I've been traveling up to Firetrucker Brewery in Ankeny about every other week since my visits over the summer [see blog post]. Though I'm wholly enamored with everyday beers like the Steam Engine and the Grizzly Stout, the partners at Firetrucker have released some seasonal brews with flavors unique to these parts. The Acova Black Walnut Ale – a magnificent nut brown ale – has become a particular favorite of mine and hard to resist while its still on tap. Mild on hops and malt, the luscious flavor of black walnut shines through this fine ale without being too overt. So particularly taken I was, I packed a growler to go for some offsite stress relief.
A more recent release is the Wildfire Smoked Sour Porter, a collaboration with CIB Brewery from Western Iowa. A tart brew offering notes of chocolate and cherry smoke, its surprisingly refreshing for a porter. At its inaugural release, Firetrucker paired the beer with homemade cherry chocolate fudge. I ate my fair share that afternoon!
Though Firetrucker doesn't have a kitchen on site, they do offer cheese plates from The Cheese Shop of Des Moines, catering from Ankeny restaurants such as Okoboji Grill and Leaning Tower of Pizza, and the occasional food truck. On one visit I enjoyed a bowl of Beagle Bay chili. With smooth balanced heat, spice, and a silky mouthfeel, it was very comforting and an excellent pairing with the Steam Engine. Firetrucker usually offers a trio of guest taps alongside its expansive selection. One exceptional seasonal brew offered was Stone Brewing Co.'s Enjoy by 12.26.14 IPA. So hoppy, it tasted of grapefruit pith!