With temperatures bounding into the 90s today, it’s a happy coincidence for Iowans who like to sip suds from a frosty mug or an icy bottle. Many of the state’s beer microbreweries are pairing their beverages with an array of entertainment this week, according to Jessica O’Riley, communications manager in the Iowa Tourism Office.
“Craft Beer Week is intended to be a fun week to highlight the craft beer industry in Iowa,” O’Riley says. “It’s actually National Craft Beer Week but of course, you can celebrate right here in Iowa.”
The industry has more than doubled in size in recent years in Iowa and continues to grow. The state is now home to 33 microbreweries, with 15 opening since early 2012 and several more planning to open soon.
“So often, the breweries and wineries have special events all the time with music on the weekends or in the evenings,” O’Riley says. “The thing we’re finding with a lot of the craft brewers, they’re located on bike trails. So if you’re out biking and you need to take a little break and refresh yourself, stop by one of the breweries.”
A state law change a few years ago allowed Iowa beer makers to begin brewing varieties with higher alcohol content, which helped spark the industry’s growth. Plus, O’Riley says, Iowans like being able to patronize establishments that are close to home.
“There’s a movement for people to buy local, eat local,” O’Riley says. “It means something more when you can talk with the brewer. So often they’re so passionate about their endeavor that they’re happy to tell you about all the ingredients and how it comes about. There’s just that movement for beer, wine and food.”
Find the various microbreweries across the state at: www.iowatourism.com