An essential guide to Des Moines-area breweries
The Brewers Association claims there are 58 craft breweries in Iowa, ranking the state 15th nationwide.
Those breweries have a $636 million impact on the state, producing 54,472 barrels of beer per year. Craft brewers produce fewer than 6 million barrels of beer a year and are independent. Plus those brewers produce “beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.” That means no flavored malt beverages.
Here's a guide to the Des Moines-area producers making their mark on the local beer scene, pulling pints and filling growlers for those ready to move past domestic liter lagers. Bonus: We included the bike trails nearest them.
1370 SW Vintage Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023
David Bryan first started home brewing around 2006, and over the next seven years perfected his recipes. In 2013, he teamed up with Tyler Meusburger to open New American Brewing Co. Find brews such as a Freedom IPA with citrus and pine aromas and a crisp hoppy-sweet finish, a 1789 Porter with hints of chocolate and coffee, Independence Pale Ale with its notes of tropical fruit and citrus and the winter seasonal beer Elves' Revenge with wintry hints of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. The taproom is expected to open this fall.
716 S.W. Third St., Ankeny
Film producer Neil Zaugg, graphic designer Scott Kaven and IT-guy-turned-brewmaster Dan Heiderschiet remodeled the former Ankeny Fire Department into a brewhouse in 2014. Try the Steam Engine Common ale, 2 Alarm Red imperial ale or Acova black walnut brown ale, a seasonal that uses 100 pounds of black walnuts in the recipe.
Nearby trail: High Trestle Trail
7700 University Ave., Clive
Friends Dave Ropte, Ryan Rost, Brandon Criger and Bailey Forrest swung open the doors at their 515 Brewing Co. in March 2013 and by June 2015 already expanded to add seven new barrels. Try the fruity Weiner Bever with its Amarillo and Centennial hops, the new Thai One On American wheat ale or the Puppy Jake Porter that uses peanut butter. Thirteen taps here even host other local brews.
Nearby trail: Clive Greenbelt Trail
1235 Thomas Beck Road
John Martin, whose first attempt at a home brew combined raisins and almonds, and fellow home brewer and co-founder Ken Broadhead launched Confluence Brewing in 2012. Try polar opposites Thomas Beck black IPA, named for the coal mine holdings along the brewery’s address on Thomas Beck Road, or the Des Moines IPA India pale ale. Best-known brews here include Farmer John's multi-grain ale that uses English East Kent Goldings hops and Czech Saaz hops in the easy-drinking ale and Capital Gold golden lager.
Nearby trails: Meredith Trail and Kruidenier Trail
309 Court Ave.
Court Avenue drops a new beer once a month with The Series. Last fall alone, the brewery hooked up the beer pulls to an Oktoberfest in September, pumpkin ale in October, peanut butter porter in November and a coffee milk stout in December.
Nearby trails: MLK Jr. Trail and Meredith Trail
1514 Walnut St.
Exile’s Hannah Bavarian wheat beer with its hints of clove and banana is probably the signature at this brewery that got its start in 2012. Right now, the brewery is playing with sours. Owner R.J. Tursi named the brewery after family patriarch Joseph Tursi.
Nearby trails: Meredith Trail and MLK Jr. Trail
501 E. Scott Ave.
Mason Groban leads one of the older breweries in Des Moines, and by old, that means it opened in 2010. Originally the brewery was located in Newton and just made the move to Des Moines in 2014. Try the Pastime Ale, a “hopped-up” version of an American-style pale ale named for the brewery’s former headquarters in the Maytag Corp. and its first washing machine, the Pastime, produced in 1907. The Iowa Hops IPA is made with 100 percent Cascade and Centennial hops grown in Newton.
Nearby trails: John Pat Dorrian Trail, Des Moines River Trail and Meredith Trail
101 Main St. N.E., Bondurant
Former Raccoon River Brewing Co. brewmaster Dave Coy creates the beers at this newcomer in Bondurant. None replicates a brew from his Raccoon River days. Three varieties of farmhouse ales make the list, something Coy dabbled with before. The Iowa Farmhouse Ales Saison changes with the seasons while the Twisted Silo is made from “more grain than I ever used before,” Coy said. A peach version has a nice, citrusy flavor to it.The deck here is made from the former Log Ride at Adventureland Park.
Nearby trails: Chichaqua Valley Trail and Gay Lea Wilson Trail
103 S. 11th St., West Des Moines
Foxy Blonde Belgian Ale and Fox Tail Irish Red Ale stay on the taps year-round, while a rotation of single-batch and barrel-aged beers turn up on a regular basis.
Nearby trail: Jordan Creek Trail
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