- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2017


Believe it or not, you can now taste craft rum made in … Iowa. Yes, that’s right, Paradise Distilling Company in Dubuque, Iowa — 1,422 miles from the Bahamanian home of that particular liquor — is taking a try at producing Caribbean-style rums right on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The results will surprise you.

At Paradise, Dr. Joe Berger and his sons have been crafting Iowa rum since 2014. While the shop’s exterior, located in an unassuming industrial park, may not look like much, once you step into the tasting room, you immediately feel transported to a tropical beach thanks to the leitmotif of palm trees, bright colors and even a sandbox in which you can sit for photos.

The Island Bay Rum boasts a little bit of a burn but has an easy, smooth taste, and the Mango Bay variety is excellent when leavened with lemonade.

I so wish I could have sampled more, but Iowa state laws limit how much Paradise can offer in tastings at the distillery. Furthermore, as this is a microdistillery, they are still too small to distribute beyond the Hawkeye State.

Trust me, though, it’s worth popping in to say hello.

Paradise Distilling Company is located 245 Railroad Ave., Dubuque, Iowa, 52003. Visit ParadiseDistillery.com to learn more.

But while you’re in Dubuque, travel just a mile up the road to Jubeck New World Brewing, which opened in 2014 to serve drinkers in Dubuque’s quaint riverside community.

As I select my samplers, I learn that the owner of Jubeck is in fact a pilot, and hence the crafted wooden tray with holes for sampler glasses has the front of a model plane more or less jutting out of the tray.

It’s a “flight” both literal and figurative.

The Missed Approach Copilot Pilsner — continuing with the aviation theme — is extremely refreshing, and even though I’m not typically into sour beers, Jubeck’s sour offering goes down rather easily. The absolute prize is the Lavender Honey Wheat, which boasts actual lavender on the nose and on the taste. This is the kind of experimental craft beer that makes me absolutely love what I do.

Jubeck New World Brewing is located at 115 W. 11th St., Dubuque, Iowa, 52001. Visit JubeckBrewing.com to discover more about their beers.

And to learn more about Dubuque, go to TravelDubuque.com.

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