On October 1st, I drove to Confluence Brewing Company. When I pulled up to an old warehouse building, I wasn’t sure I was in the right place, but then I saw the lit up “Confluence Brewing Company” sign on the front, over the door. I walked through the Confluence brewing floor, passed the local artwork on the walls, and came to the door of the taproom expecting to order the famous Des Moines IPA or Farmer Johns Multigrain Ale, but then the bartender told me that they had just put on their brand new Scottish ale: Nessie.
Last week I made my first journey to Exile Brewing Company in downtown Des Moines, Iowa at 1514 Walnut Street. Exile offers 13 seasonal brews and four main beers: Ruthie, Gigi, Betty and finally, Hannah, which I decided to try.
Hannah is Exile’s Bavarian Wheat beer. It is brewed with a top-fermented style unlike its Bavarian brothers, the Munich Helles and golden lagers that made that area famous. It is a golden brown color with an orange tinge and is cloudy. This separates wheat beer from lagers and pilsners, which are usually clear and golden.
Saturday, I headed down to El Bait Shop at 200 S.W. 2nd Street for the second annual Little Giant Beer Summit. As I arrived, hundreds of people were gathered inside of and in the back patio/parking lot area of El Bait Shop to partake in the festivities.
Crowd at the Little Giant Iowa beer summit at El Bait Shop on Saturday.
The Summit was created to bring together the “little giants,” a group of over 40 small, but mighty Iowa breweries. El Bait Shop has been known for supporting local brews, boasting over 120 beers on tap and over 150 beers in bottles. Most of these beers are microbrews and decent chunk of them come from Iowa, so it’s no surprise that last year, Co-owner of El Bait Shop, Jeff Bruning, had the idea for the summit. The summit offered over 70 Iowa brews along with the rest of Bait Shop’s huge selection.
Thursday evening, I sat in a booth at the University Library Cafe at the corner of University and 35th ready to take on my new artisan beer experience. I didn’t want to start out my adventure with anything too “out there”, so as I scanned the Library’s menu of over 50 beers, I landed on the Gold Coin from Backpocket Brewing in Coralville, Iowa.