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Brioux City Brewery to celebrate its third birthday with unique, holiday-inspired beers

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Beers have been named after an 18th century American Statesman (Samuel Adams); famous mountain ranges (Sierra Nevada); and, even, a freakin' Midwestern city (Old Milwaukee). 

But few brews can boast of being inspired by a nonagenarian former "Golden Girl."

Please hold our beers as we introduce you to the recently introduced "Betty White Blonde," which contains whole coffee beans, Mexican vanilla, cacao nibs and lactose, while tipping the ABV at a moderate 6.5 percent.

"Since we were brewing a blonde ale, we had to name it after a famous blonde," Marty's Tap's Nickie Quinn said, behind the tap. "Plus who doesn't love Betty White?"

The "Betty White Blonde" has joined the "Bing Crosby Oatmeal Stout" and the "Red Rider Christmas Ale" as seasonal beers made by Brioux City Brewery and sold at Marty's, 1306 Court St.

Winter beers Brioux City Brewery

Brioux City Brewery's Nickie Quinn is shown with the brewery's stouts. from left, Chocolate Buddha Stout, Betty White Stout and Bing Crosby Oatmeal Stout at the brewery located inside Marty's Tap, 1306 Court Street, in Sioux City. In January, Brioux City Brewery will be celebrating its third year in business.

The Crosby, named for the "White Christmas" crooner, contains cherry puree, cacao nibs, roasted peanuts and vanilla. The "Red Rider Christmas Ale" has cinnamon, orange peel and a sliver of ginger and was named after the Red Ryder BB gun that was infamously coveted by Ralphie Parker in the 1983 film "A Christmas Story."

These limited editions join the likes of the "Chocolate Buddha" (peanut butter, Tahitian vanilla beans, chocolate and lactose) and the "David HasselHOPS" (a double IPA with Citra and Simcoe hops, citrus, peach and pine notes) as brews with famous namesakes.

Another thing they have in common? They all came from the fertile imagination of Brioux City's brewers, including owner Kelly Quinn.

"Sometimes, the name of a beer comes first," Nickie Quinn, who is Kelly's wife, explained. "Usually, it is the other way around."

This was true of the David HasselHOPS, a summer-y, double India Pale Ale inspired by "Baywatch" beefcake David Hasselhoff.

Winter beers Brioux City Brewery

Brioux City Brewery's Nickie Quinn holds a Betty White Stout and a Bing Crosby Oatmeal Stout, two season-appropriate offerings available at the brewery located inside Marty's Tap, 1306 Court Street, in Sioux City.

"Kelly and I were driving back to town in the middle of rainstorm, bouncing ideas off each other," Nickie Quinn said. "We were getting ready to introduce something that was really citrus-y-tasting."

"Let's see, it reminds us of summertime, California, the beach, 'Baywatch,'" she continued. "That was how the 'David HasselHOPS' was named."

And obviously, Brioux City Brewery was named after Kelly Quinn's hometown.

"The craft beer industry is thriving and I feel Sioux City needs more locally crafted, locally sourced beer," he said, shortly after establishing Brioux City nearly three years ago, with friend and home brewer Matt Hubert.

Indeed, Brioux City was the city's second brewery when its taps officially opened in January 2018. Only, Jackson Street Brewing, 607 Fifth St., which opened in July 2015, started earlier.

Winter beers Brioux City Brewery

Brioux City Brewery's Betty White Stout and Bing Crosby Oatmeal Stout are shown at the brewery located inside Marty's Tap, 1306 Court Street, in Sioux City. Also available are Brioux City's HasselHOPS and the its Red Rider Christmas Ale, when it comes to pop culture-related craft beers.

While the craft beer scene has grown considerably, both locally as well as statewide, the road hasn't been easy for Brioux City or Marty's Tap, a well-established neighborhood bar that the Quinns bought (along with partner Mac Dolan) in 2016.

In March, Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered all bars and restaurants to suspend all on-site sales over concerns stemming from COVID-19 concerns.

Though Marty's Tap never officially closed its doors, the Quinns' business model had to change out of necessity.

"We had to reduce our business hours right away," Nickie Quinn said. "While we couldn't serve beer by the tap, we could sell it to go."

This, at least, brought in some money. It also changed the bar experience for both business owners as well as their customers.

Winter beers Brioux City Brewery

A sampler tray of Brioux City Brewery's Bing Crosby Oatmeal Stout, Betty White Stout and Chocolate Buddha Stout are shown at the brewery located inside Marty's Tap, 1306 Court Street, in Sioux City.

Even after the statewide ban ended, Marty's continued to sell its Brioux City products in to-go cans for on-the-go customers.

"We follow all of the CDC guidelines and reduce the number of people who can be on our premises," Kelly Quinn said. "Our staff must wear masks and so do our customers."

Furthermore, Marty's has a heated, outdoor tent for clientele who don't feel comfortable in confined spaces.

"The pandemic is still out there and people aren't in a hurry to come back yet," Kelly Quinn said. "Will things gradually get better? I hope that they do. We're not there yet."

Until then, Marty's is selling many of Brioux City Brewery's most popular products on tap as well as by the can.

Plus, Nickie Quinn said the bar also sell's Brioux City apparel, including t-shirts, hats and glassware.

"Perfect for Christmas gifts," she said.

Brioux City isn't merely content with taking on the beer market. It's also making brats.

Collaborating with Scooter Natural Meats Company, of Brunsville, Iowa, there is now an official Brioux City Bratwurst.

"The 'Jalapeno Pineapple IPA Beer Bratwurst' is made with our 'Blazed IPA' as well as other natural ingredients," Kelly Quinn said. "It might not be grilling season for some people, but it is a year-round thing for us." 

As 2020 draws to a close, Nickie Quinn acknowledged it has been a year of changes for her family as well as for business.

"We've had to change and adapt more than a few times," she said. "We're just grateful our customers have stuck by us."

Well, it isn't hard to stick by a brewery that has a beer named after America's 98-year-old sweetheart?

"Hey, who doesn't love Betty White?" Nickie Quinn asked with a smile.    

PHOTOS: Siouxland food (and drink) in the Journal in 2020