The Best Breweries You Never Heard Of-Part 1

I didn’t always know about Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery. I parked in front of it by accident (my boys wanted to track down an army surplus store in the neighborhood), walked in to check it out because it was the right thing to do, and was floored by its awesomeness because the beers were awesome and because at that point, I’d never heard of them. This was a Bob Ross Happy Accident, but it shouldn’t always happen that way. To help point my readers to the delightful underdogs hiding in the shadows of craft beer’s rocket-ride into the limelight, I’ve recruited a flock of fellow beer bloggers to help me underscore some of the Awesomeness you may not have heard of…

I’ll start.

I live in Iowa, which isn’t nearly as beer-cool sounding as if I introduced myself from Portland or Asheville. However. We truly have solid beer here—and our scene is improving every day. To highlight just one is a challenge, but I want to make sure you know about Backpocket Brewing Company.

Backpocket is the spinoff production brewery born of Old Man River Brewery in McGregor. Brewer Jake Simmons is a true talent and the success of a trial run in pushing his Old Man-brewed Einfach line of beers into the market on draught revealed a demand for his liquid love. Struggling to keep up with the thirst for his beers, Old Man River plotted an expansion, and today, Backpocket Brewing Company is a 30-barrel work-in-progress in Coralville. Slated to green light this summer, the production facility will become the largest brewery in Iowa, and for good reason.

Jake Simmons. This guy makes good beer. Spread the word.

Jake brews with great respect to German deliciousness—but he deviates from the missionary position to produce some tasty elixirs. Oftentimes, when I taste his beers, I exclaim phrases like, “Oh, my goodness!” and “Holy shit!”

Here are my three favorites, though every beer I’ve tasted from this guy has been outstanding:

Slingshot Dunkel (4.8%): instead of drinking this smooth, dark offering occasionally, I’d like to drink it daily.

Jackknife GPA (6.2%): A German Pale Ale utilizing German hops for a smooth bitterness and American hops for flashy aroma, this beer will make IPA drinkers question their loyalty.

Wooden Nickel Scottish Peated Lager (5.7%): German-inspired brewing but tweaked with Scottish malts, this beer is ridiculously yummy and interesting.

The good news is that, soon, I will be able to find Backpocket in bottles. If you find yourself in Iowa, I’m tellin’ ya, you won’t be disappointed to track down Jake’s beers.

Stay tuned. I’ve got guest bloggers lined up all week for this special series!


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3 Responses to The Best Breweries You Never Heard Of-Part 1

  1. Valerie says:

    Very cool to see you writing about Backpocket! I’m a beer fan originally from near Coralville so I’m excited to see the brewery’s progress. And the beer I’ve had is good stuff.

  2. Joel Lown says:

    The Jackknife is really good. I hope they get it back into the bait shop soon.

  3. Pingback: Back Pocket Brewery

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