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Wednesday, June 12, 2013




& Wineries

savor taste



Wednesday, June 12, 2013



Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Passion for beer, community drives new Mason City Brewing Company By Jeff Forward - Hampton Chronicle


he folding sign on the sidewalk in front of Mason City Brewing says it all: “Soup of the day: Beer.” Mason City Brewing, the joint vision of its three co-owners – Jake Rajewsky, Arian Schuessler, and Justin Merritt – opened in February in downtown wn Mason City and has been n seeing steady flowss of curious – and d faithful - customers everr since. T h e brewery has been a popularr stop for Mason City residents glad to have a brewery to call their own; as well as others in the region seeking something different when it comes to their beer experience. The brewery is open Friday and Saturday nights, and the cordial environment, lively crowds, and tasty suds beckon passerbys into the narrow taproom where a pleasant vibe of fun can be found. The vision of a community gathering spot for good beer and conversation – plus a healthy passion for craft beer – pushed the trio of co-owners into the brewing business. Rajewsky and Schuessler were both photographers at the local newspaper, the Globe Gazette, and Merritt worked as a financial adviser for IMT in Garner. “We started home brewing together,” said Rajewsky, the brew master at

the East State Street brewpub. “Justin and Arian were neighbors. I met Justin through mutual friends. All three of us went in together on the venture.” The trio would have friendly get togethers where they’d give the beer to friends, Rajewsky said. “They were always saying, ‘this is good enough to sell,’” Rajewsky said. R Those formattive homebrewing years i included hhis transfformation ffrom a drinker in the “ B u d Light, Miller Lite comfort zone” to a person who enjoyed the different tastes and styles offered by craft beer. “I didn’t drink a lot of craft beer in college,” Rajewsky said. “I had some roommates that liked craft beer. So, I’d try some of theirs and be like, ‘this is good. It doesn’t taste like traditional beer.’” Merritt said he became a fan of craft beers after experiencing various Colorado craft beers. Merritt and Rajewsky both said that becoming a craft beer fan is a process – one that the trio enjoy helping customers with. That goal was the reason the trio decided to have eight different beers on tap at the brewery – four remain the same: a saison, a cream ale, a porter, and an IPA – while the other four taps rotate seasonally.

Mason City Brewing’s tap room offers seating for 65 guests. (Submitted photo)

“They give a good variety of flavor ranges,” Merritt said of the eight styles concocted by brewmaster Rajewsky. “Whether people are into craft beer or not, they can try different styles. We really like to have a good, drinkable beer.” Some of the seasonal styles Rajewsky has brewed recently included a black IPA, a dry Irish stout for St. Patrick’s Day, an English mild, and an oatmeal stout. Rajewsky said American beer drinkers have been raised on light, lager beers such as Pilsner made popular by Budweiser, Pabst, and Miller. “All the light lagers kind of taste the same,” Rajewsky said. “When someone says I don’t like beer, they’re essentially saying, I don’t like mass produced light lagers.”

and new friends, but they get a window into the brewing process, too. The entire brewing process is on display and open to the public – from the pots used to cook the malt and water to a specific temperature to the fermenting tanks and computerized equipment that aids in the process of mixing malted barley, water, hops, and yeast.

Conor Murphy checks the condition of the flame underneath a kettle as Justin Merritt works brew system automation and Jake Rajewsky stirs the mash during a brew session at Mason City Brewing. (Submitted photo)

Brewer Jake Rajewsky checks the prefermented beer for sugar content during a recent brew session. (Submitted Photo)

Merritt said the craft beer crowd is different but that the goal at Mason City Brewing was to appeal to everyone, hence the eight different taps. “(We’re) pushing them a little bit outside their comfort zone,” Merritt said. “They kind of gradually, as their palette develops, try different beers.” The brewery, located at 28 E. State St., Mason City, is open 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The brewery will be open special hours for various community events and could expand its hours in the future, Merritt said. There is no food served on premise – unless you count liquid bread, a term often used in Europe to describe beer – but patrons can bring their own food into the brewery or can order take-out from nearby restaurants and eat it at the brewery. Visitors to the brewery not only get to There are eight different taps serving different styles of beer at the Mason City Brewery. taste great beers and socialize with old

In the end, what is produced are stellar brews that will suit any taste. From the most popular – cream ale – to standbys such as the hop-heavy IPA and a Belgianstyle saison, Rajewsky is having fun making new creations for drinkers to imbibe. The brewery currently produces between 180 and 240 gallons of beer per week with expansion plans in the works. “Our cream ale is one of our biggest sellers,” Rajewsky said. “With eight taps, hopefully we’ll have something for everyone.”

