Did you know that the first brewery in Iowa was established in 1850, four years after it was officially ratified as a U.S state?
Since then, the craft beer scene has witnessed an uptick in multiple cities across Iowa, especially Des Moines. With over 20 breweries, the capital of Iowa offers its guests everything from massive tap rooms to enjoy sports events and music, to upscale food menus and award-winning IPAs. Not only this but Des Moines’s affinity for good beer has even spread out to the suburbs and the towns located around the borders of the city.
Best Breweries in Des Moines
With over 200 different types of local beers being brewed, it is tough to decide which one you should try. Therefore, to help you find the best craft beer in Des Moines, we have compiled a list of the seven best breweries in the capital of Iowa.
Peace Tree Brewing Co.
Looking for delicious craft beer made in small batches? Peace Tree Brewing Co. is the place to be. Located 45 minutes southeast of Des Moines, Peace Tree Brewing Co. is one of the best breweries In Des Moines, IA. At this brewery, you can find 23 beers on tap, including the Peace Tree’s blonde ale and the Blonde Fatale. Peace Tree Brewing Co. is a place where you can find all the types of craft beers under one roof, from groovy beers to gold medals. Well, this isn’t even the best part. If you are not a beer drinker, Peace Tree Brewing Co. can serve you cider, wine, beer cocktails, root beer, and even tea. While the taproom gives you a more VIP vibe, the beautiful outdoor patio is dog-friendly, making it the ideal place for gathering.
So, if you get a chance, do try Peace Tree Brewing Co.’s 2021 Great American Beer Festival award-winner craft beer, the great “Get a Little Hazy” IPA. This craft beer earned a gold medal for its hazy strong pale ales or juicy consistency and taste.
Confluence Brewing Company
Confluence Brewing Company is located just outside the Des Moines Water Works Park. With a dream to brew his own beer, John Martin partnered up with Greg Schultz to open the Confluence Brewing Company in 2012. Being one of the leading breweries in Iowa, Confluence Brewing Company has more than 36 beers on tap.
If you are headed to the Confluence Brewing Company, do try the famous Farmer John’s Multi-Grain Ale or the Milk Man Stout.
Located in West Des Moines, Fox Brewing was opened by Brian Fox in 2014. Fox Brewing keeps several styles of beer on tap, including small-batch seasonal craft beers and year-long supplies of some of the best drinks in the city. Even though this beer hub has endured many different evolutions, the brewers ensure to remain steadfast to the goal of serving the best craft beer in Des Moines and having fun while making it.
Fox Brewing serves world-class craft beers such as Foxy Blonde Belgian Wheat, Foxtail Irish Rd, and Cluster Fuchs Hefeweizen. If you have already tried these, give the french-styled “Francy Pants” beer a shot.
With over 150 recipes and seven-barrel brews, 515 Brewing is known for handcrafting some of the best craft beer in Des Moines. Established by four home brewers in March 2013, 515 Brewing is located in the metro area of Des Moines and on the Clive Greenbelt Trail. Furthermore, within the brew hub’s fantastic taproom, you’ll find a comfortable and energetic atmosphere, along with a trailside patio allowing you to enjoy the weather while sipping off your favorite craft beer. Aside from the 20 rotating taps, 515 Brewing’s menu includes water, kombucha, soda, wine, and even snacks such as pretzels, the Cheese Shop Des Moines cheese boxes, and Thelma’s ice cream sandwiches.
We recommend the Bad Bad Leroy Burin Sour, DSM Pils Pilsner or DIPA Lipa, and the Blarney Free Irish Stout Stout.
Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company
Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company was established in Des Moines in 1996. It marked the beginning of the craft beer scene in the city, and since then, Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company has been renowned as the original craft beer provider in Des Moines. The famous brew hub is constructed in the historical Saddlery Building. Therefore, you will find posters, bottles, signs, and pictures of all the historic Iowa breweries at this place. Being one of the oldest and best breweries in Des Moines, IA, Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company has a rotating beer tap, ensuring you get to try a new craft beer every time.
Unlike other breweries, Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company features a full scratch kitchen that uses local ingredients to make the most delicious meals in Des Moines. Order the best sellers Peach Bod Bard Seltzer, Double Jointed Sour, Smoky Monday Stout, and Goobi Gang IPA. Don’t forget to pair the drink with their special hand-breaded pizza, steaks, or fresh seafood.
Opened as a joint venture by Whitney Selix, Scott, Chef James Arbaugh, and Zack Dunbar in 2019, Lua Brewing is a restaurant and microbrewery in the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood. Little do people know that Lua Brewing won the award for the best new restaurant in Des Moines in just eighteen months of its launch and earned a spot in the top 50 breweries in the world. The beer pub’s long list of high-quality craft beers includes English Dark Mild, Lound as Hope Hefeweizen and Frail, Dan’s Dunkel German dark lager, and BlackStack Brewing Monin’!
Try one of Lua Brewing’s tropical sour, smoothie-style beers, “Wordless Chorus.” It is made using read prickly pear, mango, pineapple, and passion fruit. Lua Brewing has a full kitchen that prepares all types of delicious vegan, gluten-free, kids, and dairy-free plates. If you get a chance, do try the “Lua Smush Burger.”
Exile Brewing Company
Owned by R.J Tursi in the historic F.W. Fitch Building, no brewery has become more ubiquitous in Des Moines than Exile Brewing Company. Since then, the brewing hub has consistently pumped out quality beers such as the Bavarian-style Wheat Hannah, Dark Lager Gigi, and Gold Lager Ruthie.
Alongside the most authentic craft beer, Exile Brewing Company serves the most scrumptious food in the city. The list of its must-try dishes includes the “Exile fries,” “Chicken Tender Basket,” “Shrimp Scampi,” and “Mediterranean Bowl.”