Border Hop Fest to offer tasting of rare Midwestern brews

Backpocket Brewing
Drink up! Backpocket Brewing (pictured) hosts Border Hop Fest this Saturday. — photo by Stefan Krasowski.

Backpocket Brewing’s Border Hop Fest

Coralville Marriott parking ramp — Saturday, May 24 at 1 p.m.

We’ve all done it — crossed Iowa’s borders to buy beer unavailable in the Hawkeye State, be it from New Glarus or Half Acre.

This Saturday from 1-5 p.m., however, beers that normally require visiting a neighboring state to enjoy will be coming to Backpocket Brewing for Border Hop Fest, located on the top level of the Coralville Marriott parking ramp.

Border Hop Fest will feature beers brewed by Flat Earth, Lucid, Great Dane and Storz — all breweries that do not currently, and may never, distribute in Iowa. Brau Brothers, Empyrean, Schlafly, Summit and Surly — which already distribute in Iowa — will be offering limited-release beers that never make it outside of their home states.

Backpocket co-owner and brewer Jake Simmons says that Iowa has great craft breweries and beers, but he thinks that offering out-of-state beers is another way of showcasing the craft beer industry as a whole.

“What we’re looking to do is to get people a chance to try beers and get excited about beer as a whole,” Simmons said. “Craft beer is not necessarily about always having the same beers you’ve had before, it’s always about trying new things.”

Simmons said a couple breweries will be bringing beers in firkins, which are small, wooden barrels that are used to age and serve cask-conditioned ales. Backpocket will also be serving its own cask-conditioned beer.

In case of rain, Simmons said the festival will move to a lower level of the parking garage or the Marriott exhibit hall that hosts Brrr Fest. Tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased online through or Tickets cost $35 at the door.

Beers available at Border Hop Fest include:

  • Empyrean: Mango IPA, Carpe Brewem, Chaco Canyon Gold
  • Schlafly: Bière De Garde, Oak Aged Barleywine, Sessions IPA, Yakima Wheat Ale
  • Great Dane: Uber Bock, Imperial Vanilla Stout, Imperial IPA, Peck’s Pilsner, Crop Circle Wheat, Velvet Hammer Bock
  • Lucid: SILO Saison, AIR Enlightened Ale, FOTO IPA
  • Storz: Triumph Lager, Gold Crest Amber Ale, Wood Duck Wheat, Mugs Pale Ale
  • Flat Earth: Angry Planet Pale Ale, Cygnus X-1 Porter and one more TBD
  • Summit: Saga IPA and two TBD
  • Surly: Three TBD
  • Brau Brothers: Three TBD
  • Backpocket: Firkins and more TBD

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.