By Tate Hildyard
The specialty trade of brewing craft beer has spread in popularity across the nation. Iowa City has its own community, with new and old local businesses joining the phenomena.
Brewers from three local businesses spoke about the process, nuance, and artistry of craft beer. Featured restaurants and breweries are: Lion Bridge, 59 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404; Back Pocket Brewing, 03 Quarry Rd, Coralville, IA 52241; & Big Grove Brewery, 1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52240.
All agreed brewing and fermenting beer was an art form in and of itself.
Beer has been brewed for thousands of years across all cultures with all types of methods and ingredients. Everything from mushrooms to tree bark have been used as a flavoring agent and a way to innovate a millennium old tradition. As long as one extracts the sugar from barley grain, ferments the yeast, and adds hops, the sky is the limit to what one can create.
The image of beer in the public eye is starting to change as the general public begins to recognize brewing as a craft. As of 2017, 3812 microbreweries are running in the nation. 788 of them are in the Midwest. Only 48 are in Iowa.
“Life is short. Don’t go wasting it on bad beer,” said Quinton McClain; co-founder of Lion Bridge Brewing Company.