Exile Brewing Co.

Exile Brewing Co.Exile Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1514 Walnut St
Des Moines, Iowa, 50309-3420
United States

(515) 883-2337 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by ahoff101 on 06-15-2012

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 34
Photo of Martha_McA
5/5  rDev +20.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Exile has become a Des Moines staple. Excellent beers and delicious food served by a great staff, in a stylish atmosphere. With a well-rounded beer menu and rotating seasonal/special releases, it’s hard to find a beer you don’t love. My person favorite if the Beatnik Sour.

 277 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Nice enough place, looks like a lot of money was dumped into rehabbing an old building.
The vibe was fine but too sterile for my taste. Enter and exit through the gift shop, the bar area was blasting a few too many flatscreens. Patio looked lovely, though we were seated in the dining room by the kitchen. Clean industrial feel, nice thick wood tables.

Service was fast and friendly, I opted for a couple flights and the server didn't really offer any further info about the beers, which were well described by the menu.

Beer selection was well varied, the standouts were the lagers and Berliner Weisse. The APA and Gose were not good.

Food was pretty good, lamb sliders were a touch dry with little seasoning, and the cheese curds were very good as an appetizer. Overall they had an interesting range of beers, and apparently a newer brewer with some experience brewing sour ales. Seems to have potential.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Very solid brewery, most of their beers are just okay, but their sours and BA stout are great. The service is great and the food is awesome. If you are going on a Saturday sign up for a tour, $5 gets you a tulip glass, 4 6 oz pours of anything on tap, and the tour. They are worth stopping in, and definitely pick up any sour you see from them.

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Photo of Norvelljeff
5/5  rDev +20.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is the best brewery is Des Moines. Great beer selection and the staff is more then fantastic. Everyone should get to this place ASAP. Food is top notch as well. Ask for JD, he is a manager and knows the lay of the land. Thanks Exile!

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Photo of MickeyTheHead
4.14/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

This place has great food and a wide variety of beer. I'd have to say I consider it to be the best brewery in the Des Moines, IA area. The service is pretty good considering how busy the place seems to stay.

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Photo of gjoker321
4/5  rDev -3.4%

I was extremely impressed with the friendliness of their bar staff. Walked me through all the information about the beers and had some excellent one-offs. Definitely my favorite brewery downtown by far. The food looked really good though I did not get a chance to try.

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Photo of wapcap
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

An interesting place, right near downtown and walkable from our hotel.
They appear to be a German inspired brewpub, beer hall and all around facility. The decor was pretty cool, and they seemed to be doing some remodeling, but that did not affect the experience.
The beer were all German. I had two and both were good, and very well done.
The food was prepared well. I am not sure how much of it was sourced from local farms. It did taste good and came out of the kitchen in a short amount of time.
Definitely a place worth visiting. Especially since I know of only one other craft brewery to be German or Czech inspired.

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Photo of Clones21
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Have been at Exile a few times. Had their lunch a while back, and was very pleased. I had the French Dip and it was fantasic and well prepared! I already knew that the beer is very well brewed. I have came here a couple of times just to sit at the bar and have a beer or two, and it's worth it. If you enjoy German brews, you will love Exile. The atmosphere here is great in my opinion. There hardly is ever any immature 21 year olds acting dumb at the bar, so the atmosphere is nice and laid back. I recommend this place to everyone. Great food, great beer, great building. Give it a try!

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Photo of IrieMob
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

driving across the country, we are trying to try a microbrewery in every state. we happened upon Exile when we checked into our hotel room in Des Moines and just googled local breweries. we definitely made the right choice.

only open a few months, the atmosphere is fantastic. it's a wide open old brick warehouse and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

the beer selection was fairly limited, but as we learned from the owner and bartender, they are going for a more European feel and selection. no IPAs (as hopheads, we were a bit disappointed), was unusual, but the dunkelweizen was very good. their flagship is a gold lager (above average) and they had a wheat, blonde, dunkel, and a belgiany type beer. all were very very good. and all have a cool story behind the names (ask the bartender).

overall, we'd highly recommend this brewery. they seem to have gotten the important thing right (good beer, great atmosphere, and good food). if you get a chance, check it out. you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Visited August 28 - 5:30-7:30pm

If in doubt, trust the locals. I had my qualms about trying an upstart brewery mere weeks after its opening, but I'm glad we listened to the business client we met with earlier in the afternoon regarding the 'cool new brewpub' just up the street from Hotel Fort Des Moines. After a stroll around the nearby (amazing) central library and pretty Pappajohn Sculpture Garden (satiating our architecture geekiness), we easily found the brick building where Exile now resides. The area of town looks to be in a state of transformation, with many nearby buildings/lots showing signs of life (construction banners, new businesses and -good god there are a lot of them in Des Moines!- parking structures).

Only a small 'Exile' sign hangs above the non-descript entry (are more exterior improvements upcoming?). One enters and finds a small waiting area (T-shirt and glassware schwag already!) and a hostess station dividing 3 distinct seating areas: a boisterous dining room and tonier bar to the right, a more casual and cheery secondary bar to the far left. Next to the 'casual' bar is an outdoor patio (which abuts the adjacent parking lot somewhat awkwardly) and from it are views into the spacious brewery, separated from the bar by a tall wall of glass. From the size of the tanks and openness of the floor plan, they appear to have plenty of room to grow. We first sat outside (the building offered some nice afternoon shade from the oppressive heat) and were served by Katie; I ordered a scotch egg and house potato chips (served in a brown paper bag) which were light and nicely seasoned; my coworker chose French onion soup (on a 95 degree day?). We both enjoyed a 0.5l of 'Hannah' (see below).

House beer was limited to just one (Hannah, a rather fantastic Bavarian Hefeweizen), but there were only a handful of other local/regional drafts (Millstream, Goose Island) on while the brewery gets its feet beneath it. If that first beer is any indication of the brewing talent, I'm looking forward to good things from them. Having 6 or 8 beers on is OK for now (hence my 3.0 score), but I'm betting variety will improve once production increases.

After an hour or so outside, we decided to move inside for dinner. The main room was lively and almost every table filled. Feel was rather sleek, a clean & industrial look with monochromatic tones and minimal decor. Meagan was our server and she took good care of us. I picked the macaroni with bacon and a huge side of green beans (pasta was very good, beans were super-fresh but maybe a little firm/undercooked), my coworker chose the pork shank and polenta, which was (from the small taste I got) very good but was too huge to finish. Again I had a 0.5l of 'Hannah'... wow, that stuff was good!

Prices were very reasonable (about $32 outdoors and $45 indoors)... cheap for us coming from the West Coast (Portland, OR). I'm very glad we chose Exile for dinner and would gladly return!

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Exile Brewing Co. in Des Moines, IA
3.94 out of 5 based on 510 ratings.
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