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Millstream Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
3.62/5
Based on:
17 Beers
1,527 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

835 48th Ave
Amana, Iowa, 52203-8122
United States
phone: (319) 622-3672

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @millstreambrew

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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 24
Photo of Kurmaraja
3/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Vibe is non descript, small interior, with minimal devour and a slightly German theme. Beers on tap rarely deviate from what you get in bottles. Beers are usually poured into plastic cups. Quality of beers is ok but little reason to go out of your way for a visit.

Photo of ALC82
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

This is a place we visit yearly if not more often, the atmosphere in the Amana Colonies area is very relaxed (as to be expected)! We are yet to be here for Oktoberfest but I hear it is a great experience. The selection of beers is middle of the road but all pretty good. Since we are so close, I've tried everything they offer, and am yet to find any I don't enjoy. If in the area, the shopping is a unique experience and Millstream offers a great resting point throughout the day!

Photo of tommyguz
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Visit 10/24/12
(as posted on my blog)

Located in the small history village known as the Amana Colonies, this is dubbed Iowa’s Oldest Microbrewery. The Amana Colonies is a neat little village of older buildings and cool little shops. Let’s get into what’s important, the brewery. The brewery is at the very end of the village (at least as far as you can go down the one street before having to turn around).

The building fits in with the rest of the colonies, which most of the buildings look similar. The building itself is really neat looking. They have a beer garden outside that looks like a great place to sit and enjoy the weather. When you go in they have a small gift area and their taps. They have a seating area in the back where you can look through both “walls” (which are glass) and can see the brewing process. Cool way to enjoy your beer. A selection of 7 beers and 3 sodas on draft. Such a neat little place. The wife and I each had a beer and I sampled two beers (to determine which one I wanted to buy to bring home). I hope to go back next time we are out in Iowa.

Photo of phenomenologian
3.48/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

My family and I were driving from Omaha, Nebraska to Madison Wisconsin. Driving on I-80 through Iowa we encountered this sign that stated that the Amish village of Amana Colonies were close. We stopped to check it out. There are basically two small towns. One town is just a residential area that is not touristy. The other town is for the tourists. Its full of shoppes and exhibits selling different things and showing off different things exhibiting Amish character. We stopped by a coffee shoppe where I had a nice latte. Also we stopped at a candy store as well as a fabric/quilt store (the girls wanted to/ I did not).

Millstream Brewing company is one thing I had to go into. You walk in and in one room you have the sampling table and in another you have some sort of viewing room where you can sit and drink and watch the brewery. The windows in the sampling and sitting area show the brewery and the process of brewing the beers they have for sample.

The place is meant to allow tourists to enjoy beer while seeing how the specimen being enjoyed is made. There are men inside the brewery exhibited by the windows making the beer as the drinkers watch. Its a friendly place. Its kind of uncomfortable for me because, being 21, I look way younger and I was never asked if I needed something. I was basically just ignored because I was passed off as underage (I assume). I found that a bit unacceptable as even though I looked underage, I did not care as much if I was ignored but someone else would get way more pissed than I did. Cannot ignore people just because you find them to be underage; people wouldn't stand there unless they wanted something. That explains my low service rating for this brewery.

The selection was good as none of these are common in Omaha, NE. They are specific brews from Millstream to the Amana area. I purchased their stout.

I tasted the stout after leaving Amana and after we got to Madison Wisconsin. Its called Back Road Stout. didn't try the other beers but the stout is nice and creamy. If you go to Millstream give the stout a try.

Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Been down to Millstream and Amana several times over the years and the Brewery is always a must stop.

The building is a revamped mill with old wood siding and porch. They've added a beer garden which I have yet to take advantage of but assume is quite nice in the summer. I was unfortunately there on a warm early March day. The interior is a taproom with no food served, simply beer and Millstream goodies sold. A glass window separates the taproom from the rest of the brewery and allows a pleasant worty malt aroma into the building.

Six to seven beers are usually on tap and this occasion they had their German Pilsner seasonal on tap. I refilled my growler with that despite only having a sample ($9.50 refill on 64 oz growler). Tasted ok. I picked up a glass of their Colony Oatmeal Stout which is a solid stout. All of their beers are worth purchasing or trying from the ones I've sampled (Schild Brau Amber, Johns White Ale, German Pilsener, Iowa Pale Ale, Colony Oatmeal Stout, and their Schokolade Bock).

