Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WHAT'S HOPPENING: Charity Trivia at 515

What's Hoppening is a regular series highlights points of interest and events that have taken place or will be taking place in the 515 Taproom. 

Almost a year ago we started an "every once in awhile" event;  a way to try and give more back to the community while making for a fun night.  It was a laid back trivia night where WE created the questions, the format and the prizes. 
May 8th - "What number did Jackie Robinson wear in the Major Leagues?"
Answer: 42, also the answer to "what is the Douglas Adam's meaning of life?"
We have a blast doing this, not only because you guys (seem) to be having fun, but also because each trivia night we partner with a different DSM charity. At the last event, we donated over 25% of sales that night to The Project, a member of Primary Health Care, one of the largest HIV/AIDS service and prevention agencies in the state of Iowa. 
Wink Martindale he is not, but that's a sweet jacket!

What you may or may not know is Matt, our resident idiot MC, and I research all the trivia questions, with help from the rest of our trusty and brainy staff. Our trivia nights early on were largely curated by Micah (one of our lovely beertenders) and June will feature categories and questions researched by Joe (maybe our most "lovely" beertender.)  Go team!

Trivia nights are the second Monday of every month, which makes our next event…. June 12th!
We are partnering with Clive Community Services, a local food bank and clothes closet. They are in need of laundry detergent in June, which means if you bring in a jug of laundry soap, you get 1/2 off a beer! 
Teams may be comprised of 1-4 people. Prizes include: free growlers to the winning team and free pints to the second and third place finishers.  

BONUS! If you follow us on Snapchat, there’s a good chance we’ll give you a free trivia answer the day of the event... Our username is fiveonefivebrew. 

Charities on deck: 
July: Furry Friends Refuge
August: Central Iowa Shelter and Services
September: Back to School Book Drive for Indian Hills Junior High 

Lastly, we are always open to suggestions on how to make the evening better! For example, if questions are too easy or too hard, or if you think Matt sucks… only kidding, because if you say that he will make me host trivia night and I can guarantee it’ll be less fun. Plus, the jacket doesn’t fit me.  Nonetheless, we are open to your input.


Written by: 
Whitney Knightly
Assistant Taproom Manager
Whitney has been trained by MI6 in England and is a renowned super spy and international woman of mystery.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

THE BEER FACTS: ESB or Extra Special Bitter

Spiders From Clive
The Beer Facts is a regular blog feature discussing all things beer and brewing. 

515 Brewing's Spiders from Clive is an Extra Special Bitter in the classification of English Pales...that's right, they are Ying to the Yang of American Pales. Weird, huh? We'll be discussing the specific differences a little later, but American Pales are derived from this sessionalable English classic. ESBs are also sometimes known as "Bitters" in the general term when poured from draft or cask, while "pale ale" is usually reserved for bottled versions of the beer. I know, confusing, right?

What is in an ESB?
The ESB is the strongest in a the ladder of styles- with Ordinary Bitter and Best Bitter being the other two- in terms of ABV, alcohol by volume, and IBU, international bitterness units, strength. Despite the use of the word "bitter" though, this is often deceiving when compared to most American beer varieties. IBUs typically range between 30-50, and the English hops used tend to be much more mild in their bitterness with flavors often characterized as herbal, earthy, woodsy, or even floral- I often think they actually have an English tea-like quality. ESBs can be fairly balanced in terms of malt and hop, with the malt notes of toast, biscuit, and caramel or toffee sweetness due to a dash of crystal malt added into the recipe. Fruity esters from English varieties of yeast aren't uncommon either, although sometimes you get a much cleaner and drier finish. The color, or SRM, of this style can range wildly from Pale to Copper, due to crystal and specialty malts, but most don't reach above 18 and tend to be an Amber shade.

While American Pales have evolved to be hoppy, citrusy, piney, resinous, and give you a punch of bitterness, the English Bitters have remained rather subdued in character in comparison. Like many other English beer styles, they've remained low in ABV as well, keeping them drinkable and sessionable (any beer 5.1% ABV and under) with a range of usually 4.6-6.2% just as American Pales have. Malt is not only darker in color, but also takes more prominence in a light, but often complex flavor compared to the true pale orange and golden hues of American pales. Carbonation is usually minimal as well, a traditional that has come from UK's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

While Diacetyl is usually an off flavor in most beer styles, it is actually acceptable in low quantities in Bitters, and sometimes even desired by the brewers. Buttery or butterscotch flavors often accompany the malt sweetness. It's also acceptable without diacetyl.

Did you know?
Spiders from Clive artwork by Carter Allen
"ESB" itself is a guarded trademark in the UK by British brewery Fuller, Smith & Turner. But it is used widely worldwide outside the UK to denote the style otherwise. Technically, the style is recognized by the BJCP and Cicerone as "Strong Bitter."

Other Examples of a "Strong Bitter"
Interested in trying some other authentic examples from across the pond? Head to your local grocery store or specialty bottle shop, or better yet, Royal Mile and see if you can find these classics: Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale, Bass Pale Ale, Morland Speckled Hen, Timothy Taylor's Boltmaker, Fuller's ESB, Fuller's London Pride ...or until it runs out, our very own Spiders from Clive.


Written by: 
Monica Shinn
515 Beertender
Monica is working on her Cicerone certification (and will tell you all about it soon). 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

515 with blogging capabilities!

Welcome to the second iteration of our blog, 515's Blood Sweat & Beers.

Wait...515 already had a blog? Yep, we did. Let's fire up the DeLorean and head back to 2011, when 515 was just a dream of four homebrewers. Brandon, Bailey, Dave and Ryan started Four Guys and a Keg blog to highlight the headaches and joys of starting a brewery. By the time June 2012 came around, the craziness of getting the brewery off the ground took center stage and the blog became a distant memory. (Our old posts are still there if you care to read them.)

With 515 now in its fourth year, it is time to polish off the blog. And luckily, we have the help of 515's talented taproom and brewing staff excited to share their knowledge. In upcoming posts you'll learn about general brewing and beer (The Beer Facts), the story behind specific 515 beer (Near and Beer to my Heart) and news and upcoming events (What's Hoppening).

Pour yourself a beer, pull up a chair and enjoy the read.



Written by:
Cinnamon Rost
Marketing/Design Director || 515 Fan Support || Girl Friday