In addition to four regular house beers, Mason City Brewing rotates in four taps of new seasonal beers including these brews produced for St. Patrick’s day - an Irish Stout and and Irish Red Ale.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The winery also produces popular grape wine varieties like merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and riesling. At a 3000 gallon per year capacity, it’s a small operation. Ken says he and his wife like it that way. “We’re not concentrating on being large,” he says. “Our wine philosophy is to concentrate on quality and not quantity.”

Eagle City Winery

The Eagle City Winery is open for wine tasting and tours from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Sunday. It is closed on Mondays. If you can’t make it to the tasting room, Eagle City wine is available at 60 retail outlets in Iowa including Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits, liquor stores, gift shops and hometown grocery stores, or online at

beck’s sports brewery in waterloo By Molly Angstman


The vineyard during spring 2005 By Molly Angstman


he seed for Eagle City Winery was planted when Dr. Ken and Carolyn Groninga bought an acreage in rural Iowa Falls. Inspired by all the wild fruits and berries on the property, Ken began experimenting with wine-making. Over the years he perfected his craft, eventually winning lots of awards, including Best of Show for a non-grape wine at the Iowa State Fair. Vineyard planning began in 1996 and construction on the winery and tasting room was completed in 2000. “We al-

ways enjoyed wine and we were retired already,” says Ken. “It was just a hobby that turned into a business.” At the time, there were only two other wineries in operation in the state of Iowa. Now there are hundreds. The Eagle City Winery is unique because it fills a special niche, says Ken. “Fruit wines are our specialty. We’re doing five fruit wines right now, which is more than any other in the state.” Fruit wine ingredients include raspberry, cranberry, black current, rhubarb, and apple.

hat will you be drinking nice refreshing beer. It’s a great beer for on game day? Maybe a summer.” One of their popular spring beers was hoppy Panther Pale Ale a Belgian wit that was brewed with or a chocolaty Black hints of coriander and orange Hawk Braxator? What about a peel. Hawkeye Golden Wheat, One of In addition to beer, served with an orange their popular Beck’s also has a full wedge? menu and plenty Beck’s Sports spring beers was pub of sporty atmosphere Brewery in Waterloo a Belgian wit that that attracts a wide has four staple beers variety of patrons. on tap at all times and was brewed with Area college students has one tap dedicated hints of coriander especially like the to a rotating seasonal Retro Friday events beer. and orange with live DJs. General manager peel. The atmosphere is defiand brewmaster Jonathon nitely unlike a traditional Wolford says detailed debrewery tap room, but the brewscriptions on the menu mean that personal taste in beer often trump team master thinks that’s kind of the whole affiliations. An Iowa fan might still order point. “We have great beer but this is defia Cy’s Clone Ale, he says. “We just wanted all the beers to have nitely a sports bar,” says Wolford. “We have more than 40 high def TVs, can seat classy Iowa names,” says Wolford. The first seasonal beer on tap this sum- more than seven-hundred people, and mer will be raspberry wheat. “That one have the best burgers in town.” sells like hotcakes,” says Wolford. “It’s a

28536 160th St., Iowa Falls, IA 50126 Phone: (641) 648-3669 Eagle City Red Red Altar Sweet Riesling Cabernet Rhubarb Chardonnay Merlot Riesling Cranberry* Riesling Reserve Apple Concord American Golden Riesling Raspberry* Edelweiss Ruby Black Currant *** Eagle City White * Award winner wines

The Eagle City Winery is open for wine tasting and tours from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Sunday, closed Mondays. Please contact Dr. Ken or Carolyn Groninga for special events at EC.

“We have more than 40 high def TVs, can seat more than seven-hundred people, and have the best burgers in town.”


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

conFluence: brewing a passion for beer


t all started, improbably enough, with a failed attempt to make “raisin almond beer.â€? Although raisin almond beer sounds like a dubious (ok, horrible) idea today, back in 1991 it was the “ah-haâ€? moment for Confluence Brewing Head Brewer John Martin. Then a high school student and farm boy from rural Imogene, Iowa, John grew up fascinated with how many things could be made using Iowa’s bountiful grain crops. Grain ‌ alcohol ‌ beer. John and his high school buddy, Sean McClain, failed to make a drinkable raisin almond beer — but the attempt altered the trajectory of his professional life. This interest lay dormant until John’s Senior year of college, when his beer fascination grew and he started researching how to make drinkable beer. This wasn’t the average college boy’s focus on beer primarily for its alcohol content. John fell in love with the craftsmanship and creativity involved in making beer. Even John’s wife, Katie, understood his passion and played beer enabler — the newlywed couple picked up supplies for home brewing while on their honeymoon in 1995. John’s first, quality home-brewed beer was an Octoberfest, which remains his fa-

vorite variety today. After years of hobby brewing and in increasingly ardent interest in brewing as a profession — including countless brewery tours and immersion in local and online brewing interest groups — John and fellow home brewer and co-founder Ken Broadhead launched Confluence Brewing in 2012. John left his construction management day-job to pursue Confluence and his passion for beer making full time. The brewery is itself a confluence of John and Ken’s love for Iowa and craft beer. The result is a microbrewery that shares Iowa’s attributes of honesty, humility, hard work and a sense of humor. Confluence also has Iowa’s knack for being a delightful surprise to those who actually experience it. Confluence cares about the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into making excellent beer, and knows that excellent beer can bring good friends together.




