Samples.Hashtags.and.Broken.Glasses.

Ladies and Gents, let it be known that these late beer bloomers finally went to their first Iowa Craft Brew Festival this past week!  And guess what.  We will go again, but next year, we will attend VIP style!  VIP style means you get to get in earlier than everyone else meaning fewer people, shorter lines!  You also get a tulip glass. We were jealous of the people that had those glasses mainly.  Worth ten bucks more per ticket?  We vote yes!  I mean, come on, tulip glasses!

And guess what else.  We’re about to talk way too much about it, so fasten your seat belts.

When we first got to Des Moines, we had no problem parking, but there was a huge line to get on the bridge for the festival.  We mean HUGE, GIGANTIC line. We were terrified.  We mean, so terrified the what-ifs started dancing in our heads.

What if the taps run dry?
What if they run out of glasses?
What if the bridge is at capacity, and we all fall in the river?

Okay, too far, but in the end, the line actually went pretty quick, and we waited a half hour.

Once we were on the bridge, the lines to each brewery tent went quick.  They gave you 1-2 ounce samples of the beer of your choice, then you’d move on to the next tent and wait in line while sampling the previous tent’s, well, sampling.

During that three hours, you could try anything you wanted.  Let us repeat that: Whatever your heart desired in that three hours.  The weather was a ideal! Sunny, a little cloudy at times, and warm. We all had tan lines, and the Dashing Gent’s head got red.  Also, one of us tracked down some nachos that were covered in everything but the kitchen sink.  Pretty sure this inspired us to create a nacho beer cheese to recreate these nachos, only taking them a step further.  Stay tuned for that!

There were a ton of Iowa breweries that we have never heard of. Craft beer is booming here in Iowa. Yes, Iowa may be a little behind, but, hey, we are excited for what is coming!  We are being honest when we say a lot of the beer samples ran together because there were just so.many.breweries. Only drinking 1-2 ounces of each beer makes it hard also to distinguish if you like it.  Great times to share with friends!

In no particular order, here’s a sampling of our favorite…samplings:

  • Tip the Cow Cocoa Espresso Milk Stout from SingleSpeed Brewing Company-Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Apricot Wheat from Keg Creek Brewing Company-Glenwood, Iowa
  • Hot Mess Double IPA from Kalona Brewing Company- Kalona, Iowa

One of our girlfriends that went with us was loving the IPAs. Can we say she was in a “hoppy mood?”  IPAs are light, fruity, and crisp. Liquid perfection on a warm day. IPAs are definitely an acquired taste like bitter cheeses or wines and even coffee!  We have one rule, whether it’s food or brew, don’t decide if you like IPAs on the first try. You must give them time and a couple tries before you throw in the towel.  Every IPA is so unique. You’re bound to find one you like in time. Pretty soon, you will learn to love them.  Or maybe you won’t. We are not experts. We are just speaking from our experience.

When we watched our friend try Rampant from New Belgium and like it, she impressed the guys! That IPA is intense! The Dashing Gent and The Brains complain that some IPAs burn their throats, and The Dashing Gents throat closes up with certain IPAs.  He gets red sometimes and sneezes. Allergic reaction to a certain hop? Probably.  We’ll get to the bottom of it, eventually.

And do note, when you go to this festival, do not drop your sample glass. Everyone will make it known to everyone. And we mean e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e! Everyone stops what they are doing, turns around, looks at you, and yells, “Ooooohhh!”  Loud. Embarrassingly loud. This happened to one of us in the group, but we will not disclose who.

Moving on…

Here is a few pictures from our #showusyourpint on Instagram we know you are just aching to see!
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Speaking of hashtags, we never explained ours. We love to see food and beer pictures and would love for our followers and friends to share their love of food/beer with us! You can mainly use these on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Using these hashtags groups our photos/friend’s photos all in one place!

#showusyourspoon is used for a food picture post. Could be anything — your favorite restaurant, a new recipe you tried, a recipe you want to share, a slice of cheese. Basically, delicious foods that need to be shared!  Our hashtags are a place of foodie refuge, where you can freely and openly post your foodie pictures.  We promise no one will get annoyed with you posting your grilled cheese sandwich. However, tag your McDonald’s happy meal, and you’ve broken the circle of trust. We’re mostly just kidding.  Kind of.

#showusyourpint is for posting on social media what you are drinking!  This is also good for telling about new beers you have tried and getting it out to others to try! Some people get overwhelmed going to the store and picking out beer because they do not know what to get. So many beers to pick from. So share the good brews you have had with your friends to spare them the anxiety in the store!  However, tag your Bud Light, and, again, you’ve broken the circle of trust.  And I’m not sure we’re kidding with this one?

We created these hashtags mainly for fun. We just love to see what our friends and followers are up to! Share your delicious food your eating and delicious beers you are drinking! Join the fun! We double dare you! Hmm, maybe a gift card down the road for those who are good sports?

So this week, we don’t have a recipe to accompany your pints with, but we promise things will return to normal next week!  We just had so much to say about our first craft beer festival — if you didn’t notice — that we had to share every last detail!  Here’s hopping we didn’t bore you too much!

With hoppy, but sorry hearts that we overdid it with the puns this week,

S|S

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