Food & Dining
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Cindy Bruhm   
Friday, 14 February 2014 11:44

February 13, 2014 – For the second year in a row, Mississippi River Distilling Company has been working hard to get legislation passed in the state of Iowa to reduce restrictions on Iowa Micro-Distilleries.

WHAT ARE WE ASKING FOR? Essentially, we are looking for the same privileges that Iowa breweries and wineries enjoy.

• We want the ability to sell drinks made with spirits that are manufactured on site. Currently, we are only allowed to serve 2 ounces of free samples per person, per day.

• We are asking to raise the daily retail sales limit to one case. Iowa law limits our retail sales at the distillery to two bottles per person, per day. Iowa breweries, wineries and liquor stores have no sales limits.

This change will allow for more Iowa made products to be sold in our state. That means more tourism dollars, more alcohol tax dollars and more jobs in Iowa. The more we can do to make this industry attractive for Iowa business people, the more we will see the industry grow. The state is a direct beneficiary of increased alcohol sales because of the state tax and distribution system.

There is great interest in hosting events at Iowa distilleries, much like groups do at Iowa breweries and wineries.

This change would open Iowa distilleries to more exposure and tourism opportunities. Many other states, including Illinois, Missouri and Michigan allow for sales of product by the glass and the bottle at microdistilleries. According to the American Distilling Institute, states that allow for retail sales by the glass and bottle saw a 78% growth in the number of microdistilleries in their states from 2011 to 2013. States without these laws saw a 14% increase during the same time period.


In fiscal year 2012, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division received $6.7 million in revenue from the sale of products made by Iowa microdistilleries. In contrast, Iowa had $7.7 million in total revenue from the sale of every bottle of wine in the state. Beer sales generated nearly $14 million. But hard liquor sales generated over $255 million. Iowa's three largest microdistilleries accounted for 2.3% of that revenue. As the sole distributor of hard liquor in Iowa, the state has as much to gain as any microdistillery from a revenue perspective. Every dollar of profit made from alcohol sales at Iowa microdistilleries generates a dollar of tax revenue for the state of Iowa.


Iowa microdistilleries all work through the current state control of alcohol trafficking in our state. This bill takes steps to maintain the current three-tier system of alcohol trafficking in Iowa. By doing this, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division will be able to ensure that all taxes are properly assessed when the products are distributed. No tax breaks for the industry are included in this bill. The bill will lead to increased tax revenue for Iowa.

* Iowa distilleries are not allowed to engage in wholesale distribution of spirits.

* All products will be distributed through the Iowa ABD warehouse in Ankeny.

* Product sold for on-premise consumption (by the glass) will be purchased through a "Class E" liquor licensee (Wholesaler), just like every other Iowa bar and restaurant does and therefore maintaining the current system in Iowa.


This bill has bi-partisan support from our local representatives. Representative Steve Olson (R) is driving the bill in the House. Senator Rita Hart (D) is leading the charge in the Senate. is being supported by the Iowa micro-distilling industry, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa Corn Growers, Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Restaurant Association.


The only registered opposition to the bill has been from the Iowa Wholesale Beer Distributors Association. This is a well organized and well funded lobby that has great influence in Des Moines. Ironically, this organization did not oppose past legislation that opened up these privileges for small Iowa breweries and native Iowa wineries. We are hopeful that through dialogue at our committee hearings we can help our lawmakers and opposition see that this legislation poses no threat to existing business. Instead, it supports small family business, local farms and holds great potential for tourism, tax revenue and jobs in Iowa.


Micro-distillation is a rapidly growing industry, much like small wineries and microbreweries were 15 to 20 years ago. Iowa's three biggest micro-distilleries, Templeton Rye in Templeton, Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire and Cedar Ridge in Swisher, accounted for over $6.5 million in wholesale liquor sales in Iowa in the last fiscal year. Iowa has an opportunity to encourage significant growth in production and tourism in our state with this legislation.

This law change will boost tourism, create jobs and increase tax revenue in the state of Iowa.


Ryan Burchett, Owner/Distiller
Mississippi River Distilling Company
303 North Cody Road
PO Box 801
LeClaire, IA 52753

563-484-4342 Distillery
563-271-0608 Cell
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Faithful Pilot Café & Spirits launches a new Winter/Winter Menu PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Emily Hudson   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 09:30
Owner/Executive Chef Robert Day has created a new Winter/Winter Menu; the theme of this menu is “For You, To Share, For Me”. Chef Robert says, “I think people are looking for a dining experience not only to be affordable, but have lots of different options. I wanted flavors that reminded me of my grandma and my
childhood while developing them into now, with The Faithful Pilot standards.”

The menu launches Tuesday, February 11th at 6:00 p.m.

“I want this menu to be about friends and family or an intimate dinner for two on an anniversary. This menu is what each guest makes it, and at a price point we have never done before.”

Chef Robert’s theme of For You, To Share, and For Me, is based on a Spanish version of tapas, but with an American comfort food, Faithful Pilot feel. Each section of the menu can be eaten as one course or seven, it is entirely up to the guests. From Frog Legs and Chicken & Dumplings to classic entrees of Filet, Lamb, and Salmon.

Chef Robert is using his skill, technique, using local purveyors and pushing the comfort food, share plate envelope.

The Faithful Pilot is located in downtown LeClaire and is open Monday – Saturday at 5p.m.

