From river to river in our major metro markets and in classic small town Iowa is our flowing beer boom and The Iowa Gallivant has found the way in to many of breweries since we started one of the cornbelt's greatest travel blog's three years ago. Here's what we've experienced so far and we have many more to go! (Click on the headlines below to see the original articles featuring these amazing Iowa brewers)
Lake Time Brewery-Clear Lake
When you're in Clear Lake, IA you're automatically on lake time so you might as well enjoy the beer that gives credence to this lifestyle. They are well known for some amazing selections including one that tastes just like a dark chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cup!
Our first trip to Okoboji yielded a visit to brewery we have come to know quite well. West O Beer had a great duo entertaining the beer lovers that featured Stutterin' Jimmy from Des Moines. Local Beer+Local Musicians=Pure Iowa bliss.
Our Christmas trip to Decorah led us to two local breweries and the first was Pulpit Rock, which was having themselves a very busy night when we arrived. Apparently their growlers fit just fine in stockings!
In the extreme southeast part of Iowa is a new brewery on the old Mississippi. V's has a full menu, long bar, a lot of TVs, and plenty of their crafted masterpieces pouring all day long. Get down to the river and make sure you local up the beer selection on the pontoon for the day!
The Depot is all you need for a road trip idea. Their microbrewed beer can only be enjoyed at their restaurant in Shenandoah so what are you waiting for? And don't get out of their without trying their house-made gourmet sodas. You may find the best cream soda on earth there!
Iowa's Loess Hills has some of the Midwest's best views. And right in the middle of these hills is the town of Glenwood and Keg Creek Brewing. The owner greeted us with some of the brew master's favorite varieties and spent the time telling us about Glenwood and other breweries we need to get on our list. Classic Iowa hospitality with a cold one!
We scoured Downtown Davenport and enjoyed two great breweries. Our first stop was at Front Street Brewery where the beer was obviously great but so were all the appetizers we ordered. Do not leave without ordering the Duck Confit Tacos!
The atmosphere literally shines through at Kalona Brewing. You can witness your beer being brewed in their state of the art facility and enjoy a full menu loaded with ingredients from local farmers, growers and producers. That's another win for all us yokels!
Millstream has been doing the beer making for a long time and they're getting tastier with every season. We've been to the Amana Colonies many times and written about our two of our trips to Millstream. They were my first stop on my 21st birthday, many years ago, and they've been my go-to brewery ever since!
With great beer comes great responsibility. And that's why we have Great River Brewery. One of the Quad Cities' iconic bridges overlooks Great River along the busy Mississppi River while you enjoy the craft. The patio gets plenty of sunshine and the whole place provides an incredible atmosphere that you can only find in Davenport.
The local cidery is making a comeback and Iowa is home to some great ones! Winterset Cidery has a beautiful facility and tasting room. We hit them up on one of the hottest days of the summer and we couldn't have been more grateful to enjoy the crisp hard cider in rural Winterset.
One of Iowa's most well known breweries made it on my Christmas list last year. Toppling Goliath had the holiday rush in full swing and we were able to handle as much of it as we could. Santa could use a beer from time to time. That's just how I was raised.
In the heart of the historic Czech Village is Lion Bridge Brewing and this very bearded man that wants to pour you some great craft beer. We went during the annual St. Joseph's Day Parade and soaked in all things Czech from the music, entertainment, events, food, and the tasty beer!
Beers were flowing and so was the beer cheese at Backpocket Brewing. We went to flight school, twice, and dove into their amazing beer cheese dip with homemade pizza dough. They also pump out wood fired pizza all day long and host some great movie nights. Which all includes beer because that's how you're supposed to do all that.
One of our most memorable trips Monica and I took, in Iowa, was to Downtown Cedar Falls. And part of that amazing weekend was spent at Singlespeed Brewing. The entire district was occupied by locals that loved Cedar Falls and wanted nothing but to show us how amazing their downtown sanctuary is. The beers at Singlespeed were the perfect partner for all of it.
We've experienced a lot of great breweries in the Hawkeye State and we've only just begun. There are tons more with endless gallons of crafted greatness all brewed by hardworking and beer loving Iowans. I'm going to go ahead and say that this will be my favorite blog post to update through the next few years. Stay tuned for more Iowa suds!