Bottom’s up for Lake Time Brewery reaching the top

by Marianne Gasaway


Lake Time Brewery, in Clear Lake, holds the top spot in a list of the 50 fastest growing small and independent craft brewing companies of 2018.  The Brewers Association (BA), a not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers, released its second annual list last week.  Lake Time Brewery, owned by Bob Rolling, was ranked number one among the 27 states represented.

According to the BA, the small and independent breweries on the list experienced a median growth of 163 percent with the median size being 1,350 barrels of in-house production in 2018.  Breweries on the list range from 50 barrels to more than 40,000 and grew from less than 70,000 barrels collectively in 2017 to more than 170,000 barrels in 2018.  As a group, the breweries represent approximately 10 percent of total craft growth by volume for the year, and include 13 brewpubs, 35 microbreweries, and two regional craft breweries.

Lake Time Brewery also recently finished as runner-up in the 2019 Des Moines Register Beer Brackets.  In that competition, Iowa craft beer enthusiasts voted for their favorites.  “Tip the Cow,” a cocoa espresso milk stout brewed by SingleSpeed Brewing Company of Waterloo was the winner.  Lake Time’s Peanut Butter Porter was second in the field of 64 Iowa beers.

Rolling and his wife, Suzy, founded Lake Time Brewery in 2012.

Bob’s interest in craft beer started in 1999 as a homebrewer and really picked up when he was a stay-at-home dad for a year.  With some extra time on his hands and a lot of motivation while watching the kids, he began to perfect his home brewing recipes.

In June 2013, Lake Time Brewery opened as a small batch operation with a

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