Des Moines Metro beer tiers 2021

BACyclone

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2011
652
581
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Reinbeck, IA
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.

The "Batch" line of DDH IPAs they regularly release are nearly always outstanding. Plus I love that their cans are widely distributed in Iowa.
 

baller21

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2009
4,050
2,811
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A-
Confluence -best quality and most variety on tap in the metro
Big Grove-not in DM yet but some of the best hazy’s in the state
Lua-killing it
B-
Alluvial
C-
515
Exile
Peace Tree
Barntown-liked them a lot when they first opened but discovered some of their beer really messes with my digestive system. Possibly too much lactose

D-
Kinship
Firetrucker
Brightside
1717
Reclaimed Rails

F-
Twisted Vine
Mistress
Fox
 
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BACyclone

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2011
652
581
93
Reinbeck, IA
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.

I don't know how "new" it is but I really liked their Hipster Juice IPA. But I agree the "likes" seem more like the exception -- however they have made more in the last 2 years that I found to be good. I just don't get in there very often.
 

BACyclone

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2011
652
581
93
Reinbeck, IA
515 could be so much cooler being right on the greenbelt trail if they would invest in a nicer patio and a concrete path to said trail

Interesting. I've only been able to get to-go beer so far, but I'll concur that their location and parking situation is a bit odd. You definitely don't feel like you are driving up to a brewery.
 

JP4CY

Plaque + alternates = down in the ladies room
Dec 19, 2008
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Testifying
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.....

Flix isn't in here. I'd put them at a D. I have had some good special one offs there for movie releases.

I would have a hard time not having Confluence as an A. There beer is always "clean."
 
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MJ29

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2020
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Flix should be reopening soon, @JP4CY. And word is the brewers will have a little more freedom in brewing. I'll be interested to see what the DM branch churns out if that's true.
 
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JP4CY

Plaque + alternates = down in the ladies room
Dec 19, 2008
35,384
31,367
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Testifying
Flix should be reopening soon, @JP4CY. And word is the brewers will have a little more freedom in brewing. I'll be interested to see what the DM branch churns out if that's true.
At one point I thought there was a CABCO or Rock Bottom brewer there.
 

MJ29

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2020
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At one point I thought there was a CABCO or Rock Bottom brewer there.

I don't know much about the previous brewer (who is now at Winchester Pub), but I am fairly well-acquainted with the current brewer. I don't think he has history at CABCO or Rock Bottom.
 

JP4CY

Plaque + alternates = down in the ladies room
Dec 19, 2008
35,384
31,367
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Testifying
I don't know much about the previous brewer (who is now at Winchester Pub), but I am fairly well-acquainted with the current brewer. I don't think he has history at CABCO or Rock Bottom.
Winchester is pretty cool. Good cocktails. Doesn't Cooper own it?
 

MJ29

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2020
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Winchester is pretty cool. Good cocktails. Doesn't Cooper own it?

Yep. Owned by the same people who own Coopers on 5th (great food!), It's my understanding that Mike (former Flix brewer) was OK getting away from brewing and enjoys the change to cocktails.
 
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BACyclone

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2011
652
581
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Reinbeck, IA
I'm glad that we can all most likely agree that the food/beer mix at Barntown is awesome. That's a place that any town would love to have.

tbh I have a mancrush on Barn Town, they put out awesome beer. Frankly I love that their food is outstanding because I can easily sell the family on stopping there for a meal even when I'm the only beer drinker. Everybody wins.

I just wish they would bring back that Strawberry Drive-In milkshake IPA. That was incredible.
 

MJ29

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2020
445
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I just wish they would bring back that Strawberry Drive-In milkshake IPA. That was incredible.

I liked the vanilla version. I tried the Cake Batter version they just released last week. It's good, but maybe a little sweeter than I would usually like. I didn't get to try the strawberry version, but I'm hoping they'll do it again.
 

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