Best 10 Breweries in Iowa: Top Places to Sip Local Craft Beer

Iowa is quickly becoming a popular destination for craft beer enthusiasts, with a growing number of breweries throughout the state. From traditional beer styles to distinctive and creative brews, there is something for every beer lover in Iowa. Whether you are a local or a visitor, exploring the best breweries in Iowa is a must-do activity.

Craft Beer in Iowa: An Overview

Iowa has been making a name for itself in the craft beer industry. The state has a growing number of breweries that are producing handcrafted beer using locally sourced ingredients. From IPAs to lagers, Iowa’s craft beer scene has something for everyone.

One of the defining characteristics of Iowa’s craft beer scene is its emphasis on local ingredients. Many of the state’s breweries use locally grown hops, barley, and other grains to create unique and flavorful brews. This emphasis on local sourcing not only supports Iowa’s agricultural industry but also gives each beer a distinct sense of place.

In addition to using local ingredients, Iowa’s craft breweries also offer a wide range of beer styles. IPAs are a popular choice, with many breweries producing hoppy, citrusy IPAs that are perfect for summer sipping. However, Iowa’s craft beer scene is not limited to IPAs. Breweries also produce lagers, stouts, and seasonal beers that showcase the state’s brewing talent.

Many of Iowa’s craft breweries have taprooms where visitors can sample the latest brews and learn more about the brewing process. These taprooms are a great way to experience Iowa’s craft beer scene firsthand and to support local businesses.

Finally, Iowa’s craft breweries are known for their limited-release beers. These beers are often experimental brews that showcase the creativity and innovation of Iowa’s brewers. Limited-release beers are highly sought after by beer enthusiasts, and they often sell out quickly.

Top Breweries in Iowa

Iowa is home to many great breweries, each with its own unique style and flavor. Here are some of the top breweries in Iowa:

Toppling Goliath Brewing

Located in Decorah, Toppling Goliath Brewing is known for its award-winning IPAs and stouts. They use only the finest ingredients to create their beers, which are available in cans and bottles throughout the state.

Website: https://www.tgbrews.com/

Address: 1600 Prosperity Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

Peace Tree Brewing

With locations in Des Moines, Knoxville, and other cities across Iowa, Peace Tree Brewing offers a wide variety of beers, including IPAs, lagers, and stouts. They also have a taproom where visitors can sample their beers and enjoy some food.

Website: http://www.peacetreebrewing.com/

Address: 317 E Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

Pulpit Rock Brewing Company

Pulpit Rock Brewing Company in Decorah is a relatively new brewery that has quickly gained a reputation for its innovative and delicious beers. They offer a wide variety of styles, from IPAs and stouts to sours and fruit beers.

Website: http://www.pulpitrockbrewing.com/

Address: 207 College Dr, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

Alluvial Brewing

Located in Ames, Alluvial Brewing is a small, family-owned brewery that specializes in IPAs and other hoppy beers. They also offer a variety of food options, including wood-fired pizza.

Website: http://www.alluvialbrewing.com/

Address: 3715 W 190th St, Ames, IA 50014, United States

Big Grove Brewery

Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City is known for its delicious food and beer, as well as its live music events. They offer a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal and experimental brews.

Website: http://biggrove.com/

Address: 1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States

Lake Time Brewery

Located in Clear Lake, Lake Time Brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, lagers, and stouts. They also have a taproom where visitors can sample their beers and enjoy some food.

Website: http://www.laketimebrewery.com/

Address: 801 Main Ave, Clear Lake, IA 50428, United States

Mason City Brewing

Mason City Brewing is a small, family-owned brewery located in Mason City. They offer a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal and experimental brews.

Website: http://www.masoncitybrewing.com/

Address: 28 E State St, Mason City, IA 50401, United States

Confluence Brewing Company

Located in Des Moines, Confluence Brewing Company offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours. They also have a taproom where visitors can sample their beers and enjoy some food.

Website: http://www.confluencebrewing.com/

Address: 1235 Thomas Beck Rd, Des Moines, IA 50315, United States

Exile Brewing

Exile Brewing in Des Moines is known for its delicious food and beer, as well as its live music events. They offer a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal and experimental brews.

Website: http://www.exilebrewing.com/

Address: 1514 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

SingleSpeed Brewing Company

SingleSpeed Brewing Company in Cedar Rapids offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours. They also have a taproom where visitors can sample their beers and enjoy some food.

Website: http://www.singlespeedbrewing.com/

Address: 325 Commercial St, Waterloo, IA 50701, United States

These are just some of the top breweries in Iowa. Whether you’re a fan of IPAs, stouts, or sours, there’s something for everyone at these great Iowa breweries.

Brewery Locations

Breweries in Des Moines

Des Moines is home to a variety of breweries, each with its own unique atmosphere and selection of beers. Some of the most popular breweries in Des Moines include:

  • Confluence Brewing Company: Located in the downtown area, Confluence Brewing Company offers a wide range of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers. The brewery also has a large outdoor patio and hosts regular events.
  • Exile Brewing Company: Known for its delicious food and extensive beer selection, Exile Brewing Company is a popular spot in the downtown area. In addition to its flagship beers, Exile also offers seasonal and limited edition brews.
  • 515 Brewing Company: With a focus on small-batch, handcrafted beers, 515 Brewing Company is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts. The brewery has a cozy taproom and a rotating selection of beers on tap.

