Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brew in the 'Loo | Waterloo, IA

Last Saturday (August 24), Greg and I took a little trip northbound to Waterloo.  I'd been scouring the internet for some Eastern IA beer events and had come across Brew in the 'Loo. The 3-hour beer tasting event was held in the Waterloo Bucks' Riverfront Stadium with brewery and distributor stands set up along the home-to-first and third-to-home baselines, picnic tables in the infield, and yard games in the outfield. 

A musician played, as well. For $15 each, we got in, got a souvenir sampling glass, and got to enjoy unlimited samples of the 40+ brews. Oh! And the best part (besides the unlimited samples) was that all proceeds went to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley. It's feels good to do good while drinking.

The event was very casual, low-key, and spread out – a stark contrast to the bustling, crowded Locust St Bridge when we attended the Des Moines Craft Beer Festival. This tasting was smaller, more intimate, and provided seating on a hot Iowa afternoon. While we loved the hustle and bustle of the downtown DSM event, we immediately came to appreciate the intimacy, small-scale, and lack of long lines at this one.

Above, we were pretty psyched to see Great River Brewery at the event. This place is at the top of our Breweries-To-Visit list since a couple told us about it at Parlor City one afternoon. All their beers were amazing and I'm looking forward to trying more from them and visiting their brewery this fall.

What we ended up absolutely LOVING about this beer event was the opportunity to really be able to talk to the brewers, distributors, and other beer fans. We got to ask questions about the beer, learn about the breweries, find out about upcoming events, and even sample special brews that weren't even out on shelves yet. 

We could leisurely walk from stand to stand, go back to the ones we liked, and take breaks in between stands to just enjoy the beautiful summer weather. There was no rush to try to sample everything – we had plenty of time. There were no crazy long lines. There were real bathrooms (not porta-potties) on-site! 

At the end of the day, we decided on our two favorite picks of the event. Neither of us had to think very hard and we returned to one of the stands we'd started with earlier in the afternoon. It was just a happy coincidence that we both picked a beer from Broad Street Brewing Co. based in Reinbeck, Iowa. I fell heels-over-taste-buds for the Black Porter. Roasty malts, light hops, a subtle chocolate flavor, and a very, very drinkable smoothness. This is the type of beer that becomes my go-to beer. Greg chose Broad Street's Sticky Wicket PHB. I remember it has been refreshing and hoppy, but my description may be blurred by the fact that I was totally devoted to the porter. We're definitely planning an autumn adventure to Reinbeck to visit these guys at Broad Street Brewing Co!

We polished off our beer-filled weekend with four bottles of Stone Brewing Co.'s Enjoy By 9-13-13 IPA (ymmmm, hops!) and beer brats. 

This weekend, we'll be heading to the Amanas for the Festival of Iowa Beers. Can't wait! Let us know if you'll be there and perhaps we can meet up and talk beer!


  1. Wow! Thanks for the blog love on our brews! We appreciate that you came to support the event and we can't wait to see you at the brewery soon! Teeni from Broad Street

  2. Hi Teeni! You're very welcome! We couldn't help but love 'em! So thank YOU for the great beer! The event was awesome and I hope they do something like that again.

    Oh and we can't wait make a trip to your brewery! I'm looking at our open weekends now. :)

    Jess - Yeast Love & Hoppiness