8 Breweries in Des Moines, IA you can’t miss

Believe it or not, there is a budding beer scene taking root in Iowa. From punchy sours to delightful IPAs, we were absolutely blown away by the breweries in Des Moines, IA when we visited. 

From historic landmarks reborn as lively taprooms to pioneering breweries pushing the boundaries of taste, Des Moines promises a diverse and exhilarating range of beer experiences. If you are looking for a list of breweries in downtown Des Moines, you’ve come to the right spot! 

Short on Time? Here are the key takeaways:

  • Most breweries have a food option or you can bring your own
  • If you are short on time, we highly recommend El Bait Shop for the most epic beer selection
  • In our opinion, don’t miss Lua Brewing for their incredible sours and food

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Map of the Breweries in Des Moines, IA

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Lua Brewing

Lua Brewing: breweries in des moines iowa-1
  • Hours:
    • Monday – Thursday: 11AM – 10PM
    • Friday – Saturday: 11AM – 11PM
    • Sunday: 11AM – 9PM
  • Food Available: Yes, full kitchen
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on patio

Up first for breweries in Des Moines, Lua Brewing is all about quality and fun! They take pride in their top-notch ingredients, unique brews, and cozy taproom vibes.

Started by Scott and Whitney Selix, Lua Brewing is a dream come true for beer and food lovers. With Zack Dunbar and Chef James Arbaugh on board, they’ve cooked up mouthwatering dishes alongside a range of tasty brews including sour beers for fruity fans.

Lua Brewing has quickly made a name for itself, earning recognition as one of the top 50 breweries globally within its first 18 months. Their dedication to quality extends beyond just beer, as they’ve also received awards for being one of the best restaurants in Des Moines.

For those who enjoy sour beers (Sam is a fan of them), Lua Brewing offers a delightful selection, with recommendations for fruity sour lovers. The open-air setup with a garage door adds to the chill atmosphere, perfect for a laid-back hangout.

Peach Tree Brewing

Peach Tree Brewing Co FB Des Moines IA
Photo Courtesy of Peach Tree Brewing Co Facebook
  • Hours:
    • Monday – Thursday: 2PM – 10PM
    • Friday: 12PM – 11PM
    • Saturday: 11AM – 11PM
    • Sunday: 11AM – 9PM
  • Food Available: Small snacks only, can bring your own food
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on patio

Founded in Knoxville, Iowa, in 2009, Peach Tree Brewing boasts a rich history as one of the state’s oldest independent craft breweries. In addition to being one of the oldest in the state, they take pride in being the first 100% woman-owned brewery in the state.

Owner Megan McKay’s vision to open a taproom brewery in a town of 8,000 people has paid off, creating a unique space that instills local pride and brings people together. The brewery’s name, Peace Tree, honors a historic sycamore tree near Lake Red Rock, symbolizing unity and connection across generations.

Their taproom in Des Moines offers a diverse range of craft brews made in small batches. You can indulge in everything from award-winning beers to unique and experimental flavors. 

The brewery’s commitment to quality is evident in its gold medal-winning beers like Blonde Fatale (World Beer Cup) and Get a Little Hazy (Great American Beer Festival), recognized at prestigious beer competitions. With a lineup that includes year-round favorites, special releases, sour wood series, and limited editions, there’s always something new to try among their 23 taps.

In addition to a variety of beers, the taproom caters to non-beer drinkers with guest ciders, beer cocktails, wine, tea, and their signature root beer. If you like root beer, don’t miss getting some to try!

For those craving a bite, you are welcome to bring your own food or order in. Peach Tree offers a selection of Iowa cheeses, meats, and snacks to snack on as well. 

Confluence Brewing Company

Confluence Brewing Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Confluence Brewing Facebook
  • Hours:
    • Monday – Wednesday: 4PM – 10PM
    • Thursday: 12PM – 10PM
    • Friday: 12PM – 11PM
    • Saturday: 11AM – 11PM
    • Sunday: 11AM – 8PM
  • Food Available: Rotating food trucks and/or bring your own
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on patio only

Confluence Brewery in Des Moines is a success story rooted in passion, innovation, and community spirit. Founded in 2012, Confluence has transformed into one of Iowa’s largest craft breweries with 36 beers on tap. You won’t go thirsty here! 

Situated near the Gray’s Lake bike trail, Confluence is a popular pit stop for beer enthusiasts. 

If you happen to be on the trail, stopping by to enjoy a few beers on the deck is a must-do, but really, there’s never a bad time to visit Confluence and savor one of their exceptional brews.

Their mainstays include Des Moines IPA, Farmer John’s, Blonde Ale, and the Milk Man Milk Stout.

Exile Brewing Company

  • Hours:
    • Tuesday – Thursday: 11AM – 10PM
    • Friday: 11AM – 11PM
    • Saturday: 10AM – 11PM
    • Sunday: 10AM – 9PM
    • Monday: Closed
  • Happy Hour: 
    • Tuesday – Friday 3:30PM – 5:30PM
    • Sunday: ALL DAY
  • Food Available: Yes, full kitchen
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on patio only

Exile Brewing Co embraces beer as a catalyst for community and celebration, uniting free spirits, oddballs, and outsiders into a unique family. 

Founded in 2012, they are known for their approachable and highly enjoyable beers such as Ruthie, Iowa’s top lager.  Exile offers a spacious venue with a large patio, delivering robust flavors in both their beer selection and a carefully crafted food menu designed to complement their brews.

One of the few breweries in Des Moines that offers regular tours, you can experience their steam-powered 30-bbl brew house right in town. 

In addition to beer, Exile offers canned cocktails through Bev. Co., including flagship Vodka Sodas made with locally sourced vodka. 

