Admission to Statehood: December 28, 1846
Population: ~3.1M (30/50)
Capital: Des Moines
Largest City: Des Moines
State Dance:Iowa does not have a state dance! Squares.
Well Known For: Corn, John Wayne, The Bridges of Madison County, Field of Dreams, and being the only state name that starts with two vowels
Brewery Representative: Millstream Brewing Company (Amana, Iowa)
USBP Score: 174
Flagship Beer: Schild Brau
Comments: One of the joys of assembling brewery representatives for each of the fifty states is running across award winning beers of which I have no familiarity. Millstream is one of these breweries. Founded in 1985 by locals, this brewery is now owned by three employees who purchased it in 2001. Cool. Millstream’s most decorated beer and one of the brewery’s original offerings, Schild Brau, consistently medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the North American Brewers Association competitions. That's pretty good. In 2010, Schild Brau Amber earned a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in the Vienna-Style Lager category. That is really good. But does anyone know if Schild Brau translates to “Shield Beer”?
If learning a brewery’s story is one of the joys of this USBP, then it is filling the blank space underneath the USBP score that puts this series in the doldrums. To counteract, let’s talk about something brilliant -- like beer can chicken! The first rule of beer can chicken is to get a roaster with a stainless steel canister. This type of roaster will allow for unbounded options to shove up that bird’s hole. Next you'll need to choose a beer to go up there. A Vienna Lager -- like say -- a Schild Brau would be a solid selection. A word to the wise, as a general rule I would stay away from hoppy beers. When cooked, that hoppy bitterness becomes even more concentrated and intense. Save IPAs for drinking while you cook. Now that you've taken care of the basics of beer can chicken, you'll need some direction on how to prep and cook the bird. I recommend checking out Billy Broas’ blog (billybrew.com) for a great post on beer can chicken. There you'll find basic directions and an adaptation of a recipe from Guy Fieri.... And you can drive that bus to Flavor Town, baby!
Runner Up: Court Avenue Brewing Co (154)