TUESDAY – THURSDAY 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.



NOON – 5:00 p.m.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Wooden Wheel Vineyards


ome join us for a glass of fine wine in our historic Vincent Family Event Center. Easily accessible, we are located in southeast Iowa on Highway 92 between Sigourney and Washington. Our comfortable and charming space is the perfect place to relax with others or to just escape with a glass of fine wine. Our event center is ideal for gatherings such as weddings, receptions or any social event (a loft view on right). Our wine experts are always available to educate you about wine and demonstrate wine tasting techniques. Come taste a world of wine at Wooden Wheel Vineyards.

History Wooden Wheel Vineyards is located on the family farm first settled by my Great - Great Grandmother, Isabella Clark Wright. Isabella received the farm as a Bounty Grant from the U.S. Government for minor children of Veterans from the War of 1812. Isabella was orphaned at the age of 2, as her father died in August 1835, and her mother died in childbirth 3 months later. Her older sister, Mary Ann, did much to keep this family of ten children together. Years later, her brother, who was traveling in Iowa, learned of the Bounty Grant program and returned to Ohio to

have Isabella complete the paperwork for the grant. Isabella turned her claim in just a few weeks before she turned 18, upon which she would have no longer qualified as a minor child for the program. The next year she married John Wright and came to Iowa by riverboat settling on the farm in 1850. For five generations the descendants of Isabella’s family have maintained ownership of the farm. As the 5th generation, Connie and I purchased the farm from my father, Robert in 1978. Connie and I (Michael G. Vincent) returned to the farm in 2010 planting our first vines and began a 2-year construction project building an event center and winery. Event Center Our Event Center is the last original building erected by John and Isabella. The barn was built in the 1860’s and was 625 square feet. In 1937 my father and grandfather added 20’ to the west side of the barn and 20’ to the north. The most recent remodeling added 28’ to the south side. The event center now has over 3,000 square feet and can seat 300 people on the main floor plus an additional 40 in the loft.


This historic setting can be the perfect place for a variety of business or social gatherings. We have had the pleasure of hosting wedding receptions, weddings, rehearsal dinners, retirement dinners, bachelorette parties, baby showers, birthday parties, graduation open houses, business meetings, training sessions, class reunions, family reunions and Christmas parties. The event center can also be the perfect place to just relax with your friends and enjoy the atmosphere of an 1860’s barn with your favorite bottle of Wooden Wheel wines. The Vines In our quest for the finest wines we have planted our own grape vines. Our varieties include some of the newest varieties available. To date we have planted Brianna, Marquette, LaCrescent, Noiret and Regent. The winery is open from 1-6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Stay in touch on their website or Facebook.

We are pleased to introduce to you our initial wine offering: George G. made from LaCrescent grapes, is a dry fruity white wine. Charity Mae, made from Brianna grapes, is a Riesling Style white wine. Isabella, a blend of Niagara & Edelweiss, is a fragrant sweet white wine. Martin & Tessie, a blend with Frontenac Gris, is a sweet Rose’ wine. The Judge, made from Norton Grapes, is a dry, aromatic red wine. Mountain Man, made from Noiret grapes, is a smooth dry red wine. Private GW, made from Marquette grapes, is complex dry red wine. Uncle Johnnie, made from Marquette grapes, is a fruity semi-dry red wine. Amazing Grace, made from Norton grapes, is a sweet fruity red wine. Chautauqua a white sparkling wine.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


