With breweries and brewpubs becoming evening and weekend hangouts for many, it’s hard to deny that the culture of craft beer has had an impact on the tri-state area.
Tastings, festivals and farm-to-table dinners often are centered around craft beer, and many small community breweries have become the bastions of armchair philosophers, conversationalists, board game enthusiasts and trivia buffs.
According to the Iowa Brewers Guild, there are 115 craft brewing operations in Iowa. That’s a $1 billion impact on the state’s economy, producing nearly 200,000 barrels of beer annually.
The latest statistics from the Brewers Association, the trade association for craft breweries, indicate that only 3% of craft breweries in the U.S. are owned or co-owned by women. The tri-state area bucks that trend with 38% of the breweries on this list — TLC Brew Works, Guttenberg Brewing Co., Beer in the Barn, River Ridge Brewing and Maquoketa Brewing — being female-owned or co-owned.
Here are 13 local breweries and taprooms to explore. Each one is unique, so whether you enjoy lively music and entertainment or a more laid-back vibe, you’re sure to find a favorite hangout.
Many breweries also serve other locally crafted libations, including root beer, wine, hard cider and mead, so don’t think you have to be a beer lover to enjoy a visit.
Times, hours, events and menus are subject to change. Be sure to call ahead and confirm details before your visit.
7 Hills Brewing Company: 1085 Washington St., Dubuque. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday. Burgers, sandwiches, salads. Trivia, Bingo, open mic nights. Other locations: 7 Hills West, Dyersville, and 7 Hills North, Platteville, Wis. Online: 7hillsbrew.com. Phone: 563-587-8306.
Backpocket Dubuque: 333 E. 10th St., Dubuque. Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Tacos, burgers, wings and small plates. Retro arcade, duckpin bowling, table games. Online: backpocketdubuque.com. Phone: 563-582-1611.
Beer in the Barn Brewery: 101 Main St., St. Donatus. Open April-December. Hours vary, check Facebook page for updates. Co-ed bags league during warm weather. Live music. Online: facebook.com/GehlenBarn. Phone: 563-213-8014.
Catfish Creek Brewpub: 1630 16th St., Dubuque. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Full restaurant menu from Catfish Charlie’s. Online: catfishcharliesdubuque.com/brew-pub. Phone: 563-582-8600.
Darkbird Taphouse: 7305 Thunder Valley Drive, Peosta. Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Recommended: Peosta Premium from Dimensional Brewing Company. Serves a variety of local and regional brews. Burgers, sandwiches, pretzels, nachos, pizza. Occasional food trucks on-site. Dog-friendly patio, water bowls available. Weekly live music. Decks of cards always on-hand. Large outdoor seating with firepits. Online: darkbirdtaphouse.com. Phone: 563-590-7081.
Dimensional Brewing Company: 67 Main St., Dubuque. Hours: 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 2 to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Flatted Fifth Barbecue serves out of the kitchen from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Trivia for Dorks every Wednesday. Occasional live music on Saturdays and Sunday. Dog-friendly patio, water and treats available. Online: dimensionalbrewing.com. Phone: 563-265-2693.
Franklin Street Brewing Company: 116 S. Franklin St., Manchester. Hours: 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Recommendations: Drugstore Cowboy, Four Norsemen, Burrington Brown, Sully’s Light, Please Operate Gently. Pizza, flavored pretzels. Occasional food trucks on-site. Dog-friendly patio. Live music a few times a month. Selection of board games. Occasional trivia and game-show style games. Casual tours typically at no cost when requested and available. Online: franklinstreetbrewing.com. Phone: 563-927-2722.
Guttenberg Brewing Co.: 530 S. First St., Guttenberg. Hours: 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Rotating food trucks. Trivia nights. Live music. Beer School includes a tour to learn about the brewing process and a sampling and discussion of seven beers in the taproom. Cost is $25 per person. Advance reservations required. Online: guttenbergbrewing.com. Phone: 563-252-2739.
Jubeck New World Brewing: 115 W. 11th St., Dubuque. Hours: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Food: No kitchen on-site, but you can order from any of several restaurants nearby and either pick it up or have it delivered. Open mic nights. Online: jubeckbrewing.com. Phone: 775-375-5692.
Maquoketa Brewing: 110 S. Main St., Maquoketa. Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Recommendations: Milk Stout, Pappy’s Blonde Ale, Buckhorn Cream Ale, Mexican Radio, Heartland Lager. Pizza, Bavarian pretzels, gourmet popcorn. Outside food welcome. Food truck on-site every Wednesday. Dog-friendly patio, water bowls. Casual tours of the brewing area on request at no cost. Contact the brewery in advance if you would like a brewer to be available for a tour. Online: maqbrew.com. Phone: 563-748-1138.
River Ridge Brewing: 303 S. Riverview St., Bellevue. Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Recommendations: Lock 12 Lager, Bellevue Beach, Rural Route Stout, Flat Bottom Amber. Flatbreads, Bavarian pretzels, beer cheese nachos. Food trucks on-site for special events. Dog-friendly patio, water bowls. Online: riverridgebrewing.com. No phone — the manager replies quickly to inquiries through the website.
Textile Brewing Company: 146 Second St. N.E., Dyersville. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Trivia, live music. Bavarian pretzels and bites, flatbreads, beer cheese nachos. Dog-friendly biergarten with firepits. Online: textilebrews.com. Phone: 563-207-0357.
TLC Brew Works: 947 Main St., Holy Cross. Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Recommendations: Balance Sheet, Half Crown. For first-time visitors, try the Cold Cash Drawer, a flight of nine beers on ice. Food: Chad’s Pizza baked in-house. Outside food welcome. Dog-friendly patio, water bowls available. Tours available at no charge. Cards and board games available. Online: tlcbrewworks.com. Phone: 563-210-2750.
Michelle London writes for the Telegraph Herald.