Okay, first the good: the beer is absolutely world-class, which I already knew. Don’t come here expecting rare stuff to just be hanging out on tap, but if you want to try their amazing hoppy beers at the source, you’re good. I had pints of Thresher, a new favorite, and Pseudo Sue. My wife had a flight, and all beers were superb. The place is easy to get to, especially if you’re staying in Decorah or hanging out downtown; it was a half mile walk from our B&B, and just up the hill from Pulpit Rock. Busy on a Sunday afternoon, but still managed to seem fairly chill.
The bad: service, while fairly friendly, is spotty and organized weirdly. There’s a separate line next to the bar that says "Beer Line," which is where all new customers were being directed, either for beer to go or for pints and flights. But we just sat down at the bar, and were served in due time without being corrected. I’m still not sure if we did the correct thing, but more customers did that in the next hour. The staff were all knowledgeable, but two of the employees were openly bickering about something for most of the hour we were there; pretty unprofessional.
Other small points of contention: please TG, switch to swing-top growlers. Also, I understand the reasoning, but it’s not a good look to sell 4-pk cans of Dorothy, Sue, and G Nug that were all brewed in Florida, when the real stuff is being brewed just down the road.
Got bottles of X-Hops Silver, which was great, and the bartender poured us each a sample from the bottle; much appreciated. All in all, this place is making world-class beer, but their PR and customer service efforts are second-rate.
Stopped by this place after dropping our son of at Iowa State. Nice drive from Ames to Decorah but, damn, it’s a long drive from Decorah to Chicago. Service was great, employees were knowledgeable, and beer was complex and quite enjoyable. My wife and I each had a flight of all 8 beers they were serving at the time. Parking lot was completely full on a Thursday night but we parked at the strip mall down the hill without issue.
Stopped in after lunch during my Iowa visit. For those that saybghis is middle of nowhere I drove west to hawkeye point after and that is middle of nowhere. Small restaurant looking place. Staff was friendly but mostly chatted with locals and didn’t say much about beer. They had 5 on tap 2 were excellent and 3 quite good. Bought two bombers of other beers. Prices were fair. Obviously if your anywhere nearby you should come.
This place is a tiny gem in the middle of nowhere. It is totally worth taking a side trip to come check it out. It has a meager looking exterior, but the people are very nice and their beers are incredible. This is a brewery is already making waves.
Un endroit au charme inversement proportionnel à la qualité de ses produits. Plusieurs gens d’un certain âge peuplent la pièce et rien ne laisse croire à ce qui se cache à l’autre bout des pompes. Pas de cuisine sur place mais des resto alentours font la livraison. Belle place pour jouer aux cartes avec votre grand-père en buvant un éventail de classe mondiale.
Pretty unassuming little place. Looks like a former fast food restaurant re-fitted as a tap room. Small bar and a few tables. There were a couple of regulars in the place who complimented me on my selections (a sample flight of IPAs). The beer might be a bit on the expensive side, but I was able to purchase a couple of cases of stuff that hardly ever makes it to the Twin Cities. The beer itself, the reason for being there, was outstanding. The place might work a bit on ambiance, etc., to really be more welcoming. Glad I stopped by, though.
Decent little taproom that splits the difference between craft destination and neighborhood bar. The staff are bar employees, not passionate craft advocates. TVs show sports while locals sit at the bar and discuss hunting tactics. The college soccer team comes in and pushes all the available tables together. The beers are generally of very high quality but there are definitely choices that seem tailored to more egalitarian tastes. Three bottles available for takeaway on this visit. An enjoyable visit, if not really on the same plane of greatness as other comparable places.