Monday, July 1, 2013

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. 

We didn't have our handy-dandy beer review notebooks – and by the end of our hours of sampling, we might have been just slightly too tipsy to properly review them all. ;) But we did rack up a list of breweries to visit for proper reviews – and we each remember the beers that stood out to us. 

Brews that Stood Out

For me, it was the Jedi Braid, a double red rye beer from Third Base Brewery. It was deliciously hoppy and a beautiful red in color. I was pretty psyched to find out that Third Base Brewery is located right here in my new city of Cedar Rapids. Their other brews were great, too, so G and I will be hitting up their drinking establishment in the near future.

The beer that really stood out for G was the Impure Thoughts Saison from Keg Creek Brewing Company. The guy at the stand advised him that it'd be "different," which was exactly what G wanted to hear. It was very different.. and very good! Keg Creek is located in Glenwood, Iowa... in southwestern Iowa. It's definitely on our to-visit list, too, since we want to taste this saison without having had many other samples before it.

I was also delighted to see Olde Main Brewing Co at the festival. Olde Main is a brewpub based in Ames, IA - where G and I both went to Iowa State. We're both big fans of their OffKilter Scottish Ale. At the brew fest, they happened to have my other Olde Main favorite: Reindeer Fuel. Reindeer Fuel is pure, chocolatey goodness. It's a rich, smooth ale brewed with semi-sweet Bavarian chocolate. And I think there's the slighest hint of peppermint in there. ;) It's a seasonal winter brew, but it makes a summertime appearance as well. And it's appearance at this fest pretty much made my day since I had sipped on the stuff since January.

After spending several hours at the brew fest, we took a stroll through downtown Des Moines. The day could not have been any more perfect. Lovely, 90-degree, humid Iowa June weather. This is what we've been waiting for. (We got snow as late as May and have experienced a rainy, floody two months thus far.)

We encountered a fellow who'd had maybe ten too many samples at the brew fest. He'd decided to lie down on the corner of the street in the shade of some bushes. G woke up to see if we could call someone for him, but the man adamantly staked his claim on the nap spot. So on we went. 

Hello, Des Moines! All those samples and the walk had worked up an appetite, so we added one of our favorite restaurants to the day's to-do list. This is where the zombies come in.

Zombie Burger

Zombie Burger! Zombie Burger is a very unique, trendy little burger joint in downtown Des Moines. They serve up amazingly tasty and creative burgers named after various zombie movies.  

They're also quite famous for their delicious cereal shakes – G went with the cinnamon toast crunch shake, while I opted for fruity pebbles. Yummm.  (You can get 'em spiked, too, but after all that brew... we just weren't feeling it. Heh.) I highly recommend the fried brussel sprouts, too! 

It was a fantastic weekend and I'm glad we made the last minute decision to make the trip to Des Moines. The brews and burgers were oh-so-very worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I love that you're reviewing different types of beers--and hopefully checking out breweries! I just went to the BEST one and wrote about it here:

    I'd love it if you'd check it out, and if you're ever in Ohio, definitely stop there. I think you'd love it--very rustic, in an old farmhouse, very quaint and was fantastic!