The Best Craft Breweries in Iowa

| © Mint Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo
Marcelina Morfin

Iowa is among several states embracing the trendy craft beer scene. From traditional beer styles to distinctive and creative brews, the variety of craft breweries found throughout the state will make any beer lover feel very satisfied. Before heading to Iowa, read our guide to discover some great craft breweries dotting the landscape.

Big Grove Brewery

Big Grove Brewery

Opened in 2013 in Solon, Big Grove Brewery is a great venue serving several in-house brewed selections and guest varieties alongside delicious farm-to-table cuisine. The interior, complete with lofty ceilings plus rustic and contemporary elements, is a beautiful space in which to try the brewery’s ever-changing creations. Some highlights include the eponymous Big Grove IPA, the Red Headed Stranger and the Batch 300 collaboration with Lion Bridge Brewing Company. As for food selections, the menu features made from scratch, seasonal dishes with something for every taste, including meat and fish lovers, vegetarians and children. Big Grove is open Tuesday through Sunday for both lunch and dinner.

Confluence Brewing Company

With a love for both their state and craft beer, John Martin and Ken Broadhead launched Confluence Brewing Company in Des Moines in 2012. A great place to gather with friends, the brewery offers visitors an open space in which to try a variety of crafted brews Tuesday through Sunday. A number of selections are available, ranging from flagship beers to seasonal and limited varieties and include highlights such as the Des Moines IPA, the Imogene Red and the Mayday Mayday. The brewery often hosts events, including live music and tasty food trucks such as The Spot and Powered by Fries. Interested in a tour? Brewery tours can be booked through their website.

Mason City Brewing

Serving great brews since 2013, Mason City Brewing — the first brewery in Mason City in 130 years — is located in the heart of historic downtown. Tucked inside an old building, complete with tin ceilings and original maple flooring, the brewery is a relaxing venue in which to enjoy any of the eight tasty brews on tap. Serving beer lovers Thursday through Saturday, the brewery offers brews such as the Cream Ale, which is an ale version of the American lager, the Oatmeal Pale Ale, the Milk Stout and the Irish Red to name a few. Many events take place throughout the year as well, including musical entertainment.

Peace Tree Brewing Co.

Exterior of Alluvial Brewing

A craft microbrewery located in Knoxville, Peace Tree Brewing Co. — named after an historic 500-year-old sycamore tree — delights craft beer lovers with its great brews time and time again. The taproom, which is opened Wednesday through Sunday, offers guests a variety of taps featuring mainstays, seasonal and other small-batch selections. Two highlights visitors will find year-round include the award-winning Blonde Fatale, a Belgian-style blond ale, and the No Coast IPA. While they don’t serve food, the brewery does allow their guests to order something from the area restaurants. Live music and other events are often held at the brewery, enhancing the already lively environment.

Alluvial Brewing

Nestled in an idyllic location, an organic farm, Alluvial Brewing is a new craft brewery offering guests a variety of brews within a relaxing setting. Found in Ames, the brewery features an indoor space adorned with local art along with a porch that offers some lovely views of the prairie and wetlands. Guests can even take a stroll through the landscape while sipping their beer. Specializing in small-batch craft brews, the brewery, which is open Thursday through Sunday, has 10 taps with unique options such as the Vanilla Latte Ox-presso, which is an oatmeal stout with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and espresso, and the Leuven Belgian Wit brewed with lemon and orange peels, Indian coriander and chamomile.

SingleSpeed Brewing Company

SingleSpeed Brewing Company is a brewer-owned and operated venue located in historic downtown Cedar Falls. Open everyday for beer lovers’ enjoyment, the brewery’s taproom is a warm and inviting space, complete with exposed brick walls and wooden floors. Producing small batches of artisan brews using the best ingredients available, including local, seasonal and organic products, the beers are flavorful and include choices such as the IPA Blanco, the Brewed X2, which is a coffee-infused American brown ale and the Tricycle, a cream ale. For those visitors who are interested in a behind-the-scenes tour, the brewery offers guided tours on Saturdays at 2pm.

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

Founded in 2009 by Clark and Barb Lewey in Decorah, Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. serves guests a wide variety of brews seven days a week. From lagers to ales, to barrel and wood aged selections to stouts, the brewery is known for creating ‘big beer brewed in small batches’. Beer lovers can check the brewery’s Facebook page for not only special events but also a weekly list of brews on tap. Some current offerings are the pseudoSue, a single hop pale ale, the Golden Nugget, a medium bodied IPA with notes of tropical fruit and the ReGifter.

Twisted Vine Brewery

Nestled inside the lovely Madison County Winery in Saint Charles, Twisted Vine Brewery is a microbrewery featuring a selection of standard brews along with seasonal offerings. Founded in 2010 by three friends, the brewery serves its creations Thursday through Sunday and, as with many of the breweries mentioned thus far, they can be found at other establishments in the area. Popular choices include Tres Hombres Amber with hints of caramel and toffee, Diablo Red with notes of tropical fruits, El Grande Hombre, which is a deep amber brew with darker malts and La Petite Saison made with fresh grape juice and grape husks.

Worth Brewing Company

Tucked inside a historic building in the Northwood Central Avenue Historic District, Worth Brewing Company has been keeping craft beer lovers happy since 2007. Open Wednesday through Saturday, the brewery’s relaxing atmosphere makes it a wonderful spot to visit with friends and unwind. Procuring quality ingredients, the brew team offers guests at least six hand-crafted beers on tap with popular choices being the Oatmeal Stout, the Dillon Clock Stopper, a flavorful pale lager and the Brown Ale, which has notes of caramel, toffee and smoke. Visitors may also find guest brews from time to time, plus events including live music.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article