Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WHAT'S HOPPENING: ApocEclipse - Don't be Blinded by Science!

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. 

It is a time to celebrate some Science.
There is a near total eclipse of the sun coming to Iowa on August 21st.  In Central Iowa, we will reach 95 to 96% of totality, an amount not seen in 63 years and this is the first total solar eclipse to move from coast to coast in America in 99 years!

We are going to have two events in conjunction with this historic day.

Saturday, August 19th.  
Staff from the Science Center of Iowa will be on hand for presentations about the upcoming Eclipse.
The first will be at 11:30 (we will open at 11:00 a.m.) and the second at 1:30 p.m.
You can NOT safely view an eclipse without special equipment.  The Science Center will have telescopes, special binoculars and glasses to demonstrate proper safe viewing procedures as well as talk about how eclipses have been "viewed" in the past (hint, it was pretty dire, but we assure you everything gonna be okay this time around.  No end of the world dragons are expected in 2017.)  This event will be family friendly and, shock, gasp, educational.

Monday, August 21st.
Need a place to go over lunch and enjoy the darkness?  We will open at 11:30.  We'll have a few things to help safely view the eclipse, but if you are planning on going to an event (The Science Center is setting up at the capitol.) come by afterwords.  If you mention that you "Survived the Eclipse" we will give you half off your first pint!

Here are some links and facts:
The eclipse starts in Iowa at 11:42 a.m. It will hit maximum darkness at 1:08 p.m. and end at 2:33 p.m.

What will it look like?  Here is a nice link with pictures and video.

Want some good reading on eclipses?  Try this article by Dr. Ethan Siegel.


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

What is a Gruit anyways?
Not the Guardian of the Galaxy,
the beer silly!

Gruits (pronounced Groo-it, kin-a like the Marvel comic book character) are historic ales dating thousands of years back that use herbs, flowers, and spices as the bittering agents to balance the beer instead of hops.
This could be a single herb or any combination of herbs, in an anything-goes kind of way, depending on what the brewer wants to put in or has access to locally. Below is a list of herbs that have been historically common in Gruits. (Note that yarrow was also recently used in the Pink Boot’s collaboration strong ale that was released!)

·      Yarrow
·      Bog myrtle
·      Heather
·      Marsh or Wild Rosemary
·      Sweet Gale
·      Horehound
·      Ground-ivy (also known as Creeping Charlie)
·      Sage
·      Juniper
·      Ginger
·      Mugwort
·      Aniseed
·      Caraway seed

Really, the list is endless as long as the plant is safe to ingest and not treated with chemicals.

Like a lot of styles, Gruits favorability waned due to a lot of reasons. In the 15-16th centuries, taxes, purity laws, preservation methods, and the rising popularity of hops contributed.

What’s in 515’s Gruit?
Brewing and Partying
like it's 999

515’s Gruit is taking a traditional method of using very locally sourced ingredients.  The 3 herbs include - Prickly Lettuce (which is false milk thistle), Dandelion, and Creeping Charlie (ground-ivy).

While Dandelion is quite known in wine making, the other herbs are a bit more unusual, but fascinating because we all know these as weeds right in our own backyards. Creeping Charlie is actually related to Mint and Prickly Lettuce is part of the Dandelion family.

In addition to these herbs for bittering, the gruit has Castle Malting Belgian Pale for the malt and a saison yeast that will give it additional character and mouthfeel.

It will be called Baby Groot.

"Why are you brewing this?"

Why not?! This style lends it self to endless experimentation and there has been a lot of interest lately in revived historic libations, such as meads and brews found at the bottom of the ocean in shipwrecks. With Gruits being some of the first types of beers to be made, and still very rare to find in breweries and brewpubs today, it’s an interesting history lesson in what our ancestors might have been enjoying.  What might seem unusual by today’s ingredient standards were quite common then, and still can be quite flavorful to the palate.  Come on down to 515 and try what might possibly be your first Gruit!


Written by: Monica Ortiz Shinn
Monica lives in Des Moines, Iowa and aside from craft beer, she enjoys a ludicrous amount of cheese, dreaming of time travel and annoying her taproom manager with New Wave 80's music (That she does!)

WHAT'S HOPPENING: Board Game Sunday

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. 

"I've just bought this awesome board game and no where to play it.  I like beer too."
Well, I've got the solution to your problem.

Board Game Sunday is the second Sunday of every month.
We are partnering with Mayhem Comics and offering a special deal too.  Bring in a receipt dated during the week before and get half off your first beer.  It doesn't have to be a game purchase either. Go pick up a comic book or trade paperback and come sink into one of our comfy chairs in the lounge.  Beer and comic books go well together.

Board Game Sunday is something near and dear to a couple members of our staff's hearts.  (Yes, there are nerds on staff here at 515 Brewing.)
IF you have a large group coming, let us know and we'll reserve a table for you.  Those library tables work well for the really big games.