Behold: el Bait Shop. A Des Moines gem that looks more like a wooden garage stamped in endless brewery stickers than a bar — but in a good way. With 182 beers on tap, it’s no wonder this is the go-to place for a cold one.

But beer’s not all this bar has. Aside from insanely good grub and a killer two-part patio, el Bait Shop also offers cocktails: beer cocktails. Seven of them ($6 each). Here’s the lineup.

Humming Bird Nectar

Crispin Pacific Pear Cider + Lindeman’s Framboise (80/20)

Iowa Snake Bite

Confluence Blue Corn Lager + Sutliff Cider (75/25)

Raspberry Beret

Founder’s Rubaeus + Exile Beatnik Sour (20/80)

PB & J

Founder’s Rubaeus + Rogue Hazelnut (50/50)


Rogue Hazelnut Brown + Rogue Chocolate (50/50)

Chocolate Covered Berry

Rogue Chocolate Stout + Lindeman’s Framboise (75/25)

Cactus Berry

Lindeman’s Framboise + Breckenridge Agave Wheat (75/25)

I was feeling fruity so I went with the last on the list: the Cactus Berry. The cocktail came cold and crisp, sporting a raspberry-honey hue. It smelled like a combination of iced tea and Kool-Aid. At first sip, it’s tart — but in a refreshing way — making it the perfect pairing to fried foods like cheese curds, fried pickles, chicken gizzards (each $5.99), you name it.

The basics: it’s light, bright and bubbly, and doesn’t make you feel full like most wheat beers. Each drink leaves you with a fresh, citrus finish — so good, it practically glistens down the glass.

So, next time you’re craving a cold one, mix it up with an el Bait beer cocktail. Because two (beers) is always better than one.

Cactus Berry ($6)

Find it: el Bait Shop, 200 S.W. 2nd St.

Hours: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday

Info: 515-284-1970,

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