Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Toppling Goliath Brewing CompanyToppling Goliath Brewing Company
BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
Toppling Goliath Brewing CompanyToppling Goliath Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

1600 Prosperity Rd
Decorah, Iowa, 52101
United States

(563) 387-6700 | map
tgbrews.com

Notes:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Beers:
87
Reviews:
4,414
Ratings:
28,442
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.53/5
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
331
pDev:
10.38%
 
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 331
Photo of HOTMU
4.62/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Excellent location and space compared to the original location. I could really tell this brewery I visited years ago was starting to make a large impact on the craft scene. I was very impressed with the spaciousness and high availability of the beers that they offered. I only wish I would have spent more time there than what I did. Really looking forward to going back next year.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.51/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Awesome new place! The brewery tour was very informative! One of the better ones I’ve gone to. Nice and open; wood, stone, and glass modern feel. It gets busy on a Saturday night even with two levels!

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Photo of Oconomowocian
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I think the old tap room used to be a pizza hut. Stopped in and there were like 5 old timers at the bar and there was an open seat. Had a Term Oil and talked with the boys. Great place just not what you would expect. Interested in visiting the new place. Lots of great stuff togo.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.69/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

I am a huge TG fan and spent time there the day before the Assassin 2018 release. The service was great and they had a huge selection on tap along with many brews to go.
The release was super organized. Got there at at 7:30 AM for my 8 AM session. Had my Assassin bottles, merchandise, and a draft pour before 8:30 and there were at least 300 people there.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

This is an absolutely tiny place and it looks like it was put together in a hurry. However the service is amazing and the beers are simply out of this world. I wonder how the new facility will be like.

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Photo of RockRuler
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

It's on the smaller side with 8 stools at a "L" shaped bar top, tables and an outdoor patio. 14 beers on tap, mostly of the hoppy variety. They have a cooler with bombers and 4 packs to go. They do not serve food but you can have food delivered. Very freidnly staff. Very tight parking. Right now the tap room and brewery are located at different locations. Said they are constructing a new brewery and taproom where they will all be in one facility scheduled to be open by early 2018. Their current building was once a pizza place and most recently a florist.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.99/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

For such a world-renowned brewery, existing in small town America seems to have ensured that this taproom has kept that hometown bar feel where everyone knows your name. There's a small L-bar in front of the taps, with a few short 4-seaters around the open floor. Some sports plays on the TV and the taplist is moderate, but at least consists entirely of super fresh, ultra local, intensely delicious beers coming out of the old-school, triple faucet taps.

As a side note, it must be said, TG is really adept at handling a massive crowd for large events. They pump people through with an efficient speed and a good attitude that you rarely see at beer releases of the magnitude of Mornin' Delight.

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Photo of IMFletcher
3.95/5  rDev -12.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Visited on a weekday afternoon. The inside is like an old, converted restaurant that seemed largely untampered with. There were less than 10 beers on tap, and from what I could tell, they were only the ones you can find in the TG distro footprint. I always hope to try something on tap at a brewery that I can't try anywhere else. Their patio is shaded and very pleasant, and the service was friendly.

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Photo of bound4er
4.11/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 2.75

Visited on 6/16 as part of a weekend of bike riding, beer drinking and shopping in Decorah with my wife. When we drove by the place we almost missed it. An earlier reviewer's comment of it looking like an old steak house is spot one. Once inside the place is very inviting with tables around the front entrance followed by a wooden bar near the back. To one side is parking and on the other side is a beer garden. We drank at the bar and then ate Mabe's pizza outside. The service was excellent - the bartenders were nice, helpful and not afraid to pour a small trial sample. My only beef (more like my wife's) was the lack of non-hoppy beers on tap. Dorothy's was the only non IPA / PA beer they had on tap. I enjoyed the hell out of Sue, Pompeii and Scorpius Morchella (wish they'd bottle this stuff). If they would have had a dark beer or hefe on tap my wife would have enjoyed TG a bit more. Hop heads paradise in a nutshell.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

Visited for the KBBS B3 release. The place is tiny and looks like an old steakhouse, very unassuming as you could drive right past it and not know it. The staff were top notch though, very efficient during the release and did their best to accommodate everyone. Selection was about as big as you'd expect for a building this size, they seem to go for quality over quantity.

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Photo of Pansgirl16
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Spent some time at Toppling Goliath Brewery last weekend. Had a blast! Love the Naughty 90! I am not a big IPA fan, usually too hoppy for me. The Naughty 90 was spectacular! Amber with caramel and mild smokey notes. A hint of hoppiness on the back finish but not too much. Filled a growler to take home. Just finished the growler tonight and wished we had more! Will definitely make a trip back to Decorah for more!

