Try DSM: Beer and Brewery Guide

Taprooms in Greater Des Moines (DSM) are creating more inclusive drinking spaces, including places for a growing segment of non-alcoholic beer drinkers. The local breweries you’ll find around the region love innovating, and with locations right off the bike trails, outdoor patios that welcome your pooch, live music from DSM artists and trivia nights for game players, you'll find plenty of options to explore and enjoy, no matter where you are in the region. 

Hotel Pick: Des Lux Hotel 

In Downtown DSM, the Des Lux Hotel bar menu includes beer on tap and bottles and cans from local breweries like Exile. Des Lux also offers shuttle service, a full-service salon off the lobby and more amenities to complement the hotel’s high-quality suites. 


  • Begin your ‘Thirsty Thursday’ with a trip to Backpocket Pin & Pixel in Johnston. The taproom is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Thursdays, and you can go for a strike on-site under the fluorescent lights at Duckpin Bowling. 
  • Or head to nearby Clive, where the 515 Brewing Company taproom awaits along the Clive Greenbelt Trail. Board games, an outdoor patio that welcomes pets and snacks from the likes of DSM favorites Thelma’s, The Cheese Shop and New World Kitchen are also available. 
  • In West Des Moines, purchase some DSM coasters at Heart of Iowa Marketplace to hold your beer glass at home. They’ve got drink mixes, too, for the non-beer types and plenty of local gourmet food options to go with your brews. 
  • Check out Beerstyles Taproom and Gastropub in West Des Moines, with a rotating seasonal menu and 100-plus beers on tap.  
  • Another evening option: Check out dinner, drinks and a movie at Flix Brewhouse


  • Day drinking begins at Peace Tree Brewery and Taproom in downtown Knoxville, the original brewery location. Check to see which Fridays will have a food truck on-site, and try out some of the award-winning brews, including Blonde Fatale, Get a Little Hazy and the seasonal Lake Loop, available in spring and summer. 
  • Hit up Jersey Freeze Ice Cream in Monroe as you make your way to Newton for more beer tasting. 
  • If you need a longer stretch between tastings, make a stop at the Newton Arboretum & Botanical Garden and enjoy a bit of nature. 
  • Support a women-owned beer business by visiting Gezellig Brewing Co. in Newton. During the summer, order a brew and enjoy food from a food truck. The full food truck menu is available here
  • Take a 40 minute drive over to Ankney and round out your day at Uptown Garage Brewery. Book a tee time at the golf simulator on site and enjoy a round of golf and a round of beers. 


  • Start the morning off with a signature mimosa at Bottomless Bombshell brunch on Saturday morning at Americana in Downtown DSM. All-you-can-drink Bloody Mary’s are also served from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. 
  • From there, check out Downtown breweries like Big Grove, Exile Brewing Co. and Lua Brewing and the Historic East Village’s The Iowa Tap Room and Single Speed Brewing
  • A Saturday night at Fenders Brewing in Polk City offers opportunities for karaoke night or taproom tunes. Fenders serves craft beer, ciders and more that are perfect after a bike ride on the Neal Smith or High Trestle Trail.  
  • Or, end the night at Des Moines’ original brewery, Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewery. Try a CABCo craft beer along with CABCo Wings, Maple Bourbon Pork Chops or the Black & Tan Reuben. 
  • Another famed spot in Downtown? El Bait Shop, which has the largest craft beer selection west of the Mississippi River, and Craft Beer & Brewing named a top 20 best bars in the world.  

Other Options for Your Itinerary 

Choose your own adventure and mix and match with these options to plan an itinerary:   

  • Book a tour with The Big Yellow Bike in Downtown DSM where you can pedal the city with friends and stop off at your favorite downtown drinking spots. 
  • When you attend the Des Moines Arts Festival, you’ll see the most beautiful creations from dozens of featured artists and a craft beer from one of the on-site food and drink vendors.  
  • Annually in June at Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park in Downtown DSM, the Iowa Craft Brew Festival takes place. 
  • The World Food & Music Festival, a three day celebration of world cultures, includes a line-up of beers from around the world. 
  • Sign up for the Iowa Wine and Beer Passport so you can discover new locations around DSM. 
  • What better place to enjoy a cold one than a baseball game? The Iowa Cubs play well into the fall and have plenty of beer options to sip as you root for the home team. 
  • Travel the Covered Bridges Scenic Byway through Madison County. You can visit the famous covered bridges before making your way to two wineries, a cidery and the brewery, Big Rack Brew Haus
  • Check out the Iowa Brewers Union, a nonprofit devoted to home brewing in DSM. 

Find Your Community. Do Something Greater.  

Greater Des Moines (DSM) is full of ways to connect with other local brew enthusiasts. Find your community here and get connected!