Reading through my feeds, I came across this review of the Iowa Craft Beer Fest 2012. Looks like a really good time and got me thinking of the only festival I've attended in my home state of Iowa.
Only a year into this hobby, my wife and I attended the Brewfest in Des Moines in 2002. A small festival at that time, we sampled nearly as many new beers at Court Avenue Brewing as we did at the festival. At least those I recorded. I remember drinking beers that I had already imbibed, even that early in my tasting career. The best samples of the fest were Rogue's Mocha Porter and Boston Beer's Octoberfest followed by Blue Cat's Hefeweizen, none of which are from Iowa.
The Brewfest is still going on and seems to have improved, slightly. However, it's still mostly regionals and imports like Rogue and Unibroue with a few locals mixed in. Less of a craft beer fest than beers distributed in an area, similar to the City Pages Beer Festival that I attended years ago. I have since learned my lesson and I wouldn't go to either today, but we all make mistakes when we're learning.
So, it's been a decade since I've done a festival in Iowa.
Organized by the Iowa Brewers Guild, the ICBF looks like a very promising festival. With this bit of information, inklings of improving Iowa beer quality from various articles that have crossed my path and a positive experience in 2008 for a day trip to Worth Brewing in Norwood, Iowa, it's clear to me that Iowa deserves another chance.
Road trip, anyone?