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Photo of Chrisfarleywine
3.61/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Came for the King Sue release. The beer was pretty great, most of the people were pretty good but a lot of the staff were dicks and seemed really put out by having to pour a beer, answer questions, etc. I get it's a stressful day with lots of people driving several hours to the middle of nowhere for your poorly announced release, but c'mon.

The selection was okay, galaxy sue was on tap which was awesome. Lots of unsold Rue the Crown behind the counter but for Mug Club Members only and my guess is those were the dudes in there on a first name basis with the staff.

Facility itself is pretty cool, nice patio but one toilet bathroom for the dudes had a nice line. Parking is terrible, risked a tow by parking across the street because there aren't a lot of other options around there. Hope the new place will be step up.

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Photo of martinfletwood
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Probably my favorite overall brewery. Seems like Toppling can do no wrong. Commonly available Pseudo Sue is the best there is. Rarely available KBBS and Mornin Delight are the best beers our there.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

The taproom is fairly small, but the staff and locals were very friendly and helpful. I went in the middle of the day, but would like to go back at night to see what the atmosphere is like then. The bartender popped a bottle of newly bottled Sosus for us to try, which was really nice of her. Great place and great beer!

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Photo of Billquirk
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Awesome place. Great experience to come and visit here. People behind the bar were excellent and very helpful. The locals are very nice. Started an impromptu share when we visited with some beers from back home, and someone broke out a MD. Quite an experience.

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Photo of VABA
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

This small place is in the middle of nowhere, but the quality of the beer made the trip worthwhile! Pseudo Sue on tap is great! King Sue on tap is EXCELLENT!

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Photo of Docrock
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited around lunchtime on a Friday and the small tap room was nearly empty. Only a handful of stools at the bar and enough tables and chairs for about 20 more. 2 guest taps and 6-7 TG selections available. There is no food in house but a nearby grill/cafe will deliver. Staff was very friendly and helpful, good atmosphere for such a small place. Most beer available to go in growler. Definitely worth the stop if for some reason you are in the middle of nowhere IOWA.

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Photo of Degeneffe
2.76/5  rDev -39.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2 | selection: 2

After all the hype my wife decided to surprise me with a weekend away to try some of the best beer in the world. It was about 3 hours from where we live. The brewery is pretty small but has some cool whiskey barrels and decor inside. The service wasnt outstanding. You have to order at the bar and the servers dont seem to care much. I was extremely taken back to find only 7 beers on tap! With all the hype and really high ratings you would think they would have beer to sell for all the people traveling. Turns out they are outsourcing production now to somewhere in Florida. I tried all 7 beers (none of which rank as the world famous) and they were good. Each had a unique flaror and the consistency was creamy. I did enjoy the beer, just dont think it lives up to the ratings. Maybe it used to, but I certainly wouldnt make the drive again.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Selection skews very heavily to the hoppy territory; when I was there they had 6 or so APAs / IPAs / Hoppy Wheat / English IPAs on ... and I think one lager (Dorothy's) and one oatmeal stout (Rover). This is something of a minor quibble since I'll happily drink 4 or 5 pints of Toppling Goliath hops but it does need to be noted that diversity isn't a strong suit.

Service can get overwhelmed due to the small bar and the steady demand for bombers / growler fills.

Ambiance is minimal; no real personality or flair, just your standard small brewery feel. They seem to welcome bottle sharing at a small scale which is nice as a compensation for the relative lack of diversity in the taps.

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Photo of Cheesy_McDuck
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Toppling Goliath, what a cool brewery, world class which I don't say lightly. Arable soil, Dan Gable, Toppling Goliath, and a few other things. The service is ok, but not great, but the beer is outstanding. I went canoeing with friends nearby into a river spread be delicious spring water, I wonder how big of a factor the water is in the quality of the beer there.

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Photo of medbadger
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I love this beer. I want to make friends with the people that work there so we can play cards on the weekend and drink this beer. My wife and I have date nights and every time I get to pick the place I head down the road to TG brews.

To be honest the place is just alright. Nothing special about it, kinda looks like it is in a old pizza hut building. There is always a few people sitting at the bar having some beer. But what is lacks in sexiness it more than makes up for in quality and service. Great people and great beer, that's what a brewery should be about.

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Photo of Strike00
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Great atmosphere and great beer. Really busy and the tap room was on the smaller side, but the service was still pretty good. Can't wait to get up there again.

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Photo of amano_h
4.53/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Toppling Goliath is an enigma of its own.

