Monday, June 26, 2017

WHAT'S HOPPENING: Book Signings!

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

Here at 515, we are pretty lucky to know some very talented people. Two of those people, our very own beertender, Micah, and 515 superfan and super artist, Carter Allen, will be having a joint book signing on Monday July 17th 5-7pm for their respective books that have just been released. There you'll have the opportunity to chat with Micah and Carter, as well as buy their books and have your copy signed.

You're probably asking, "What kind of books? What are they about? What are the deets? WHAT." Well, lucky for you, we talked to Micah and Carter beforehand to get those deets.

First up, Micah for her book Behind in the Count:

Summary of Behind in the Count: 
Derek Beaman had it all - a career in baseball, a marriage to his high school sweetheart, and a newborn daughter. Then, he suffered an injury that sent him into a downward spiral, and he lost it all. After a break and recovery, he's getting a second chance at his Major League aspirations with the Portland Pioneers. His future as a pitcher is bright, but he's still contending with the demons of his past.

Zella Hansen is pursuing her lifelong dream of a career in baseball management. Her role in the Pioneers' front office introduces her to Derek. Zella soon realizes her feelings are more than just an admiration of his talent, but Derek's history may be enough to end the game early.

Get to know Micah Chaplin:

When did you start writing novels?
Micah: I wrote my first novel in 2002 and published it two years later. Behind In The Count is my fifth self-published work and the second in this baseball romance series about the Portland Pioneers.

What got you going in the direction of baseball books?
M: After I fell in love with the sport of baseball, I decided to merge it with my romance writing hobby. I was influenced by the books of Kate Angell. While I obviously liked the love stories in her books, I also enjoyed the dynamics of her fictional team, the Richmond Rogues.

What is your writing inspiration?
M: I'm not sure I have a particular writing inspiration. However, Brandon Finnegan (currently pitching for the Cincinnati Reds) was the visual inspiration for the lead character in Behind in the Count.

Anything exciting coming up in your future?
M: Nothing exciting anytime in the near future, but I am getting married next summer.

Behind in the Count is available in paperback as well as on Kindle, which can both be found here: She will also have copies available for purchase at the July 17th book signing.


Next up, Carter Allen's new comic book: Ectyron Against Lagaxtu

Summary of Ectyron Against Lagaxtu
When the ancient evil of LAGAXTU emerges from the depths of the Earth, it is up to the tag team of the radioactive rooster ECTYRON and ATOM.I.K.E., the cybernetic giant, to take it down!

Get to know Carter Allen:

When did you start getting into comics and why?
Carter: I started getting into comics when I was a kid. I think the biggest reason I first got into them was the bright, colorful pictures. As time marched on, I got hooked on the storylines and the characters.

What is your drive to draw?
C: I try to draw every day. It's been something I've been doing for a long time and hope to keep doing in the future. It gives me a creative outlet, a chance to express myself visually.

What do you enjoy most in comics?
C: I'd say the first thing I enjoy in comics is the visual art, but the characters and story need to be equally engaging to make me love them.

What is your favorite comic book?
C: My favorite comic book is a three way tie between Walt Simpson's Thor, Marvel's Godzilla comic and the 1970s-1980s Star Wars books.

Ectyron Against Lagaxtu will be available for purchase July 17th at the book signing. Additionally, you can join Carter the 3rd Wednesday of every month for Drink and Draw 6-9pm in the 515 taproom. 


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, June 15, 2017

THE BEER FACTS: Nasty Woman Strong Ale

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

Des Moines Beer Week! So exciting with so many events! So many new brews to share!

Collaborations abound this week, and we have one to put on tap a few of our staff helped contribute to. Five of the 515 staff - Whitney, Barb, Micah, Aleigh and myself are all part of an organization called the Pink Boots Society. It sounds like a super, secret society, but I promise you it isn’t. PBS, for short, is an organization with chapters all over the world bringing women together to “assist, inspire, and encourage women beer professionals through education.” The local chapter, which started this past January, has women come together from all parts of Iowa and from all different areas of the craft beer industry to learn from each other. We have brewers, beertenders, managers, owners, hop farmers, and even staff educators who work for brewpubs as part of our chapter.

