Iowa Tap­room

Des Moines, Iowa

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Love Handles | -

Run by the own­ers be­hind el Bait Shop, it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of all things Iowa beer.

What it is: Lo­cated in­side a man­u­fac­tur­ing ware­house that dates back to the late 1800s, the Iowa Tap­room has been com­pletely re­fur­bished and serves only beer made in the Hawk­eye State. As Iowa closes in on 100 op­er­at­ing brew­eries, this is the place to go to try the lat­est and great­est from brew­ers try­ing to make their mark. Of course, there are fa­mil­iar stand­bys from the more es­tab­lished brew­eries as well as ro­tat­ing sea­sonal and spe­cial kegs reg­u­larly tapped.

Why it’s great: The enor­mous silo-shaped tap tower in the mid­dle of the bar makes it clear that the beer is first and fore­most on the own­ers’ minds. But the cel­e­bra­tion of local ex­tends to the food menu as well. From Iowa pork chops to na­tive cui­sine such as ham balls, the Iowa Tap­room serves up com­fort food for res­i­dents and gives a crash course in good eats to trav­el­ers. A re­cent visit found a knowl­edge­able staff ex­pertly guid­ing vis­i­tors through not only fla­vors but also the sto­ries be­hind each of the brew­eries on tap. That per­sonal touch made for a more in­ti­mate and mean­ing­ful drink­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. —John Holl

DE­TAILS

Hours: 11a.m.–10p.m., Sun­day; 11a.m.– mid­night, Mon­day–satur­day Ad­dress: 215 E. 3rd St., Ste. 100, Des Moines, IA Web: iowat­ap­room.com

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