2017 Cedar Rapids, Iowa City (+ Marion Iowa) Breweries

Discussion in 'Beer' started by cc1091, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. cc1091

    cc1091 Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    751
    31
    28
    Architecture
    Minneapolis
    Thought the beer enthusiasts of Iowa would appreciate an update with respect to the Breweries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Marion Iowa.

    Third Base in Cedar Rapids is back to producing and selling their own beers (after a short disruption this past summer caused apparently by new ownership and incorrect forms sent to the State of Iowa).

    Quarter Barrel Brewery in downtown Cedar Rapids is still holding forth mostly unchanged from its original format and its original beers.

    Iowa Brewing Company continues to improve having now fully adjusted its brewing to its brewing equipment.

    Lion's Bridge continues doing quite well with its sometimes peculiar beers.

    Turner Alley is a casualty.

    Iowa City Brewlab is apparently closing.

    Backpocket Brewery in Iowa City is expanding with a tasting room in Cedar Rapids (apparently this is now open).

    Big Grove Brewery is currently expanding to a location in Iowa City. Will maintain its full service restaurant and brewery in Solon.

    Another Road Brewery has been open for quite a while at its new location in Marion Iowa. Brewing is apparently happening in Cedar Rapids at a location near Daniels Park that does not have a tasting room and is not open to the public.

    I've missed a few, so I hope others will add info to this thread.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2009
    7,004
    497
    83
    Behind you
    I'm no expert but Workman's Comp by Lion's Bridge is really good stuff IMO.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. laminak

    laminak Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    1,419
    56
    48
    Marion
    Turner Alley is a casualty by shutting down their tasting room however still supplies to local places or shut down all together?

    It's a shame. My wife liked their IPA and I liked their pilsner, however their other beers were okay. Their tasting room wasn't special with a hard to get location and hours, but we liked going there and also liked having their beers at Shorts and Parlor City.
     
  4. laminak

    laminak Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    1,419
    56
    48
    Marion
    That's probably my favorite local brew in the area.
     
  5. laminak

    laminak Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    1,419
    56
    48
    Marion
    Should Millstream be included? Amana is in the CR/IC area.

    Should Granite City be included? It's a chain, however they have their own craft beer.
     
  6. djcubby

    djcubby Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2006
    3,383
    149
    63
    Male
    Bondurant
    How is Another Road? I grew up in Marion and still have family there. I don't make it back as often as I like, but I'd be willing try it if it's any good.
     
  7. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2009
    7,004
    497
    83
    Behind you
    Were you a Naso's guy?
     
  8. Cybyassociation

    Cybyassociation Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    7,146
    396
    83
    I tried it a few times at its original location. I'm a believer in giving brewers/breweries multiple chances as they are getting started. I gave Another Road 3 shots...they are horrid. So many off flavors from a taste profile standpoint. I understand the average drinker doesn't necessarily understand or even care about this, but they were putting out a product a brewer should know better than to put out. In my opinion, they (along with many Iowa breweries) benefit from the "drink local" movement. Just because a local brewery exists, it doesn't mean they are worthy of your dollar.

    They moved their brewing operations to Cedar Rapids because of the water. Makes sense to the general population as Marion's water isn't the best. However, from a brewing standpoint, there is so much you can do to water to change its profile, it's a stretch to say water is the reason why their beer was the way it was in Marion. I've talked with one of their brewers before and it seemed they had multiple excuses for quality issues when in my opinion, it comes down to practices.

    Sorry for rambling. TL-DR - I think Another Road's beer sucks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. EnkAMania

    EnkAMania Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    56
    2
    8
    Test Engineer
    Seattle
    Moved to CR for the water? Wow have times changed. Growing up in the 70's/80's, the water was terrible.
     
  10. cc1091

    cc1091 Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    751
    31
    28
    Architecture
    Minneapolis
    Awards say you are right Gonzo. And their continued good business also confirms this. However my tastebuds are not a fan. Give me a Fuller's ESB instead.
     
