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New Pioneer Co-op creates own craft beer

BY ANDREW POTOCKI | JULY 08, 2015 5:00 AM

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Excitement is brewing locally about New Pioneer Co-op’s soon-to-be released beer.

New Pioneer is preparing to launch Hoppelganger, its own craft beer, on July 25 in partnership with Des Moines brewery Madhouse Brewing Co.

“We are so flattered the wonderful local breweries are willing to partner up with us for this,” said Melissa Arp, the specialties coordinator at New Pioneer.

Arp said Hoppelganger will be the first in a series of partnerships the Co-op plans to make with different breweries in the area, and it plans to partner with Coralville brewery Backpocket Brewing in the fall.

Hoppelganger will be sold in 22-ounce bottles in the Co-op, Arp said.  The price has yet to be determined.

It will be made with 100 percent local hops and may be the first commercial beer to be made with all Iowa-grown hops and be completely malted in Iowa, said Mason Groben, the owner and brewer of Madhouse Brewing.

Groben said it will be made in the style of an IPA cascade hops with 6 percent alcohol and an Institute of Brewing and Distilling rating of 35.

“The ingredients are really fresh, and I can personally say it tastes good,” he said.

To celebrate the launch of the beer, the Co-op will also host a kickoff party at its Cedar Rapids location on July 25 from 2-5 p.m., at which they will show off the beer.

Arp said one of the reasons behind creating a local beer is to promote local brewers and to raise support for beer among the community.

However, looking at recent trends, it seems Iowa doesn’t need much encouragement in the beer department.

According to the Brewers Association, Iowa has 46 craft breweries and ranks 15th in the nation for breweries per capita. A study released last month by the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board predicts Iowa’s craft breweries will triple production between 2014 and 2019.

Arp said craft beers are also very popular at New Pioneer. Around 80 percent of all beer sales at the Co-op are from craft beers, she said.

“The goal has always been to have organic food and drinks and support local farmers and brewers,” she said.

Groben said Madhouse has been selling beer to the Co-op for years, and it supports the Co-op in trying to promote more locally brewed craft beers.

It’s been a lot of fun working with New Pioneer Co-op, they’re very passionate about local brewing,” he said.

Local beer enthusiasts have also shown their support for yet another locally brewed beer to hit the shelves in Iowa City.

“I’m all for New Pioneer making its own beer; the more the merrier” said David Basinger, a local beer enthusiast.

He said he is a firm believer in local craft brewing and fresh ingredients can never be topped.

“If you can eat or drink locally, then that’s never a bad idea,” he said.


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