By DCBeer contributor Peter Zuk

Name: Confluence Brewing Company

Location: Des Moines, IA


Type: Production brewery


Available in DC Market: No

What you need to know: This brewery was started by a couple of high school buddies who were inspired to make beer by the great grain that is available in Iowa.  While they failed to make a palatable “raisin almond beer,” they do appear to offer a great selection of eclectic small batch beers.

Beer #1: ChewBOCKa Winter Bock (Doppelbock / 6.2% ABV)

In Their Own Words: ChewBOCKa is made with plenty of Munich malt for a rich, chewy, full-body flavor as well as German Spalter Select, German Tettnanger and American Mt. Hood hops to balance out the malty sweetness. There are also some toasty notes as well as a slight hint of chocolate. Dopplebocks are on the malty end of the beer spectrum, making them a nice change of pace from bitter ales.

Food Pairing: Grilled duck sausage served with crimson cherry chutney.

Our Thoughts: The rich malt sweetness and slight chocolate notes will pair well with the chutney and the grilled sausage should really be enhanced by the roastiness of the malt in the beer.  This should be a rich sweet and savory pairing.

Beer #2: Thomas Beck Black IPA (Black IPA / 6.8% ABV)

In Their Own Words: "This dark beer pays homage to Des Moines’ history as a late 19th century coal town. Confluence Brewery is located on Thomas Beck Road, which is named after an English immigrant who developed extensive (but now long abandoned) coal mine holdings in Des Moines, including some near our brewery. The dark color comes from black wheat, which is combined with two-row base malt and a good portion of caramel malt and some flaked rye to add a subtle dry, spiciness. Don’t let the color fool you, this dark beer is not roasty or stout-like. We used a special blend of hops, including Nelson Sauvin from Australia, to give it a unique flavor and aroma profile completely distinct from its India Pale Ale cousin, Des Moines IPA."

Food Pairing: Cheddar Wafers with Stilton and Red Currant

Our Thoughts: This one is a fun pairing.  IPA flavors tend to blend well with cheddar cheese and roasted chocolate flavors really go well with sweet and dark fruits.  With this beer and this food comprising both characteristics; it will be interesting to see if they can all be experienced in harmony so nothing is masked or overpowered.  These are some strong flavors and should be exciting to try together.

This profile is a part of the SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.