Central Iowa is home to dozens of bars offering myriad options for the beer adicionado. Here's info on seven of the best spots.
Beer city: the best beer bars in central Iowa
By Joe Lawler | MetromixOctober 4, 2011
With 105 beers on tap and 155 in cans and bottles, el Bait Shop is the undisputed king of beer bars. You can try working your way through the available selection, but good luck with that: Seasonal and specialty beers regularly work their way into the rotation for a limited time. Local homebrewers bring in their own beers for free samples on Thursday nights.
At first glance, AJ’s looks like any other bar, until the big beer cooler catches your eye. Stocked with 61 different cans and bottles (and an additional five on tap), AJ’s has a much broader selection than you would expect. AJ’s top 10 is an interesting mix of domestic tall boys, thanks to a $1.25 happy hour special from 2 to 6:30 p.m., and more exotic microbrews.
GT Lounge serves 85 beers in bottles and cans, and exactly zero on tap. It’s a popular destination for bikers (both motor and foot-powered), with traditional domestics dominating the list. Cheap and cold goes a long way at GTs.
Since opening in 2008, DG’s has made a big splash with Ames beer fans. The bar features an impressive 56 taps and another 75 brews in bottles and cans. The bar is well-stocked with OIde Main beers from just across the street, along with strong showings from the Knoxville brewery Peace Tree. This is not your average college bar.
If a beer is made in the United Kingdom, The Royal Mile will probably have it. Between 97 bottles and cans and 22 tap beers, the selection is intense. But domestic beers also flow, to please the Yanks.
Upstairs from the Royal Mile is its sister bar, the Red Monk. The bar focuses on Belgian beers, offering an assortment of 101 bottles and cans and 12 beers on tap. Belgian beers are often brewed by monks, and the high alcohol content might make you wonder if they really took a vow of silence or if they’re just too sloshed to say anything?
Like a true British pub, Limey’s isn’t flashy. It lets the beer do the talking. With 75 bottles and cans and 14 beers on tap, this bar has quite a vocabulary. You’ll find some crazy U.K. selections, along with the traditional Guinness and Strongbow.