Breweries in Ames

Home to Iowa State University, Ames has a thriving craft beer scene. Some of the best breweries in Ames include:

  • Alluvial Brewing Company: This family-owned brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, sours, and porters. Alluvial also has a food menu featuring delicious pub fare.
  • Torrent Brewing Company: Known for its experimental beers, Torrent Brewing Company is a popular spot for beer lovers. The brewery also has a large outdoor patio and hosts regular events.

Breweries in Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids is home to a number of breweries, each with its own unique vibe. Some of the best breweries in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Lion Bridge Brewing Company: With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, Lion Bridge Brewing Company offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours. The brewery also has a full food menu featuring seasonal dishes.
  • Big Grove Brewery: With a large outdoor patio and a wide selection of beers, Big Grove Brewery is a popular spot in Cedar Rapids. The brewery also has a full food menu featuring wood-fired pizzas and other pub fare.

Breweries in Iowa City

Home to the University of Iowa, Iowa City has a thriving craft beer scene. Some of the best breweries in Iowa City include:

  • Big Grove Brewery & Taproom: With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, Big Grove Brewery & Taproom offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours. The brewery also has a full food menu featuring wood-fired pizzas and other pub fare.
  • Backpocket Brewing: Known for its experimental beers, Backpocket Brewing is a popular spot for beer lovers. The brewery also has a large outdoor patio and hosts regular events.
  • Iowa Brewing Company: This brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers. Iowa Brewing Company also has a full food menu featuring pub fare with a twist.

Breweries in Davenport

Davenport is home to a number of breweries, each with its own unique atmosphere. Some of the best breweries in Davenport include:

  • Front Street Brewery: Located in the downtown area, Front Street Brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours. The brewery also has a full food menu featuring pub fare with a twist.
  • Radicle Effect Brewerks: Known for its experimental beers, Radicle Effect Brewerks is a popular spot for beer lovers. The brewery also has a cozy taproom and hosts regular events.
  • Crawford Brew Works: With a large outdoor patio and a wide selection of beers, Crawford Brew Works is a popular spot in Davenport. The brewery also has a full food menu featuring wood-fired pizzas and other pub fare.

Breweries in Sioux City

Sioux City is home to a handful of breweries, each with its own unique vibe. Some of the best breweries in Sioux City include:

  • Jackson Street Brewing: Focusing on small-batch, handcrafted beers, Jackson Street Brewing is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts. The brewery also has a cozy taproom and hosts regular events.
  • Martini’s Grill & Brewery: Known for its delicious food and extensive beer selection, Martini’s Grill & Brewery is a popular spot in Sioux City. In addition to its flagship beers, Martini’s also offers seasonal and limited edition brews.

Brewery Experiences

Iowa’s craft beer scene is thriving, and one of the best ways to experience it is by visiting the state’s top breweries. Many of these breweries offer unique experiences that go beyond just tasting beer. Here are some of the brewery experiences you can expect in Iowa:

Taprooms

Most breweries have taprooms where visitors can sample their beers. These taprooms often have a relaxed and casual atmosphere, making them the perfect place to hang out with friends or meet new people. Visitors can usually order flights of beer, which allow them to try several different beers in smaller portions.

Live Music and Events

Many breweries host live music events and other special events throughout the year. These events can range from trivia nights to beer festivals, and they offer visitors a chance to experience the brewery in a different way. Some breweries also host food trucks or have their own kitchens, providing visitors with tasty snacks and meals to enjoy with their beer.

Limited-Release Beers

Craft breweries are known for their experimental and limited-release beers, which can be hard to find elsewhere. Some breweries in Iowa specialize in these types of beers, and they often have a rotating selection of unique and interesting brews. Visitors can ask the brewery staff for recommendations or try a flight of these specialty beers.

Growlers and Beer-to-Go

Many breweries in Iowa offer growlers, which are large glass or metal containers that can be filled with beer and taken home. This is a great option for visitors who want to enjoy their favorite beer at home or share it with friends. Some breweries also offer cans or bottles of their beer for purchase, making it easy to take home a six-pack or two.

Information and Updates

Breweries often have a strong online presence, with websites and social media accounts that provide information about their beers, events, and other news. Visitors can follow their favorite breweries on social media to stay up-to-date on new releases and upcoming events. Some breweries also have email newsletters that visitors can sign up for to receive updates directly in their inbox.

Beer Market

Breweries are not only places to drink beer, but also places to buy it. Many breweries in Iowa have their own beer markets, where visitors can purchase bottles, cans, and other merchandise. These markets often have a wide selection of beers from the brewery, as well as other local and regional craft beers.

Conclusion

Iowa has a thriving craft beer scene, with a wide variety of breweries offering unique and flavorful brews. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s no shortage of options to choose from when it comes to enjoying a cold beer.

From established breweries like Millstream Brewing Company to newer spots like Timbukbr├╝, there’s something for everyone. Many of these breweries offer tours and tastings, providing a great opportunity to learn more about the brewing process and sample some delicious beers.

In addition to offering great beer, Iowa’s breweries also play an important role in supporting the local economy. By sourcing ingredients from local farmers and hiring local staff, these breweries help to create jobs and support the community.