Court Avenue Brewing Company

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Court Avenue Brewing CompanyCourt Avenue Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

309 Court Ave
Des Moines, Iowa, 50309-2245
United States

(515) 282-2739 | map


Monday - Thursday 11am - Midnight (with food until 10:30 p.m.)

Friday & Saturday 11am - 2am (with food until 11 p.m., late night menu until midnight)

Sunday 4:30pm - 10pm (with food until 9 p.m.)

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 50
Reviews by MarcatGSB:
Photo of MarcatGSB
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Beautiful brick building located right in downtown Des Moines, I liked the outside of the building. You walk into two huge swinging doors, and are greeted by a friendly, 1910 to 1920 decor restaurant bar.

We head to the bar to get started! I had read on the website that they had a casked "Mole, Mole, Mole". Well, I'm guessing this is a peppered beer. BING! It was a peppered stout, and it was tasty. I usually have to try every cask offering a brewpub has, and this was no let down. It had some great spice, and a good malt body to support it. Also tried the Honest Lawyer IPA, and it was also very good. A more malty IPA, but it had a great balance.

The 21st Amendment was next on the list, and I'd give it a B- or so. I thought the Rye was overpowering. I like rye Whisky (although not Templeton), but this was a little much. Not too much alcohol flavor, just the rye profile.

Also tried the wheat wine, which I thought was fantastic. Have recently read a little about wheat wines, but never had one before, and I was very impressed.

Overall, I will go back, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is in the area.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Herky21
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.75 | food: 4

Photo of smc0198
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The bar, tap room and eatery are co-mingled together on the first floor of an historic building a couple of blocks east from the ornate old Polk County Courthouse and close to metered on-street parking and parking ramps that service this revived 3-4 city block of entertainment and eating venues. Stopped in just to sample the flight of nine current offerings of 4 ounce ales and beers., but the qualities of the interior decor and brews convinced our party of four to stay for a early Saturday evening dinner. The variety of brews was so diverse and equivalent in quality that each of our party had a different libation with their meal. However all of us had the sliced prime rib with roasted pepper au jus sandwich and diversified with different side item. All four of us were willing to schedule a return visit.

 818 characters

Photo of bpkrippner
4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of MattMorin
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of tapperm
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Always has something new and exciting brewing! The food is great and the beer quality here has stepped it up lately!

117 characters

Photo of MickeyTheHead
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

I wouldn't go there for the food, but if you stop by for a beer they have a menu that's decent. Service is decent and they do try to teach the servers the basics of beer. The beer used to be good, not sure if it's changed since they got a new brewmaster. If you go in when it isn't packed it does have a nice atmosphere.

 323 characters

Photo of gjoker321
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Great food, great atmosphere.

29 characters

Photo of bufante
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Liverocks
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of PatrickKlopfenstein
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of styleisking
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Mothergoose03
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

This was stop #2 for my wife and I on a 21-day pub-crawl from Michigan to N. CA and OR. We had already eaten dinner elsewhere, so we came here just to try the beer, thus we sat at the bar. The brewery is set in an old storefront building in what appears to be the restaurant district of downtown Des Moines, and ‘restaurant’ is what this brewery makes me think of more so than thinking ‘brewpub.’

But looks like a restaurant is okay as long as the beers were good, which they were. Each was brewed to style, and recipe enhancements were evident in some. One beer that we tried deserves a special mention, and that one is the 21st Amendment Ale. We didn’t give out an ‘A’ very often in our grading system on our trip, but this was one.

Although we had already eaten dinner we decided to have a snack to go with the beer, so a spent grain pretzel bread and dip plate was ordered. It was very good for something so simple. (I have eaten dinner here many times in the past while traveling on business, and I’ve always had a delicious dining experience.)

This brewery/restaurant does a great job and I’ll keep coming back when I’m in the area.

