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Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Toppling Goliath Brewing CompanyToppling Goliath Brewing Company
BEER AVG
4.26/5
Based on:
32 Beers
9,948 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

310 College Dr
Decorah, Iowa, 52101-1336
United States
phone: (563) 387-6700

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @tgbrews

Notes:
Place added by: emerge077 on 07-15-2010

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 34
Photo of BillRoth
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in on a Wednesday afternoon on my way to La Crosse. Very nice place. Lots of wood and natural light. Kind of part tasting room and part small bar. Lots of room and places to sit and chill besides sitting at the bar. Some table games and good music piped in. Place was pretty quiet, but still had a number of people and small groups stopping in for a few brews.
As hoped had my first PS on draft, and it was awesome. Had about 6 other TG beers on tap, and 2 guest taps. Todd the manager even pulled out a bomber of Pompeii that a few of us shared. Grabbed a few bottle of PS and Golden Nugget on the way out.
Great little place to stop and as expected the beer was just amazing.

Photo of mothman
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

I like the brewery. It is pretty chill. Good service. Good beers. They provide free pretzels which in nice. Decent prices all around. I'll be back for more.

Photo of KillerJigger
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Very small place with even smaller parking lot. The beer is out of this world but I'm wishing they will expand a bit. Bring your own food or order out and have it sent to TG not a problem so that is nice. If they had Assassin, Mornin Delight, and KBBS on tap always it would be near heaven. They do have a Furkin once a month which is an experimental IPA or what have to try. I personaly have had one that was out of this world and one that was OK. Call before you visit because they sell out quite often and its worth buying some to go so make sure they have some to sell. Cheers!

Photo of cbutova
4.38/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Visited during an 8000-mile road trip over the summer. Stopped here after a very long day of driving and camped near the river in Decorah (a great spot!).

Clean and bright taproom with cheap flights and pints of extremely high quality beer. Yea not everything will be a BA Stout or hyped hop bomb but from what I had I found all the styles to be well-brewed and flavorful (Pale Ale, Golden Lager, Irish Red, IPA, Stout) That is by far the most important part. The to go selection was good and it seemed like they did reasonably priced growler fills of most beers. I did not expect even PseudoSue bottles to be in stock so that might have changed my experience.

Small tasting room overall but the quality of the brews makes up for it. When we were there it was not busy at all (maybe 10 other people) but I could see how it could become cramped. If you are in the area (within an hour or two) it is a no-brainer to visit TG if you are a huge beer fan or are into taprooms in general. Do not expect to be leaving with limited releases (although I'm sure people get lucky once in a while).

Photo of cervezango
5/5  rDev +10.1%

my favorite brewery , most consistently complex and Delicious brews.

Photo of DrRei
4/5  rDev -11.9%

The tap room itself is nothing crazy as it's located in middle of no where northern Iowa. The staff were very nice and served with great service.

Photo of nilesschmidt
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%

Great atmosphere and very friendly staff. Not much to say about the beer that hasnt been said; its phenomenal. Just wish they had some harder to get beers occasionally on tap, but then again the size just cant support that type of rush or volume. Hope to return again.

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Judging on the brewery experience this isn't a perfect score. While their beers are world class the venue is quite small. I heard developments are in the works to address this. Onto the beer, did a sampler as as expected they were excellent, especially the IPAs and the base stout, none of the limited releases where available as expected. Place was congested, as this place struggles to keep up with demand. Perfect beer, less than perfect venue.

Photo of PhishNoC
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Not a huge place. Several people were there enjoying the Iowa game, but we were still able to immediately sit down and have some of their great beer. When the game was over, the place cleared out pretty good. Definitely a staple for the locals in the town. Everyone was nice and the surrounding area was beautiful. The beers were great, samplers available or full pints. Select bottles available to go, growlers as well of course. Nice relaxed place and terrific beer.

