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How Peace Tree Brewing Company Added Flavor to DSM USA

March 13, 2018

Video produced by Applied Art & Technology.


If you’ve ever explored Greater Des Moines (DSM), you’ve probably noticed just how vibrant the brewing scene is. Each offers a unique experience adding flavor to the vibrancy of DSM. I am proud to add to Downtown DSM’s story as the owner of Peace Tree Brewing Company.

In 2009, I founded Peace Tree in my hometown of Knoxville which is part of the region. Since then, we’ve expanded to three locations, including a spot in the Historic East Village in Downtown DSM, as well as distribution throughout Iowa and Nebraska.

DSM is special

DSM is special because you can bring an idea to life very easily. Brewing, in general, is a very male dominated field. Iowa has a strong culture of everybody pitching in and supporting one another. If you put your mind to something, people will help you get to where you need to go. That’s why I love it here.

DSM has a lot of possibilities and makes you feel like you can do pretty much anything. You really can have it all here. In DSM we have a low cost of living, an ease of doing business and it’s quick to get around. It’s a safe, secure base with great transport links, which mean if you’re looking for resources or partners within or outside the region, it’s convenient. DSM is full of possibilities so when I saw the opportunity to open a new Peace Tree taproom in the Historic East Village, I jumped at the chance.

Historic East Village

The Historic East Village has a very unique character. It’s been exciting to be more involved in the regeneration of the neighborhood. There’s a great mix of arts and culture, things to do and independent businesses. DSM is at a point where Downtown neighborhoods are creating specific identities, which is pretty cool because it adds new flavors to the community as a whole.

There is a passionate bike community in DSM, which Peace Tree has been fortunate to be involved with. We always try to pull in local musicians to play live music at the Taproom. It’s fun to showcase the incredible talent that’s around.

Arts, music and culture are on our doorstep. You don’t have to look far to find great theater, great music and top-class restaurants. It has every little piece that you would want in any big city, but with all the convenience of a smaller community.

Have it all in DSM

There are not many female brewery owners and I’m proud to be one here in DSM. I’m also proud to call DSM home and proud to say, “come and visit us.” You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods to shopping, parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Megan McKay

In 2009, after a successful career in insurance, Megan McKay was challenged by her business partners to write a business plan to fill a blighted building. Peace Tree Brewing Company was born. McKay fell in love with the craft beer business and in January 2015, she left the family insurance business to become the sole owner of Peace Tree. McKay has served on the Iowa Brewers Guild Board and was a brewery representative to the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board for two years. She was appointed to the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board in 2017, is the current Chair of the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics board and is President of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. She has a BBA in Management followed by an MBA from the University of Iowa.