Backpocket Brewing Opens Tap Room in Coralville

By Carly Weber, Hoopla Editor.

CORALVILLE, Iowa — A new microbrewery is opening this weekend in the Iowa River Landing Coralville (June 8 to 10).

The Backpocket Brewing tap room will feature a variety of beers as well as a brick oven pizza. The brewing area will remain under construction, with Backpocket beers being brought in from the original McGregor brewpub. Beer production at the new location is scheduled to begin in July. The tap room will have indoor seating for 100 with and additional beer garden in the works that will include a grilling station, fire pit and yard games.

The brew house, manufactured by Braukon of Munich, Germany, is a 33-barrel (more than 1,000 gallon) state-of-the-art brewing facility incorporating the latest sustainable design features. The brew house is the "heart" of a brewery, and will be the largest in Iowa. The brew house pioneers the concept of sustainable brewing: With an innovative design that reduces carbon consumption by 60 percent, recaptures water waste, and repurposes organic waste.

"Backpocket embodies a world class design that we believe sets our plant as well as our beers apart from others," said Jacob Simmons, brewmaster. "The brew house will take about eight weeks to install and commission; we plan to be brewing by mid-July."

The Coralville plant will be an expansion of Backpocket Brewing's current brewing operations at Old Man River Restaurant & Brewery in McGregor. Old Man River was the dream of Dave and Marci Strutt, McGregor natives who set out to create the finest brewpub in Iowa. Jake Simmons, the brewmaster, expanded this vision to produce world-class beers for the entire state.

As such, Backpocket Brewing was created to distribute both draft and packaged beer, which it has done as a draft-only operation for the past two years. The new production plant will allow Backpocket to expand its packaging options to also include bottles.

The company projects that Backpocket will produce 7,000 to 8,000 barrels of beer in its first year with the total capacity of the facility at approximately 25,000 barrels. Backpocket will be distributing throughout eastern and central Iowa initially, and has growth plans to provide its beers across the state of Iowa and regionally.

"This project is a dream come true. We are very excited about relocating our operations to the Iowa River Landing" Simmons said. Simmons grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa and is a 1999 graduate of Valley High School. He graduated with honors from the University of Iowa in 2003 with a bachelor's in microbiology and a master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 2006.

Backpocket Brewing initial releases focus on German-inspired beers, using traditional Bavarian brewing techniques and adhere to the German purity laws, which allows only 4 natural ingredients; water, hops, barely, and yeast. No additives or preservatives are allowed. Future releases will span the world wide brewing traditions, yet all will adhere to the spirit of the purity laws even if flavors like coffee beans, chocolate or spices are added. Additives to speed up the process or preservatives to lengthen shelf life will not be used. The result is an all-natural beer that is as flavorful as it is drinkable.

Initial styles include:
? Slingshot Dunkel – German Dark Lager
?Gold Coin Helles – German Blond Lager
?Penny Whistle Wheat – Bavarian Hefeweizen
?Wooden Nickel Peated Lager – Scottish style Lager
?Jackknife GPA – German Pale Ale
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