Photo of stouts4me
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

If you have been here, then you already know: this place is awesome!! Agreed that the taproom is small,and that sometimes there is a lighter selection of beers, but they are having a tough time cranking these world-class beers out! We have never had a bad time at the taproom, maybe that's because we go with the intent of having a good time with whoever is working, and anyone else we can include in what we bring.

Can't wait 'til they get the releases out at the brewery, camping, beer, it will be great!

Photo of jwjon1
3.34/5  rDev -26.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Disclaimer: came into town the weekend of the Great Taste of the Midwest, so my experience was abnormal. But it was nevertheless my experience.

Flew into Minneapolis on a Saturday and made the three hour jaunt south, super excited to try many of the beers listed on the website as being on tap. It's a beautiful drive down through rolling Midwest country hills and Amish farms. Much of it two lane country roads with very slow drivers.

Planned to hit the brewery to grab a pint and some bottles, check into my hotel, and then walk back to the brewery for the real fun! Didn't really have any expectations of what the brewery/tasting room would be like, but certainly felt confused pulling into the parking lot. Was I at the right place? Looked more like a local Mexican restaurant than a tap room--it was just missing a fake palm tree out front. Walking into the tap room helped ease my confusion a bit--but still felt like I should see a tub of coronas in ice on the bar. They did an okay job with the renno but the soul of the place was still lacking. Underwhelmed, to say the least. But hey, the beer is the star here, right?

At least, I assume the beer is the star. On my one experience, it was not. I excitedly grabbed a seat at the bar and glanced up at the tap list. It's a chalkboard list, and there was a lot of eraser marks on it. 40% of the taps listed on-line were removed--most of them the "fun" taps that you won't see around town. The remaining taps were beers I later found were very common around town. I'll get to that in a bit.

I grabbed a sampler tray (four samples of the six total taps) and asked what bottles were available. None. Bummed on that account as I was hoping the brew shop would keep a regular stock. They do not. After finishing the sampler, made the decision to go to the hotel and forgo returning to the tap house. That in itself sucks: TG was the reason I came to Decorah. If not for a non-cancelable hotel room, I probably would have turned around and drove back. This was my one shot to get down here, and I was underwhelmed--especially as the website tap list set unmanageable expectations.

Fortunately, a number of bars in town carry TG kegs. Ironically, I was able to try a larger variety TG beers on a mini bar/restaurant crawl than I could at the tap room--everything in the tap room was seen about town, plus a couple extras. And, FWIW, the town was quaint and charming in its own right and the locals were quite friendly.

Net, I'd not return based on my experience. It wasn't worth the drive or hotel room. I totally understand wanting to bring great beer to a great beer fest--and would do the same thing myself. But IF I already had a reputation like TG for producing world class beers, I don't think I'd make the trade off of upsetting brewery customers for what is ultimately marketing. I'd only do it if I had enough product to go around. At least, I don't think I would--hard to say not being in TG's shoes!

Last (two) comment: maybe this is normal in the Midwest, but I was surprised to see pints being served at the taproom in chilled glasses. I've not met a fridge yet--even industrial--that doesn't have some type of smell (good, or bad). Why add an uncontrollable aroma component to the beer? And why shakers? There is so much aromatic expression in these beers just waiting to be released with the use of better glassware. Glassware does make a difference. Customers may complain--especially the mug club members (who, save for shot glasses, drink from the least expressive glassware on the planet), but once they are educated, they may never go back.

Photo of jimmygord
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Amazing. I was lucky enough to have business in the area and worked a stop at TG into the itinerary. Pint of Pseudo Sue to start. Knocked my socks off. Got a flight of four brews, Dorothy, Zeelander, Golden Nugget, and Light Speed. Every one of them was superb. I especially liked the Zeelander and took a growler home with me. If they have bottles for carry out, you can't beat $6/bomber. The best bargain ever. You'd be paying $12 for anything comparable in a larger city. Decorah Iowa is part of the Driftless Region and has amazing state parks, plenty of hotels. Worth a weekend trip for sure.

Photo of jverdo1
4.76/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Can't really say anything bad about these guys besides the fact that they need to expand the foot-print faster. Always great hosts and the IPAs are second to none - keep up the good work my friends! Just make sure to setup the brewery release for next year...

Photo of Mothergoose03
3.4/5  rDev -25.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

This was stop #40 for my wife and I on a 21-day pub-crawl from Michigan to N. CA and OR. We stopped in town for an overnight on our trip home specifically to try the beers to see what the hype was all about. This is a small place with an outdoor patio, which is where we decided to sit to drink our beer selections.

There were 12 beers on tap, so we ordered 8 that were divided between two sampler flights. The obvious beer to select was the Pseudo Sue, and we also chose a few others that have received some hype too. While all of the beers were very tasty, none lived up to the hype that caused us to have high expectations. Pseudo Sue had not been listed on the Facebook page as being on tap, so we were happy to see it was available since that one was the prime reason to detour on our trip home to come here. Maybe it was too fresh and should have been held back, but we didn’t feel that it met our expectations. (As an additional note: we had managed to get some Pseudo Sue in bottles in Des Moines in the early stage of our 21-day trip, and after we got home and opened some of that, we enjoyed Sue much more than what we had on tap. So that version of Sue did manage to live up to the hype.)

A few of the beers during our visit were given a C rating in our scoring mechanism, and a few were given a B rating to go along with a few that were in between those scores, but none of the beers was put into an exceptional category. Still, the beers were very tasty and we would make a trip back here if we are ever in the area.

Photo of TboneRN
1/5  rDev -78%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3

Toppling Goliath is in the small town of Decorrah Iowa... Which is basically Luther College (made famous by a Dave Mathews Concert in the 90's) and thats it. The brewery is small, the atmosphere leaves something to be desired. The bartending is pretty poor to put it nicley...again this is the case of a brewery having great beer but horrible customer service...I would almost call it an awkward brewery to visit...Lets hope for them their beer quality doesnt slip

Photo of kguard
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Visited on a Monday afternoon.
Only people in taproom. Unfortunately, Pseudo Sue was gone and no bottles were available.
But Millennium Falcon was brought over from the brewery while we were there. Phenomenal beer.
Would definitely go again. Parking lot sucks to leave though.
Really close to some of Decorah's best parks.

Photo of arnold931
4/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I love their beer. Their tap room is like a Swiss cottage except it's in a small college town in NE Iowa. A nice scenic drive to get to Decorah. A few tee shirts and glassware selections available. They have some beers available that you can't find in bottles.

Photo of williamjbauer
4.66/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I never would have guessed north east Iowa could be so awesome! Made this trip from Madison with my wife and son and met up with brewer and BA, Mike and Bob to share some brews and it was a great experience.

Nice locations and interior is charming and bright with skylights that fill the space with light. Bar is small but staff is friendly and helpful.

Beer is out of this world, among the best I have tried in the US. See my ticks, I have tried a few beers, this place is legit. No food, but pretzels for palate cleansing.

Growlers for $20 and bottles coming soon.

Totally worth the extra 6 hours to our epic drive back home to WV with fussy baby. This is the next Hill Farmstead as also mentioned by others, but not quite in the middle of nowhere, check it out!

Photo of bigbadmatt
3.8/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Cool town blah, good places to eat blah blah, Luther College, Ice Cave blah. But seriously these guys make my favorite beers and the place just stands on it's own, regardless of how cool the area is. Never mind any bias I may have towards breweries in my home state, the beers are just top notch and if you're reading this whole review you probably know that. Get your growlers filled and find a trout stream!

Photo of einman
4.13/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

First time here today after going to the Seed Savers tomato tasting. Goof friendly service right away. Tried five of their beers and all were good to excellent. The PseudoSue and Zeelander stood out to me. Absolutely would stop in again if I'm down in Iowa.

Photo of henrichsj
4.59/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Ambiance isn't much, but nice. Nice outdoor area. Could get crowded easily because it's rather small but I suppose that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The more the merrier! I ordered a PseudoSue and a Zeelander. PseudoSue was incredible but they couldn't fill growlers. Zeelander was okay, definitely a different kind of taste. Probably not one I'd get again. Had the wife and kids with me on a Saturday afternoon but we don't get that way (1 hr 30 min away) very often so I had to stop. The bartender was very friendly. I think it's incredible that a small brewery like this has 8-10 of their own beers on tap regularly, all rather good. I bought a chalice and a growler of Golden Nugget (which was as good as PseudoSue by the way). Loved this place! Will probably make the drive back when KBB or Mornin' Delight comes out again! Quite the gem for Iowa!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

When I arrived at the brewery I looked at this small quant little shack and I was like "wow is that it?"

I walk inside the brew pub on the friday night before the Kentucky brunch release and I say "where is everyone?"

I look around and have a seat at the bar. There is about 20 people at the brew pub the night before a huge beer release. Nobodys here. I say to myself "Jackpot!" Not too often in the craft beer world do you encounter this situation. A brewery that is making amazing World Class beers and its not absolute chaos! I honestly I could get used to this!

I belly up to the bar and I am greeted by a bar keep named Chealsea who has a freindly smile on her face and has that down home small town hospitality vibe about her. I think that a part of her confidence is gained from the awesome beers that she can pour for me! Everything that I drank from TG that night was magical! They had Mornin' Delight, SR-71, Naughty Temple, PsuedoSue, and alot of the regular taps available as well.

Met Clark who is the owner and original head brewer and he is truely a cool cat. He too is a humble and down to earth guy. Talked with him for about an hour or two while enjoying all the fantastic beers that he and his staff brew. Was really an awesome time. Its probably one on the best experiences that I can remember in the many years that I have been drinking craft beer. I got nothing but great things to say about Toppling Goliath. I live almost 4 hours away and I will gladly make that drive again just to drink some of his beers from the taps at Toppling Goliath. Not to mention that its all at a great price! Very reasonable when you consider the quality of these Toppling Goliath brews.

Bottom line... World class beers coming from Iowa. A place that I would not expect amazing craft beer to come from. Okay...I am going to say it, this brewery is probably going to be the next Hills Farmstead. No reason why this place isnt going to blow up and make it big.

Photo of durlta
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Let me start by saying that it's so great to finally have a world class brewery in Eastern Iowa. These guys make some of the best pale ales and ipas out there, trust me. Fortunately for me, they also distribute to my favorite local bar. This place is definitely worth a visit if you time it right. There is a chance they might be running low on everything you want, though, and no growler policies are quite common. But this is all because the beer really is that good. The place itself is an old Pizza Hut or something, so not that charming, and the parking can be hard to come by. Good staff, though they are on their second generation: all the people that worked there when I first started going have left, and I think the first crew had a little more charm. I can't wait until they open the new tasting room, as it should improve the atmosphere and the parking.

Photo of EdwardFortyHands
5/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

these are the best salt of the earth people on the face of the planet. they are dedicated to running a customer service friendly experience. could not be more opposite of some of the eat and get out type places. I love Toppling goliath and will return again and again, and again!

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

This place is all wood with a nice sky light. 4 or 5 round tables, a large long table and 6 or 7 seats at the bar.

Big selection of TG Beers, some you can't get anywhere else they're so special. Service is good, it's like a local bar. It has a kind of Cheers feel to it for Decorah.

I enjoy the specialty beers here, like the Firkin Fridays. You can also buy TG t-shirts, glassware, and growlers of TG Beer.

I have seen people ordering pizza in from Mabe's I think, other than that no food is sold on premises. There are pretzels at the bar.

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Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, IA
100 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.