Granite City Food & Brewery

1,344 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

12801 University Ave
Clive, Iowa, 50325-8219
United States

(515) 224-1300 | map

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Added by BuckeyeNation

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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 4
Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.44/5  rDev +20.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of MickeyTheHead
3/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Decent food & beer, nothing special it's the applebees of the brewpub world.

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Photo of timlyon
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of KateK
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75 | food: 4

Nice atmosphere, usually quite crowded. Service was quick despite the crowd. Tried the Northern Light Lager and the Two Pull. Two Pull was a very nice Black & Tan! Overall, the food was delicious, the beer was pretty good. Will definitely dine here again!

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I came for a late lunch after a doctor's appointment so I had no trouble gettng a server. The atmosphere seems to be a weird mix of styles. There's the natural stone pillars to give a sort of country look, but the kitchen has sort of a city looks with all stainless appliances and the extended ceiling lamps. This left me somewhat confused, like the inside was a bit, sterile.
The menue has plenty of choices. The drink menu was impressive because it has the states for the house brews, this is the only place I've seen do that. A sampler is available for $4. They have 4 regular beers, 1 seasonal, and 2 mixers. I'm use to mre variety at my regular brew pub down the road. Perhaps I'm spoiled.
I ordered the chicken parmisan. It was a good sized piece of breaded chicken on an evan bigger base of pasta. The sause was ok.
The staff is plenty friendly, but since there were few people there between meal times we got plenty of attention from the staff.
Overall the place is nice, put it doesn't have the the zest in personality to make me get out there often.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I was VERY pleasantly surprised, given how VERY little I expected from this medium sized chain (~13 locations.) Their website has a very corporate feel, emphasizes cocktails for drink specials, and basically fails to detail what beer styles they brew, even standard 'house' styles. (If you dig through a while, you can find a basic listing of their styles through the menu pages.) Their website seems as much a vehicle for pimping franchises and expansion as to advertise beer and food.

So given that: wow!

It's a pretty deep drive from Des Moines proper, about 20-25 minutes west with no traffic, and using the freeway. No difficulty at all finding parking in the big strip mall parking lot, but I was there for lunch on a weekend.

Atmosphere is basic family style restaurant brewpub, big, loud, and open, with lots of tables, and a bar area behind a glass block (I think) wall. I was seated instantly for lunch by amazingly friendly host staff, and greeted immediately by my extremely friendly server. The vibe of the place is a little sterile, like a TGI Fridays or Chili's, but they make up for it with friendliness. (And I don't take this as general Iowa friendliness, since I didn't get it at Court Avenue, Raccoon River, or Rock Bottom.) The service here, from at least four employees I interacted with, was as good as any brewpub i can think of visiting in a long time.

Here is the real kicker, especially for a place I was feeling lukewarm about: the sampler rack (small, ~2 ounce tasters) was free! I was again very pleasantly surprised, this time with the quality of the beers. The standout was the delightfully, hugely citrus Duke IPA, and the Broad Axe Stout was thick, roasty, sweet and tasty. A seasonal fruit beer, Ostara's (sp?) Spring Ale was decent, sweet up front, but pretty thin in the finish both in taste and body.

The Northern Light Lager was quite tasty for style, if sweetish and overly malt-grain-sweet pronounced.

On the downside was Brother Benedict's Bock, which was like a sweetish brown ale, overly thick, and just unpleasant. The Two Pull was a strange, thin mix of Northern Light Lager and Maibock, bizarre int hat it's a beer menu standardm, and comes out by default on the sampler tray.

I was delighted to see them include good beer stats on the beer menu for each beer. (Now if only their crappy website included this information!) Since I know some will be interested, here are the ones I recorded:

Northern Light Lager: OG 1.040 - 1.042
Brother Benedict's Bock: 1.050 - 1.052, 4.6 - 4.8 % ABV, Northern Brewer, Tettnanger
Duke IPA: 1.048 - 1.050, 5.0 - 5.2%, Northern Brewer, Cascade, Fuggle
Broad Axe Stout: 1.052 - 1.054, 4.8 - 5.1%, Northern Brewer, Fuggle, Maris Otter pale, roasted barley, flaked barley, Carahell, flaked oats

Food was served in enormous portions. I had a very tasty, very filling Caesar salad, which at $6.99 kept me satisfied until a late dinner. The place definitely was taking a cue from the Midwestern family restaurant ethic of serving people as though they are each personally a small village tucking in for a week.

So, okay: it wasn't amazing, and it certainly wasn't in the top 20 or 30 brewpubs I've been to. But for a random corporate place out in the suburbs of Des Moines, it was a delightful surprise. I would absolutely return if I were to find myself in the neighborhood, or even if I was just tiring of Raccoon River and Court Avenue, and didn't mind a drive to the burbs.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Granite City opened about a year ago and has done a fabulous business since. The parking lot is almost always packed and it's still very difficult to get a table at prime times, especially Friday and Saturday nights. It's also very close to my house, no more than 5 minutes by car.

The interior is classic modern restaurant/brewpub. Light and airy inside with casual but tasteful furnishings. The brewing tanks are lighted and proudly displayed for all to see. The service is excellent, I've never had a bad experience when eating or drinking there. I had lunch at the bar today and didn't want for anything. I was served immediately. When my beer was empty the bartender was right on it and when I was finished with my lunch, it was cleared away within seconds of my last bite. The bartenders usually shake your hand and introduce themselves to you by name when you first sit down--a nice touch.

There is plenty of variety on the menu, though they don't offer pizzas. The beer is a little better than average and goes well with the food. I particularly like "The Duke" IPA and Bennie's maibock. This is a brewpub that is close/convenient, that has great service, and that has good food. What more could one ask for?

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Granite City Food & Brewery in Clive, IA
Brewery rating: 3.31 out of 5 with 1,344 ratings
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