  11. cc1091

    cc1091 Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    751
    31
    28
    Architecture
    Minneapolis
    Yeah, Millstream should be included, but they have been around for so long, and are supported by the tourism so I guess I overlooked them. They have had a new bottler for a while now, which should mean that their bottled beer is much better than it was. I still prefer them from the tap though.

    Granite City? Not brewed in CR despite the nice shiny tanks at the restaurant. In my opinion, terrible beer. But you probably read my take on Workmen's Comp from Lion's Bridge.
     
  12. cc1091

    cc1091 Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    751
    31
    28
    Architecture
    Minneapolis
    I've had very good beers from Another Road and a few very average from them at their old location which was limited to a five gallon brew system. I did not visit enough to know about the variability of their product taste. I think there have been some 'usual' teething problems with them getting used to their new brewing system. Having said that, I do know that there are a group of very dedicated and very knowledgeable brewers with years of brewing experience, who have no financial stake in Another Road, who meet there on a nearly weekly basis to evaluate and comment on the product. I have faith that their product will improve as they become more familiar with their equipment.

    CR water is the cleanest in the state by at least a couple of evaluation services. But this crown seems to be passed from city to city in Iowa on a un-reassuringly annual basis. Having said that, I know that water for brewing often is augmented with natural salts, etc as well (So perhaps having clean water is not as great as it should be when it comes to brewing). However, it should be infinitely better than the chlorine laced water of Marion.
     
  13. cc1091

    cc1091 Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    751
    31
    28
    Architecture
    Minneapolis
    Yes, Turner Alley is completely shut down. To my understanding, the brew equipment has also been sold. Not sure what brewer Travis has in his future. He left Third Base brewery to help his investors start Turner Alley. Then those investors moved to California and wanted out of the business. When they started, they leased a space far from the bike trails and the post flood neighborhood revitalizations. To compound their problems, they initially did not have a tasting room. They were going to rely solely on sales of their beer to local bars. I think that was an extremely poor decision, despite how some felt about their beers. Too bad they weren't just a little closer to an established bike path. It may have made all the difference in the world.
     
  14. Gorm

    Gorm Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    1,832
    110
    63
    Male
    Amana, IA
    Millstream baby.

    (Bias, I live in Amana, and can easily fill my growler. :D)
     
  15. djcubby

    djcubby Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2006
    3,383
    149
    63
    Male
    Bondurant
    I only ate at Naso's a few times in my lifetime, however it was a big blow to me knowing that the Maid-rite has closed this year.
     
  16. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2009
    7,004
    497
    83
    Behind you
    Total crime. Maybe Zoey's could buy the space so they could sit more than 10 people at a time for some of the best pizza in Iowa.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. cc1091

    cc1091 Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    751
    31
    28
    Architecture
    Minneapolis
    I have a buddy who works for Millstream. I know that if it were his to run, things would be a little different. However ... being a good guy who likes hoppy beers doesn't cover all the bills.

     
  18. CyForPresident

    CyForPresident Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2006
    6,715
    336
    83
    Cornlands of Ayuxwa
    I've never like Millstream and I've given it a lot of chances. 3rd Base is my favorite for the CR area
     
  19. Gerbs

    Gerbs Active Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    592
    85
    28
    Big Grove is a top class brewery and restaurant. I think they are really going to blow up once they open the Iowa City location.

    Backpocket, on the other hand, has never been able to put out a decent product, imho.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. laminak

    laminak Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    1,419
    56
    48
    Marion
    Wife and I tried their new location last night. Previously, I liked their beers at their old location, however wasn't a fan of their setup. Their new location was a lot better and I liked how they had their beers with a bunch of other craft beers on tap. We both got their dunkel, which was "okay." They had two stouts, a porter, and an IPA of theirs on tap. In the past they seemed to have more diversity in their beers. So we were a little disappointed. I'd try them again and I like their location, however I'm no longer enthused about them.
     

Share This Page