Eastern Iowa Beer Tiers

Al_4_State

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I live in Dubuque and was really happy when Dimensional opened. I used to frequent 7 Hills a lot, and while their beers never really blew me away, they were decent enough and as several people have already mentioned, do food really really well. I really like 7 Hills Red Ale, their west coast style IPA and their Brown Ale. Aside from their basics though, I really don't enjoy most of their seasonal/experimental stuff. Dimensional does that stuff way better and have a better variety of beers overall. Lived here for 4 years and still haven't tried Jubeck.

Other Eastern Iowa breweries I've stopped at that I haven't seen mentioned so far would be Tellurian in Charles City, Lime Stone in Osage, and Lake Time in Clear Lake. I especially enjoyed Lake Time Brewery in Clear Lake. I don't know what tier any of them would be on, but if I had to put them in order for myself personally, I'd say

1. Lake Time
2. Tellurian
3. Lime Stone

I wouldn't call those 3 "eastern Iowa" necessarily. I would probably flip Tellurian and Lake Time, but I really enjoy all 3 for different reasons.

Lake Time: make some decent versions of nearly any style. Their peanut butter porter is the best of that kind of beer I've ever tried. I generally think their IPAs are pretty good, actually. The tap room is pretty cool, being in an old house and just having a real comfortable feel.

Tellurian: really good hazy IPAs and some interesting sours. Probably the "trendiest" in terms of modern styles among this group. I love their overhead door open taproom and they have really good food trucks a lot.

Lime Stone: they make some very good malt forward beers that don't get too sweet - or as I've told their owners, it's beer that tastes like beer. Their Big Bin Porter is just a really good regular old porter. They did a Maibock this year that was great as well. It's a cool taproom with two levels of seating and some interesting historical Mitchell County memorabilia, and an axe throwing set up.

All of these are worth your time. Not sure on the affiliations of all the brewers/owners, but one of Lime Stone's owners/brewers is a huge Cyclone fan if anyone here's looking for an intangible reason to pick one over another.

If you're in that area, Worth Brewing and Fat Hill in Mason City make some really enjoyable beers, and Fat Hill's taproom is beautiful.
 

Cyinthenorth

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I wouldn't call those 3 "eastern Iowa" necessarily. I would probably flip Tellurian and Lake Time, but I really enjoy all 3 for different reasons.

Lake Time: make some decent versions of nearly any style. Their peanut butter porter is the best of that kind of beer I've ever tried. I generally think their IPAs are pretty good, actually. The tap room is pretty cool, being in an old house and just having a real comfortable feel.

Tellurian: really good hazy IPAs and some interesting sours. Probably the "trendiest" in terms of modern styles among this group. I love their overhead door open taproom and they have really good food trucks a lot.

Lime Stone: they make some very good malt forward beers that don't get too sweet - or as I've told their owners, it's beer that tastes like beer. Their Big Bin Porter is just a really good regular old porter. They did a Maibock this year that was great as well. It's a cool taproom with two levels of seating and some interesting historical Mitchell County memorabilia, and an axe throwing set up.

All of these are worth your time. Not sure on the affiliations of all the brewers/owners, but one of Lime Stone's owners/brewers is a huge Cyclone fan if anyone here's looking for an intangible reason to pick one over another.

If you're in that area, Worth Brewing and Fat Hill in Mason City make some really enjoyable beers, and Fat Hill's taproom is beautiful.
I appreciate the response, and yes. all of these are more "north" Iowa I suppose, Charles City still being east of Highway 218 as a sort of imaginary border so to speak.

Did not know the Lime Stone Cyclone affiliation, that makes me like them more. Now that you mention it, the last time I was there was during football season and they had the Cyclones on the big screen (maybe it was a projector?). I did enjoy their beers while hurling a few axes, they have a nice set up. I would probably flip my rankings of those 3 upside down if ranking based on taprooms
 

Die4Cy

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I get a growler of Jubeck Rhubarb Strawberry Ale every year in trade for my rhubarb. It's a good trade!
 

Al_4_State

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I like 7 Hills beer a lot more than most here, it seems. I've only been twice, and wouldn't put them on the same level as Dimensional, but they're pretty good. The Dubuque beer scene is solid.

Also, Pivo is really good. They'll always be in the (almost literal) shadow of TG and Pulpit Rock, but they have an excellent variety of styles and they make a lot of great beers that aren't hazy IPAs, pastry stouts, or fruit sours.
 
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Hoggins

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Eastern Iowa = 319 and 563 area codes.

I remember when they added 563 and it was a big deal who was gonna get which code. My parents live right on the border and kept 319, while a classmate of mine lived a quarter mile away to the East and got 563. They were dairy farmers like us so whenever they or we needed help, it was a long distance call. Crazy.

What I guess I’m saying is that I’m more Eastern Iowan than all of you!
 

Nader_uggghhh

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I like 7 Hills beer a lot more than most here, it seems. I've only been twice, and wouldn't put them on the same level as Dimensional, but they're pretty good. The Dubuque beer scene is solid.

Also, Pivo is really good. They'll always be in the (almost literal)
I like 7 Hills beer a lot more than most here, it seems. I've only been twice, and wouldn't put them on the same level as Dimensional, but they're pretty good. The Dubuque beer scene is solid.

Also, Pivo is really good. They'll always be in the (almost literal) shadow of TG and Pulpit Rock, but they have an excellent variety of styles and they make a lot of great beers that aren't hazy IPAs, pastry stouts, or fruit sours.
It seems to me like all of 7 Hills beers have the same aftertaste, even the good ones. It's almost like the beer lines are tainting the flavor. Fun fact, if you're taking a pee in 7 Hills urinal you can see the bar if you lean forward a bit.
 

dmclone

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The ones I've had

Tier A
Toppling Goliath (Decorah)
Pulpit Rock (Decorah)


Tier B
Big Grove (Solon/IC)
Lion Bridge (CR)
Dimensional (Dubuque)
Clock House (CR)
Single Speed (Waterloo)
Franklin Street (Manchester)
Adventurous Brewing-$$$$$$$$$$

Tier C
Iowa Brewing Co (CR)
Backpocket (Coralville)-Some of their new stuff is better but more $$$


Tier D
ReUnion (Coralville)
Granite City (CR)
Millstream (Amana)
Kalona (Kalona)
Thew Brewing (CR)
Jubeck (Dubuque)
Iowa River (Marshaltown)


Pivo mostly makes styles I'm not a fan of so I can't rate
 
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BACyclone

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My local craft beer store FINALLY got a new shipment from Adventurous Brewing today. Sounded like their truck had been around the region so you might want to check on your favorite spots in the next couple of days. Several new offerings, mostly seen on their website. I picked up a few different ones but tried this one last night:

PXL_20210714_225848424.jpg

I'll describe it as a creamier version of King Sue. I probably still prefer King Sue overall, but dang this was good. Huge Citra bomb (obviously) especially at the end of the glass.
 

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