The service is always attentive and somewhat knowledgeable. Never overly friendly but kind enough to pour me a beer is quite enough! Millstream is the best brewery I've been to in Iowa so make sure to make the stop if you;re close to the Amana Colonies.

Photo of LittleDon
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

An old-fashioned (and very small) store where you can drink draft beer from plastic cups in their beer garden. Check out the antique bottling machine if you go (no brewery tour, as far as I can tell). Low points: plastic cups, only Millstream beer, a bit on the pricey side for a 16 oz pour. High points: fresh beer, nice place to sit outside and drink, draft sodas. They offered two cured meat sausages when I was in (from the smokehouse in Amana). Neither was impressive. Six packs and growlers are available. Would only go back if I was in Amana.

Photo of daledeee
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A small brewery located in an Amish tourist community just off Interstate 80. This place has been around a while. It has been through it's ups and downs. Quality issues have come and gone. Currently, the beer is of high quality and a stop by the shop will mean some free samples. The store offers the year round brews and seasonal offerings as well as glassware, etc. We are not allowed to have breweries make strong beer in Iowa, but this one makes above average beers. Schackolade Bock, Oatmeal stout, Pilsner, and several others are worth a try.

Photo of akokandy
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

A- Basically a tiny taproom with all sorts of beer stuff scattered around it for sale. Gift shop type stuff with cases of beer stacked against one wall. Large brewing room and downstairs fermenting tanks. Seems to be a small operation, with one lady running the taproom and two guys downstairs brewing.

Q- The beer they make is pretty fantastic, and most of the merchandise is well-made. Except for the key chains and junk like that.

S- The woman in the taproom/gift shop was very nice and willing to give samples. They also let us go walk around downstairs.

S- Only a few varieties of beer here. I believe there were six or seven. Tons of beer stuff for sale, from cool growlers to authentic German Steins to keychains, coasters, etc.

No food here.

V- The beer here is cheap. 30 bucks a case for the best beers they make. Growlers filled for 9 bucks. They also sell their own rootbeer, cherry pop, etc. Some of the steins are pretty darn expensive, though. Most everything else is cheap or reasonable. Nothing above standard gift shop pricing.

Photo of BigBry
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

My parents have visited Amana and the brewery in the past, but this was my first trip.
The brewery fits with the rest of the town, appearance and small town feel. Small tasting room and gift shop with a pleasant lady offering free samples of their draft beer and root beer for the kids. The pale ale, lager, ipa, and root beer were all very good.
As mentioned previously, there is no seating, but plenty of space outside in a bier garden type area. If it werent so hot on the day we visited I would have loved to stay and enjoy a few more pints outside.
They don't serve food, but there are lots of souvenirs, glasses, steins, etc.
There is a cooler of beer to go, plus lots of non-refrigerated cases. Picked up a mixed case that included Johns White, Schild Brau and Windmill Wheat and a six pack of root beer, black cherry, and cream soda.
A unique visit, well worth the time.

Photo of Contagion
4.34/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I've had the pleasure of visiting this brewery a couple of times while on trips through Iowa. I've actually gone out of my way to visit the brewery. It has a nice small town atmosphere that is rather pleasing. There is not a wait staff, only an individual attending the bar on the inside of the gift shop. There is no internal seating, but plenty of space outside. On one trip, my family and I were caught in a rainstorm at the brewery. We spent a good hour sitting on the front porch visiting with locals and other travels from all over the country.

They don't serve food, but it's well worth a visit if you are in the state.

Photo of giblet
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

while on meetings to misery and iowa i stopped in amana to this brewery. i am glad i did. i tried four beers and purchased five and two sodas (root beer and cream soda for the kids). the lady working the store was very pleasant and helpful. she took some time to talk to me about all four beers that i tried. another couple was there at the same time and she was very good to all of us. the beer was very tasty and worth the $ for a good craft beer or beers.

worth a stop. suckem up and movem out.

giblet

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This brewery is the typical style of place you will find in the Amanas: friendly, cozy, lots of knickknacks to browse over, and a great value. There's a little garden out front that the girlfriend thought was cute (which means I'm probably going to have one like that when I get a house in the near future). Right as I get inside there's a very friendly lady who's eager to dish out some beer samples.

