Gezellig’s tulip-flavored beer is now available in Pella, Marion County
Duffy said she had been toying with the idea of adding tulips to beer for the past few years, but she never knew if it would be possible. Fortunately, Duffy found someone willing to give it a try, experienced head brewer Joe Kestelot.
“I’ve used flowers before, like hibiscus and roses, but never tulips,” Kestelot said. “And I said, ‘Yes, we can definitely try that.’
more: What to do and know in Pella during Tulip Time 2023
Over the course of two months, Kestelot researched and experimented. Partnering with Nunnikhoven Farm in Harvey, Kesteloot and Duffy tasted petals from a variety of tulip colors, evaluating their distinct flavors so they could create the ultimate balance of sweetness with delicate floral aroma.
The winning tulip was Lalibela, a bright red flower that Melinda Nonnehoven said was grown by her family farm in time to be used in the project.
“This part is wild because there are hundreds and hundreds of types of tulips, and we chose to grow them on our farm,” she said.
The end result features a lighter wheat beer infused with fruit flavors, topped with the delicate floral taste of tulips, Kestelot said.
“When you drink it, you get a slight fruity sweetness and then it turns into a light, delicate floral taste,” he said.
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Everything about the experience, from the brewing process to the reception from the public, has exceeded the microbrewery’s expectations.
“Holy smokes,” Duffy said, “here at Pella, the first question we get is, ‘Can we get some of that tulip beer?’”
Four cases of Tulip Bier were sold out on the day of its debut, but visitors can still stop inside Gezellig Brewing Co. In Newton to try the new flavor (and even take some refilled cans to go). For Tulip Time visitors, beer is also available in the heart of Pella at the Cellar Peanut Pub or at One Eleven Public House in Knoxville.
Although there is a limited supply of specialty beers available this year, Duffy promised the flavor will return next year to celebrate the annual festival.
“I think we started something that we need to continue,” she said. “So I think this is a new take on the Tulip Time tradition.”
Where to Find Tulip Bier from Gezellig Brewing Co.
- Gezellig Brewing Company, 403 West 4th Street, Suite 103, Newton, 641-792-9218.
- The Cellar Peanut Pub, 629 Franklin St., Pella, 641-628-4467; or 403 W. 4th St., Maytag Building 2, Newton, 641-787-0111.
- One Eleven Public House, 111 E. Main St., Knoxville, 641-828-8813
Francesca Block is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Contact her at FBlock@registermedia.com or on Twitter at @francescablock3.