Exile Brewing Co.

Exile Brewing Co.Exile Brewing Co.
Exile Brewing Co.Exile Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(515) 883-2337 | map

Notes: We fear no beer. From sours to lagers and everything in between, we brew for beer lovers using the highest quality ingredients, ridiculous attention to detail, and a pioneering, creative spirit.
View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Photo of Pivopijak
Reviewed by Pivopijak from Washington

4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25
A big and modern edifice, with ample room for many a person to sip on a beer. Wood and brick are the order of the day. All and all, the beer is good and the quality is consistent from beer to beer.
Dec 03, 2021
Rated: 3.71 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Jun 19, 2021
Photo of bound4er
Reviewed by bound4er from Wisconsin

4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25
Visited on 4/20. Thoroughly enjoyed my first visit here. Lots of people having fun and also a popular spot for local bicyclists. The weather was beautiful so we sat outside. Had two different seasonal IPAs which were both very good. My wife and daughter each had a lighter style citrus infused ale which was also good. The food was typical bar fare and was also well done. If you like brussel sprouts they are not to be missed – plus you get a metric shit-ton of them. Service was excellent – she was very friendly and attentive. If I find myself in DSM down the road I will be stopping back in.
Apr 22, 2019
Rated: 4.14 by Chilmer from Iowa

Sep 03, 2018
Photo of smcolw
Reviewed by smcolw from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25
Traditional bar grub of sandwiches, burgers, and traditional salads. The food was good.

There are eight beers on tap. Although that's not many, there's good variety (except for darker beers -- only a Dunkel).

The building appears to be a former factory with plenty of brick. It's located on the outer fringe of town. Plenty of parking.

If you are in Des Moines, it's worth a stop for lunch or dinner.
Sep 01, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by Rubezahl from Pennsylvania

Jul 08, 2018
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
Reviewed by GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25
Another fun stop in the mid west. Finally made the stop in Des Moines. Exile is the place. Beautiful old industrial brick building, large serving space. Finally got my NH hands on a proper NE style hazy ass ipa. Food was above average, creative pub style food. Beers were of good quality. Outdoor patio seating and an upstairs area. Soo glad I made the stop.
May 15, 2018
Rated: 5 by Mackenziesleeth from Iowa

Apr 27, 2018
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4
this place really turned me on, i was not expecting such a clean and sort of high end feeling atmosphere after seeing some of their labels around the iowa market, these beers looks like cartoons, not serious or adult at all so it was surprising to come into an urban spot, old brick and dim lighting, clean and tidy, with well dressed service folks and a very sort of stoic atmosphere, not quite fine dining or anything, but not as casual as the generic taproom either. it seems odd that this would be their space and the labels would looks so kiddy, it just doesnt make much sense, but i like the place better than the bottle art, almost needless to say. when you walk in there is a bar area to the left and a restaurant and bar to the right, where we say. a kind gentleman keeps our glasses full of beer and our heads full of cool stories about their history and current operation. you can see the brewhouse from the bar, and then a lot of nice sort of intimate booth seating around. good looking grub but we didnt eat. they had a robust list including basically styles for everyone. a coffee dark lager and an east coast ipa turned me on the most, but everything we tasted in here was professionally done, innovative enough, and very good overall, impressively so, especially compared to a lot of the other iowa beers we had on our trip. solid pils, really good diversity on the menu, relaxed but nicer place to chill. its big too, surprisingly so, they must sell quite a bit of beer. we had fun here and would definitely not come to des moines again without stopping in for a few pints, but they have do to something about their packaging, this place is way better than the way they present themselves in the market...
Apr 24, 2018
Rated: 3.97 by iRun2Beer from Minnesota

Nov 27, 2017
Rated: 3.79 by sgttibbs from Minnesota

Jul 20, 2017
Rated: 4.28 by Zekenyce from New Jersey

Jul 16, 2017
Rated: 4.13 by mkyer from Connecticut

Jul 08, 2017
Rated: 4.09 by craigbelly from Iowa

Jul 02, 2017
Photo of Theisen5
Reviewed by Theisen5 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Definitely my go to brewery in Des Moines. I strongly recommend if it will be your first time visiting to sign up for a tour. tours are something like $8 and you get a tulip glass and 4 partial pours, its a good way to see the place and try several of the beers. Exile usually has around 8 or 10 of their beers on tap and half of those change fairly routinely while 4 or 5 are their core beers that are available year round. They seem to be big on sour beers (not my favorite) but there is always a good variety. Friday night they occasionally have a small test batch you can try sadly if you like it you may never see it again (poor vanilla bean stout). My favorite beer from here was Jesus on a Forklift which is their barrel aged beer which (fingers crossed) is supposed to be available canned this fall/winter.

I don't usually eat here but the food is probably as good as the beer. Its a little pricey but the food is very high quality and good portions.
May 16, 2017
Photo of Martha_McA
Reviewed by Martha_McA from Iowa

5/5  rDev +19.6%
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.
Mar 21, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by krdhawk from Iowa

Jan 13, 2017
Photo of Tizzytom
Rated by Tizzytom from Missouri

5/5  rDev +19.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Best brewery in the state. hands down.
Aug 13, 2016
Rated: 4.48 by lupercmda from North Carolina

May 08, 2016
Photo of emerge077
Reviewed by emerge077 from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Nice enough place, looks like a lot of money was poured into rehabbing an old warehouse 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, booth seating along the walls of the dining area with heavy wooden 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 pretty 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 little dry without much if any 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. While in DSM, I still prefer Barn Town, 515, and El Bait Shop.
Apr 07, 2016
Rated: 4.59 by HawkeyeJosh from Arkansas

Jan 30, 2016
Rated: 4.06 by SomewhereInTheMiddle from Indiana

Dec 23, 2015
Photo of Goosegeek
Rated by Goosegeek from Kansas

4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75
Amazing brews and food
Sep 05, 2015
Rated: 3.91 by Hohnbaum from Kansas

Sep 04, 2015
Rated: 5 by Sprague67 from Iowa

Aug 02, 2015
Rated: 4.21 by tapperm from Iowa

Jul 01, 2015
Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
Rated by YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Finally has gotten away from the traditional German lagers! Been improving lately doing good IPAs, Pales and a few sours!
Jun 10, 2015
Photo of Scott17Taylor
Reviewed by Scott17Taylor from Iowa

4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
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.
May 01, 2015
Rated: 4.15 by misternebbie from Pennsylvania

Feb 10, 2015
Photo of Norvelljeff
Reviewed by Norvelljeff from Iowa

5/5  rDev +19.6%
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!
Jan 29, 2015
Rated: 4.45 by Rasmutant from Iowa

Jan 04, 2015
Rated: 4.6 by Mulgrejm

Dec 29, 2014
Photo of MickeyTheHead
Reviewed by MickeyTheHead from Iowa

4.14/5  rDev -1%
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.
Dec 24, 2014
Rated: 4.28 by jruno from Iowa

Dec 22, 2014
Photo of gjoker321
Reviewed by gjoker321 from Florida

4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.
Dec 02, 2014
Rated: 3 by Doeden23 from Iowa

Nov 13, 2014
Rated: 4 by PhillyStyle from Georgia

Nov 11, 2014
Photo of bufante
Rated by bufante from Iowa

3/5  rDev -28.2%
Terrible service, average beer, sweet environment.
Aug 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by KAF from Iowa

Jul 08, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by PatrickKlopfenstein from Iowa

Jul 08, 2014
Exile Brewing Co. in Des Moines, IA
Brewery rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 866 ratings