Summer Bucket List Idea - Celebrating Iowa’s Craft Breweries
More times than not this job of mine gives me the best opportunities – ones that take me to unique places and lets me eat and drink to my heart’s desire. There isn't a day that I do not take it for granted. A few weeks back I asked the husband, “would you like to take the day off work and go drink beer with me?”
I think you know his answer. There was zero hesitation!
Iowa (believe it or not) is home to some of the finest craft beer in the country. From Des Moines to smaller cities across the state, breweries in Iowa are as unique as they are abundant. Each brewery has its own history and story, along with its own eclectic experience for the locals and their out-of-state visitors.
Travel Iowa recently unveiled the Iowa Wine & Beer Passport program, where beer and wine lovers can track their progress supporting these locally owned businesses across Iowa winning prizes along the way, while also grabbing discounts when visiting.
I visited two breweries in Dubuque, Iowa (the cutest Mississippi River town by the way) and we had the best time! Both breweries were different and unique in their own right and might I say served some darn good beer?
First up was the Dimensional Brewing Company. Situated with a fun view of the mighty Mississippi, this place is BIG and roomy – a great place to bring a group of friends for happy hour.
With a modern, yet old town feel, this is a place where all your friends can spread out and try a variety of their delicious beers on tap. From stone cold classics to something new and interesting they’ve got you covered.
We ordered two flights (you know, to make sure we tried it ALL) and came away with some favorites! Both of us made sure to grab a variety from lights to darks, even a couple sours and seltzers.
In the end we picked four clear winners: Builder the Bob (darker, yet smooth & crisp), Strawberry Shortcake (sweet and tart), Chickity Czech Yo Self (light and pretty perfect) and Jumbled Up (which tasted like a great iced coffee to us).
Dimensional Brewing was clearly the place to be when we were there – it filled up quickly during the lunch hour (we also ate some great barbecue). With open air seating and great views of the downtown and river we saw groups of families, people on their lunch break and retirees enjoying a slow, quiet Friday afternoon.
Next we traveled to Jubeck New World Brewing, just a few blocks down (which gives you a chance to see all of the other shops and restaurants Dubuque has to offer). We loved upon arrival that it looks nothing like a typical brewery – in fact if not thinking you’d like it was just another cute storefront!
But once inside you see it’s quaint and homey atmosphere just stepping in the door. Founded in 2012 after a few years of the two owners just home brewing – they turned their vision into a vibrant social space. In the beginning they had just six beers on tap with the menu written on a flattened cardboard box. Humble beginnings!
We noticed right away Jubecks has “regulars”. There were customers lined up right at the opening to fill their growlers! Plus, many arrived to pick up their to-go orders in the can varieties.
We ordered a flight (that came to us on a wooden airplane!) and we both agreed on three favorites: Angel Food Cream Ale (hint of sweet, yet smooth), Jeremy’s Folly (rich and caramel flavored, yet light) and X14 Farmhouse Sour (hints of mango and pineapple undertones).
Jubeck’s is a place you want to keep secret and to yourself (whoops!) because it’s a place where they LOVE their customers and treat you like family. We will definitely be going back on our next trip to Dubuque. And next time if it’s not raining, we’ll take advantage of their outdoor seating.
It was such a treat to travel the day away and have fun at these Iowa craft breweries. Now it’s your turn to do the same! Sign up for the Iowa Wine & Beer Passport today. Browse through all of the listings and start mapping out your Summer Bucket List today.
A big thanks to Travel Iowa for sponsoring this post.