• COMMENTARY: The Polls Say Go To Decorah, Iowa And Drink Beer!

    From the Des Moines Register:

    DECORAH, Ia. — Sitting halfway up a hill on the northwest side of town, next to a Pizza Ranch and across the street from a gas station, is the taproom for Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Served behind the bar is beer that’s considered among the best in the world.

    And the latest round of accolades are rolling in. Toppling Goliath is bringing home victories in multiple categories in the 2016 RateBeer “Best” award winners, announced Jan. 30, including “world best” in double IPA, strong stout and American amber or pale.

    Toppling Goliath’s 2016 honors show another example of Iowa beer being recognized on national and international stages, amid growth in the state’s craft beer scene. In 2015, three Iowa breweries — Exile Brewing Co., Lion Bridge Brewing Co. and West O Beer — brought home gold medals at the Great American Beer Festivalin Colorado. Iowa is home to  over 60 craft breweries, up from about 25 in 2009.

    RateBeer — a connoisseur-focused beer review site — began revealing its annual craft beer awards list in 2002. “Best in the world” is awarded to 15 beers in each style category. Around 40 brewers from 12 countries are invited to the award ceremony in Santa Rosa, California.

    Toppling Goliath is the only Iowa brewery — and one of a handful from the Midwest region — represented at this year’s gathering. The brewery will be represented at the ceremony alongside beer from staple names in the craft industry, such as Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders and Lagunitas, in Petaluma, California.

    The awards are calculated through over 7 million user-generated reviews of around 380,000 beers, said RateBeer executive director Joe Tucker. Toppling Goliath also won awards for a top new beer release and top Iowa beer. In 2015, it took home the award for second best best brewery in the world.

    “They’ve made a big splash everywhere,” Tucker said.

    Click here to watch the Des Moines Register’s video report.

    Welcome to Iowa! It’s NICE here. If you don’t know anything about Iowa, click the NICE link before continuing. Yeah, we’re first in the nation, that’s cool. I’m writing this piece from North Liberty, IA. A couple miles north of Iowa City. Without a doubt the most liberal place in Iowa, but other than that it’s fricking awesome.

    I grew up an Iowa farm kid and went to school in Iowa City. Met my wife at The Airliner and never left. Four kids later…I write about politics constantly. Every day actually. It does get tiring and it’s awesome all at the same time.

    Don’t cry for me, but in about 30 hours I will be standing in front of my neighbors in an elementary school a few blocks from my house as an Iowa Caucus Chair. Yeah, I’m that into politics. Do you want to hear something crazy? I still don’t know who I’m going to write on that little piece of paper. Isn’t that nuts? I think it is. It’s never happened before. Usually, I know weeks in advance, but this is a weird year. Trump, need I say more.

    It’s so crazy here in Iowa, you wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t live here. This morning Chris Christie was here at a local campaign hot spot, the Hamburg Inn. This week, Santorum and Cruz with Rick Perry have already been there. You really haven’t campaigned in Iowa if you don’t do an event at the Hamburg.

    Tonight, Bernie had like 3700 people at the University of Iowa Field House, with famous musicians to assure the large crowd. Tomorrow, we have Cruz at the fairgrounds and Rand Paul at The Airliner. I used to live above The Airliner, met my wife there, drank a couple (hundred) beers there, and enjoyed spectacular pizza there, still do.

    Basically, we’ve got candidates coming out our ass!

    Even though I am still undecided (sort of) I say forget it. Stop the commercials. Quit sending me crap that goes straight into my recycle bin. Yes, I have a recycle bin and I am a Republican. I love the Earth, but I’m done with this elections cycle, where good friends totally trash each other because they’ve endorsed different candidates. I’m done. Bye Felicia.

    Here’s what I suggest we all do for the last 30 hours before caucus.

    Step 1: Ignore the weather forecast that says we will get 14 inches of snow sometime between now and Wednesday. Fuggetaboutit! I have a four wheel drive and so does everybody else who lives here.

    Step 2: Drive to Decorah, Iowa. It’s home of Toppling Goliath Brewery, recently named one of the worlds best brewery’s. The owner is on a quest to make the perfect beer. He says he’s not sure he can achieve it, but that’s the goal. Perfection. God Bless Iowa. He’s not content with World’s Best or even Iowa Best. He wants perfection. That’s good beer. Every Democrat and Republican candidate should heed the following advice.

    Step 3: All candidates meet in Decorah and sit together at a long table swilling brew as the snow falls on the most beautiful bluffs you’ve ever seen. If you think this is flyover country…eff you…it’s gorgeous and the people rock. Side note: I go deer hunting every year in Decorah. I visit my old friend and college roommate, Al Weis,  to hunt whitetails. We kill a lot of them and drink a lot of beer. Good times are had by all. Decorah is top notch.

    Step 4: As the candidates drink a world class beer, the snow falls around them creating a scene from the land of Narnia. Iowan’s cast their votes. By the time the voting is done, hopefully, the candidates are half lit. Then, no matter who wins, it’s a party. The winner can give his victory speech while trying to keep from slurring his words. The losers can stand behind and give toasts or heckle the winner.

    Beer drinking is fun. Much more fun than running for president. The winner will head to New Hampshire in the morning. Some of the competition will drop out. The others will keep fighting it out, but I guarantee they will never forget Toppling Goliath in Decorah, Iowa.

    Face your giants. Knock his head in and enjoy a world class beer.

    That is how the caucuses should go. Give your enemy a hug and laugh a hearty laugh. No matter who wins the day. we’ll see you next cycle and we’ll lift a glass of brew to the game. We can argue how to fix our country the best, but no one can argue the perfect brew from Toppling Goliath.

    Only in America. God Bless It!

    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

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