What We're Drinking | Early November Edition - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Monday, November 13, 2017

What We're Drinking | Early November Edition


Now don't be fooled, there's only one person behind this blog (for now). When I reference "we" I'm talking about that alternate personality that was the inspiration for Frank the Tank. Frank doesn't take mental notes about mouthfeel or floral notes. He just pounds. I however, like to enjoy beer and talk about why. So, here's what I've had lately brewed here in the great state of Iowa.



1. BACKPOCKET 5th ANNIVERSARY 
Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout 12.3% ABV
Poured on tap at Global Brew in West Des Moines in a 10oz glass. My first thoughts are 1.) Loads of vanilla 2.) Subtle bourbon and 3.) This is in my opinion the best Backpocket beer I've ever had. Celebrating a brewery's anniversary is an important event and celebrating that event with a fantastic beer is even better. I gave this beer 4.5 bottle caps. The Untappd consensus is 4.41 with 451 ratings.

2. FRANKLIN STREET DRUGSTORE COWBOY
NE Style IPA 6% ABV
I wrote about this beer in the Haze report and finally got to try it on tap at Beerstyles in West Des Moines. It was as good as advertised and I'd place this beer at the top of the list for NE Style IPAs produced in Iowa in 2017. The hops are in your face and super sweet, not dull, as a NE Style is supposed to be. Like the BA Anniversary, I gave this beer 4.5 bottle caps and the Untappd crowd currently rates it 4.22 with 388 ratings.

3. PULPIT ROCK PILLOW TALK FRUIT BEER
Berliner Weiss with Raspberries 7.1% ABV
I'm a little late to the party here but had this as part of a small bottle share. The lineup included Cantillion, Side Project and some fresh Funk Factory. So, the Decorah brewery stood up against competition. I still felt this beer could use a little age as it was really bright and lively still. I went with 4.5 bottle caps and the overall after 302 ratings is 4.33.

4. EXILE BARRET DEAN'S BEST PILSNER
German Pilsner 4.5% ABV
This beer really got me excited as a fan of the lawn mower summer pilsner. Brewed in collaboration with Barrett Boesen foundation, I hope this isn't a one-off and returns in time for the next Iowa August. Crisp and clean, this pilsner says "German" in the name but I couldn't help think Pilsner Urquell. There's a slight lemongrass funk that doesn't taste unnaturally manufactured like some of the larger mass-craft pilsners of late. This is 3.75 bottle caps for me and has an Untappd of 3.3 with 88 ratings.

5. 515 OJ GETS LEI'D
Wheat Ale with coconut and pineapple 4.9% ABV
When I first read the description I thought of Maui Brewing Company's Mana Wheat. I'm not a fan of Mana Wheat but this is not that. The pineapple and coconut is there but not overpowering. It's light and not overly acidic where your stomach starts to hate you. I foresee a Luau party in January in the 515 brewery with this beer. It's perfect for a sunny day on the beach. 3.75 bottle caps from me with an average of 4 on Untappd with 122 ratings.

7. IOWA BREWING COMPANY CAN'T BUY A TRILL
NE Style IPA 6.8% ABV
The NE Style is tricky because it's all about the freshness of the pour from the keg you get. I'm not sure the brew date but the mango and peach in the beer's description just didn't jump out of the glass at me. I had to work for it. It's an easy drinker but not as hoppy as I had hoped. I do plan to try again and hopefully soon at the source. I went with 3.75 bottle caps and Trill has an average score of 4.03 with 301 ratings.

8. LION BRIDGE KUNDERA KOLSCH 
German Kolsch 4.6% ABV
When I think of Kolsch I think straw, clear color and champagne-like bubbly head. Instead, I got a bready, unfiltered malty brew that almost looks and tastes like a standard ale. I wasn't a fan of this but I am a fan of this video from Cologne, Germany.

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