Valentine's Day at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Katy Meyer   
Monday, 10 February 2014 11:11
We’re pleased to be hosting two of our favorite musicians for Valentine’s weekend:  Friday night with Dustin D Busch and Saturday night with Pete Balestrieri! In addition to our regular dinner menu we’ll also be offering a three-course option with beer and wine pairings:

$70 per couple, tax & gratuity included
$100 per couple with wine or beer, tax & gratuity included
(all the food is made with gluten-free ingredients)

first course: 
shared appetizer plate with housemade crackers, sunflower seed pate, pickled veggies, fresh veggies, & cider mustard with sparkling white wine or Sutliff Cider

second course:
choice of entrees, one per person pasta with "cheesy" winter squash sauce, sundried tomatoes, olives, greens, and portobellos or spinach polenta with roasted winter veggies, lemon-balamic tempeh, herb aioli, & fried sage with Boujelais Blanc or Pale Ale, TBD

third course:
shared dessert of flourless chocolate cake with berries & mousse with Boujelais Nouveau or Stout, TBD

Treat your sweetheart to a magical night; or make memories with friends!  Don’t forget to make a reservation because Valentine’s is one of our busiest times of the year.  Give us a call at 319-248-0077.

310 E. Prentiss St.
Iowa City IA 52240

Happy New Year from Trumpet Blossom Café! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Katy Meyer   
Monday, 10 February 2014 10:36

We hope you had a warm and peaceful holiday season and that you’ve successfully braved the blustery winter we’ve had so far.  Thank you to everyone who made it down to Trumpet Blossom on the extra-cold days; we really appreciate it!  

Since this is our first official newsletter I thought I’d let you know of a couple general things that you may or may not be aware of:

We use organic produce 100% of the time.  One of the main reasons I wanted to continue in the restaurant business after The Red Avocado closed is that while I was an employee and co-owner at the Avocado I learned so much about the benefits of organics--for our planet and our bodies.  I felt it was vital to our community to have a place where the food, and the earth it lived in, is respected and treated with care.  We order our produce from local, regional, and national suppliers & growers who make the extra efforts to take care of our land and our food so it can take care of you.

We are constantly working towards using several local ingredients in the off-season.  There are a handful of local farmers and small companies that offer fresh produce & grains during the colder months and we are thankful for their work and try to use their ingredients as often as possible.  We also enjoy “putting up” as much as we can during peak harvest times.  This past summer & fall we were able to pickle and can dozens of jars of veggies; we dried herbs, fruits, and veggies; and we froze some too.  It’s quite the treat to be able to use these delicious foods during times like this when it’s sooo cold outside that the thought of something as special as local asparagus seems like a distant dream.

Be sure to like us on facebook to stay updated on all our events as we’ve got a great spring planned so far AND we are super excited about our Second Anniversary Party on Saturday April 19th!  We can’t believe it’s been almost two years since we opened and we are really looking forward to spending many more years here in Iowa City.

There’s so much more I’d like to share with you in this inaugural newsletter but since it’s best to keep them short & sweet, check out this interview that I did with Heidi from Little Village.  She was great & it’s full of stuff you’d hear me say if we were chatting since the whole interview was printed (fine with me!) and I also didn’t know there’d be a photo, so… if you want to know what an average day-in-my-restaurant-life looks & sounds like, read on:

-Free dessert on your birthday! Show us an ID and dessert is on us! 

Thanks again for your support from the whole crew at Trumpet Blossom Café.

Hope to see you soon and lots of love,
Katy Meyer, chef/owner

310 E. Prentiss St.
Iowa City IA 52240


News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Deborah Davis   
Friday, 07 February 2014 16:59

Rock Island, IL. Bent River Brewing Co. began 2014 on an unexpected high note. Their Flagship Brew, the Uncommon Stout, was awarded a gold medal in the 2013 International Craft Awards Competition. General Manager, Nick Bowes, submitted the brewery in the summer of 2013 and was informed shortly after New Years of their achievement. This marks the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a successful year for the local company.

Bent River Brewing Co. started brewing for the Quad Cities in 1997 in downtown Moline and the beer was so popular that the demand grew and so did they. The second location was opened in early 2012 at 512 - 24th Street in Rock Island and is the main distribution hub, where all the bottled and kegged beer is packaged and sent out into now three states; Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

So much of their success is due to the Uncommon Stout; Bent River sells twice as much of the coffee-infused oatmeal stout over any of their other beers. This is why it was the one chosen to be submitted into the competition.

The brewery found out about the opportunity through an advertisement on the Brewer’s Association website – a page for those in the trade – and submitted the brew that has made Bent River a household name in the Quad Cities Area. Bent River is always looking for ways it could spread its name and great beers nationwide, welcoming creative avenues as well as the unexpected. Last year, for example, they sent out 45 pallets of product to a beer of the month club that then shipped its wares all over the country to participating members.

The International Craft Awards Competition, based out of Los Angeles, California, claims the upmost respect and standards for their judging process. In the email Bent River received, they were informed of their award and how it was decided:

“Our credible process is executed by two dozen respected and influential judges, ensuring competitive integrity in selecting beer to be awarded. Beers are scored on a 100 point scale, evaluated on dozens of characteristics (i.e., appearance, taste, aromatics, flavor, mouthfeel and finish) over a multilevel blind tasting procedure.”

The beloved, local brew that has taken on the Quad Cities by storm is already nearing regional status, if Bent River Brewing Co. keeps up the good work, the sky just may truly be the limit.

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