With a name like "Toppling Goliath," you would automatically assume that they are like pubescent young men dressed presumably in pre-1 AD Jewish attire, equipped with a slingshot mighty enough to take down the biggest and the most infamous villains of biblical scale -- yet they are far from what their name wants to suggest. You cannot profess yourself to be a beer geek without having tried PseudoSue, the legendary Citra Pale Ale. You also cannot profess yourself to be a regular on the RateBeer forums without having ISO'd KingSue, PseudoSue's more limited yet superior cousin, or one of their many other outstanding hoppy offerings like Sosus (Mosaic), GoldenNugget (Golden Promise Malt + Nugget Hops), Zeelander (Nelson Sauvin), LightSpeed, so on and so forth. You also absolutely cannot profess yourself to be a regular trader on BeerAdvocate without having once offered almost half your beer stash for a single bottle of Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout, or its non-Barrel Aged cousin, Mornin' Delight.

If the above beer geekery didn't make any sense, just know that Toppling Goliath has put the little drive-by town of Decorah, IA on the map for many many beer enthusiasts -- to the point where there is now inter-state interest on taking vacations to Iowa. Iowa, of all places.

Sorry, didn't mean to go full-on fanboy there, but my point being, that unlike what their name might suggest, TG is a pretty huge deal in the craft beer scene. Unlike their huge deal-ness, however, TG is incredibly humble about their success and it really shows.

Since its opening, Toppling Goliath has situated itself atop the same hill at the edge of College Drive. Other than the fact that they have now moved most of their production to a production brewery somewhere down the road, nothing about the brewery has evidently changed; their interior looks like a converted pizza joint or one of those "we cook everything from burgers to spaghetti stores," and still only sits a limited amount of people despite their huge success. Unlike some of the more high-profile breweries with which TG shares fame, there are no frantic employees scrambling to serve people and get them in and out as soon as possible, but just honest, welcoming, hard-working people, trying to spread the fruit of their labor; one of the employees was striking up a very heated debate about beer with one of the patrons, which ended with the patron exchanging phone numbers with the employee with promises of trading beer in the future.

Anyway the point being, Toppling Goliath COULD be that one brewery/brewpub that has grown too big for its britches and now has fans arguing over whether they're the best thing since sliced bread or whether their quality has fallen off -- but they're not. They COULD be that one brewery/brewpub that has gotten so big that they now own multiple restaurants and sell merchandise all across America -- but they're not. Instead, they're the same brewery that they were from the moment of their conception, churning out bottle after bottle of beer that's "good to the last drop," solely focused on providing nothing but the best they can offer without compromise -- and that's about all the fanboy you're going to get out of me today.

As aforementioned, TG's storefront is very limited between the serving area, the refrigerated storage area (where they sell bottles of their hoppy goodness) and the back area where they still do a portion of their brewing, so there is no kitchen; there is however, a gas station across the street, and a few restaurants that deliver to Toppling Goliath (whose menus are conveniently located by the side entrance)

Like most breweries, TG does have a rotating selection so check their website prior to visiting to steer away from too much disappointment (although I can say with about 99.99% confidence that they will always at least have PseudoSue on TAP) and you can also pick up TG paraphernalia like T-shirts, snifters, stickers, etc at the same place where you pick up your to-go bottles.

Oh and try the samplers. I definitely guarantee that they'll have more beers than you'll like.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Long drive to get here from pretty much anywhere, but after all these years, I'm pretty much used to that kind of thing. The place is small, well-organized. The bar seats maybe 10 people, with several tables, and an outside area. The service was fine, and the two ladies I saw there seemed to know everything they needed to about the brewery and the beer. There is no food here, but you can ask for menus and order out from local places, one of which is within extremely easy walking distance...they will bring food to you, but it's so close I just put a coaster on my glass and picked it up myself. The crowd was small but diverse, from old people who didn't know what a growler was, to middle-aged ladies on a destination beer trip, to brosephs, and even a brewer from another brewery in MN.

The beer here is all pretty good. Nothing really wowed me. I've had a few like Assassin (and now KBBS and MD) and PseudoSue before, but it was nice to see the latter on tap, along with the likes of Dorothy, Golden Nugget, Morning Latte (a parti-gyled Mornin' Delight), and a few others. Lots of cool merch, and a few bottles for sale too: Dorothy, Rover Truck, Nugget, and something else. Sampler flights for the win!

I'm sure the largest crowds come out when the bottle releases happen, but I suppose making a trip to Decorah is worth it even if there isn't a release. I drove from Minneapolis, so it was about a 2.5 hour trek, and mostly easy-going. While in town, you might as well check out Pulpit Rock Brewing also, which is about a quarter mile down the road, so also easily within walking distance.

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Photo of Benjhilmer
4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

What a strange place this is. I drove right past it on my first approach. It's very unassuming; you'd never know they make some of the world's best beer here. When I arrived, they were showing the Indiana High School Softball Tournament on TV; they don't even televise that in Indiana! Bizarre. I visited later in the day, so not everything was available. Still, I got to enjoy some great beer on tap. Their brews are worth the stop no matter what.

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Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, IA
Brewery rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 28,442 ratings