lake time brewery Madison County Winery By Molly Angstman


raft beer brewers and that people can come in and enjoy a great drinkers are some of beer in a comfortable atmosphere,” says the most creative and Rolling. “We want it to be a place to relax and enjoy a conversation.” passionate people Rolling attributes the we know,” says Bob Rolling, uniqueness of his tap room brewmaster at Lake Time “Our to the early 1900s house Brewery in Clear Lake. focus is on a the brewery inhabits “The industry is really taking off in Iowa and great atmosphere, and the décor which he and his wife, Suzy, it’s exciting to be part customer service made sure to include. of that.” Customers will be Rolling’s ten tap that will exceed able to enjoy a bay brewery is slated to expectations and window, big comfy open to the public furniture, and a firesome time this sumconsistently place. mer. The first beers great beer” Although they are lookon tap, all appropriately ing into a bigger brew syslake-themed, will be Bobber tem for the future, small and Down Pale Ale, Sandy Bottoms American Wheat, Rusty Rudder Brown cozy is just the way the Rollings like their Ale, Park Bench Porter, and Wheat Sucks “mom and pop” brewery right now. “Our equipment is small, our space is Gluten Reduced Ale. Future brews will include Chasing small, but our attention to details is rich,” Sunsets Amber Ale, Propeller IPA, and says Bob. “Our focus is on a great atmosphere, customer service that will exAnchors Away Imperial Stout. Rolling, who describes himself as “a ceed expectations, and consistently great bit of a water geek,” uses a 15-gallon sys- beer.” At press time, the brewery does tem to brew his beer. “It’s allowed me to perfect my recipes and make each batch not have a specific opening night announced. Once it is open to the public, consistent,” he says. The small batch brew system is com- the hours will be Fridays from 4 pm patible with the small size of the brew- to 10 pm and Saturdays from 2 pm to ery’s tap room, which has a capacity of 10 pm. Craft beer fans can watch the Lake Time Brewery Facebook page for 35 people. “We are hoping this will be a place updates regarding an opening date.

By Molly Angstman


estled in the heart of coveredbridge country, Madison County Winery offers its customers a wide variety of wine, new craft beer options, and lots of Iowa scenery. “One of the unique things about our winery is that when you’re sitting on our patio you’re surrounded by our vineyard,” says owner and winemaker Doug Bakker. “We’re located in a really beautiful, hilly area.” A busy calendar of musical events also makes Bakker’s winery special. “Since we’re out in the country, music events help bring people out on a night when they might not have come,” says Bakker. “It creates a great atmosphere.” Visitors have lots of wine options to enjoy while they soak up the view and music. The winery produces everything from a dry spicy red to a semi-sweet white with a little twist of strawberry flavor. Wines come in colorful bottles and have names like Lollipop, Summer Blonde, Midnight Rain, and Prairie Fire. The winery also sells small platters of Iowa-produced chocolate and cheese. “You can’t go wrong with the dark or milk chocolate with a glass of red wine,” says Bakker.

Many of the artisan cheeses go well with the winery’s newest addition: craft beer from the only Iowan brewery-within-a-winery, Twisted Vine Brewery. Beer fans can choose from six taps that at anytime could include anything from Whistling Ogre Wheat to Parteezon Porter to Old Crusty’s Scottish Ale. “Often you get a couple coming in and one drinks wine and the other drinks beer,” says Bakker. “Adding the brewery component has been nothing but a positive for us. We get people on beer tours and winery tours now.”


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


old bank Winery By Molly Angstman


ancy Litch, who owns the get the cranberries and crush them whole Old Bank Winery with her to ensure a “big and bold” cranberry flahusband, David, has a wine vor, she says. Although it takes a trip out of state philosophy. “Wine to make the cranberry wine, the should complement the “I’m main ingredient for most of things we like to do and looking for their wines can be found our Midwest culture,” just south of town. she says. “I just want area artists and “We grow all our own our winery to be a part potters to display grapes,” says Litch. of that.” Litch says that their work, especially “It’s always fun to drop by the vineyard and see means making wine if they’re creating how the vines are doing which will appeal to art about Iowa” and watch them maturing local palettes, and not ~ Nancy Litch in such a beautiful place.” paying undue attention to The tasting room and what vintners in places like retail center for the vineyard is California or France might be located downtown in the small town doing. “Most of our wines are fruity and sweet, of Kanawha in a “constantly evolving” old but not too sweet,” she says. “The flavor building that Litch calls a “neat piece of history.” is definitely on the fun side.” There are plans to add some new decoThis makes her Iowa wine perfect for Iowa summer activities like having friends rations to the recently remodeled lobby. “I’m looking for area artists and potters over for brats on the grill, she says. She recommends Old Bank Winery bestsell- to display their work, especially if they’re ers like the lightly sweet St. Pepin and the creating art about Iowa,” she says. According to Nancy, the Iowa angle is Moscato-like Edelweiss for the hot weathwhat her winery is all about. er months. “We used to come here just to visit and Another summer favorite at the winery is cranberry wine, which some people as the years went by and I realized I really mix with club soda. “It’s light, fruity, very loved this place. When the building besmooth, and has a beautiful color,” she came available, we just jumped on it, and says. “It doesn’t have that edgy after taste we’re so glad we did. We’ve been having a great time and the people of Kanawha that cranberries can have some times.” The Litches drive up to Wisconsin to have been wonderful.”

