CBJ Report: Cedar Rapids Beer Week

CBJ Report: Cedar Rapids Beer Week

Every week, the Corridor Business Journal shares stories it's working on with CBS 2 News. Here are some of their top stories that will appear in Monday's edition of the CBJ.


Insurance company GEICO is finalizing plans to open a new office located in North Liberty, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal.

Land at the targeted site is currently owned by A&M Development, a group of investors led by Mike Hahn, co-owner of McComas-Lacina Construction in Iowa City. A&M presently has a purchase agreement for the land in place with Bourn Companies of Tucson, Arizona, which is representing GEICO in the deal.

The agreement, which is in the due diligence phase, calls for the purchase of about 5 acres of property just east of Interstate 380, less than half a mile south of the Penn Street exit.

The current deal values the land around $4.50 per square foot, with an estimated total value of more than $1 million.

GEICO representatives declined to comment on any details of the project, including the timeline or how the new office will impact the company's existing Midwest regional office in Coralville.

According to the company's website, GEICO opened the Coralville office in 1997. The office employs about 450 people, primarily in sales and customer service, and announced as recently as 2015 plans to hire additional managers and customer service representatives.


MERGE, the collaborative worksite between the Iowa City Area Development Group and the UI’s Office of Research and Economic Development, is now open in downtown Iowa City.

The site offers shared workspaces for the public, and has been designed to eventually provide technology services and tech training for small businesses.

Beer Week

The second-annual Cedar Rapids Beer Week is winding down, but not without a big party.

The 10-day event, produced by GO Cedar Rapids, has been spotlighting Cedar Rapids-area breweries, restaurants, bars, distributors and retailers with more than a dozen events including tastings, pairings, live music and more. The week kicked off with the release of a special beer brewed collaboratively by five local breweries, and will culminate with the 13th-annual Benz Beerfest on Saturday at Benz Beverage Depot.

Cedar Rapids has been building a national reputation for its craft beer culture. The metro area now counts at least seven breweries, including the award-winning Lion Bridge Brewing Co. in the Czech Village. A group of investors known as the West Side Wolf Pack are also planning to convert the former Lueck Label building and an adjacent warehouse space at 218 Fourth Ave. SW in Kingston Village into a brewery to be leased to a separate operator, the CBJ previously reported.

The area’s growing thirst for craft beer also led to GO Cedar Rapids’ launch last year of the Cedar Rapids Ale Trail mobile app. It offers up a variety of daily and special discounts from local breweries and restaurants, as well as offers from Hy-Vee, for an annual or weekly fee.

“The people who have worked so hard to put the Cedar Rapids craft beer scene on the map got together and decided there should be a Cedar Rapids Beer Week,” said Quinton McClain, owner and head brewer at Lion Bridge, said in a press release for the week. “Cedar Rapids Beer week was formed in the spirit of celebrating the craft beer culture that has been created, rewarding the supporters of the culture that have allowed it to flourish and exploring what is possible in the future.”

The Quarter Barrel Arcade & Brewery, located at 616 Second Ave. SE, will be featured Thursday night from 5-7 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee. The brewery will have a keg and be offering up samples from the brewery, which currently brews 11 of its own beers, according to its website.

For more information on Cedar Rapids Beer Week, visit the event website.

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