​Why Iowa Breweries Can Think Outside the Box More​

​Clark Lewey and Mike Saboe were excited to let the cat out of the bag at the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference: The products a brewery can make in the state of Iowa would soon be expanded.

​On May 21​, Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law — effective July 1 — that breweries such as Toppling Goliath will not be limited to just beer production anymore. The same law applies to distilleries, cideries and wineries as well.

“We tend to dive into what we refer to as passion projects — things that we know that we have some expertise on,” said Saboe — the brewery’s Executive Brewmaster. The switch in the law means some things that Saboe is passionate and knowledgeable about could materialize outside of the realm of beer.

Hard seltzer, Bourbon and other items are all open for discussion now.

“It may actually surprise people how many of those different things … we are very excited and passionate about,” Saboe said. “I think there’s some fun things that we’re going to be bringing forward here in the not too distant future. People should just stay tuned.”

​Lewey, the brewery’s founder, envisioned that ten years down the road​ the brew team at Toppling Goliath — which produced nearly 40,000 barrels in 2018 — “could​ be ​emptying a​ Bourbon that we made out of ​an ​oak barrel that we bought new ​with our​ char​,​ and move it right into our brewing operation where it’s filled with ​Assassin or Kentucky Brunch or whatever we may have created by then.

​”I think that’s pretty unique branding.​”​

The nearly two-year political process was both selfish and giving, Lewey said.

“It covers every brewery in the state — which is great for us,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of questions and a lot of desire to head down the distilling path. I think we have a lot of unique ideas so it’s just been something that will be another creative outlet for the alcohol industry for us and we really think we can do some fun things.”

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