Sunday, July 10, 2011


So, I've been a little slow on the posts recently as there has been quite a bit going on.  4th of July, family, friends, brewery operations, etc. all seem to get in the way a little bit of writing everything down.  However, an event occurred yesterday that I have to write about.  For those of you not in the Des Moines area, there is an annual event known as Brewfest.  This was the 5th incarnation of the event, held at Principal Park, and really proved to me how much more accepting people are of craft beer.  When Ryan brought the idea to us about starting the brewery he mentioned the reasoning behind his decision to start it now instead of 5 years ago or 5 years from now.  One of the deciding factors is that more people are choosing craft beer instead of reaching for a Bud Light.  The availability of good beer has increased as has the demand which only means good things for a small local brewery. The attendance at Brewfest is a testament to the growing demand for really good beer. 

My girfriend and I arrived around 2:45 and the doors opened at 3.  The line when we got there was already about 200 yards long, with another line about 50 yards long of people showing ID's and getting their bracelets.  By the time we got our bracelets we were able to walk right in, grab our goodie bag and our tasting glass.  We guessed that most people would start on the lower level so we went straight upstairs.  I tried a stout, a porter, a wheat and a dopplebock in pretty quick succession.  My tastebuds were already overwhelmed and we hadn't even been there 10 minutes!  I had to tell myself to relax and enjoy it because the beer would still be there!  I didn't have to taste all 400 beers in the first hour!

I made it over to Peace Tree Brewing Companies tap and was able to talk to Megan again.  I haven't spoken with her since we visited their brewery a couple of months ago, so it was nice to take a little time and talk with her.  Also, check out their sweet tap!!

This photo really doesn't do it justice as the front of it is designed like an old car.  It is seriously sweet!  Blonde Fatale was just as wonderful a beer as when I last had it at the brewery.  Ryan has actually placed this beer in his top 10 beer list!

We made our way down the rest of the breweries on the top floor, then ventured to the lower level.  Many of the more mainstream breweries were located down here including MillerCoors, New Belgium, etc.  There were still some very good smaller breweries represented on the lower level which made me happy.  I'm glad that the organizers included some smaller breweries in amongst the Big Boys.  I was also very happy to see that not all of the patrons were huddled around the Big Boys.  Everyone seemed to really be sharing the wealth and experimenting with beers they aren't terribly familiar with.

More than anything else, events like this allow beer drinkers to expand their horizons and see what wonderful beer is out there.  They are also exposed to beer that *gasp* might be better than their old standby of Bud Light or Coors Light!  Huge thanks go out to everyone that helped to organize and run this event.  It was a wonderful day and even though it was pretty warm, there was a great breeze blowing through both levels that only messed with a few of the tents that were set up around the breweries.  All in all it was a wonderful afternoon and I left satisfied and even more excited about our venture.  All those people moving from brewery to brewery trying new and interesting beers can only be a good thing when we are striving to deliver some of the best local beer a person can get.  The more educated people get about good beer and how wonderful it can be compared to the old standards, the more our chances improve of being able to actually pull this whole thing off!

Again, thanks to everyone who put this wonderful event on and I truly hope that we are able to participate next year as one of the newest breweries at the 6th Annual Brewfest!