116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Fall is a unique time for new flavors to make their recurring appearance in our lives. With a chill in the evening air, the sweaters come out and warm flavors show up to comfort us as the days grow shorter and the anxiety of a long winter approaches.
For many breweries, lighter beers appropriate for the summer make way for richer, darker autumn options, where spice is the variety of life.
If you’re looking for something to drink in sweater weather, check out these 10 locally brewed options.
Iowa Fest by Iowa Brewing Co. (5.8% ABV, 24 IBUs)
Iowa Fest, Cedar Rapids-based Iowa Brewing Co.’s Festbier that was featured at NewBo City Market’s Oktoberfest this year, is a Bavarian-inspired beer made with Munich malt and German hops, which give it a bold, “bready” flavor with just a hint of sweetness.
The amount of hops give this Iowa spin on an Oktoberfest beer a nice zip.
Clocktoberfest by Clock House Brewing (6.2% ABV, no IBUs)
This Marzen is brewed with German and Pilsner hops and presents a clean amber lager with rich, nutty notes. It’s not too heavy on the hops.
Hone Volume 1 by Third Base Brewery (12.8% ABV, 66.6 IBUs)
This one from Third Base Brewery in Cedar Rapids is served in smaller snifters, given how heavy it is.
This bold imperial stout is a blend of bourbon barrel and stainless steel barrel fermented stouts — 50 percent barrel-aged imperial stout, 40 percent fresh imperial stout, and 10 percent Black Cobra Oatmeal Stout.
Rich notes draws you in with a dry finish. It may remind you of taking a sip of black coffee.
Pumpkin Porter by Backpocket Brewing (6.5% ABV, no IBUs)
This beer from Coralville’s Backpocket Brewing exemplifies the fun to be had with fall beers, when brewers can play with fall spices to warm spirits as the weather cools down.
Dark beers like this one have a heavier mouth feel. The pumpkin flavor is inviting.
Available at 30Hop.
Pretzel Stout by Backpocket Brewing (6.2% ABV, 35 IBUs)
With caramel and coco malt, this Coralville-brewed option is made with over 200 pounds of pretzels. You will immediately taste the saltiness from it.
The salt cuts down on the sweetness, including a hint of peanut butter, and keeps you coming back for more to quench your thirst.
Available at 30Hop.
Tappa Tappa Tappa by Thew Brewing Co. (5.6% ABV, no IBUs)
This standard, nutty brown ale is always popular at Cedar Rapids’ Thew Brewing, according to brewer Chris Fleuker. With a chocolate flavor profile, its broad appeal always comes out in the fall.
It promises to be “as smooth as your dancing will be” after drinking it.
Thew also brews Cuppa Tappa Tappa, a coffee-flavored version.
FryPA by Thew Brewing Co. (7.5% ABV, 60 IBUs)
This spicy brew is a West Coast IPA with a reddish hue fits in well with autumn’s color scheme.
Featuring floral Palisade hops, it’s well bodied but not too heavy, brewer Chris Fleuker said.
Zombie Awakening by Lion Bridge Brewing Co. (7% ABV, 10 IBUs)
A collaboration with Scream Acres at Bloomsbury Farm, this black ale from Lion Bridge Brewing Co. features dark roast coffee from Dash Coffee Roasters. You might think it tastes like a carbonated, cold brew coffee.
With a nice coffee-forward profile, it’s not as heavy as a stout.
The Spice Must Flow by Lion Bridge Brewing Co. (7% ABV, 10 IBUs)
Maple and Saigon cinnamon meld in this dark brew named in reference to the Dune science fiction novel.
Using the cinnamon and maple, it has some similarities to Zombie Awakening, said brewer Quinton McClain. You’ll taste the maple right away and will feel the heat of the cinnamon on the finish.
It’s malt-driven, but not hoppy.
Hellscape by Lion Bridge Brewing Co. (5.5% ABV)
This traditional German lager includes Weyermann Beechwood smoked malt, giving it a unique, smoky flavor.
Brewer Quinton McClain said to think of it as a smokey-type scotch. But despite the smoke, it’s a light pilsner to drink.
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