Winterset’s Big Rack Brew Haus inspired by hunting and fishing trips
, 2022-11-07 05:34:33,
Address: 2475 Hiatt Apple Trail Road, Winterset
Phone: (515) 468-0012
Step into Big Rack Brew Haus in Madison County and you’ll feel like you’re “walking into your buddy’s garage for a beer,” says Aaron Oviatt, owner and manager of the brewery, whose interest in craft beer was piqued 30 years ago.
“I was influenced by what beer could be, not the watered-down versions, in the early 1990s when I would travel out to the West Coast on several skiing, hunting and fishing vacations,” said Oviatt. “I was intrigued with the flavors of these beverages, so every trip I would seek out new inspiring flavors to try.”
In 2009 he was introduced to the brewmasters of the Twisted Vine Brewery that was at that time associated with the Madison County Winery.
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“Twisted Vine was brewing beer in the facility building of the winery. The winery was well established at that time and I had done some volunteering … for the fall harvest. That’s where I met the masterminds of the Twisted Vines,” Oviatt recalled.
And, he admits, he had a lot of questions. Fortunately, he was willing to do whatever it took to get his questions answered.
“I was showing up at the brewery volunteering so much that one of the brewmasters looked at me and said, ‘You know we don’t have money to pay you.’
“I said. ‘Perfect, you don’t have to pay me – just teach me how to brew beer,’” said Oviatt. “So with a handshake and a cold beer in the other hand, we were off and running, and I have not looked back since.”
Oviatt says the kindness he has been shown by the brewmasters at Twisted Vine and other brewers along the way has made a lasting impression in his life.
“What excites me the most about this small-craft beer industry is how it is so collaborative and not so much competitive,” he said. “Our brewers in this state are so forthcoming, willing to help the next guy be successful. If he has success, we all grow from it. The whole state of Iowa will grow from it. We have a great bunch of people that have worked so hard to build our foundation. The Iowa Brewers Guild is a great organization that was founded by a group of guys who loved beer and wanted to share that love by bonding together for a common cause. And that cause was to change the bureaucratic crap that governed our laws that kept us from sharing that love. So here we all are, years…
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