How To Taste Wines Here’s How: 1. Look: Check out the Color and Clarity. Pour a glass of wine into a wine glass. Tilt the glass away from you and check out the color of the wine from the rim edges to the middle of the glass. What color is it? If it’s a red wine is the color maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red or even brownish? If it’s a white wine is it clear, pale yellow, strawlike, light green, golden, amber or brown in appearance? 2. Move on to the wine’s opacity. Is the wine watery or dark, translucent or opaque, dull or brilliant, cloudy or clear. An older red wine will often have more orange tinges on the edges of color than younger red wines. Older white wines are darker, than younger white wines. 3. Smell: To get a good impression of your wine’s aroma, swirl your glass for a solid 10-12 seconds (this helps vaporize some of the wine’s alcohol and release more of its natural aromas) and then take a quick whiff to gain a first impression. Now stick your nose down into the glass and take a deep inhale. What are your second impressions? Do you smell oak, berry, flowers, vanilla or citrus? A wine’s aroma is an excellent indicator of its quality and unique characteristics. 4. Taste: Finally, take a taste. Start with a small sip and let it roll around your mouth. There are three stages of taste: The Attack Phase, is the initial impression that the wine makes on your palate. The At-

tack is comprised of four pieces of the wine puzzle: alcohol content, tannin levels, acidity and residual sugar. These four pieces meld together to offer impressions in intensity and complexity, soft or firm, light or heavy, crisp or creamy, sweet or dry, but not necessarily true flavors like fruit or spice. The Evolution Phase is next, also called the mid-palate or middle range phase, this is the wine’s actual taste on the palate. If it’s a red wine you may start noting fruit – berry, plum, prune or fig; perhaps some spice – pepper, clove, cinnamon, or maybe a woody flavor like oak, cedar, or a detectable smokiness. If it’s a white wine, you may taste apple, pear, tropical or citrus fruits, or the taste may be more floral in nature or consist of honey, butter or herbs. The Finish is labeled as the final phase. The wine’s finish is how long the flavor impression lasts after it is swallowed. This is where the aftertaste comes into play. Did it last several seconds? Was it light-bodied (like the weight of water), medium-bodied (similar in weight to milk) or full-bodied (like the consistency of cream)? Can you taste the remnant of the wine on the back of your mouth and throat? What was your last flavor impression – fruit, butter, oak? Does the taste persist or is it short-lived? After you have taken the time to taste your wine, you might record some of your impressions. Does it taste better with cheese, bread or a heavy meal? Will you buy it again? If so, jot the wine’s name, producer and vintage year down for future reference.

Visit Historic Old Bank Winery When traveling through the vast corn fields of northern Iowa be sure to stop for awhile at Old Bank Winery. Located in the restored Farmers State Bank Building we produce semi-sweet and dry fruit and grape wines.

Old Bank Winery Winery and Tasting Room Hours: Open Year Round Tuesday - Saturday 1:00PM to 5:00PM

We also offer two comfortable Bed & Breakfast Suites for our travelers. 200 N. Main St. Kanawha Iowa 50447 Phone: (641) 762-3406 

3 NEW BREWS • Wood Cellar Blonde Ale • Slobber Knocker • Old Man River Mon. - Wed. 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. • Thurs. 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday 7:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. 117 1st St. NW • HAMPTON



Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Rustic Brew

now serving its own beer;

‘Slobberknocker’ oatmeal stout inspired by saying of H-D football coach Shafrath By Jeff Forward - Hampton Chronicle


ampton finally has a beer it can call its own. Joel Heuer, a co-owner of brewpub/restaurant Rustic Brew, has been serving his three styles of beer since May 15. Heuer set up a small craft brewery in a second-floor apartment above the First Street eatery and has been brewing since early-April. Heuer – who co-owns Rustic Brew with his wife, Kathy, and Brad and Kim Mulford, has actually been brewing beer since April 4, the day after all the applications to commercially produce beer were finalized.

Rustic Brew co-owner Joel Heuer is leading the charge on the brewing side as the restaurant produces its own beers in-house. Photo by Jeff Forward, Hampton Chronicle.

than 6.25 percent. The beer was first served to members of the restaurant’s “Mug Club” on May 15 at a special event. There are three types of beer, Heuer said: Slobberknocker – an oatmeal stout with an ABV (alcohol content) of about 5.1 percent; Wood Cellar Blonde Ale – a pale ale with an ABV of between 4 and 4.5 percent; and Old Man River Citrus Wheat – a wheat beer with citrus notes.

