Raccoon River Brewing Company is a multi-story behemoth of a brew pub, something that provides something for everyone: bidness types, music heads, beer geeks, foodies, pool sharks. Even Sally, that middle-aged lady from your accounting department will have a great time there.
So, where to start? I generally like to start with a drink but in the case of my latest visit I chose to start with a sample flight to taste all of the offerings. The seven samples I drank contained some traditional offerings, like the Tallgrass Light, a typical light lager and the Bandit IPA. There was also two seasonal offerings, Fatal Attraction a sweet beer and a Scotch Ale, also sweet but packing much more of an alcholy punch.
For me the two standouts available at RRBCo are the Homestead Red, an ale with a sweet buttery taste mixed with a slight but noticeable hoppy bite. The other standout is the Stonecutter Stout. This pitch black beer is exactly what a stout should be: malty, sugary and offensive to the tastes of the uninitiated. Plus the Stonecutter name reminds me of a great Simpsons’ episode.
And then there’s the food. Much like Court Avenue Brewing Company the food here is best described as enlightened pub food. The burgers are adventurous and the Ojo Caliente pizza, which I ate during my last visit, combines jalapenos, avocados and a tasty almond cilantro pesto. Sure, it’s a slice of ‘za but with Fong’s out of commission it’s a great place to grab a daring slice.
RRBCo also has a long tradition of musical acts visiting. I feel kind of old thinking that I attended a Public Property New Year’s Show well over half a decade ago. Fortunately the tradition continues with free music being offered on Wednesdays at 7 and Saturdays at 9.
Raccoon River Brewing Company is a solid place for any purpose, be it (fun) business meeting, listening to new local music or just catching up with a pal over some pizza and tasty brews. The brewery is in an excellent location to take advantage of two of the more important Des Moines developments, the continued expansion of the Western Gateway district and the intriguing transformation of Walnut Street. But why wait? Stop in and lend your taste buds and ears to a Des Moines original.