By Iain Oldman
Des Moines, like other American Midwest cities, has seen a sharp increase in the number of breweries opening up shop over the past decade. The city, located in the heart of Iowa, now has a large selection of craft breweries for any visitor to check out. Des Moines breweries offer guests everything from award-winning IPAs, to upscale food menus, to massive taprooms to enjoy sports events and much, much more.
The city’s affinity for good beer has even spread out to the town’s and suburbs surrounding Des Moines. There are now excellent breweries in West Des Moines, Clive and Ankeny. To help you keep track of all the places to visit in the Des Moines area, here are the best breweries in Des Moines you have to check out on any trip.
Best Brewery for Hazy IPAs
Best Brewery for a Variety of Beer Styles
Best Brewery in Downtown Des Moines
Best Brewery to Watch the Big Game
Best Brewery in West Des Moines
Best Brewery for a Sour Beer
Best Brewery to Grab a Bite
Best Brewery to Bring Your Dog
Best Brewery for Hop Heads
Other Breweries and Craft Beer Bars
1. Peace Tree Brewing Co.
BEST BREWERY FOR HAZY IPAS
The hazy IPA has become one of the most prevalent beer styles across the country, but not all hazy IPAs are brewed equally. To find the best hazy IPA in the Des Moines area, any visitor should head to Peace Tree Brewing Co. in Knoxville. Don’t just take it from us—the brewery’s “Get a Little Hazy” IPA won accolades at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival, taking home the gold medal for juicy or hazy strong pale ales. Peace Tree Brewing Co.’s main brewery is located about 45 minutes southeast of Des Moines, although the brewery opened a smaller taproom in the East Village in downtown Des Moines.
107 W. Main St., Knoxville | www.peacetreebrewing.com
2. Confluence Brewing Company
BEST BREWERY FOR A VARIETY OF BEER STYLES
Located just outside of the massive Des Moines Water Works Park, Confluence Brewing Company offers a craft beer for any beer palate. If you’re in the mood for a particular pint of craft beer, chances are that Confluence Brewing Company has something on tap for you. The brewery has wild and sour beers alongside barrel-aged barleywines, New England IPAs, fruited ales and more.
1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines | www.confluencebrewing.com
3. Exile Brewing Co.
BEST BREWERY IN DOWNTOWN DES MOINES
The Des Moines area has breweries spread out across the region, but sometimes it’s best to simply stay downtown. Exile Brewing Co. is a brewery in downtown Des Moines that has consistently pumped out quality brews for a decade. The brewery specializes in clean and malt-forward beer such as its Bavarian-style wheat ale. Exile Brewing Co.’s Münchner Dunkel even took home a gold medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.
1514 Walnut St., Des Moines | www.exilebrewing.com
4. Mistress Brewing Co.
BEST BREWERY TO WATCH THE BIG GAME
Found about 20 minutes north of Des Moines, guests at Mistress Brewing Co. can spread their legs out across the brewery’s massive 18,000 square foot taproom. The taproom and bar area includes a main floor with dozens of tables, as well as VIP suites, private rooms, a mezzanine and entertainment stage. The brewery also features a huge 15-foot TV screen at the main bar—perfect for watching any big sporting event. Mistress Brewing Co. has 24 tap lines rolling at any time, as well as locally-sourced wine and cider for guests to enjoy.
1802 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 108, Ankeny | www.mistressbrewing.com
5. Fox Brewing
BEST BREWERY IN WEST DES MOINES
West Des Moines, 6th-largest city in Iowa, is found right off the Racoon River in central Iowa. Just a short jaunt from Des Moines, Fox Brewing in West Des Moines is worth a visit for any craft beer lover in the area. Fox Brewing keeps several styles of beer on tap throughout the year for guests, as well as seasonal releases to sample whenever you visit. Try Fox Brewing’s “Francy Pants”, a French-style saison aged in wine barrels, or the brewery’s hard cider made from Iowa-grown apples.
103 S. 11th St., West Des Moines | www.foxbrewco.com
6. Lua Brewing
BEST BREWERY FOR A SOUR BEER
Chic brewery and taproom Lua Brewing offers a perfect spot to grab inventive brews and bites near downtown Des Moines. Lua Brewing features a full kitchen that cranks out delicious plates like bibimbap, but the brewery’s lineup of craft brews is what makes it a stand out space in Des Moines. Try one of Lua Brewing’s smoothie-style sour beers or a tropical sour such as its “Wordless Chorus”, made with passionfruit, guava, red prickly pear, pineapple and mango.
1525 High St., Des Moines | www.luabeer.com
7. Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company
BEST BREWERY TO GRAB A BITE
After a long day of checking out museums and sites in Des Moines, head to Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company to refill your tank. The classic brewpub features a full scratch kitchen using local ingredients. Diners can order steaks, pub fare, seafood and more to pair with the brewpub’s in-house craft beer selection. Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company has a constantly rotating selection of great beer to choose from, making each visit unique and unforgettable.
309 Court Ave., Des Moines | www.courtavebrew.com
8. Kinship Brewing Co.
BEST BREWERY TO BRING YOUR DOG
Located in Waukee, Kinship Brewing Co. is one of the most dog-friendly breweries in the Des Moines area. Dogs are not only welcome on the brewery’s patio, but Kinship Brewing Co. also offers a half-acre dog parks for well-behaved pups. While visiting Kinship Brewing Co. with your dog, try out one of the brewery’s several ambitious brews, such as its Olde Ale, schwarzbier or the cold IPA. The brewery also serves local wine, cider and cocktails alongside a full menu featuring ramen, burgers and poutine.
255 NW Sunrise Drive, Waukee | www.kinshipbeer.com
9. Firetrucker Brewery
BEST BREWERY FOR HOP HEADS
Firetrucker Brewery, found north of Des Moines, is a must-visit for any IPA enthusiast. The Ankeny brewery releases seasonal beers that run the gamut for IPAs, including its “Tropical Burn” double IPA that is fruited with whole mangoes, or the brewery’s Iowa IPA, which is a production of the classic American IPA. Try to visit Firetrucker Brewery on weekends, when the brewery hosts live musicians.
716 SW 3rd St., Ankeny | www.firetrucker.com
OTHER BREWERIES AND CRAFT BEER BARS IN THE DES MOINES AREA
1717 Brewing Co.
Barn Town Brewing
El Bait Shop
The Red Monk
Twisted Vine Brewery
DES MOINES BREWERY MAP
This list is not comprehensive. To view information about more breweries in Iowa, visit the Iowa Brewers Guild website.