I'm impressed with the schokodale boch with it's boldness, and a few others I liked. The stout was a bit much for me, as it hit my tongue with too much force. I got a six-pack of the boch to take home.

There's other knickknacks to browse over while deciding on what beer to buy. Various novelty items, mugs, bottle openers, even beer boots!

Definitely a place to go back to. Fortunately my local liquor store carries their beer in stock, which saves me a 200 mile round trip.

Photo of Realale
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Small brewery located at one end of the little town of Amana. They've somehow squeezed a 10 barrel system into this place and are turning out some lovely beers.

The tasting bar area is small, but taps for each of the beers and sodas currently being produced are available. On my visit it was Wheat, Wit, Pils, and Pale on the beer side of things. No charge for the tasting, and while I was impressed with the Pale Ale, the hot, muggy day called for the really tasty Pils, which I consumed in the biergarten out front.

The gentleman pouring was very knowledgeable and friendly, and was a real pleasure to chat with. Nice selection of cold beers to go in both growlers, 1l bottles, six and twelve packs, as well as an impressive selection of Millstream-branded breweriana available for purchase. Solid place.

Photo of scoobybrew
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I've been to Millstream many times before. On the last occasion, we had set up an appointment with the brewmaster, Chris, to tour the facility with our homebrew club. The bar/store area is somewhat small, but the wood paneling gives the place a very warm and cozy feeling. The beer on tap is of very good quality. In the summer time, the outdoor beer garden is the perfect place to stop and enjoy a pint and the baudy German-style music while conversing with friends or family.

If you're in the area, stop in and enjoy. They're the only brewery for miles around and they make a good beer that's very nice fresh at the source.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I had always wondered if this place was worth driving out to the middle of nowhere for. I think I've decided it is. A very cute little cottage-looking building houses the brewery in the heart of Amana, a "Colonial Village" that is mainly other cute little cottage-like buildings selling things to tourists. There isn't too much to tell here, you make your way up the steps into what is basically a small gift shop with a little bar. You sample all of Millstreams delicious, fresh, German-style beers. Pick one out and get a plastic cup's worth (though I'm sure they'd be happy to fill any of the 17 different souvenier stiens sold in the gift shop), and go sit outside under the hop-covered trellace and listen to wierd German music about beer. Not a bad way to end an afternoon.

Photo of hero27
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

There's a good chance Amana is like no town you've ever seen in your life. Take the cars out of the equation, and it's like you've stepped directly into the 19th century. The Millstream Brewery is no exception, as it blends in perfectly with the rest of the wooden structures that make up the town.

I went straight past the quilts, wine, and hand-built wood furniture offered in town...and headed straight for the beer. Instead of trying to describe the exterior, I'll just upload a picture (see above). Authentic German tunes playing outdoors. Umbrellas & tables set up for outdoor summertime drinking. Quite the place..if i would have stopped here with a bunch of friends, I have a feeling we'd have to be kindly escorted away sometime during the course of the day. The inside is remarkably small (especially for being Iowa's biggest brewery)...even saying "Iowa brewery" and "big" in the same sentence just seems wrong to me.

They have nice one-liter swing-top bottles, which I have not seen anywhere in Iowa except locally here at the brewery. Six-packs of all the beer they have available, as well as cream soda, root beer, cherry soda, etc..most of which are damn good also. The lady that was serving beer the day I went was particularly nice, and had no afterthoughts to giving me samples of everything before I bought a glass. Had a couple brews on-tap and enjoyed the warm Iowa breeze outside with many other people as we drank.

I'll make a point to stop by here more often. It's completely off-the-beaten-path in little 'ol Amana, but the surrounding countryside is beautiful and there's nothing like fresh brewed beer on-tap. A great Iowa beer destination with some pretty respectable offerings. Certainly worth a stop if you're in the immediate area.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Hearing storys of this our one and only beer brewery in Iowa I excpected a little bit more of a larger operation.

The brewery is a very compact one. I was able to try all of their beer on tap and talk to the brewmaster for a half an hour and find out that all the beer is made with lager yeast which is why I don't find them to be a palate pleaser.

I was surprised to hear they aren't at this time able to brew any ales due to the fermentation storage being made for a lager.

The quality was just fine, however nothing too extremely impressive, a small operation with a nice selection of lagers and a few other beers made with lager yeast.

Photo of badbeer
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A nice place to visit if you are in the Amana colonies, was definately my high point. Small little brewery that looked very inviting. Inside was small, but workable. The beer I enjoyed the most was the Oatmeal Stout, their Wheat was a lager, which I found interesting as I usually go for German style hefeweizens, but this beer intrigued me and I actually enjoyed it, not usually a fan of American wheat beers. This is the only place in Iowa that you can purchase a growler and have it refilled, and as I recall the price for refill was more than reasonable, definately would have purchased a growler if it wasn't such a trip to get there.

Photo of Beertracker
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A visit to the Millstream Brewing Company which is located in the historic Amana Colonies is like a trip back in time. It was a very enjoyable afternoon excursion to the rural Iowa countryside. There are plenty of wineries along the way to visit, if you enjoy sampling wine. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by one of the brewers who was busy loading kegs in the delivery truck which is always a good sign. There's a small tasting room upfront where I found a refreshing German pilsner (almost a Kellerbier), a zesty American wheat (actually brewed with the house lager yeast), a Vienna-style lager (Schild Brau) and a interesting interpretation of an Oatmeal Stout again brewed with house lager yeast. There was also the self-titled Maifest on tap when I last visited which I found to be not as generous as a traditional German-style Maibock, but still well worth the drive. The Maifest had a nice deep-golden hue with a rocky top and some Munich derived malt character in both the aroma & flavor. The creamy, medium-full body was fairly well balanced with a touch of hops and finished slightly malty/sweet with some alcoholic warmth. The small outfront beer garden was overgrown with ripe flowering hop vines and was a cozy place to stop & relax in the last, lazy days of Summer.

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of bashiba
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Thank god for this place. In the middle of the all the knick knack garbage in the middle of the Amana colonies this nice little brewery with knowledgeable and freindly staff really stood out. After going to about a half a dozen crappy wine shops where they import in grapes then blend them with fruit to make overpriced and terrible wines this place was like heaven. The staff of these wine shops should take some notice. Everyone we went into I asked them simple questions about the wines contents and got blank stares, I don't knows, and vague answers. While at the Millstream they really seemed to know beer. A great selection of Glasses, Beer, and their pop made this the highlight of my trip to Amana. None of the beers they had blew me away, but they were all solid in representing there style and more than acceptable. Can't wait to crack open the 20th Anny Doppel I picked up while I was their.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.3/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

After living in Iowa City the past four years (about 10-15 miles from Amana), I figured I might as well take a trip to the only actual brewery in Iowa and sample the wares. I must say, I was quite impressed. They offered all of their beers on top for sample, including even a root beer and cream soda. I obviously chose to sample the entire lineup: starting with the wheat, to the white, then to the amber and the bock, and finally to the oatmeal stout (and on a side note: the root beer is quite superb as well). I wasn't too pleased with the two beers on the lighter end of the spectrum (the wheat and white), but I thoroughly enjoyed the amber, the bock, and the oatmeal stout. I even decided to pick up a sixer of the amber lager even though my fridge was still full of assorted goodies from New Years. I would have bought some of the bock as well if I had more room. Unfortunately, we arrived too late to take a tour of the premises, but the beer was excellent, and the owners were very friendly and well educated about their beers. Also, I was not warned that perhaps I might not like the outmeal stout, which is a plus, I guess (considering most Iowans I've ever known like their beer as clear as water).

Photo of mynie
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I've lived with a couple of hours of The Amana Colonies for 15 years now, and I've never bothered to visit. I figured the whole place would be little more than a bunch of shops with overpriced knick nacks that that it would be full of really old people wandering about, looking for a place to die. I could not resist the lure of the Oktoberfest, though, and so, this weekend, my ladyfriend and I took the short drive to Amana for the first time.

The atmosphere of the place was great, lots of happy, tipsy people, but I was correct in suspecting that the majority of the place was just little knick nack and candle stores that my girlfriend loved but I was pretty much bored with. It wasn't until we reached Amana, the largest of the colonies, and came across the brew company that I started to really enjoy myself.

Who would have thunk it? An honest to god brewery, right in the middle of this tourist trap. It's stragetically placed so that bored men accompanying their women through the arts and crafts bliss get a nice, boozy break in all the shopping. And thank god for that.

The building is quaint, really nice, made entirely out of wood. The place where customers were allowed was pretty small, and incredibly crowded. They usually weren't this busy, we were told, it's just that was was oktoberfest and all.

Service was friendly. You could sample all the beers they had for sale, buy them in groilers, 6-packs, or cases (all of which were quite reasonably priced). On tap was the Oktoberfest (excellent), Oatmeal Stout (also excellent), John's Generations White Ale (very good), a Schild Brau Amber, a Wheat, and a Pilsner.

Outside there was live Polka music, brats, and cheap draws. I'm pretty sure that this was only for only for Oktoberfest, but is was very cool. If you find yourself in the middle of Iowa during the first week of October, this is probably the best place for you to be. I wouldn't plan a vacation around it, but it was a nice way to spend a Saturday nonetheless.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

When reflecting on my trip to Millstream this morning, the word that keeps coming back to me is 'quaint'. This is a quaint brewery in a quaint building in a quaint town. My wife would love the surrounding shops (not the brewery of course) and I've made a vow to return, with her in tow, sometime this fall. "Honey, while you're looking around in the quilt shop, I'll pop over to Millstream for another pint of the Oktoberfest, ok?"

Mapquest was more confusing than helpful, but there are ample signs in town to point the thirsty BA in the proper direction. The brewing operation was surprisingly small and was visible through large windows on one side of the quaint (sorry) little giftshop. If the brewery was located on an actual stream with a water wheel-powered mill, I'd have no choice but to rate the atmosphere a 5.0.

They had all the currently available Millstream beer for sale in 6-packs and in one-liter swing-top bottles. I confirmed with the woman behind the counter that the liter bottles are only available at the brewery (too hard to fill since they have to do it by hand). I picked up two big bottles of the Oktoberfest (one for my neighbor) and a sixer of the same. I also got a pint glass and a few coasters. I passed on the T-shirts, bottle openers, beer steins, bumper stickers, etc.

I'm glad that I was finally able to find the time to pay a visit to Iowa's only remaining brewery. It's almost two hours from my house so I won't be returning that often, but I did enjoy my short visit immensely. Did I mention that it's quaint?

Photo of bditty187
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

On the far eastern end of Amana is Millstream Brewery. It is tucked out of the way a bit. The building is all wood, weathered, old, and natural looking. Smaller then I was expecting. Actually it is quite an attractive looking building and fits in with the rest of the structures in this colony. Parking should not be a problem. Easy to find.

There is a very modest beer garden outside with tables and chairs; German drinking music was playing in the background. On the fence ivy grew. It was a very quaint rural setting. Quite and relaxing, it was easy to have a conversation and soak in the atmosphere.

The tap room is one and the same with the gift shop. It is a small, cramped little area. As I walked in I could plainly see the brewing equipment behind a glass wall. There was no activity on my Sunday afternoon visit. The gift shop sold the beer warm and cold, in six-packs and mixed twelve-packs. Plus they had one-liter swing top bottles for seven dollars each. They were snazzy looking! There were also T-shirts, glasses, and the like.

On-tap were all of their beers, including John’s Generations White Ale. It was $2.50 for a 12-ounce plastic cup and $7 for a pitcher (no free tastings or samplers). There were no seats inside the building, only in the beer garden. This was fine for the warm, breezy spring day but I am not sure if I’d feel the same way in August. Also there are no waiters, only a “bartender” who double duties as the gift shop clerk. This means you need to get your own beer and refills.

The brewery doesn’t seem to cater to beer geeks, that is okay. I didn’t mind the plastic cup but I know some people will. I just stopped in to check it out and grab some beer to go. This brewery is not a destination stop, if you’re traveling on I-80 and you don’t mind a 20-miunite detour then by all means pay them a visit.

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Millstream Brewing Company in Amana, IA
88 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.