!
This Imperial IPA rivals some of the big boys, and is a must have.  As you're out shopping in Iowa this weekend, make sure you grab a 4 pack before they are all gone.

It's football time here in Eastern Iowa, and Joseph has begun his 2nd year in youth football.  These guys take their football seriously around here.  Windy, cold, and rainy, who cares?  They practice outside, and these 8-10 year olds are learning some very valuable lessons about hard work, dedication, and teamwork.  Football and Craft beer in Iowa, make me a very happy man.

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