Like a lot of the country eastern Iowa is getting in the craft beer scene hot and heavy lately. Great River Brewery is putting out a variety of quality brews. Backpocket Brewing is filling growlers in Coralville and being found in liquor stores throughout the area. Big Grove Brewery in Solon is already pouring pints and garnering an excellent reputation. I have not had a chance to visit, but SingleSpeed Brewing in Cedar Falls has gotten favorable reviews from people I trust. Lionbridge Brewing Company is opening in Cedar Rapids sometime soon.
I am sure that there are others that I am forgetting or have not even heard about at this time, but needless to say times are good for beer drinkers in Eastern Iowa.
A new entrant to the field is Kalona Brewing Company in—where else?—Kalona, Iowa. I ended up with two quart bottles of the brewery’s Old Skool Saison Farmhouse Ale and Quick Wit Belgian style wheat ale.
Let’s kick it old school:
And a quick turn to the other beer in the kitchen:
I want to talk about these two beers together because I feel that they share many of the same characteristics, despite being of different styles, and in my opinion are about on par with each other in terms of rating.
Both beers are middling in terms of alcohol (4.1% ABV for Old Skool and 5.1% ABV for Quick Wit) so there is no danger of drinking a pint and wondering how you are going to get anything done later in the evening. As you can see from the color in the above pictures both beers are also light in terms of body, so neither beer fills you up to a point where you feel like you have just visited the Old Country Buffet with some hungry teenagers. Trust me, don’t do it.
While I do not have an official IBU rating for wither beer, my tongue would put it at 25 IBU or less for both beers. Neither have any kind of overwhelming hop notes in a positive or negative way. Granted, these are two styles of beer not known for embracing the over the top hopping of pale or amber ales.
Old Skool and Quick Wit were well put together beers, but nothing particularly memorable. The quality was good enough where I would pick up a different beer from the same brewer. In the end, I rated both beers with two mugs: