Seth Kugel, of the NYT Frugal Traveler fame, writes a sentiment that couldn’t be more apt for a state caught between a transition and tradition. In his article, “Eating in Iowa: Farm-fresh, Fried, and Frugal“, he discovers culinary feasts for cheap and other delights that shouldn’t be consumed ever-so-frequently, i.e. that which comes fried, frugal, and plate-width.
If you ask any Iowan, however, they’ll tell you: he forgot to mention a lot. Farm-fresh and local is sprouting up all over the state. And the movement isn’t just about food either. In fact, it’s changing in the form of small batch whiskey distilleries, backyard vineyards, and craft beer, too.
With that, it gives me great pleasure to post about a local enterprise that is in the midst of transforming the very community (or rather, county) where I grew up. In a town of 1,400, where little industry persists (apart from farming), my cousin and her husband have opened a local brewery! On a recent private tour that they gave me, I tasted a little of what they’ve been brewing. Do I need to say it? Yes, yes, it was really good. In fact, I came home with a growler (or a one half galloon jug) of delicious beer.
As my cousin Nicole Eilers, co-owner of Brick Street Brewery, said, “Unlike people our parents’ age, we didn’t want to look back and say, ‘I wish I had…'”.
If you’re local, stop in! Currently, they’re offering their very own Pumpkin Spice Ale (cleverly named, You Don’t Know Jack), and a Porter (my favorite) with the sweet, subtle taste of chocolate and just a hint of coffee.
In the familiar chant of Iowans, from the University of Iowa (my alma mater), it’s only fitting to say: In heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here!
Don’t forget to check out Brick Street Brewery’s Facebook page! Disclaimer: You may see a few of the following photos up there soon!
Oh, and as always–wherever you are–support local, craft beer!
Do you like craft beer? If so, what’s your favorite? If I’m honest, drinking good, experimental craft beer is one of my favorite things about returning home to America! There’s so much more than America’s greatest beer export, Budweiser! Plus, after almost two years in Spain, I can say, the country’s dependence on lager isn’t exactly inspiring. Luckily though, experimentation is coming, and beer culture in Iberia is slowly changing! If you’re from elsewhere, what’s the beer culture like in your country?