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Heady times at the Englert

BY ALEC GLUESING | JULY 09, 2015 5:00 AM

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Beer Tasting: Deschutes Brewery at the Englert
6-8:30 p.m. Friday
$25, ID required (21-plus)

Iowa City craft-beer drinkers are in for a frothy, hoppy treat Friday evening at the Englert Theater. 

The venue will host its third beer-tasting event of 2015, this time featuring beers crafted at Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon. The Englert, 221 E. Washington St., featured Bell’s Brewery in February and Surly Brewing in May.

“I try to go with breweries I really like at the time,” said Alexi Schlesinger, the Englert concessions associate and event organizer. “For me, it’s kind of what’s interesting and fun, and picking breweries — especially beers — that you can’t just get wherever you want.” 

The event will be held in the Douglas & Linda Paul Gallery as part of the theater’s 2015 Pop-Up Event Series, which features varied events in the Gallery that are announced on shorter, more surprising notice than usual. 

Patrons will be able to choose three initial 10-ounce pours of Deschutes beer with the $25 entry ticket, with additional pours priced at $6. 

Fans of everything from India pale ales to Belgian-style Quadrupels will find something to please their palates.

Featured beers include:
• Fresh Squeezed IPA
• Pinedrops IPA (seasonal release, Bond Street Series)
• The Stoic Belgian-style Quad (special release, Reserve Series) 
• Armory XPA Nitro
• Twilight Summer Ale (seasonal release)
• Foray Belgian-style IPA

A Deschutes representative will attend the event to pour brews, hand out swag, answer questions, and chat with patrons as fellow craft-beer drinkers.

Each event ticket also includes fresh pizza baked around the corner at Forbidden Planet.

“We love partnering with local businesses like Forbidden Planet because it’s great for everyone,” said Englert Marketing Director Aly High. “We get to serve awesome pizza, the restaurant gets to reach our patrons, and patrons get great food and beer. We make it a point to be a part of the fabric of downtown … partnering together in the small-business community only makes us stronger.”

Iowa’s craft-brewing industry has seen a steady increase since 1985, when the state’s first craft brewery, Millstream, opened in Amana. 

The Brewers Association, a national craft-beer trade group, ranks Iowa as 15th in the nation for breweries per capita, with 2.1 breweries per 100,000 adults age 21 and over. 

Additionally, a 2015 study by the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board reported that the Iowa’s craft-brewing industry boosted the state’s industrial production by $100 million in 2014 and created more than 1,500 new jobs in the same year.

Englert Executive Director Andre Perry was inspired by the economic and cultural value of craft breweries in planning the 2015 tastings, saying he wanted to “… give folks an intimate interaction with national and regional craft breweries, to showcase the good work that brewers are doing across the region, and to also get access to some beers that may not be available in wide distribution.”

Based on the enthusiastic community response so far, High said the Englert will hold more beer tastings in the future — including an upcoming event featuring an unnamed local brewery.

“We’ve received really positive feedback from our patrons and the beer reps,” she said. “It’s a great way for reps to connect with their fans in a low-pressure, fun environment.”


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