Des Moines Metro beer tiers 2021

MJ29

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Aug 21, 2020
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I just realized Fenceline in Huxley isn't on this list, but they're still very small and a bit hidden. Worth a stop en route to Ames though.
 
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BigTurk

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Dec 17, 2013
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The way things are going right now, in 2022 this sub forum will be renamed to Seltzers. It's amazing how much they've taken off in the last couple of years. I've even noticed that some of the hy-vee have been taking away shelf space away from real beer to make room for these.


Had a conversation with a brewery owner and we talked about seltzers. He said they are considering starting to make them because they are very popular and super cheap to make. For a small brewery every extra dollar is a good thing.
 
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JP4CY

Plaque + alternates = down in the ladies room
Dec 19, 2008
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Testifying
A sidebar question. Have most places started to refill growlers?
 

NickTheGreat

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Jan 17, 2012
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Central Iowa
I'm pretty much solely an IPA drinker, but I'd put Neon above DSM IPA. Although there's something to be said about being able to find DSM IPA in basically every bar/restaurant in the metro.

515 has some solid IPAs (OJ comes to mind). I think they are a little underrated by many.

Haven't had a chance to visit Lua yet, but have heard great things.

Some of the DDH Des Moines IPA's are pretty damn good. Same with some of the numbers cans. I've had many of those I wish weren't just a single batch.
 

1100011CS

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Oct 5, 2007
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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.....

I'd like to see another thread like this that takes food into account. Like somewhere I can take my family and they like the food while I enjoy the beer.
 

baller21

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Mar 15, 2009
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I'd like to see another thread like this that takes food into account. Like somewhere I can take my family and they like the food while I enjoy the beer.

Just pick them up whatever they want to eat and go to confluence.

Lua, Exile and Barntown all have decent food. Kinship always has a food truck with decent pizza and wings.
 

baller21

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Mar 15, 2009
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Confluence lets you bring in food?

Yes. Pretty much any brewery that doesn’t serve food let’s you bring in your own. Firetrucker used to have one night a week that they would pick up tacos that you ordered from The Yankee Clipper and deliver it to your table. Not sure if they still do that or not.
 
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alarson

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Mar 15, 2006
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Ankeny
Yes. Pretty much any brewery that doesn’t serve food let’s you bring in your own. Firetrucker used to have one night a week that they would pick up tacos that you ordered from The Yankee Clipper and deliver it to your table. Not sure if they still do that or not.

Pig and pedal used to bring over food as well. Not sure if that's still the case with the new thing that opened there
 

Joe4Cy

Active Member
Mar 5, 2010
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www.comedyxp.tv
My pallet isn't as fine-tuned as it used to be. And, this old brain can't remember what I liked or didn't - or maybe I just don't get out often enough anymore!

I'm just looking for good tasting beers that aren't overly filling. Not so much a fan of the seltzers or sours.

Other note: I'm a stock holder of Fox Brewing! It's owned by a former student of mine. I got in the Kickstarter for 1 beer/month "for life." I'm way behind!

That being said, I do agree that it falls near the bottom. The beer always tastes slightly soapy to me.
 

baller21

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Mar 15, 2009
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I amended my list and put Lua as tier A. I was at their first barrel aged beer release today and both were great. They also had a good variety of IPA’s that are fantastic. Having them and Big Grove two blocks away will be killer.
 
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dmclone

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Oct 20, 2006
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I amended my list and put Lua as tier A. I was at their first barrel aged beer release today and both were great. They also had a good variety of IPA’s that are fantastic. Having them and Big Grove two blocks away will be killer.
Yes, there is no one close right now to Lua.
 

clonefreek

Well-Known Member
Jun 24, 2009
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ames
Tier A
Lua


Tier B
Big Grove
Alluvial
Kinship
Exile

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

Tier D
1717
Reclaimed Rails
Fox
Barntown

Tier F
Mistress
Twisted Vine
Court Avenue
Firetrucker

I fixed your list for you...
 

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
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Tier A
Lua


Tier B
Big Grove
Alluvial
Kinship
Exile

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

Tier D
1717
Reclaimed Rails
Fox
Barntown

Tier F
Mistress
Twisted Vine
Court Avenue
Firetrucker

I fixed your list for you...

Seems like a slap in the face to put Kinship in the same league as Alluvial and Big Grove. Can you point me to the beer you've had at Kinship that warrants the Tier B level?

I'm just noticing that you have Barntown at the same level as Fox....

We must have very different tastes in beer. Beers like Neon and Hop Skewer are some of the best IPA's in town. Maple Pecanye West was one of the best sweet stouts I've ever had. They've had a ton of good sours. Yes, they strike out at times and a lot of their stuff is too sweet but a D?
 
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clonefreek

Well-Known Member
Jun 24, 2009
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Seems like a slap in the face to put Kinship in the same league as Alluvial and Big Grove. Can you point me to the beer you've had at Kinship that warrants the Tier B level?
Oh Billy their Session IPA. Big grove really isnt in the metro yet. I like their beers but have only had what i can buy on the shelves. Kinship has a couple of others that ive had that i really like as well. No one is touching Lua at this point. Everything they have is great.

I think Exile has recently put out several good beers, Citra sky being one of them.
 

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