Millstream Blitzen

The Millstream Brewery is Iowa’s oldest and most decorated craft brewery. They have operated in Amana, Iowa since 1985.  Their core line up of beers reflect the German heritage of the Amana Colonies, but new offerings are more adventurous. The alcohol law changed in Iowa in 2010 allowing higher ABV (alcohol by volume) beers. The Brewmaster’s Extreme Series beers were started to give Millstream fans unique choices. Co-owner Teresa Albert explained that customers are always looking for something new. The series fills this niche and also gives brewmaster and co-owner Chris Priebe new brewing challenges. There are currently four seasonal beers in the series. The beers may appear only once or return if the demand is there. A barrel aging program has also been started with four different varieties being offered on tap at the brewery this year.


Blitzen Baltic Porter is the winter seasonal Extreme Series offering. The Baltic porter style (sometimes referred to as an Imperial porter) is traditional in countries bordering the Baltic Sea and is derived from the English porter style . The style is stronger than English porters with an alcohol content of 7.0 – 8.5% (for reference Deschutes Black Butte porter has an ABV of 5.2%). The label is an eye catcher with a “blitzed” looking Blitzen featured. The original chosen name for the beer was “Blitzed Blitzen” but this was rejected by the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau). The artwork for the label was created by Andrew Kidd of Kidd Graphic Design in Cedar Rapids, IA.

The malt bill for Blitzen includes 2 Row, Crystal, Munich, Chocolate and Black malts. Hops include a mixture of Millennium and Saaz. The ABV = 8.0% and IBUs = 40.

The beer pours out deep brown into a goblet with a brown head. The aroma is primarily roasted malt with lesser coffee, chocolate and cherry notes. The taste is a yummy combination of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. This is a nice winter seasonal beer with good balance, and it isn’t boozy, despite the 8.0% ABV. Get this beer now because you might not get another chance!


Coming attractions in the Extreme Series will be a dark IPA and a raspberry latte stout. Millstream distributes to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Nebraska. Western Illinois has recently been added.

If you follow old Christmas music you will remember the tune “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”. I think that reindeer was Blitzen!

Thanks to Teresa Albert for taking time from her busy schedule to visit with me!

PS – click on this link for a more detailed review from the 2beerguys/blog

Merry Christmas friends!