East Central Iowa · Grownup Getaways · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits

Brewery Gallivanting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

*We had the pleasure of landing another gig with Travel Iowa and we were excited to spark another partnership with them and promote Iowa’s breweries. All the views expressed in this blog post are of my own. Grab an Iowa beer and do some gallivanting!

Just look at that big beer drinking smile!

Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Linn County

Let’s think of some nutritional things that Iowa is known for. Corn, beef, pork, soybeans, eggs, and…BEER! The craft beer boom in the heart of the heartland is still going strong, and Travel Iowa has found another way to get our attention lured to the beverage that we keep searching for. Even though we know right where to get our favorite craft beers, many of us are still on a mission to find more breweries to check off on our bucket lists. Or should we call it our keg calculators? Pint passions? Jug journal? Let’s just download one of the newest tools onto our smart phones that will keep us busy with a lot of fizzy memories and call in the Iowa Beer Passport!

Holy mother of local IPAs it’s easy to get your mobile beer buddy up and rearin’ to go! Iowa has become a legendary craft beer destination and now you can check-in to a passport at many of its breweries. It’s free to sign up, you can win prizes, qualify for some great deals, and all the while support local businesses. Every check-in even counts towards an entry in the grand prize drawing of a $100 gift card to the brewery of your choice. Keep Iowans employed by drinking local beer! That’s a concept I can get behind.

Game On! Let’s get this passport going with beer and pinball! I recommend the Megadeth pinball game and let the soothing sounds of classic metal taunt your way through the whole experience.

You know where there’s a good place to keep that frothy wave of momentum going? One of the best brewery hubs in the Midwest that we all know as the City of Five Seasons. That’s Cedar Rapids, baby!

We hit up three of CR’s local breweries and went to flight school in all of them. The first stop was Quarter Barrel Brewery & Arcade, and this place supplied some much-needed entertainment. Vintage arcade games from decades past with pinball machines galore. The staff was eager to see customers coming through the door and exuded some great humor as we chatted about the movies What About Bob and Empire Records playing on the flat screen TV at the bar. Two awesome 90s movies! But, hey! We’re here for the beer! They have a lot of them on draught with many of them brewed right in their own facility. These fun loving beermakers know there’s a brew out there for everyone and that’s exactly what they do best when it comes to their selections.

Kid IPA for the juicy and hoppy beer lovers out there. Tasteful Nude Kuitbeer-style that was one of my favs in the flight. Goldrushed Dortmund-style Lager and finished off with their American Lager called Burke Beer. This was an easy going and a very refreshing start to a day in Cedar Rapids.
See that phone in the pic and notice anything on the screen? That’s the Iowa Beer Passport and we checked in right at the bar with a unique code each of the participating establishments have posted. Click here and get this passport onto your home screen and start planning your Iowa beer inspired getaway today!
Iowa is also known for for our craving of Crab Rangoon pizza and the Quarter Barrel is staying true to this “cheesy” craze! See what I did there?
The Mahi Mahi Caesar Salad! Millions of us enjoy the classic chicken Caesar so let’s start getting familiar with a lil seafood inspired salad every now and then. And Mahi Mahi is the fish so nice they named it twice. Dad jokes are awesome with Iowa craft beer btw.

Second stop was a destination that’s right in between the Downtown and Little Bohemia districts which makes it walking distance to so much more of CR! Iowa Brewing Company with its beautiful rush of cool air hitting us as we walked in from a hot Iowa summer day. That’s beer drinking weather right there, my friends. And I LOVE shinny things! The inner workings of how Iowa Brewing Company makes their beers is in full display wherever you sit. Some people like the tranquil feelings a peaceful aquarium gives you and I don’t fault anyone for that. But give me some large and bright colored brewery equipment skied over me any day. I’ll take the inviting brown hue that comes off the growlers thank you very much.

Iowa Brewing Company has the crew and the brew to keep you pleasantly occupied the entire time. We even traded off tattoo stories stories while we were here! Tats, cold Iowa beers, break from the heat, and a group of bartenders that keep you laughing with them. Full day right there in this taproom, Gallivant nation.

I wasn’t kidding about the amazing brewery look you get here at Iowa Brewing Company. Get a barstool, couch, chair, or just plain mosey around while you’re here. Hey, I don’t mosey enough. Better go back to CR now!
They love innovation to go with tradition when it comes to their beers. First batter up was Bohemian Rapids which is a very refreshing Czech-style Pilsner. Next up was OG Kolsch that gives you a light and very crisp taste. And coming in third, but no way last place, was Double Stuffed Oja. Porter that gives you a rush of Oreo cookies as you sip on it without a heavy feel to it. Cookies and beer! Iowa Brewing Company figured it out!

A short walk from the second stop was Clock House Brewing! I love historic buildings and this brewery sits in an old clock house that first went up 102 years ago. It’s now a beautiful brewpub that plays nice with its neighbor, Black Sheep Social Club.

They want to appease every palate which is why they feature a wide array of beers. We took advantage of the patio and watched the CR universe go by as we enjoyed another flight. Soaking up the sun with Iowa beer is my preferred way to stay occupied while outdoors.

2 o’clock was their Sour called Raspberry XXplosian and its perfect summertime flavor of berries in every sip. 4 o’clock is the Southern Bound IPA that features juicy dry-hopped loveliness. 8 o’clock was the ClockFighter for the hazy New England IPA fans that look for the citrusy flavor. Our favorite beer was the Jasmine Farmhouse Ale at 10 o’clock! Flowery, lemony, with a honey tone and the Clock House’s brewers getting a slight hay flavor on your palate. Put that on the Christmas list!
That beer cooler isn’t going to join you on your way home! Slide the doors open and take a few cans of Clock House’s beers with you on the way out.
Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery is another popular destination in the CR area, and they provide many of their own whiskey barrels for Iowa breweries. This method puts big flavor into these varieties of beers, and it shows how local businesses network with each other. This keeps local beer enthusiasts wondering when the next style of brew will be tapped even more, and Clock House Brewing keeps the interest up all year long!

This is why Iowa has become a leader in the craft beer world. Those were several of the state’s amazing beers in just three breweries and in just one city! Your Iowa Beer Passport is ready to be revved up, so start checking into your local brewery and begin “hopping” around this amazing state to tasty breweries in communities all over the map. There’s a whole world of beer out there and it can be enjoyed right here in Iowa!

Leave a Reply