Some 2,000 beer lovers will gather on a bridge in downtown Des Moines today to sample a variety of the craft brews being made around Iowa and the Midwest. This is the second year for the Iowa Craft Brew Festival.
Organizer Eric Sorensen, with the Iowa Brewers Guild, says they moved the festival to a new location this year after the inaugural event sold out with 1,300 attendees.
“There’s a growing appreciation of extreme beers…beers that are hoppier, beers that have more alcohol and beers which have different flavors than folks are used to,” Sorensen says. The Iowa Brewers Guild was formed a few years ago to lobby state legislators to raise the alcohol limit allowed in craft beer.
They succeeded and now the craft brewery business in Iowa is booming. A total of 48 breweries will offer samples of their products at the Iowa Craft Brew Fest. Twenty-one of those breweries are from Iowa, while four more breweries that have yet to open will have representatives on hand to talk about their plans.
“We’ll be having over 220 different beers and ciders for people to taste,” Sorensen says. Tickets for the event range from $20 to $30 – which includes unlimited one ounce samples of the beers. Sorensen says the higher alcohol content in craft beers allows for a wider variety of brews and experimentation.
“The thing about craft beer is it’s about flavor…it’s more than just drinking, it’s about enjoying,” Sorensen said. The admission price also includes live music and food. The Iowa Craft Brew Festival runs from 2-5 p.m. on the Locust Street Bridge in downtown Des Moines. VIP tickets allow for early admission at 1 p.m.