Located in a non descript building with Rudy’s Tacos on the building, this is one place with three different areas which all have this slightly ironic 60’s vibe to them. The lava lounge looks like what I imagine a tiki bar to look like. The beer hall is full of 60’s era breweriana. The beers on the other hand, with the exception of a few local and national BMC varieties, is craft like Jolly Pumpkin, To Ol, Evil Twin, and La Trappe that I didn’t expect to see at a beer bar in Waterloo, Iowa. The bottles are of similar quality. The only negative is they didn’t have a list of their bottles, but the prices were reasonable. What can I say except it’s another awesome Iowa place.
only went to rudy’s but they had some toppling goliath and peace tree on draft. Good tacos, huge portions, very creepy decor. Service was good. Based on what I saw on tap at the other spots, this seems like a chill place for some bros to hang out on at night. Plenty cheap too.
I can’t believe I forgot to rate this place! I unfortunately didn’t go here until my last semester at UNI and I already miss it! The ambiance and decor are quite nice - slightly dim at night with a vintage red decor and cool chairs and couches to relax on and a somewhat sophisticated crowd away from campus. The service is always outstanding. The bartender is quick, friendly, conversational, and great. The selection is the best in the area, and if you know Iowa, especially CF/WL, then it’s great to get some craft beers and Belgians in town on tap! The only food available is from Rudy’s tacos next door in the little strip area, which is nothing special but good. The mixed drink prices are ridiculously cheap for their quality. Overall, a great place, and if I’m ever in CF/WL again, I will be going here.
UPDATE: Now the best place in Iowa to get a beer.
These are three businesses in the same hallway of the same mini-mall under the same ownership/management. Put basically you can take your drink from one place to another with ease. The place started as a taco joint, then they added a cocktail lounge (lava lounge) I’m not sure when good beer started being served at these places but it’s been there as long as I’ve been going. Within the last few weeks they’ve taken over a former sewing machine store and built a beautiful bar called the Beer Hall specifically catering to good beer. All three of these places are awesome, the decor is stunning and interesting in all three raging from Mexican, tiki, and retro beer decor respectively. Rudy’s is one of the best places to eat in the area boasting some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had made almost exclusively from local ingredients, they’ve got six taps and a decent enough bottle list. Don’t forget to check out the hot sauce store. The lava lounge specializes in classic cocktails and good whiskey but has six taps that always include Guinness Draught and St Bernardus abt 12, the other four rotate with usually one other Belgian and other micros, the bottle list at this place fluxuates between good and awesome. The beer hall is the newest edition with six taps and one cooler filled exclusively with very good beer, and one cooler filled with hamms, schlitz, Pabst, Old Style and beers like that.
I should mention that the prices at all three places are as fair, honest, and affordable as they get, and that the bartenders are among the kindest I have ever met.
I was at this place and did enjoy the atmosphere as it a nice little place. They do have an ok selection of beers, better than most bars in the area.
KAF (100) Coralville, Iowa | January 22, 2008| Updated February 2, 2012
Just visited this when I was back in January. Very laid back setting and the bartender was nice. They had St. Bernardus Abt on tap along with some Rogue and a few others and they had a variety of selections in bottles including Rochefort Trappistes 10 and some Bell’s. Just around the corner (in the same building) is Rudy’s Tacos which is outstanding.
2/2/12: Updated rating after Rudy’s Tacos was added to Lava Lounge.
My local watering hole, since it’s right down the street from my place..
Entirely retro theme, with old records, funky 70’s furniture, and a completely psychodelic atmosphere. At night, all the lights are turned off except some retro lamps and chandeliers...and it’s hard to appreciate how cool this place really is without seeing it for yourself.
The jukebox has a great selection (and is 100% free, might I add), so there are always some cool tunes playing.
Their beer on-tap changes very often (Samichlaus & St. Bernardus Tripel were new tonight when I stopped in...) seems like every time I stop in there, they have at least one or two kegs of something completely new and unique to the area. As far as European beer goes, there is no better bar in the area. They have a good selection of Belgian bottles and usually even some relatively unique brews on-tap.. (eg: Piraat Triple IPA, Fuller’s London Pride, & Alpha King - "Summer ’05"). 10/20/05 Update: St. Bernardus abt 12, Golden Draak, Tripel Karmeliet, Delirium Tremens, and Abbaye Des Rocs Triple Impériale added to the lineup for fall.
It’s somewhat off-the-beaten-path, but a bar well worth seeking out.
I thought the food was mediocre, something nice to try..but not over the top-made by amatures who don’t know how to blend flavors.
The beer is ok, more often then not if the beer isn’t high in alcohol content it will be a little soured like the English Aged beer I had with the meal was a little off, but you could see how it would’ve been great a year ago.
The atmosphere is a bit snobby and there is many snobby people that drink because it’s cool and don’t know what they’re drinking more often than not. They also have the older gentlemen who keep ordering the grain belts like they used to 20 years ago.
Overall I don’t visit unless I have some BAs around me and have an extra $5 for something good, but chances are I have had it.
daveco67 (6) Marion, Iowa | June 7, 2006| Updated August 25, 2006
I absolutely love this place. Always have 3 to 5 Belgian beers on tap at all times. Doug the bartender that served us was extremely friendly and competent. Not only is this great beer oasis, but there is Rudy’s Taco in the same building. All the furnishing are art deco with Formica that you remember your family or grandparents having in their kitchen. It is also a good place to take kids, since there is plenty for them to look at. They have probably 200 Mexican puppets hanging from the ceiling. The place also has a very relaxed, family feel to it. The food is great with most of the produce is locally grown. We love this place so much, that we regularly drive 60+ miles to eat and drink here. Clearly the best beer bar in Iowa.