 1,163 characters

Photo of timlyon
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of 22Blue
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Bkoop
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of ParkbrauFan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Joey-bags1990
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of ALC82
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I really enjoyed my visit here, I only had time for a quick beer, but the service was very good, I don't recall the beer I had (bad memory, not bad beer) but overall this was a place I would like to re-visit with more time to enjoy a wider selection.

 250 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Randomly went here for a beer after finding El Bait Shop wait too loud and crowded. Typical gastropub atmosphere with nice big booths. Watched the Pacers-Heat while there and they had a few other channels tuned to various sporting events.

Girlfriend had Chuck's Roundhouse Ale a wine barrel saison and I had the BA IPA. They were both solid offerings and unique which is always a plus. Also shared a plate of nachos which were fantastic. Some of the best I've had. Partly because of these, I had no stomach room left for more than one beer.

Service was good, not great although our waitress actually knew what she was talking about when describing beers. It's evident they train their wait staff to do more than just dispense.

All in all, a pleasant experience and exactly what we were looking for. Would go back here if I find myself in Des Moines again.

 858 characters

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5

Ok, this place really impressed me and considering it where it is it is an absolute must stop for me if passing through town. I thought the Honest Lawyer was outstanding as well as their IPA that was aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels, 21st Amendment. Why I don't hear more about this place is beyond me. The atmosphere was subdued but it was an afternoon when I stopped. I didn't try any food. It was a little pricey and the service was ok, as it appeared the servers didn't know as much as the people making the beer. After some debate, I talked myself into buying one growler instead of two. Maybe next time...

 616 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Visit August 28, 9:15 - 10:00pm

Came close to calling it a night, after a hearty dinner at Exile Brewing and a long day of travel from the West Coast. Really? But my internal clock says it's barely 7:00pm...let's go see Des Moines! I walked about 7 blocks from Hotel Fort Des Moines through a mostly deserted downtown, then turn the corner to the decidedly lively Court Avenue stretch of bars... what a contrast. Court Avenue's entrance sits mid-block, an historic structure that contrasts much of what I've seen so far in this city (many new structures and more parking garages than I've ever seen). Entry is down a central hall that opens to a couple rambling dining rooms, fringed with raucous booths of happy patrons. There's a large glass enclosure around the working brewhouse and a display case filled with autographed mugs - from local sports talent who've moved on to bigger things to Hollywood stars. Cool space - big, old without feeling too dated - I like it.

I grabbed a seat mid-bar, a couple stools down from a fellow beer geek (the copious note-taking and sampler-tasting was a dead giveaway; we nodded a silent 'hello'). The bartop is a sturdy one and its backed by exposed brick and loads of glassware and booze. A small chalkboard announces the draft beers in categories: Core, Premium, Seasonal, Cask and Reserve. The 'Core' five on this night are: Two Rivers Light, Belgian White, Honest Lawyer IPA, Pointer Brown and Blackhawk Stout. 'Premium': 21st Amendment and Infatuation (Belgian 'Flanders'). 'Seasonal' was the Capital City Red, 'Cask' the Soulful Saison (hmmmm, not sure about saison on cask...), and 'Reserve' was the awesomely named 'Dr. Z's Old Tyme Aphrodisical Health Tonic' (supposedly the final beer crafted by a former brewer).

I'd just finished stuffing myself barely an hour earlier, so no food was necessary. But from the beer list, I was able to try the Infatuation, Honest Lawyer, Saison and 'Tonic' (which was a hopless gruit - and a good one). Jessica was my bartender and she was terrific - friendly and generous with samples. The one I ultimately chose was the 21st Amendment, a phenomenal barrel-aged APA (reviewed separately) that blew me away. I enjoyed the chatter at the bar and, behind me, in the booths and appreciated a brief history lesson on local Templeton Rye Whiskey (its barrels are what 21A is aged in). My tab was $7... spendy for a single pour of 'Premium' beer perhaps, but dirt cheap considering the other tasters freely offered. I left a $10 and off I went, but I'd gladly return to CABC if/when I ever repay the city a visit.

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Court Avenue Brewing Company in Des Moines, IA
3.61 out of 5 based on 144 ratings.
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