Sheer Madness in Iowa – Kalona Brewery Spotlight
February 2nd, 2015
Believe it or not, there are a lot of really amazing craft beers being brewed in Iowa these days. At the end of last year there were over 50 breweries in the state and many more are slated to open in 2015. Most people have heard of Toppling Goliath from Decorah, Ia. Iowa is also home to 2014 GABF gold medal winners West O Brewery and Lion’s Bridge Brewery. One that I feel deserves a nod of recognition isKalona Brewing Company.
Kalona Brewing Co. opened their doors in 2013 in the quaint town of Kalona, located a short 30 minute drive from Iowa City, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes. They brew a wide variety of unique beers from light lagers to Imperial Stouts and a slew of experimental brews in between. I have been lucky enough to try 5 of their beers. Both IPA’s were beyond delicious and so very hoppy. The You be You Imperial Stout was so very dreamy. I wasn’t the biggest fan of stouts until I tried that one. TheLewbricator Wheat Dopplebock made me believe that I could one day become a bock fan. And then I tried the Sheer Madness Dark American Wheat Ale. It was like cupids arrow had struck me right through the heart.
I had never tried a dark wheat ale before and I don’t think that I was truly prepared for how dark the color would be. It was a very deep dark brown, much like a porter. The initial aroma intrigued me. I could definitely sense a hint of clove, possibly a super slight fruity aroma as well. But there was nothing that could prepare me for that first sip. Sheer Madness is a combination of sweet roasted caramel and chocolate, perfectly in balance. Never once did one of the ingredients step out of line and overwhelm another. The flavor left the most pleasant taste on my tongue by the end that lasted long after I had finished the glass. It was unlike any wheat ale I had tried before. The only way that I recognized that it was wheat at all was the ABV (5.6%) and that it was not a heavy beer at all, which makes it perfect for year round enjoyment.
Kalona Brewing Company’s beers can be found at their own restaurant and brewery and on tap at various establishments throughout Iowa. Or you can find it on Iowa grocery shelves in cans or glass bombers as well. Not from Iowa? Maybe it’s time you planned a road trip.
See the original article from Beer Masters Magazine.