A lifetime a go my friends and I were road tripping on our way home from Missouri through East Iowa. We stumbled through a small Amish community called Kalona, IA. They had a fantastic cheese shop. Fast forward to 2014 and my friend and I once again found ourselves road tripping through Kalona, but this time for a fantastic brewery.
Now I have been in a brewery our two, so when I saw the small town of Kalona, and immediate picture came into my head. A small brewery in a space equivalent of my garage. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Great beers can be brewed anywhere, this is just my mental image strolling into town. Imagine my surprise when I walked into one of the most modern, most state of the art, and one of the cleanest breweries I have EVER walked into. We were warmly greeted by Head Brewer and Co-Owner Lew, and Marketing Director Nic.
After a great podcast, our excited, and gracious, hosts left us with a few presents. Among them were a couple of Mini-Growlers, one of Say What Saison, and You Be You Imperial Stout. Here are my Mini-Reviews of these two GREAT Iowan Craft Beer Offerings:
Say What Saison: This golden reddish beer maintained its carbonation well in the Mini-Growler. This beer has that great hay/straw like flavors followed by a light peppery taste. There were noticeable fruity notes. It had a very thick mouthfeel compared to other Saisons I have had, but not by much. It left lingering sharp bitter, banana, and clove notes in the aftertaste. These final flavors intensify as the beer warms up. Rating: ** (Very Good). Recommendation: If you love Saisons you need to try this beer. It rivals all but a few Saisons brewed in Minnesota.
You Be You Imperial Stout: Another beer that held up in the Mini-Growler. This beer poured inky black, I mean “LET NO LIGHT ESCAPE” inky. This beer had plenty of carbonation for its high ABV and imperial status. It poured a thick foamy nut brown head. Your nose is immediately inundated with a milky chocolate aroma. This beer had a very thick mouthfeel and warms your senses with a heavy coating of dark chocolate notes. Very bitter/sweet. No lingering aftertaste, and finished very clean. The best part is that the lack of alcohol taste you get with high ABV stouts like this one. Rating: ****(Superb). Recommendation: This is THE PERFECT beer to sip in winter in front of the fireplace. It’s warm, inviting, comforting, so forth and on forth. This is a perfect example of an Imperial Stout!
If you want to learn more about Kalona be sure to check out our Podcasts show:
That’s all for now! Prost!