Some of the Pink Boots crew on brew day! Employees from 515, Peace Tree, El Bait Shop, New American, Firetrucker, C and S Brew Supply, Lion Bridge, and Front Street were in attendance.
Our first project to tackle was to get involved in the annual Big Boots Brew Day that happened on International Women’s Day in March. Megan McKay, owner of Peace Tree Brewing and member of PBS as well, was extraordinarily kind enough to host her brand new brewing facilities in the Des Moines location to brew our beer, with the help of her head brewer Joe Kesteloot. We are pretty proud to note that our beer was only the second batch to be brewed there!

We all decided to go with a variation of a historic ale style, so Molly Frana, Barbara Lynn Becker, and Sheri Houdesheldt all researched recipes and ingredients, coming up with a hybrid of a strong and old ale style. In attempting to make the beer a bit different, we went with using adjuncts of yarrow, a historically more typical herb used for bittering, as well as adding molasses to the end of the boil for some sweetness. To temper these strong ingredients we took advantage of the Templeton Rye barrels that Peace Tree has readily available, and barrel-aged the brew for a solid 3 months. The outcome is a malt forward brew, with notes of caramel and toffee, and an undercurrent of oak, vanilla, and whiskey. The herbal bitterness of the yarrow is just
Watching and learning about the mash-in process. 
enough to balance the brew and reign in the sweetness of the molasses that also comes through smoothing out this 9% ABV beer. It’s a delicious sipper of a beer that is certainly unique and a must try!

With such a strong beer, it needed a strong name, so it was dubbed thee “Unite: Nasty Woman Strong Ale.”  A portion of the proceeds of the beer sold will go to PBS’s scholarship fund, and another portion will stay local to help a women’s charity. You'll be able to find this beer at different breweries and brewpubs across the metro soon, but 515 Brewing will be tapping it as part of our Des Moines Beer Week festivities on Wednesday, June 21st. We hope to see you there!



Written by:
Monica Ortiz Shinn
Monica lives in Des Moines, IA as part-time domestic goddess,  part-time super hero kicking ass and pummeling everyday sexism where she sees it. Her super powers include parallel parking, regenerative palate, and turning a crappy situation into a not-so-crappy situation. Her sidekick is a cat named the Melodramatic Melody, who’s super powers include sleeping for 20 hours a day and Jedi powers that have something to with big eyes and overwhelming cuteness, just like a manga character (you will do what she says, put the tuna down and no one gets hurt). You can also follow Monica on Twitter @BeerMeMon for beer and cat related nonsense.

What's Hoppening: Des Moines Craft Beer Week 2017

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.

Here is a list of 515 Brewing's events for Des Moines Craft Beer Week:

Azacca K.I.S.S. Tapping 
- Friday, July 16th at Noon
Azacca is our SMaSH release for the Craft Beer Week.  Barb decided to Keep It Simple (get it?) and created an amazing pale with some really good and interesting flavors.  You aren't going to taste anything like this, this week.
Single Malt - Castle Malting Belgian Pale
Single Hop - Azacca.
Did you know?  This hop is named after the Haitian god of agriculture.

Iowa Craft Beer Festival 
- Saturday, July 17th
If you are going to the fest downtown, come find us.

Nasty Women Strong Ale Tapping 
- Wednesday, July 21st at 3:00
Several of our staff worked on the creation of this beer and we'll be tapping it Wednesday.
Want to read more about this look on this blog. Monica has a whole write up about it.

Tap takeover at Hello Marjorie with Alluvial Brewing 
- Wednesday, July 21st
Marjorie reached out to us and Alluvial and the answer was "of course!" Come on down and hang, might be able to win prizes. Oh, there will be good beer too.
If you haven't been down to Marjorie yet, you should try it.It's very nice.
(They are located on Grand in the old Register and Tribune building)

Big OJ Tapping 
- Thursday, July 22nd at 5:15
This is the much anticipated Imperial American Pale Wheat.  Oh, My Stars and Garters, this is a good beer. We will sell the first 40 pours for only $1.00 starting at 4:15 and tap it at 5:15.

Azacca K.I.S.S. w/ Lychee & Thyme Firkin 
- Thursday, July 22nd at 3:00
From the depths of the brew house comes another of Barb's Frankenstonian creations.  We'll have this little baby on tap when we open.  Come have a pour while you wait for Big OJ to tap.