Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Back to the Brewery

December 7th, 2013, marked the last time I stepped foot in one of Iowa’s fine breweries until this past Friday evening.  At the time I was five or six weeks pregnant and I had enlisted the help of the fine folks at 515 Brewing Company to help me conceal my pregnancy by serving me smuggled in N/A beer from behind the bar.  The willingness of the group at 515 to help me conceal my very early stages of pregnancy were much appreciated and I vow to return to 515 after the baby is born to try to make up for the beer they weren’t able to sell me while I was pregnant.

photo (11)December 7th ended up being the last evening for quite some time that beer sounded the least bit appetizing to me.  The next morning I awoke with a ‘hangover’ that turned out to be three straight months of nausea.  During this time I was unable to smell beer without gagging, so my exile from the local breweries was pretty easy to handle.  I did not care to buy beer, drink beer, or surround myself with others who were drinking beer.

By March, however, the nausea was fading and the lure of great Iowa Craft beer started pulling me back into its fold.  And now that warmth is spreading across Des Moines again, patios are opening and I am more disappointed than ever to have to forgo my favorite beverage.  I can’t wait to bask in the warmth of the sunshine and enjoy a locally brewed beer once again.  But wait, I will have to.

Last Friday, I did have the occasion to visit one of these great local brewers and end my streak of five straight months away.  This “exile” ended fittingly at Exile Brewing Co. for the celebration of my brother’s 40th birthday.  My brother had invited friends and family to join the party and sample some amazing food and, of course, delicious Iowa Craft beer.  Guests enjoyed the Exile standards: Hannah, Betty, Ruthie, and my absolute favorite GiGi, as well as a few seasonals that were also available.  It was difficult to resist my good friend GiGi; I am looking forward to my first pint come August.

This coming weekend I will again be visiting a local taproom, this time, ironically enough, for my own baby shower.  Yes, I agreed to let my husband’s family throw us a shower at one of my most favorite places without being able to enjoy the best part.  Honestly though, I can’t think of a more appropriate place to celebrate the welcoming of our first child together than a local taproom.  Brad and I spent many a child-free evening together at taprooms; certainly any celebration of our daughter should be surrounded by beer.  So we will converge on Confluence Brewing Company this weekend to see which of their extensive list of brews is currently on tap.  My previous favorite, East Side Red, doesn’t appear to be available anymore, but I am sure there is something on their menu that I would love…if only I could!

Later that evening, weather permitting, we plan to attend the home Iowa Cubs game.  Fourteen taps will be available at all Iowa Cubs home games this season, courtesy of the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.  Consequently, that evening I will be tempted by some of my favorite non-Des Moines craft brews including Millstream Brewing Company’s Iowa Pale Ale and Peace Tree Brewing Co.’s Red Rambler.

The Iowa Craft Beer Tent will once again be set up at the Des Moines Arts Festival, June 27th-29th.  I haven’t missed this event in years and I intend once again to be there, even without being able to visit the tent.  By that time I will be in the home stretch of my pregnancy and will fantasize about visiting the tent just a few short weeks later at the Iowa State Fair.  By August, baby girl will be safely on the outside and I will be able to drag all three of my girls to the tent for at least one beer during our yearly visit.

So even if I can’t drink great Iowa Craft beer now, for the next two and half months I do expect to enjoy other people enjoying it more often.  If you have never visited a local taproom or brew pub, I encourage you to do so at some point this summer.  If you are macro-brew aficionado, might I suggest forgoing a domestic bottle or a margarita-flavored beer just one time and replace it with a locally brewed option?  May 12th-18th is American Craft Beer Week so there is no better time than now to give one a try!  And I’ll be back soon enough to enjoy one with you!

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