Millstream Brewing Company

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Millstream Brewing CompanyMillstream Brewing Company
1,913 Ratings
Millstream Brewing CompanyMillstream Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

835 48th Ave
Amana, Iowa, 52203-8122
United States

(319) 622-3672 | map

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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mynie
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

 2,008 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of 22Blue
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Squire
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Kurmaraja
3/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of bditty187
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 1,865 characters

Photo of LittleDon
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of hoosier222002
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of tommyguz
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 1,096 characters

Photo of timlyon
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of egrace84
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of dcotom
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

Stopped in during a Fall 2014 visit to Amana, IA. Small tasting room that included several offerings on tap (the first two samples are free) and a gift shop featuring logo glassware. A windowed lounge off the tasting room allows you to watch the brewers at work while you enjoy your Millstream beverage. The lounge has a trellised ceiling decorated with artificial hop plants, a nice touch. Outdoor patio seating is also available. Overall, a nice place to relax during your visit to the Amana Colonies.

 503 characters

Photo of styleisking
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of BigBry
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 880 characters

Photo of ChipChaight
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 880 characters

Photo of Beertracker
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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

 1,302 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
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?

 1,557 characters

Photo of Realale
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

 812 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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).

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 628 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

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Millstream Brewing Company in Amana, IA
Brewery rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 1,913 ratings