Organized by the Iowa Brewers Guild, the 2nd annual Iowa Craft Brewers Festival was held June 16 in Downtown Des Moines.
After last year’s inaugural sellout that caught the organizers by surprise, the event was moved to the Locust Street Bridge to more than double the space. Aside from tight quarters and limited port-a-potties (I was pouring, so didn’t really experience these problems firsthand), word last year was quite positive. This year’s was even better, though I’d say that a few more places to go potty would still be a step in the right direction.
Saturday’s festival featured nearly 50 breweries, including 21 from Iowa, pouring over 220 beers and ciders.
I went with my uncle, cousins and a few friends and we had an excellent time. Due to our numbers and a lack of nimbleness, I ditched my plan to cherry pick and simply scooped the loop trying whatever came next alphabetically—you can still have a good time when you’re not so anal, I found.
I wanted to hit a couple new Iowa breweries I haven’t yet tried and managed to sample the wares from Okoboji Brewing and Van Houzen Brewing, but I failed to catch Boone Valley Brewing (We started at the backend of the alphabet, it seems). There’ll be another day, to be sure.
Standout beers for me were Third Base’s Barrel Aged Rye Wine, Peace Tree’s Brett Cornucopia, Rock Bottom-DSM’s An Cat Dubh, Tallgrass’s Buffalo Sweat Stout and Great River’s Redband Stout.
Though rain fell, the setting was gorgeous on the bridge with the State Capitol in the backdrop. The beers and attitudes were equally good and this event is just another nail in the coffin of macro swill’s reign of terror. Big thanks to Dave Coy and the rest of the Iowa Brewers Guild for putting on a solid event and working to create yet another oasis on the map of beer. Right here in Iowa.