All the beers are available on tap in Rustic Brew and can be taken home by “It was definitely a long process,” thirsty drinkers in convenient to Heuer said of getting the OK to brew go “growlers.” A “growler” is a large jug used by craft from the state of Iowa as well as the federal Tax and Trade Bureau, which regu- beer brewers so fans can take home draft lates brewers. “The Iowa portion of it is beer that may not be available for sale pretty simple. It’s the federal end of it, the outside the brewpub. “These are all pretty light beers,” taxation, that’s time consuming and a lot Heuer said, originally predicting that the of paperwork.” By legal definition, a microbrewery is Wood Cellar Blonde Ale would be his one that brews less than 60,000 barrels of best seller in the beginning. “It’s what I call an introductory beer to beer per year. A barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. Heuer also said he cannot make the craft brew market,” he said. “It has a any beers with an alcohol content higher citrus-y note to it. It’s smooth and the ladies like it. It’s a good summer beer.” However, after the first few weeks of selling his brew, Heuer noted that the Slobberknocker Oatmeal Stout has been the surprise hit of this three styles. “It was kind of a surprise,” Heuer said. “But people really liked the Slobberknocker.” Heuer said he is going to experiment with various other styles and types, but didn’t want to name them because he said it can build These tanks are where the beer making process up anticipation and then the is intially started. Malt and water are heated to beer may not work out as certain temperatures in order to get sugar for planned. the fermentation process. Later, flavoring agents such as hop, spices, or other adjuncts are added. That is part of the unfor-

giving and exact science of brewing beer. Humans have been brewing beer for thousands of years, although it’s only been in the past 40 years that craft and home brewing has taken root with the general public. The process of extracting the sugars from malted barley, then infusing the resulting liquid with hops or other flavoring agents, all under controlled temperatures and time constraints, is a precise science. That’s not even including the most important part, adding the yeast to ferment the beer. It’s a process that seems more suited to a chemist in a white coat rather than a man many know as

a local football coach and liaison/probation officer with the Hampton-Dumont High School and school district. It was Heuer’s football association with Hampton-Dumont’s legendary coach Jerry Shafrath, who used to say the phrase ‘slobberknocker’ when his teams had a hard-hitting game with an opponent. The idea of the Rustic Brew restaurant was a group project between the four coowners and, Heuer said, was in part driven by his wife, Kathy. “My wife was really pushing this,” he said of the eatery idea. “It was something she really wanted to do.” Heuer noted that it was his wife who also proposed the idea that he could involve his burgeoning craft beer hobby into the eatery. Heuer has been brewing beer for about six years, and began like many in the scene do – with a home kit. “I just liked beer, been drinking it a long time,” Heuer said. “It started with a Mr. Beer kit – Hop Head Red was the very first batch we made.” A simple beginning with the pre-made kit soon morphed into a semi-serious hobby, Heuer noted, as he switched to a more involved process with partial cooking of the mash, and then onto full blown

all-grain brewing. “We started doing all-grain brewing on the kitchen stove,” he said. “It’s difficult; a messy process.” It is also a process that involves more number-crunching that one would imagine and requires the use of a hydrometer and measuring data such as original and final gravity and determining how much sugar can be extracted from the malt. “I was never a real math person, but it gets to be kind of fun and also kind of nerve wracking,” he said. The hard work and attention to detail behind the scenes equals a lot of enjoyment, Heuer said. From the creative aspect of making different beers with varying ingredients – to having his friends sample his concoctions and provide feedback, he said it’s been a lot of fun. Getting friends to taste the beer may have been the easiest part of the process. “A lot of those friends have been around and sampled the beer. They’ve tasted it and know how good it is,” Heuer said. “(I’d) always bring that around and pass it out for sampling. “Guys will come up here (to the second floor micro-brewery) and sample. People will ask me to sample, and I say, ‘yes,’” Heuer said. “We want to know. If you don’t like it, tell us. The idea is to put something out that sells.”

Rustic Brew now serves three types of their own beer, brewed on premise. Descriptions of the beers are available on a board at the restaurant.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Beer boasts some surprising health benefits


o some men, the major food groups include burgers, chicken wings and beer. Whether hanging out with buddies watching a game on TV or firing up the grill for a backyard barbecue, many men prefer beer as their beverage of choice in social settings. Though beer is not something many people associate with health, some might be surprised to learn that beer does provide some notable health benefits. Beer should always be consumed in moderation, but beer fans should know that those cold ones aren’t just refreshing but potentially healthy as well. Builds bone strength A 2009 study from researchers at Tufts University determined older men and women who consumed one or two drinks daily had higher bone density. Beer contains silicon, which has been linked to bone health. Of the various types of beer, pale ale has been shown to have the highest concentration of silicon, so beer drinkers might want to enjoy a pale ale when having their next beer. Keep in mind, however, having more than two drinks has been linked to increased risk of bone fractures, so stick to one or two.

