on Thursday, October 27, 2016
I’m very glad I wasn’t the one editing this week’s episode of Travel Waterloo. The conversation we had had with Sean was extensive, interesting and very inspiring, and condensing that into a little more than two minutes was a tall task.
Lark Brewing is Waterloo’s newest craft brewery, located below Beck’s Taproom & Grill on University Avenue. Sean and his team are creating some excellent beers while also building the area’s craft brewing future. Sean began brewing beer at home and he’s continued to perfect his craft (pun intended) ever since. He has been working toward opening his own brewery for three-plus years, and the opportunity presented to him with the space at Beck’s was perfect.
Lark doesn’t have a “flagship” beer as of yet. There are dozens of recipes to try and the team wants to see what we, the consumers, like best. There were a couple of beers aging while we filmed the episode, and we had a chance to try them. Based on what we had, which was beer maybe halfway ready, we’re all in for a real treat when the beer goes into kegs and is ready for our glasses.
A good portion of our conversation focused on the development of new craft brewers and breweries. Sean is working with local home brewers to help them take recipes that work in their kitchens and scale them up to larger production. His hope is this plan will help foster growth of craft brewing in our community, so where there are two (soon to be three) craft breweries in Waterloo, there may be 5, 10 or more. The goal is to make Waterloo and Iowa the next craft brewing mecca.
So maybe you’re not a huge beer fan. Or maybe you want to check it out but have friends, family or a significant other who isn’t a big beer fan. What do you do? You go to Lark Brewing. The beer is excellent, and the selection of craft cocktails and craft sodas is outstanding! Lark makes soda themselves and uses that in one of their specialty cocktails. They also have one of the most unique lineups of spirits behind the bar, making the cocktails a really distinctive experience.
One of the most unique aspects of Lark Brewing is the crowler. A crowler is a 32-ounce can filled to order with the beer of your choice. There’s a special machine that seals the can, allowing you to take the beer to go, and preserving that beer for longer than what's possible in a growler (64 ounce bottle). The beer is great and you can introduce others to that beer more easily too.
I know you’re waiting for my recommendation…and that recommendation is this: Try a flight first. Get a sample of all of the brews and then have a Lil Bear, the Imperial IPA made with local honey. If I had to have just one, it would be a Lil Bear. It is awesome. And not to be superstitious, but I happened to have a Lil Bear last Saturday when I was watching the Cubs win the NLCS. What’s a Cub? A lil bear…
Follow the hashtag #IDigWaterloo for photos, videos, and travel inspiration.
- Aaron Buzza, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau