12 must-try winter Iowa beers
Owner John Martin grew up on a farm in the midst of the farm crisis of the 1980's. "I'd have this experience with the grains, I want to do something more than just look at them or scoop them," he said.
Winter in Iowa could mean months of scraping windshields and shoveling snow, sure.
But, it could also mean months of trying freshly brewed seasonal beers from your local brewery.
Not sure where to start? Here are 12 Des Moines-area seasonal beers crafted just in time to warm away the chill in your winter bones.
Fezziwig’s Fruitcake Ale (Court Ave. Brewing Co.): An ale brewed with winter spices, orange peel and (you guessed it) dried fruit. Bonus: The beer was brewed in collaboration with Iowa Stage Theatre Company and brewers plan to donate $1 from every beer sold to the group. Find it at Court Ave. Brewing Co., 309 Court Ave. More information at courtavebrew.com.
Elves’ Revenge winter ale (New American Brewing Co.): A winter seasonal for “real beer lovers,” as the brewery’s website describes, this deep amber beer — with hints of cinnamon and vanilla — clocks in at 9 percent alcohol-by-volume. Find it at New American Brewing Co., 1631 SW Main St., Ankeny. More information at newamericanbeer.com.
Frank Costanza’s Winter Warmer (515 Brewing Co.): A wheat wine beer for festivus … for the rest of us. Find it starting Dec. 22 at 515 Brewing, 7700 University Ave., Clive. More information at 515brewing.com.
Non Drowsy (Barn Town Brewing Co.): This porter, released Thursday, features cocoa nibs and coffee from Beaverdale coffee shop Grounds for Celebration. Find it at Barn Town Brewing, 9500 University Ave., West Des Moines. More information at barntownbrewing.com.
Sir Moch-A-Lot (Exile Brewing Co.): A mocha stout — which, yes, gives a subtle naming nod to the famed ‘90s rapper known for liking things big — comes brewed with cocoa from Des Moines’ own Chocolaterie Stam. Find it at Exile Brewing Co., 1514 Walnut St. More information at exilebrewing.com.
William Milo Stone stout (Peace Tree Brewing Co.): Named after the former Iowa governor and Civil War general, Peace Tree’s website describes the winter Belgian-Style Imperial stout as “bold and complex, just like Stone.” Find it in Des Moines at Peace Tree Des Moines Branch, 317 E. Court Ave. More information at peacetreebrewing.com.
Numb Nut (515 Brewing Co.): A cinnamon and allspice-induced brown ale from the latest Iowa brewery to bring home a Great American Beer Festival gold medal. Find it at 515 Brewing, 7700 University Ave., Clive. More information at 515brewing.com.
Saison Des Moines (Confluence Brewing Co.): This pink beer, brewed with French Saison yeast, comes crafted with cranberries and spruce tips. Find it at Confluence Brewing Co., 1235 Thomas Beck Road. More information at confluencebrewing.com.
Molé Grail (Firetrucker Brewing Co.): A Imperial stout at 8 percent alcohol-by-volume that comes brewed with cinnamon and cocoa nibs. You’ll have to wait until after Christmas for this one. Find it starting Dec. 27 at Firetrucker Brewing Co., 716 SW 3rd St., Ankeny. More information at firetrucker.com.
Cin Sin (Barn Town Brewing Co.): A newly released stout from this West Des Moines brewery, which comes brewed with Cinnamon and toasted coconut. Find it at Barn Town Brewing, 9500 University Ave., West Des Moines. More information at barntownbrewing.com.
Weather Beacon Red (Confluence Brewing Co.): A winter warmer described as a “bigger, bolder” version of the Oktoberfest from the staple brewery on the southside of Gray’s Lake. Find it at Confluence Brewing Co., 1235 Thomas Beck Road. More information at confluencebrewing.com.
Ol’ Griz barleywine style ale (Boone Valley Brewing Co.): At 11.5 percent alcohol-by-volume, this beer contains caramel flavors with “a thick, full body (and) complex estery aromas.” Find it at Boone Valley Brewing Co., 816 7th St., Boone. More information at boonevalleybrewing.com.