Posted by: marcmwm | September 12, 2008

Beer o’ clock — ISU edition

I’m trying to think of Iowa beers. I’m from Dubuque, so here are the ones that I remember as kid (I mean as a fully legal 19-year-old):

Dubuque Star — Not the boutique brews the Star Brewery put out in its later years, I’m talking the ol’ $3.99 a case beauties. I remember remarkable inconsistency. Some bottles rocked; some tasted like day-old gutter water. Did I mention $3.99 a case? Yes, it was a high school, I mean, college favorite of mine.

Picketts — Don’t remember much of this beer. I was too young. Really. I do, however, remember my parents playing extras in the movie “Take This Job and Shove It,” a movie about labor in a beer factory. It was shot in Dubuque and starred Art Carney, Robert Hayes, Barbara Hershey and Martin Mull. The beer in the movie was Picketts. I remember it being around the house. I think it was a lightish lager.

I Googled Star and found this link (it’s very cool and almost brought a tear to my eye):

Millstream — This place is 10 minutes from my house and I’m embarrassed to write that I don’t know much about it. I’ve had and enjoyed Schild Brau Amber.

If you guys know some Iowa beers and want to bring them up, let me know. I’m sure there are a lot more out there.

Pick of the week:

St. Peter’s Best Bitter

It’s Iowa-Iowa State week. What better way to say bitter rivalry than with a bitter style brew.

Bitters are classified as a pale ale, but they are all over the map as far as flavors and ABV.

I picked this one because I know I’ve seen it around town. I know Hy-Vee has St. Peter’s varieties and I’m sure bitter was once among them.

Shamus on Beeradvocate writes: “It poured very thin with large bubbles and a tawny head. It has a bit of a chill haze; a lovely copper/amber colour. It has a earthy scotchy smell. Nice and bitter malty foretaste with a fragrant hop taste following. Very satisfying. Not too sweet which is good. “A nice balance between the malt and the hop” says Leslie.”



  1. Marc,
    If you want to really know more about true beers stop by Old Capitol Brewworks in Iowa City and talk with Paul, the brewmaster. He also is contracted to make Dubuque Star beer and it’s quite good. Plus there are a lot of really good, small breweries in Wisconsin. I’d suggest sticking with local breweries. There’s an old adage, “The best beer is the freshest beer”

  2. I will do that, Pat.

    I don’t know anything about beer outlets or brewers in IC, but if he’s making Star, I’m in.

    My parents are from Dubuque, so I know a few small Wisconsin breweries. I like Berghoff in Monroe. My dad loves (I think it’s more of an allegiance) the Potosi brewery, then and now.

    Where is Old Capitol Brewworks? I definitely want to check it out.

  3. I just had a Dubuque Star at Old Cap last night–a very drinkable brew. Not as interesting as their other offerings, but no slouch.
    We’ll never be up to Wisconsin standards in termms of shear numbers, but I’m encouraged by the sudden jump in the number of Iowa breweries. Besides Old Capitol (535 Gilbert St. in I.C.), Hub City recently opened in Stanley (just east of Oelwein). Third Base in CR has been improving steadily, and the brewpubs in DM (Raccoon River, Court Avenue, and Rock Bottom) are all solid. I even see there is a brew pub coming to McGregor (!).

    A relatively new web site ( tracks the microw scene in the midwest. Check it out.

    Sounds like you’ve found Beer Advocate already. That’s a great source.

  4. don’t forget stone city brewery, which was actually in Solon and made some beers, hefeweizin, stout and used to make John’s grocery beer

  5. Not forgetting Stone City, Fred. I was a regular there, and know the brewmaster well.

    Sadly, they’re gone now, except for once a year, when Old Capitol does a guest brew of the old Stone City favorite, aaah Bock.

  6. There you go Marc. I know Tim and he has good posts here. Old Capitol Brewworks is the old fitzpatricks building on s. gilbert.

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