It seems to be that we can’t turn around and not see a winery or brewery. In Iowa alone, there are more than 80 breweries and more than 100 wineries. Although it seems that the winery and brewery boom has only been happening over the last few years, Iowa actually has a long history with wine and beer, going back to the 1800s. Iowa’s first brewery was in Dubuque. Here are some fun facts about wineries and breweries and some to do’s if visiting one:
Winery and Brewery Fun Facts:
- The saying “rule of thumb” has several historical uses, including brewers who would stick their thumbs into their beer to check the temperature while brewing.
- Abraham Lincoln held a liquor license in Illinois, where he and his partner sold wine and brandy. Talk about “Abraham Drinkin!”
- The most popular type of beer today is pale ale (sorry Busch Light fans).
- Grape vines take three-four years to mature before they can be harvested to make wine.
- The term “growler” is rumored to come from the sound of beer sloshing around the metal pails used to carry it in the 1800s. The now popular glass growlers were introduced in the late 1980s.
- The signing of The Declaration of Independence was toasted with glasses of Madeira.
Our friends at Eagles Landing Winery in Marquette, IA were named 2018 WINERY OF THE YEAR by Grapevine Magazine and WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR in 2013. They shared this fun to do list for people visiting wineries and breweries.
To Do’s When Going to a Winery or Brewery
- If you’re in Iowa, download the Iowa Beer and Wine App on your phone. Almost every brewery and winery are on there! Also, check out the multiple brewery and winery trails in Iowa. If you’re not in Iowa, see if your area or state has a beer and wine app.
- Take a tour if available. The amount of equipment and work it takes to make beer and wine are incredible.
- Have an open mind. We all have our favorite beers and wines, but don’t be afraid to try different styles. You might find your new favorite.
- Be honest with the staff if you don’t like a style of beer or wine. The variety is so wide, it’s okay not to like a style. It doesn’t mean it’s bad.
- Ask questions. Craft beers and wines have become very complex, with multiple varieties within one style.
- Enjoy the experience. This isn’t just bellying up to the bar anymore. Breweries and wineries offer a unique view into the business through culture and history.
Take an adventure this summer to a brewery or winery and take in the great experience! West Bend Mutual Insurance’s Brew and Wine program has continued to help local breweries and wineries with comprehensive coverages needed. Keep West Bend in mind for all your insurance needs!