Twisted Vine Brewing

  • Hours:
    • Monday-Thursday: 3PM – 10PM
    • Friday, 11AM – 11PM
    • Saturday, 11AM – 11PM
    • Sunday, 11AM – 8PM
  • Food Available:
  • Dog Friendly

Twisted Vine Brewery is a true microbrewery dedicated to handcrafting every beer with meticulous attention to quality. 

As with many breweries, Twisted Vine began in 2011 as a passion project for homebrewers starting small with a three-barrel brewing system that was nestled within the Madison County Winery.

Their flagship beers are all IPAs, but they have several seasonal beers that will please any non-hoppy beer drinker. Their year-round beers include Black Knight IPA (a black IPA) and their Whadda Juicebag (a juicy hazy IPA). 

The patio is a perfect summer night spot to grab a bite of delicious pizza and snacks to complement their brews. They are located in between Peach Tree and SingleSpeed if you are looking to hop around. 

Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing

  • Hours:
    • Monday-Thursday: 11AM – 10PM
    • Friday, 11AM – 11PM
    • Saturday, 10AM – 11PM
    • Sunday, 10AM – 10PM
  • Happy Hour: Monday – Friday: 3PM – 6PM
  • Food Available: Yes, full restaurants
  • Dog Friendly: No

Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company (CABCo) takes pride in its longstanding commitment to crafting exceptional beer and delicious food using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Amongst the oldest breweries in Des Moines, IA, CABCo’s 1996 legacy is rooted in the historic Saddlery Building, dating back to 1881 and housing various businesses over the years.

The brewery’s decor and beer labels pay homage to Iowa’s brewing history, featuring spin-offs from old defunct breweries and antique memorabilia. Each beer is meticulously handcrafted on-site with premium ingredients, ensuring freshness and distinctive flavors. Their beers are a bit more traditional in style meaning that your lager tastes like a lager, but in a lovely refreshing sorta way. 

CABCo’s bar offers an exciting nightlife experience in Des Moines’ entertainment district, serving hand-crafted brews alongside a full wine menu and a curated cocktail list. 

Whether you’re savoring a unique beer or enjoying a night out, CABCo promises a memorable experience filled with character and quality. 

Big Grove Brewing

Big Grove Brewing fb Des Moines breweries
Photo Courtesy of Big Grove Brewing Facebook
  • Hours:
    • Sunday – Thursday: 11AM – 10PM
    • Friday – Saturday: 11AM – 11PM
  • Food Available: Yes, full kitchen
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on patio only

Founded in 2013 in Solon, Big Grove Brewery launched its Des Moines taproom in the historic Crescent Chevrolet dealership in the Sherman Hill neighborhood in 2022. 

Their mission was undoubtedly accomplished, as they now boast the largest brewery/restaurant in the state, accommodating 850 patrons and featuring a vast 12,000-square-foot patio with stunning views of the downtown skyline. This outdoor space offers amenities like firepits and a dog-friendly artificial turf area complete with cornhole boards.

Aside from the impressive setting, Big Grove Brewery’s taproom in Des Moines offers a diverse range of beers, including both approachable and experimental brews, with many exclusive to the Des Moines area. 

Start your experience with a refreshing flagship beer, Easy Eddy (Hazy IPA), and then venture into their more seasonal, adventurous offerings like Summer Jam, a fruited sour. 

SingleSpeed Brewing Co.

SingleSpeed Brewing in Des Monies IA
Photo Courtesy of SingleSpeed Brewing
  • Hours:
    • Monday: 12PM – 8PM
    • Tuesday – Friday: 11AM – 10PM
    • Saturday: 10AM – 10PM
    • Sunday: 10AM – 8PM
  • Food Available: Yes, full kitchen
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on patio

Opening their Des Moines location in July 2023, SingleSpeed Brewing is the newest game in town. Their origin story traces back to group bike rides, where the founder envisioned the brewery’s concept. Growing clearer with each bike ride, SingleSpeed was finally established in 2012. 

In 2016, they expanded to a 20 BBL brewery in the renovated Wonder Bread building in Waterloo, Iowa, while maintaining their commitment to crafting intriguing and high-quality ales.

The historic Wonder Bread Building, originally built in 1927 and expanded multiple times since, served as a bakery until 2012. After sitting vacant for three years, SingleSpeed Brewing Co. transformed the 35,000-square-foot space into a brewery, dining area, and retail space while preserving its historic character. Repurposing materials from the factory, such as conical rollers for bike racks and oven doors for restroom stall doors, honored the building’s history and community importance. 

Bonus: El Bait Shop

El Bait Shop,  breweries in Des Moines, IA
  • Hours:
    • Sunday – Thursday: 11AM – 11PM
    • Friday & Saturday: 11AM – 12PM
  • Food Available: Yes, full kitchen
  • Dog Friendly: No

We have to add El Bait Shop as a bonus stop to all the breweries in Des Moines, IA because it’s epic. Plain and simple. 

El Bait Shop offers over 260 beers on tap that rotate regularly, complemented by another 75 options in bottles, all showcasing local and global beers. 

They keep their beer list updated online, so you can peep the latest offerings from both local Iowa breweries and international sources before you go. 

When we visited, it took us over 25 minutes to build a flight because of the insane amount of choices. We leaned heavily on the bartender to help us find local beer in the styles that we wanted. 

We could have spent several hours here finding beers to try and we suggest leaving yourself time and liver space to explore multiple offerings. 

According to Craft Beer & Brewing, El Bait Shop earned the impressive ranking of 14th-best beer bar globally. At the time of writing this, we’ve been to over 1,200 bars and we agree, it’s one of the best. 

Looking for some more guides to quench your thirst? Check out these nearby destinations:

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