The 12 Best Breweries to Visit in Iowa


Iowa is home to many entertaining attractions, from the National Mississippi River Museum Aquarium to the Des Moines Art Center and the Maquoketa Caves State Park. Iowa also has a number of incredible craft breweries sure to make any beer lover happy. Whether it’s the welcoming atmosphere, unique flavors, friendly staff or convenient location, you’re sure to find a craft brewery to visit in Iowa. 

If you’re visiting Iowa and love craft beer, a tour of all the different local breweries you can visit might be the perfect way to spend a day. Check out this list of the top breweries in Iowa, and choose the ones that sound the best to you:

1. Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. distributes its delicious beers to 30 states and rotates more than 40 beers throughout the year. Created in 2009 by Clark and Barbara Lewey after their home-brewing success, Toppling is the perfect location to meet up with friends and enjoy a round of drinks and eats. They also have a rental space available for birthdays, reunions, graduation parties or any other milestone worth celebrating. 

2. Big Grove Brewery

Big Grove Brewery takes pride in their award-winning craft beer as well as their delicious prepared foods. In addition to craft beers, they offer a selection of hard seltzers perfect for cooling down on a hot summer day! 

The community aspect of Big Grove sets it apart from other Iowa breweries. From supporting grant recipients to working to enhance the environment, Big Grove strives to make a positive impact. Their code of ethics fosters a welcoming, friendly and inclusive environment for staff and visitors. Experience the fantastic hospitality at one of their three Iowa locations — Des Moines, Iowa City and Solon. 

3. SingleSpeed Brewing

Another excellent Iowa craft brewery to visit is SingleSpeed Brewing. SingleSpeed Brewing produces small-batch, unique beers perfect for the adventurous beer drinker. Their first facility was powered by a 3 BBL BrewHouse — BBL being the official measurement for barrels of beer — which today serves as their Research and Development center. 

In 2016, they moved their 20 BBL facility online and situated it in the historically renovated WonderBread building in Waterloo, Iowa. SingleSpeed Brewing is also dedicated to sustainability and emphasizes who they source ingredients from. Visit one of their taprooms in Waterloo or Cedar Falls to experience what makes SingleSpeed stand out. 

4. Twisted Vine Brewery

Twisted Vine Brewery boasts five master brewers who love searching for the next best flavor. They offer more than 25 brews on tap. If you can’t choose what you want to try, they curate six-deep beer flights so you can find the best brew for you. 

5. Confluence Brewing Company

Located in Des Moines, Confluence Brewing hosts events such as bingo nights as well as annual Oktoberfest, Halloween, St. Paddy’s Day, Chewbocka Fest and Cabin Fever events. They let their fruit beers sit for six weeks or more to develop the deepest flavor. 

6. Iowa Brewing Co.

The Iowa Brewing Co. taproom in Cedar Rapids is a walk from the city’s best attractions, and they also partner with food trucks if you want a quick bite between rounds of drinks! Their beer list includes seasonal choices, special releases, limited and anniversary brews and more. You can also purchase a keg from Iowa Brewing Co. to keep the fun going from home! 

7. Fenders Brewing 

One of the best Iowa breweries is Fenders Brewing. Fenders Brewing is located in Poll City, Iowa and was created after its two founders met at church and bonded over their shared love for craft beer. Fenders’ location is perfect if you crave a frosty drink after exploring the High Trestle bike trails or Jester Park. 

All Fenders Brewing beers are brewed on-site behind the taproom. They also host events such as bingo nights and Taproom Tunes so you can have a new experience every time you visit! And if beer isn’t your favorite, they offer canned cocktails and hard cider, too. You can even bring your own bottle of wine if you want to!

8. Exile Brewing Company

Exile Brewing’s beer is as fresh as beer gets! Every beer is brewed and bottled at their prime location in downtown Des Moines. They also have a patio and brewpub open for regular service, complete with iWave air ionizers to help ensure top air quality for all guests.

If you’re a free spirit, you’ll fit right in with the Exile Brewing Company community!

9. Backpocket Brewing

Backpocket Brewing is an excellent option for Iowa craft beer. No matter your beer preferences, Backpocket Brewing has something for you! They offer seasonal favorites, sours, classic lagers and bretts. Backpocket Brewing’s beers are also German-inspired and handcrafted. Their beers are distributed in all 99 Iowa counties, and they have two total locations — a production facility in Coralville and a taproom in Dubuque! You can visit either site to try one of their core beers or get adventurous and go for one of their experimental taps!

10. Mason City Brewing

Mason City Brewing provides the northern Iowa area will delicious, small-batch beers. They always have a new beer on tap, meaning you can try something new every visit. If you’ve had enough beer and want to try something else, cool off with one of their hard ciders. They went through 40 cases of it at their beer festival, so it seems to be a hit!

11. Peace Tree Brewing Co.

Peace Tree Brewing was established in 2009 and has the perfect summer vibes if you’re visiting Iowa in the summer months! Their Knoxville location is home to one of Iowa’s oldest independent craft breweries, and their beers are gold medal award winners. Be sure to stop by if you want a casual — and dog-friendly — patio atmosphere!

12. Okoboji Brewing Co.

Okoboji Brewing brings terrific craft beers to the Iowa Great Lakes region. Their taproom opened in 2012 and provides an intimate environment for 45 people. Play games, watch TV or just sip a beer and enjoy the free WiFi for a couple of hours! You can also choose one of their wine or cocktail options, too!

CIT Signature Transportation Can Help You See the Best Breweries in Iowa

Find your favorite Iowa breweries during a tour of the state! If you and your friends or family want to visit all the craft breweries you can, CIT Signature Transportation can help! Our fleet of buses and vans have trekked all across Iowa and back, and we can transport your tour group safely and reliably to any brewery destination.

Contact us today for more information on our services! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your group transportation.

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