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Confluence Brewing Company

We have a big list of Iowa breweries and wineries to get to this year, so on a cold and cloudy Saturday, we decided to start with a visit to Confluence Brewing Company. Located just south of Gray's Lake at 1235 Thomas Beck Road (Bell Ave) in Des Moines, Confluence Brewing is a great place to relax and enjoy a great handcrafted beer.

Confluence Brewing Company was launched in 2012 by partners John Martin and Ken Broadhead. John is also the Head Brewer and their love for craft beer has only been a good thing for Des Moines.

The taproom is a nice, big space that features lots of tables for groups to spread out. They don't offer food at the brewery, but if you want to bring something in, they don't have a problem with that. There are also picnic tables available for the warmer months (which is definitely NOT now).

Confluence Brewing features 3 Flagship Beers - Farmer John's Multi-Grain Ale, Des Moines IPA, and Capital Gold - plus a nice variety of seasonal and limited beers. They try to name new beers as some sort of tribute to Des Moines, the state of Iowa, or their midwest beginnings, which I think is pretty cool.

Here's what was available the day we visited - plenty of excellent beer to taste!

As a home brewer himself (with a recent experiment with hard cider), Grant always likes to see the 'business' side of breweries. At Confluence Brewing, you walk right by all of the tanks and production areas on your way to the taproom.

So, on to the beer! Grant went with a pint of Weather Beacon Red - a double marzen red lager, this is Confluence Brewing's first high-proof brew with an 8.3% ABV. Very rich and complex, this beer will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling on a cold Iowa day. Grant really enjoyed this brew.

I decided to go for it and ordered a 4 beer sampler. From left to right I tried Capital Gold, Farmer John's, Weather Beacon Red, and Nitro Milk Man Stout. I enjoyed both the Capital Gold and Farmer John's - they were very drinkable for a mostly Miller Lite drinker (although I'm trying to be more adventurous!), and I had fun trying to pick out the different notes in each. I wasn't a big fan of the Weather Beacon Red, it's a little strong flavored for my uninitiated palate (meaning it made me have 'Bitter Beer Face'). But guess which brew was my favorite? That's right, the Nitro Milk Man Stout. Pushed with nitrogen, this was a creamy, chocolaty, coffee-y delight.

Grant also had a pint of Gray's Lake Nessie, a very tasty version of Scottish Ale. Forgot to take a photo, but it's a beauty of a pour.

Hanging out at Confluence Brewing Company was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a cold Iowa winter day - I imagine it will be even more fun on a nice spring afternoon out on the picnic tables. Or, if you prefer, take a growler or half growler home with you. Confluence Brewing Company beer is also available at many local bars and taverns and in some of our best restaurants. Go here to find a location near you.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Confluence Brewing Company - get out there soon and warm up with a great handcrated Iowa beer!

Confluence Brewing Company

1235 Thomas Beck Road
Des Moines, IA 50315


Hours (Taproom)

Tuesday - Thursday  4:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday  Noon - 10:00pm
Sunday  Noon - 5:00pm

For more information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

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