Craft Beer and Local Breweries in Greater Des Moines (DSM)
If you’re ready to get out of the house and enjoy a #beerwithaview of Downtown Des Moines (DSM) or enjoy a beautiful Greater Des Moines (DSM) afternoon on a patio, then this post is for you. DSM has a number of great breweries with unique beer halls and brewery spaces in which to make their craft. As the summer goes on, and the weather allows us to enjoy the patio more frequently, these breweries are able to provide plenty of room for you and your friends on their patio as well as a beautiful view of Des Moines. So, cheers to good times and good views!
Not-to-Miss Patios at Local Breweries
1. Peace Tree Brewing Company
Knoxville brewery, Peace Tree, has recently expanded to Downtown DSM’s Historic East Village. Opening its doors on January 1 this year, the Peace Tree — Des Moines Branch brings to the Historic East Village some of its most notable and iconic beers like Peace Tree’s No Coast and Blonde Fatale. You can enjoy the brews inside the cozy, renovated Quonset hut or grab a cold brew on a Friday after work and enjoy the views of Downtown, with the sunset hitting the gold dome on the Capitol building.
Peace Tree also has a great space for bikers who come and visit while they take a break from biking on the Des Moines River Trail or the John Pat Dorrian Trail. Coming soon: The new Grinnell branch of Peace Tree is expected to open later this year.
2. Madhouse Brewing Company
One of two brewery located near Des Moines’ Historic East Village, Madhouse is well-known for its barrel-aged beers and sours. What many people don’t know is that Jean and Paul Groben began Jasper Winery in 2004, and it has since gone on to become one of Iowa’s most recognized wineries, drawing widespread interest both at home and abroad.
Their son Mason, who holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from University of California-Davis, is responsible for all aspects of wine production at Jasper Winery. However, in the late 2000s, just as the craft beer movement really began to take off across the country, Mason saw an opportunity. “I was immediately drawn to sour beer, which has many similarities to making wine, such as barrel-aging, lactic fermentation and the importance of blending,” Mason said in an interview on Des Moines Foodster. It was a perfect fit for a winemaker turned brewer searching for a new direction.
The brewery space is a fun space with an area to play bags, chat with friends or hang out on the patio. The patio features little glimpses of the Downtown DSM skyline, and if there is a home game at Principal Park, and the wind is just right, you may be able to hear the Iowa Cub game. It’s also fairly shaded, so if it’s a hot evening, or afternoon, you can enjoy a break from the sun.
3. Confluence Brewing Company
On most nights (thanks to its close proximity to Downtown DSM and a highly-traveled bike path), the brewery is a hive of activity of bikers and non-bikers. The diverse output of high-quality beers this homebrewer-turned-pro brewer team regularly releases keeps both old and new Iowa craft beer fans coming back for more.
From the patio, you can often catch a glimpse of the top of the Principal Building.
4. Exile Brewing Company
It’s hard to expect anything less from Des Moines’ first family of restaurant entrepreneurs. Stop in for a brew in the industrial-chic beer hall, or dine in for some of the best brew-pub fare you’ve had. If it’s a nice day or night out, Exile will open the doors to their beer hall and patio area. If you grab a seat in the newly redesigned patio area, you’ll be able to spot the tip of the 801 Grand building.
5. Court Avenue Brewing Company
CABCo has called 309 Court Avenue home since 1996, previous tenants include a shoemaker, a stove manufacturer and hat manufacturing company. It’s situated in the heart of the Historic Court District, and provides a great spot for lunch, dinner, events and a beer. It was one of the original craft breweries in Des Moines.
Some of the house brews include crowd pleasers like Belgian White and a Des Moines favorite Pointer Brown Ale. They also get complex with some of their barrel-aged options like the 21st Amendment Ale and the Blackberry Blend.
Here, at this patio, you can have a spot right on the sidewalk. The patio is also a great spot during the Farmers’ Market for a break for a Bloody Mary and a bite to eat.
6. Reclaimed Rails Brewery
Reclaimed Rails is a brewery located in Bondurant. It has good brews and also a unique building and atmosphere. The inside is cozy and has a historic feel.
Outside, reclaimed wood from the former Log Ride at Adventureland Park is utilized in the patio, the footrest at the bar came from an old train rail and the bathroom door is from an old school house. The building that the brewery and taproom are located in is an old legion hall that was built in 1948.
It’s a great brewery if you’re on a bike because the trails practically go right by their front door. If you aren’t down for biking, it’s a quick 15-minute drive from Des Moines.
7. Firetrucker Brewery
Firetrucker Brewery is a unique place situated in a 46-year old building, which housed the Ankeny Fire Department for 30 of those years. Also, the men behind the brewery have unique backgrounds. The three founders were hobby brewers with full-time jobs, but now they operate a brewery. Neil Zaugg worked as a film producer and manager, Scott Kaven was a graphic artist who worked with Zaugg and Dan Heiderschiet was a former information technology vice president. Their beer lineup goes along with the fire department theme. For example, Steam Engine is a golden ale. The Burnout Brown is a smooth brown ale with a roasted, sweet taste and the 2 Alarm Red is a double red ale with a nice punch of alcohol and hops.
Their brewery has a great tap room full of local art, and fun designs of their logo. Outside, you’ll find a great patio area with strung lights, ample space, and a fun bag game that resembles skeeball.
Learn about other local restaurants, bars and other places to go at our Restaurants and Nightlife page.