The Sanctuary is a fun, sophisticated bar in a great district of Iowa City. Vast selection of bottled beers, and always something fun on tap. Woody does a great job bringing in fantastic tap beers, and takes pride in keeping the lines clean, barrels fresh, and a nice selection. I would disagree with the above reviewer on the mark up of bottled beer...I feel they are very reasonable.
Ambiance is great; dimly lit pub with dark wood all around, very relaxed atmosphere. Service is usually prompt and friendly. Beer selection is pretty good (great for Iowa), and there is usually something interesting on tap, particularly new Rogue brews. My only mild gripe with the place is that their markup on the bottles is pretty steep, enough so to limit my visits.
Sanctuary has a great selection and most of the staff are pretty knowledgable about that selection. Music is a hit or miss at this place. Food is generally good. Value is decent but not great for the good stuff.
Just a great bar, great selection, food and service. Go there for the specialty Rogue beers, and now Bellís stuff also. The food is very good and quite above typical bar fare (lamb sliders). The owner (Woody) is just a great guy to have a conversation with.
Yeah, Iím rating the place pretty high, but I like it, so piss off!
I have been reading some of the ratings and I agree the selection is not the most elaborate but, it is doing the best it can with what sells in Iowa.
I meet the owner the other day, what a gracious and engaging host. A person that is truly interested in bring his customers the best possible beer he can. Iowa City is lucky to have a place like The Sanctuary.
Iíve been coming to this bar off an on for about 19 years. The selection is pretty good, but you may get an expired bottle if you pick anything thatís not on a decent rotation. Tap selection usually has a couple of very good options - compared to whatís available elsewhere. The food is decent and I really like the atmosphere. Overall, the best beer bar in Iowa City. Good place for conversation too as the music is not too loud except when they have live shows. We usually default to this place from lack of other options.
GJF (54) Mount Vernon, Iowa | February 6, 2008| Updated January 5, 2009
I love this place. Itís true the tap list is fairly standard, but itís a really nice belgian selection and pretty solid American (although itís iowa so weíre losing some of the goodíuns like Three Floydís, some of the Bells etc). Nice dark baroriginal rock and wooda fireplace in the side room, generally knowledgable staff and good pizza. I dig it.
3fourths (1556) Boulder, Colorado | January 9, 2008| Updated April 23, 2012
Set up like a brown bar, itís dark, wooded, very cozy and warm feeling. At the door you can read over the beer menu, and I guess we came during a bad night or bad week, because the wildest thing they had available was a couple of standard Rogue taps. No Locker Stock, as others had noted, and no seasonals to be found. They had around 12 craft taps and all were fairly common, so other than being close to some cheap eats and only a block from Old Capitol, I donít much reason to visit unless you can call ahead first and confirm something good is on tap.
I have been coming here more often since hearing they ramped up the beer selection. Last time I was in they just got rogue imperial red on tap, which was quite a treat here in iowa. Other rogues on tap, along with a decent bottle selection. Great atmosphere, bartender was helpful as well.