Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Leffe Blonde Mussels | Cooking with Beer

From beer brats to beer bread, I like to cook with beer every chance I get. It's always an experiment, but not always good one. (Like the time in college I tried to make a beer cheese fondue with a Miller Lite and lost my appetite in the process.) Brats and bread are easy-peasy, though. So this past weekend I felt like doing something a little more adventurous... another experiment of sorts. With seafood. Specifically, mussels.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Cellar Peanut Pub | Oskaloosa, Iowa

I hail from the small town of Oskaloosa, Iowa. In recent years, cool new businesses have been popping up all over Osky. From a cool coffee house to antique stores to a bookstore housed it what was one of Osky's first banks. And now, Marty and Betsy Duffy have added a pub to that roster.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Extra Decadent Guinness Extra Stout Brownies

This decadent dessert combines two of our favorite things: chocolate and dark beer.  We baked these goodies last winter using Guinness Extra Stout.  (The recipe only uses up two of the bottles, so we got the rest of the pack to enjoy!)

What You'll Need:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

Friday, July 12, 2013

Stone RuinTen IPA | Stone Brewing Co.

Last weekend, Greg and I visited a new favorite little drinking establish in the New Bohemian District of Cedar Rapids. It was our second visit to the charming corner bar Parlor City Pub and Eatery... and we already had our "usual spot" at the bar to sit down at.

We drank quite a bit of beer last Saturday at Parlor City. Unfortunately, we weren't good little beer-reviewers. Chatting with a couple about local hot spots and breweries to visit, we kinda sorta forgot to jot down notes about the brews we sipped. And on the same day, my immune system decided to surrender to some random summer sickness that I'm just now getting over. (Blahhh.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Your Brain on Beer vs. Coffee

Finally, I know the science behind how my two favorite beverages interact with my brain. Ernest Hemingway must have really been onto something when he said, "Write drunk. Edit sober." Turns out, beer (and other alcohols) helps your brain relax, become more receptive to inspiration, and get down to creativity. Coffee, on the other hand, helps you get down to business.  

It's all right here in this interesting article: Coffee vs. Beer: Which Drink Makes You More Creative?  Check it out. And then check out this nifty infographic:

Beer and Brats Festival at Millstream Brewing

This is a little bit late, but on Saturday, June 29 Greg and I ventured over to Amana for Millstream Brewing Co.'s Beer & Brat Festival. The stormy day cleared up just in time for the fest, where Amana Smokehouse and Meat Market served up delicious mini brats to pair with Millstream beer. The brats were soooo good. (As was the beer, too, of course.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

White Star Alehouse, Round 2
Two Hearted Ale & Dead Guy Ale

To commence our four-day 4th of July weekends, Greg and I hit up a local drinking and dining establishment in downtown Cedar Rapids. White Star Alehouse has an excellent beer menu with dozens of beers on tap and twice as many in bottles. I love the historic building, vintage accents, and relaxing atmosphere. It's definitely a gem where you can try a variety of brews, devour delicious food, chat with your friendly and funny server, and easily while away a couple hours. I wish the above photo did the bar justice. It was very casual, elegant, and cool.

As mentioned in the Round 1 of this beer review post, we chowed down on a delicious appetizer of chicken avocado egg rolls. Avocado, chicken, red onion, and sun-dried tomatoes fried up in a crisp egg-roll wrapper and dipped in either fresh cilantro salsa or sour cream and chives. It makes my mouth water just to describe them and see that photograph. Want. More. Right. Now.

White Star Alehouse, Round 1
Red's Rye PA & Dark Side Vanilla Porter

Jess and I decided to take a little trip over to White Star Alehouse in Cedar Rapids. They have 100 different beers to try and have some pretty good food, too. Their chicken avocado egg rolls are amazing! If you are ever in town, you should hit them up just for the egg rolls. Of course, hit them up for the beer as well. One thing could have made the experience better. The people behind us ordered calamari. It was some stanky stuff, too! Not just stinky. Stanky. It made smelling the beer a somewhat difficult task for me. Jess fared alright.

Guest Post | Brewery Review
Rockmill Brewery in Lancaster, Ohio

Please welcome Melissa of A Quiet Extrovert to Yeast, Love, & Hoppiness. She recently visited Rockmill Brewery, a lovely farmhouse-turned-brewery in Lancaster, Ohio.

Guest Post | Rockmill Brewery
by Melissa, A Quiet Extrovert

Rockmill is located in the middle of Ohio farm-country, and the brewery itself is actually a beautiful old farmhouse re-designed into the most welcoming brewery I’ve ever been to. As you arrive, you walk past the patio lit up with white Christmas lights and complete with a fire pit and plenty of seating. Inside, a large white dog greets visitors at the door. Every room in the house is open for customers and it was fun to check out all of the different rooms—each with their own unique, rustic feel. My boyfriend and I chose to sit on a big, brown leather couch by the window and had the corner all to ourselves.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Acme California IPA | North Coast Brewing Co.

I would consider this a "gateway" IPA. As in, if this had been the first IPA that ever touched my lips... I might not have puckered at bitter hops and turned my nose up to the style for over a year. Nowadays, I like my IPAs to come with a bite. Also, as a side note I LOVE the vintage-inspired label on the bottle. (Yes, it is initially what caught my eye. I bought it because it was an IPA. Heh.)

Bell's Oberon Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Some wheat beers all taste the same. Bell's Oberon Ale is an exception.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale | Brouwerij Van Steenberge

What has a bubbly, fast-climbing froth like root beer, smells like Branston Pickle and red wine, tastes like the moment you bite into a cherry tootsie pop, and leaves the taste of pennies on your lips? This beer. So without further ado, here's goes my weirdest brew review yet...

Stone Ruination IPA | Stone Brewing Co.

If you'd have asked me after my first-ever swig of an IPA a couple years ago whether or not I thought I'd ever equal hoppiness to happiness. I'd have stuck my tongue out at you through lips that were puckering at the bitterness of whatever that beer was. However, G and I have both grown to love those cones. (Hence the blog title.) And this brew is truly cream of the crop hop:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stateside Saison | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

I'll be the first to admit that I'm immediately drawn to buying a beer based on its label. There's not a magical formula or anything that catches my eye  It could vary between Old World-y and German-looking to crisp, modern, and cool. It could be a variety of things. And this one caught my eye because of the dragon. I'm on a bit of a Game of Thrones kick after re-watching the first season just to ease my withdrawals from the most recent season finale. (And to give myself some much needed quality time with the Starks.)

Iowa Craft Brew Festival in Downtown Des Moines

A couple of weekends ago, G and I hit up Des Moines to kick off summertime with ninety degree weather, sunshine, beer, and zombies. Our mission: sample as many beers as possible at the Iowa Craft Brew Festival. It was a gorgeous day to spend on the river enjoying old favorites and tasting new brews. 

The Locust St. Bridge was packed with hundreds of folks sampling hundreds of beers from thirty Iowa microbreweries plus additional breweries from throughout the country.