Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Feeling crafty

At the start of this year, I had a list of goals and adventures I wanted to complete. Among them was the idea to join two new community organizations.  I can proudly say I have done that. Both organizations are in full swing and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

One of those organizations is Barley's Angels of Greater Des Moines. It's a local chapter of a national organization for women who want to explore and appreciate craft beer.  We began meeting in January and we already have about seven events scheduled for the remainder of the year.  Now, these events are more than just getting together to drink beer (although that sounds like fun), there are requirements for each of our events.  They must have an educational component and they must include food. Also, to be an active chapter, we must host a certain number of events each year.

We had our first event last night -- Flight Over Iowa.  It featured a "rainbow" of Iowa beers paired with artisan cheeses.  Local experts described the beers and the cheeses, explaining how they were made, what was unique about them, and why they paired well with each other. 

Here are the pairings we sampled:

Lil Tart (sour ale) -- 515 Brewing Co., Des Moines, IA
Bloomsdale -- Baetje Farms, Bloomsdale, MO

West O Pilsner (pilsner) -- West O Beer, Okoboji, IA
Landaff -- Landaff Creamery, Landaff, NH

Schildbrau (Vienna lager) -- Millstream Brewing Company, Amana, IA
Pleasant Ridge -- Uplands Dairy, Dodgeville, WI

No Coast IPA (India pale ale) -- Peace Tree Brewing Co., Knoxville, IA
Prairie Breeze -- Milton Creamery, Milton, IA

Farmer Brown (brown ale) -- Great River Brewery, Davenport, IA
Marieke 18-24 month gouda -- Holland's Family Farm, Thorp, WI

Takedown (Irish stout) -- Confluence Brewing Company, Des Moines, IA
West West Blue -- Parish Hill Creamery, Westminster West, VT

It was a really interesting and delicious evening. 

In the upcoming months, we are planning brewery tours, a glassware tasting, a hop farm tour, and a beer dinner.  I only discovered craft beer in the last few years and I have learned so much in that time. I suspect I will be learning a lot more courtesy of Barley's Angels, and I'm very glad to be a part of this organization.

If you're interested in learning more about craft beer, I would highly recommend you find a Barley's Angels chapter near you and check out one of their events.


  1. This sounds so awesome!!! I am a big fan of craft beer, maybe I should look into this in Cleveland.

  2. Jealous jealous jealous.


    That is all.


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