Des Moines Metro beer tiers 2021

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
18,776
3,023
113
50131
The other post made me think of how I would rank our current brewers in the metro. This is based solely on beer, not their taproom, and just my opinion. I like IPA's, Stouts/Porters, and Sours in that order.

Tier A
Lua
Barntown

Tier B
Confluence (moved up from C)
Big Grove (B+. Maybe an A)
Alluvial (Out of the metro but..)

Tier C
515
West Hill (only been once but surprisingly decent)
Exile
Peace Tree
Brightside

Tier D
Kinship
Firetrucker (Use to be a C)
1717
Reclaimed Rails (They have one solid beer I like)

Tier F
Mistress
Twisted Vine
Court Avenue
Fox (F-)


Fire Away.....
 

Nader_uggghhh

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2017
354
403
63
The other post made me think of how I would rank our current brewers in the metro. This is based solely on beer, not their taproom, and just my opinion. I like IPA's, Stouts/Porters, and Sours in that order.

Tier A
Lua
Barntown

Tier B
Confluence (moved up from C)
Big Grove (B+. Maybe an A)
Alluvial (Out of the metro but..)

Tier C
515
West Hill (only been once but surprisingly decent)
Exile
Peace Tree
Brightside

Tier D
Kinship
Firetrucker (Use to be a C)
1717
Reclaimed Rails (They have one solid beer I like)

Tier F
Mistress
Twisted Vine
Court Avenue
Fox (F-)


Fire Away.....
Pretty spot on. The food bumps Big Grove close to an A for me. I've never been to Brightside but they've done a couple of awesome collabs with Dimensional.
 

BigTurk

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2013
574
627
93
It has been years since I've been to Court Avenue. Tell me about that? I've been to Mistress a few times recently and I agree with your assessment.
 

Messi

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2011
5,505
9,716
113
Cedar Rapids
The other post made me think of how I would rank our current brewers in the metro. This is based solely on beer, not their taproom, and just my opinion. I like IPA's, Stouts/Porters, and Sours in that order.

Tier A
Lua
Barntown

Tier B
Confluence (moved up from C)
Big Grove (B+. Maybe an A)
Alluvial (Out of the metro but..)

Tier C
515
West Hill (only been once but surprisingly decent)
Exile
Peace Tree
Brightside

Tier D
Kinship
Firetrucker (Use to be a C)
1717
Reclaimed Rails (They have one solid beer I like)

Tier F
Mistress
Twisted Vine
Court Avenue
Fox (F-)


Fire Away.....

Can big grove be on this Des Moines list without having a location here yet? Either way I agree with them being tier 2
 

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
18,776
3,023
113
50131
It has been years since I've been to Court Avenue. Tell me about that? I've been to Mistress a few times recently and I agree with your assessment.

Remember that crappy Honest Lawyer IPA that you had 10 years ago from them. Yeah, that's still there. Every great once in awhile they'll come up with something decent and then they'll never brew it again.
 

MJ29

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2020
445
704
93
It has been years since I've been to Court Avenue. Tell me about that? I've been to Mistress a few times recently and I agree with your assessment.

The have another new head brewer. I think it's the third one in five years. For me, they don't make anything very exciting. And even their standards are just OK.
 

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
18,776
3,023
113
50131
Thought I would look up the brewing average on all of them in Untappd

Lua 4.28
Barntown 4
Confluence 3.81
Big Grove 3.95
Alluvial 3.98
515 3.85
West Hill 3.91
Exile 3.72
Peace Tree 3.7
Brightside 3.93
Kinship 3.72
Firetrucker 3.67
1717 3.64
Reclaimed Rails 3.7
Mistress 3.54
Twisted Vine 3.63
Court Avenue 3.57
Fox 3.56
 
  • Informative
Reactions: CyDawg23

goody2012

Active Member
Aug 28, 2014
171
216
43
The other post made me think of how I would rank our current brewers in the metro. This is based solely on beer, not their taproom, and just my opinion. I like IPA's, Stouts/Porters, and Sours in that order.

Tier A
Lua
Barntown

Tier B
Confluence (moved up from C)
Big Grove (B+. Maybe an A)
Alluvial (Out of the metro but..)

Tier C
515
West Hill (only been once but surprisingly decent)
Exile
Peace Tree
Brightside

Tier D
Kinship
Firetrucker (Use to be a C)
1717
Reclaimed Rails (They have one solid beer I like)

Tier F
Mistress
Twisted Vine
Court Avenue
Fox (F-)


Fire Away.....
Agree for the most part, but I'd move Reclaimed Rails up to at least C and move 1717 down to tier F.
 

CYdTracked

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
14,068
4,456
113
Grimes, IA
Confluence Des Moines IPA is still the best local IPA IMO and they have a lot of other good seasonal beers too like South Side Citra and Weather Beacon Red that are fantastic. They are probably in my tier A if not the very top of tier B. Peace Tree IMO should be in tier B on their Blonde Fatale alone which might just be the best local beer I have ever had and my personal favorite too but their Hazy and Long Ride beers are pretty good too. Their barrel aged Blonde Fatale that you can sometimes find is pretty potent too! They could use more selection though. I love BarnTown but they sure are going heavy on the sours and fruity beers lately IMO which is not my thing and would love to see them bring back some brews they have done in the past like their Fields of Dream and they had a really good peach milkshake Dive-In beer the other year too.

I have cooled on Exile, almost would put them in the D tier now. Been to Kinship once and nothing they had really blew me away so their D tier is spot on. My wife tried their lemon shandy and it was so tart she didn't drink much of it at all.
 

BACyclone

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2011
652
581
93
Reinbeck, IA
I think you pretty much nailed the list. I think my only minor quibble is that 515 is dependably good, but if the tiers are sub-ranked having them at the top of C is probably accurate.

Reclaimed Rails has been improving and I might put them at the top of D or even low C.

I've not tried Kinship (no plans to visit), 1717 or CABC. And I'd never even heard of West Hill! A bit out of the way for me.
 

Cyched

Minister of Culture
May 8, 2009
21,735
34,140
113
Ankeny
Reclaimed Rails has been good the few times I’ve been there. Did a growler fill of their milkshake IPA over Christmas that I really liked.

Being off the beaten path in bondurant probably hurts them more than anything else
 
  • Agree
Reactions: MJ29

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
18,776
3,023
113
50131
Confluence has moved up to a solid B for me in the last few years. A big part of that is that they release a lot of experimental beers every Friday and a lot of those have been killer. A lot of brewers start canning and then never change anything.
 
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Reactions: CYdTracked

Cyched

Minister of Culture
May 8, 2009
21,735
34,140
113
Ankeny
I’d bump exile up to tier B because I like their beers, and they’ve done well with their brewpub food.

Twisted Vine isn’t top tier, but not tier F IMO.
 
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Reactions: Cytown12

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
18,776
3,023
113
50131
Reclaimed Rails has been good the few times I’ve been there. Did a growler fill of their milkshake IPA over Christmas that I really liked.

Being off the beaten path in bondurant probably hurts them more than anything else

I want to like them so much since they have cool tap room. Rooks Breakfast Porter is the only consistent beer that I like from them. Last week, I went back for the first time in a couple of years and the 3 I had were all disappointing. They had a mole stout that didn't have a hint of heat.
 

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