This one is an old-school late 1980's brewpub housed in a historic brick building. A large but dark (and somewhat sticky) bar sits in back, the ceiling filled with hanging mug-club mugs. They make a lot of beers here, so I was excited to try them before heading back to Minnesota. For $15 they brought out a large sampler in a complex ironwork carrier that was much finer that the beers it held. The best of the beers was the Honest Lawyer IPA: a classic cascade tasting brewpub pale ale. The Topping English ale tasted like dishwater. A Belgian Wit was fairly well done with a strong orange flavor to it. The 21st Amendment was a hoppy ale aged in Templeton Rye barrels and I had high hopes for it, but the flavors were not complimentary at all. Having seen this type of barrel used to excellent effect at Steel Toe Brewing in St. Louis Park, I was disappointed to say the least. Of the 8 beers I tried there, I only finished one sample. I can't really recommend this place, and my wife really didn't like it!
An upscale brewery and restraurant located in downtown Des Moines. I was staying at a nearby hotel and walked a few blocks over, there was some parking, but it is not directly on sight.
Huge sampler, with 8 really large samples, probably closer to 6oz. They had a nice variety of styles with the dry stout and IPA sticking out. I also thought the Belgian white was good although it had little bit different taste than others I've had of that style. They also had two seasonals on, both of which were interesting. First was a flemish brown made with chocolate. I found it a bit overly complex and don't think I could drink more than the sampler. Also had a nice rye pale ale called 21st Amendment, definitely impressed with this one.
The menu is definitely a bit upscale, but the food was good. The spent grain pretzels were amongst the best brewers pretzels I've ever tried and the ground mustard was excellent. I had the blackhawk BBQ chops which were a huge portion and delicious. We also had the prime rib which was as tender as you'd like. Overall, the food alone would be worth the trip in my opinion, and the beers are just as good.
The server was quite knowledgeable and very attentive.
Very up scale downtown brewery/restaurant. Great building and atmosphere, but not the best for Monday Night Football although they did have it on. Pretty much more of a yuppie, young lawyer type hangout. Fish & chips were great and now for the beer...
I sampled 8 of their offerings all of which were spot on for style. Stand outs were the Honest Lawyer IPA, 21st Amendment Ale (black IPA I was told) & the Pointer Brown Ale. I also enjoyed the Two Rivers Light & the Belgian White. The Kaplan Hat Hefe was, well a wheat and the seasonal Bon Pere (a French wheat?) was okay, maybe good if you are into wheat beers.
All in all a good experience with a nice selection of good beer. Worth a stop downtown if money and dress code don't bother you.
Selection: 5 | Service: 4.5 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Food: 5.0 dblvsn's(2) Overall Score: 93.3 this user does not have enough reviews for this score to count
This is by far my favorite brewery in Des Moines. Mike keeps a nice rotation of seasonal and specialty beers and always something on cask. The house beers are all good. The food is some of the best you'll find in Des Moines. The wait staff is very friendly and attentive to your needs. Prices are pretty average for Des Moines. If you haven't stopped in be sure to check it out.
If you haven't been to Court Avenue for a while, it is time to go back. Mike has some really good beers going. His house IPA is very good and they have a good selection of specialties with some on the cask. Mike is a big supporter of the local homebrewers and is very knowledgeable and fun to talk to. The food at Court Ave has always been top notch. Very nice dining area and the bar has a lot of history behind it. It has kind of a fish bowl brewery so you can watch him work on brew day.
Stopped in here on a crawl through downtown Des Moines, and was happy to find a stout on cask, along with a good selection of other brews. The stout was good, not great. This was a Sunday evening, and I'm not sure what day the cask was tapped, but I'm certain that it wasn't today. I'm sure it was a lot better a couple of days ago, though like I said, it was good.
The atmosphere was of the upscale variety, with gavels utilized as tap handles (court house must be close). It seems a good afterwork hangout for a lawyer. They had an in-house poll going for the presidential candidates.
Our bartender was quick and friendly. I overheard him walk another patron through their offerings/flavors to help him choose a beer. Did a good job, I thought. We did not eat, nor get so snoopy as to scrutinize the dining area, but it looked very nice. I look forward to a return trip to check our more of their brews.