Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Belly Up

Ride over to Brewhouse No. 25 for games, fun and friends

7/2/2014

Brewhouse No. 25 is currently serving its special blue State Fair Lemonade.

Brewhouse No. 25 is currently serving its special blue State Fair Lemonade.

Settled right next to a bike trail connecting to downtown Des Moines, Altoona’s largest outdoor beer garden is the new open-air hotspot in the area.

Though it’s easy to find at its location on 805 17th Ave. S.W. — right next door to Breadeaux Pizza — Brewhouse No. 25’s tin-clad exterior makes it appear less like a bar and more like a shed, which fits perfectly with its outdoor, bike-friendly motif.

Bicyclists cruising by need only wander a few yards from the trail if they’re looking for some entertainment and libations. Just in its second weekend after opening, the Brewhouse had two visitors stop in during their cross-country ride from San Francisco to Boston.

Even if you’re not biking, it’s worth making a stop at Altoona’s new establishment for the craft beer, specialty drinks and friendly atmosphere. Walk through the tin-framed doors and into a dimly lit bar on the left and open seating on the right. Continue further in and you’ll find a DJ, a stage and tons of seating, along with an indoor-outdoor bar and a door to the wrap-around patio.

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Clear garage doors above the bar and on the other wall open up to bring the sunlight inside, making it a true summer experience. Games such as bags and beer pong are set up for anyone to play, and the crowd is full of friendly Iowans who aren’t afraid to introduce themselves to new groups for the sake of a fun competition.

Tables line the fenced-in outdoor section, and a VIP table complete with a heat lamp sits up in a sort of loft area beside the bar. Though it’s not private seating, a party can reserve the table if they want a little extra space away from other guests.

There’s plenty to keep visitors entertained, including the good mix of country hits and ’90s music played by the DJ, but throw in some live bands and you’ve got a good party. The “Brewhouse Summer Series” kicked off on Saturday, June 21 with Lisa Rowland and Bronson Bergeson of Turpentine Wine.

Right now, Brewhouse No. 25 serves a full bar with craft beer, wine and specialty drinks. It’s also open at 11 a.m. on weekends with a Bloody Mary bar brunch. Talks of opening a kitchen later in the year are in progress, but for now patrons can order pizza from Breadeaux. The restaurant will even deliver its orders right to the bar.

That’s the kind of help-your-neighbor relationship that speaks to the “good ol’ Midwest attitude” vibe projected by the new beer garden. Friendly waitresses and bartenders are willing to chat about more than your drink order, which is a refreshing sight to behold.

The Midwest is known for its residents’ hard work ethic and hospitality, but even in the busy cities of Iowa you see some of that deteriorating at certain places. You know the kind: where service doesn’t come with a smile.

Brewhouse No. 25 proves that good people and good times are only a bike ride away. CV

Brewhouse Bo. 25
805 17th Ave. S.W., Altoona
Open at 4 p.m. on weekdays; 11 a.m. on weekends.
Live music; Happy hour at 4 p.m.

Best of DM