Looking for a classic, unique IPA? Go no further than Front Street Brewery By Jeff Forward - Hampton Chronicle


The East River Drive location serves he next time you’re in Davenport or the Quad Cities area and food and according to Ash has excephunkering for a good beer and tional burgers, fish tacos, and pulled pork created in-house by Chef Jon. tasty burger, you might “It’s some of the best want to make a visit to the The food in the Quad Cities,” Front Street Brewery. East River Ash said. “Our hamburgDating to 1992, the Drive location ers are always excellent Front Street Brewery as is our slow cooked is officially the oldest serves food and brewpub in the state of according to Ash has pulled pork. We have such a varied menu.” Iowa. exceptional burgers, On the beer Co-owned by the fish tacos and pulled side of the menu, husband-wife team Zuidema is the brewof Steve Zuidema and pork created inmaster and specializes in Jennie Ash, Front Street house by Chef IPA style brews. IPA stands Brewery now has two locaJon. for India Pale Ale, which is a tions where craft beer fans can traditional English-style pale ale get a delicious, locally-crafted beer that had more hops added to it as a preseras well as a bite to eat. vative for the long ship journey to India.

kidney stones by 40 percent. Researchers suggest beer’s high water content helps keep the kidneys working and flushing out the system.

Antioxidant boost Beer contains flavonoids, Any which are natural antioxiIncreases mental acuity source of dants that help to protect Beer may be associthe body from disease. alcohol, including ated with hazy thinkDark beer contains ing and forgetfulness beer or wine, more flavonoids than the morning after conincreases the level sumption -- but that’s other varieties. Beer also contains vitamin of good cholesterol only when consumers B6. This is essential overindulge. A 2005 in the blood. to making hemoglobin, study published in the the red protein in blood New England Journal of that also helps ferry oxyMedicine that examined the gen around in the body. More effects of moderate alcohol conoxygen helps muscles work more efsumption on cognitive function found ficiently and has other health benefits. older women who consumed about one drink per day lowered their risk of mental Lowers heart disease risk decline by as much as 20 percent when Dark beers have roughly one gram of sol- compared to nondrinkers. Such benefits uble fiber in each 12-ounce serving. Vari- may be applicable to men as well. ous research suggests that consuming adequate amounts of soluble fiber through Guards against stroke a healthy diet can help lower LDL, or According to researchers at Harvard “bad,” cholesterol in the blood. Any School of Public Health, moderate source of alcohol, including beer or wine, amounts of alcohol, including beer, help increases the level of good cholesterol in prevent blood clots that block blood the blood, too. Hops and the malt used in flow to the heart, neck and brain. These beer making also provide polyphenols, clots are contributors to ischemic stroke, which are heart-healthy antioxidants. which occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. Reduces risk for kidney stones According to the Academy of Nutrition Beer can also promote relaxation, reand Dietetics, compounds in hops could duce stress levels and help bring on a help slow the release of calcium from more restful sleep. The United States. bones, which may prevent kidney stone Department of Agriculture also reviewed formation. A study in Finland singled out various studies that indicate moderate beer among other alcoholic drinks, find- drinkers live longer than nondrinkers due ing that each bottle of beer men drank to lower rates of heart disease, stroke and daily lowered their risk of developing diabetes.

Jennie - Front Street Brewery Manager Steve - Brew Master, Co-Owner

“There’s a lot of history here,” said Ash of the brewery. “The building is 100 years old. We split it and the taproom is at the Old Freight House on the river. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”

Front Street Brewery’s main location – at 208 E. River Drive in Davenport – is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday’s 11 a.m. until midnight; and Sunday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The IPA style has become one of the most popular craft beer styles in recent years and many fans call themselves ‘hopheads’ in reference to the high amount of hops found in the style. Ash said Zuidema makes his signature Raging River IPA but also experiments with various types of IPAs with his rotating brewmaster’s special. Currently that is the Three Duck IPA. “It’s extremely good,” Ash said of the Three Duck. “(Zuidema’s) IPAs are all truly unique and outstanding. Whether it’s his Raging River or other specials.”

At this time you can purchase merchandise at the bar at Front Street Brewery. Baseball Hats - $12 Polo Shirts - $20 Short Sleeved T-Shirt “The Beer That Makes you Hoppy” - $10 Sweatshirts - $25 Pint Glasses - $5


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

towns end Winery

HOURS: We are open May - December, Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Harvest Wine Festival & Wine Release August 31 & September 1, 1-6 p.m.

