Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Guest Post | Beer Festival
Little Giant Beer Summit @ El Bait Shop | Des Moines, IA

Please welcome one of our favorite fellow craft beer scene couples to Yeast, Love, & Hoppiness. While Greg and I were donning our lederhosen and dirndl and drinking bier at Oktoberfest in the Amanas, DSM brew-loving duo Jason and Ash were indulging in Iowa craft beer at the Little Giant Beer Summit at El Bait Shop in downtown Des Moines. (Photo above from El Bait Shop.) And here's how it all went down...

Guest Post | Little Giant Beer Summit
by Jason Scholbrock (add us on Untappd Ash & Jason)

Saturday, October 5th was one of those perfectly crisp autumn days. Cool air and a slight breeze. Perfect weather for a beer festival – just not the fall festival you’re thinking of! El Bait Shop, quite possibly the greatest beer bar in the world, hosted the “Little Giant Beer Summit” touting their parking lot festival as the “home to the largest selection of Iowa beer in one place, ever.” It lived up to the hype!
My wife, Ash, and I are avid craft beer consumers and huge proponents of buying (or in this case, drinking) local. We were very excited for the Little Giant because we would get to try some brews that are rarely found in our Central Iowa stomping grounds (e.g. GuerrillaC.I.B.Broad StreetSingleSpeed). There were also a few very new breweries on display (New AmericanFranklin StreetKalonaHopheads). In all there were roughly 30 breweries (and many more beers) from Iowa represented.

One of the sweet commemorative glasses (image courtesy of El Bait Shop)
Now to the beers! Ash loves her hops so she tried the following beers: Iron Horse IPA (Boone Valley), 10 Foot 10 (West O), Coo Coo Cachoo (Broad Street), Great Pumpkin Imperial Stout (Millstream), Citra Pale Ale (New American), Oak-Aged Imperial Red (Madhouse), Three-Toed Dog Robust Belgian White Ale (Van Houzen). Standouts for Ash included: the Imperial/Double IPA from West O was outstanding and fruity; the Pumpkin Imperial Stout was “so freaking good”; Madhouses’s Imperial Red was delicious as usual; Van Houzen keeps cranking out tasty high ABV brews; Broad Street and New American had solid first outings but can take a few lessons from their elder brethren. I prefer darker and balanced beers but I am open to try anything. 

Here is my list: Brewed X2 (SingleSpeed), Double Whammy (Kalona), Great Pumpkin Imperial Stout (Millstream), Dethhanger Quadruple Brown Ale (C.I.B.), No Worries IPA (Hopheads), Chocolate Cherry Brown Ale (Guerrilla), Three-Toed Dog Robust Belgian White Ale (Van Houzen). My thoughts on these beers: I enjoyed finally having a SingleSpeed since I’d heard many good things from friends in Cedar Falls; was also good to try something from newbie Kalona; Millstream’s Pumpkin Imperial comes with my highest recommendation (Jessica was spot on) – it’s so delicious, unique, and perfect for this season; C.I.B. always does sours well; Hopheads is off to a good start but they’re diving into a saturated market; really enjoyed talking to the brewmaster from Guerrilla and partaking in his chocolate-cherry brew – complete with caramelizing red-hot poker; Van Houzen always does well with their high-ABV brews.

The “red-hot poker” caramelizes a delicious Guerrilla brew (photo courtesy of the infamous J. Wilson at brewvana)
All in all, the Little Giant Beer Summit was a huge success full of tasty and rare small-batch local elixirs! I hope it continues as we have plenty of great breweries in our state to feature. Make a trip to one near you soon – or make a trip to El Bait Shop. Keep supporting these guys and remember to drink local! Here is J. Wilson’s take on the Little Giant. Have you been to a beer festival recently? Did you discover a new beer or brewery? Until next drink…CHEERS!

Thanks so much, Jason and Ash! I'm so glad to hear that you dig Millstream's Great Pumpkin Imperial Stout as much as I do. (Greg's not a pumpkin beer fan, but that just leaves more pumpkin stout for me!) 

I have to admit that we're pretty jealous we couldn't be there. Sounds like a great time! But we were getting our Bavarian on and couldn't be in two places at once. That's where brew-lovers like Jason, Ash, and YOU come in! Write up a guest post for Yeast, Love, & Hoppiness! We're always excited to hear from you. :)

Send us your beer reviews, your reasons for loving favorite bars and breweries, and your experiences at beer festivals and events. We'd love to feature you – whether you're Iowa-based, out-of-state, or beyond! Just email us at doppelbloggers@gmail.com.

Get in touch if you'd like to meet 'n' drink or write a guest post!

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