10 Best Breweries in Iowa 2018

Discussion in 'Beer' started by laminak, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. laminak

    laminak Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2010
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    The annual ranking of breweries in Iowa was released today:

    https://iowabeerblog.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-10-best-breweries-in-iowa-2018.html

    JUST MISSED THE CUT: SingleSpeed, Madhouse, Fat Hill, Iowa Brewing Company, Franklin Street and 515 Brewing.
    10. Backpocket
    9. Jackson St.
    8. Exile
    7. Lion's Bridge
    6. Confluence
    5. Alluvial
    4. Barn Town
    3. Big Grove
    2. Topling Goliath
    1. Pulpit

    I haven't had Pulpit, Barn Town, and Jackson St, however all of the others are legit, except for Exile. I'd knock them off and add Iowa Brewing or 515 on it.

    The article didn't mention 7 Hills in Dubuque, which was decent, and Third Base Brewing, which puts out excellent seasonal beers.

    Odd that it has Thew on its watch list, as when we went there a few weeks ago, I'd say they're the worst microbrewery in the CR area.
     
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  2. Scruff

    Scruff Active Member

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    #2 Scruff, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    Their sample size must have been heavy Decorah. I like Pulpit and Topling, but not in my top 5. Of their top 10, Backpocket, Confluence, and Exile are my favorites. I appear to like places with solid flagships. Appears this list also skews towards those with crazy experiments.
     
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  3. iahawks

    iahawks Well-Known Member

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    Every beer list in the past 10 years for sure. Always heavily slanted towards hoppy beers.
     
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  4. Scruff

    Scruff Active Member

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    Edited my post, just after you replied. Psuedo Sue comes to mind as a flagship hoppy beer that like. If your flagship is an IPA, you're probably lower on my list. Pulpit was great, but they didn't seem to have flagships, just constantly changing list of experimental beers. I was only there once.
     
  5. iahawks

    iahawks Well-Known Member

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    Pulpit is mostly hop forward too, but they do offer more maltier beers than TG does. They do have some flagships.
     
  6. Messi

    Messi Well-Known Member

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    I believe Iowa Beer Blog and Planned Sick Days are the same person/people and Thew did a partnership beer with them so makes sense he has them.

    I actually don’t hate Thews beer but I’ve drank in nicer garages and basements than their tap room
     
  7. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Well-Known Member

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    I like most of Confluence's beers, don't love any. I'm not sure it's number 6.

    Exile??? I've never been big on them; their core beers are really boring. Their seasonal/specialty ones are decent enough.

    I think 515 should be on it. I was really impressed with Fat Hill when I went, and they hadn't even been open all that long.
     
  8. Trice

    Trice Well-Known Member

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    My bias is local but I think Firetrucker is woefully underappreciated. I'm not sure I can think of a beer I've had there that I didn't like.
     
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  9. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that I'd say that anymore. They're really focused on the pastry stouts, fruited sours, and BA stuff. They still have lots of good hoppy beers, but I was in on Friday afternoon and I'd say only 1/3rd of the beers on tap were hoppy. Saftig, Gravy Boat, and Mjau.

    I was also at Fat Hill on Friday, and was super impressed. I'd been in once before, right after they opened, and thought it was good. They had a couple of excellent IPAs going this weekend. Plus, it's a really beautiful taproom.
     
  10. iahawks

    iahawks Well-Known Member

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    Saftig is probably my favorite flagship IPA of any other brewery.
     
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  11. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

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    I think Firetrucker gets a lot of love, and I've yet to be blown away by anything there. I think they make competent beers, but they wouldn't be in my Top 10.

    Regarding this Top 10 list, I agreed with most of it. I would swap Singlespeed for Backpocket and 515 for Exile. The rest is solid.
     
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  12. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. At this point, I think it's clearly ahead of Psuedo Sue.

    It cracks me up whenever I stop in at Dixie's in Decorah. It's the old TG taproom, and there's a a couple of guys who were all TG regulars back when it was there, but don't like going out to the new facility who swear up and down that Pulpit is merely "ok", but their IPAs can't touch Sue. My eyes roll. Hard. Good guys, though.
     
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  13. bawbie

    bawbie Moderator
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    Have you ever been to Lake Time Brewery in Clear Lake? I'm surprised they don't get more love on these type of lists, I've liked everything I've had from there.
     
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  14. discydisc

    discydisc Active Member
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    What a time to be alive, were there even 10 breweries in Iowa 20 years ago?
     
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  15. discydisc

    discydisc Active Member
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    Pour Over Porter is also consistently excellent.
     
  16. SWCy13

    SWCy13 Active Member

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    Agree with this, they do a good job with a lot of their beers. I don't love their flagship IPA but Tropical Burn DIPA is delicious.
     
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  17. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Well-Known Member

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    What, you didn't like Cabco or Raccoon River??? [​IMG]
     
  18. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

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    ****. I would actually probably slide them into, or right on the cusp of, the Top 10. I've been a fan of their's for awhile, and purchase their cans pretty regularly. I'm not super into the pastry stout thing, but the one they did that tastes like a monster cookie (One Tough Cookie, IIRC) is awesome. The Peanut Butter Porter and Haze of Our Lives NEIPA are consistently good beers as well.
     
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  19. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

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    It is, and I love that they constantly rotate the coffee with different Impact roasts.

    Side note, if you're spending any time in Decorah, get into Impact. Awesome coffee shop, and great people.
     
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  20. discydisc

    discydisc Active Member
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    I didn't say that, but I would have been 12 soo...
     

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