By Travis Fischer


pon reaching retirement age, Vernon and Judy Harper of Hansell decided they needed to find something to fill their days. “We didn’t want to just sit around and watch television all the time,” said Judy Harper. “We wanted something to keep us busy and healthy.” Eventually, the Harpers decided on opening up their own winery. After Vernon took online classes and did some practice with wineries in neighboring states, the Harpers got down to business. Forming a corporation with their children, the couple turned their cattle lot into a vineyard and converted a farm building into a wine shop. Interestingly, Towns End Winery and Vineyard wasn’t named for the fact that the winery is located at the edge of Hansel. Townsend is also a family name of the Harpers. When going through the process of naming their new business, the Harpers liked the double meaning and decided to go with Towns End. Today the Harpers grow a variety of northern grapes for their wines. Each kind, from La Crosse to Fontenac, producing a different flavor. The Harpers use more than just grapes though. A variety of other fruits are used, from common items like raspberries and cherries to more uncommon materials like gooseberries and aronia berries. They even produce a pumpkin wine. Much of the fruit used to make their

wines is grown on their farm and for the fruit they don’t grow themselves, the Harpers still go to efforts to keep the material for their wines as locally based as possible. The winery features a spacious tasting room with wine bar and various custom wine related gifts. Outdoor seating will also be available on the expansive back patio for enjoying those perfect summer and fall days. Visitors can enjoy not only the wines, but the picturesque views of the vineyard, farmland surrounding the winery, and our own “field of dreams” in the neighboring park.


Special events on web site:

Enjoy a taste of rural Iowa with handcrafted grape, berry and fruit wines. Free wine tasting. Spacious tasting room. Gift Shop. Outside patio seating. Open-air stage. Vineyard tours available-guided or self-guided. Groups welcome by appointment. Call 641-456-2836 for a group visit or to arrange a private tasting.

Our 5th annual wine release Festival will be held August 31st and September 1st 1 to 6 p.m. There will be free entertainment, lots of vendors and homemade ice cream.

Winery & Vineyard 2138 160th Street HANSELL, IA 50441

Located 6 miles E of Hampton on Hwy 3 and 1 mile N on S56/Timber Ave to 160th Street. Turn E at Hansell City Park corner go 300 ft to winery sign.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, Front Street Brewery is the complete dining experience. Meal specials are offered daily along with happy hour, Monday through Friday. Happy hour includes $3 pints and selected half price appetizers.

Our Beers

Old Davenport Gold This beer is particularly light and refreshing.

Hefe Weizen Refreshing and unique beer served with a slice of lemon.

Cherry Ale A delightful, refreshing taste and aroma.

Raging River Ale This is a bronze colored beer made with the highest quality malts. A true “English Ale.”

Bucktown Stout An extra dark, almost black bottom brew, smooth with a slight coffee flavor, achieved by the use of highly roasted barley and black malts.

Brewmaster’s Special

HOURS: Mon - Thur 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. • Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - Midnight • Sun 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

It changes with the season and the Brewer’s frame of mind.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We have a 5 barrel micro brewery where we are making our own craft beers. We can make 150 gallons at a time. Our facility has a banquet hall upstairs and a private courtyard in the back. The building was built in 1889 and went through a thorough renovation in 1996. Our menu right now is pizza, calzones, appetizers and sandwiches.

Microbrewery & Restaurant 11 Benton Ave. E. | Albia, Iowa 641-932-4085

albia brewing company By Molly Angstman


amilies with babies come in and 90-year-olds come in,” says brewmaster Brian Linberg, who owns the brewery with his wife Barb. “Everybody feels at home here.” Housed in a striking Victorian building, Albia Brewing Company is a brand new business steeped in the tradition of the historic Skean Block in Albia. “We feel like this is more Albia’s business than our own,” he says. “We are watching over the building and enjoying our hobby of making hand-crafted beers.” There are no plans to ever distribute the beer, says Linberg, so the historic tap room will always be the focal part of the business. “It was built in 1889 and it’s just perfect. We feel very fortunate to be here.” The tap room features at least eight Albia Brewing beers on tap, including crowd-pleasers like pale ale, red ale, bock, India pale ale, and Guinness-like stout. There is also an Albia Brewing root beer on tap. Another four taps are dedicated to popular beers from big breweries like Boulevard and New Belgium. Linberg’s five barrel brew system can produce up to 150 gallons of beer at a time, using up to 350 pounds of grain per each batch. He still makes small batches

of 15 gallons, however, and that gives him the opportunity to try new things. “I like to experiment,” says Linberg. “I’ll put in coffee flavor in some, sorghum in some. I’ll put a wheat beer along with a cider. I’ll do a raspberry and a peach wheat.” Having opened in December of 2012, Albia Brewing is looking forward to using it’s outdoor courtyard area for the first time. “We opened in the winter so we’ve never got to really use it before,” says Linberg. “It’s going to be a great summer.” Albia Brewing Company is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 10pm, Fridays from 4 pm until late, and Saturdays from 11 am until late. The kitchen is open during most brewery hours and offers a full menu which includes pizza, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers.

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