Gastropub and more
West Glen has seen many new tenants in 2017, and one of the most recent comes in the form of BeerStyles
Taproom and Gastropub, which boasts 110 beers on tap. However, the building it occupies offers even more.
Located in the former Cowboy Jack’s, BeerStyles only takes up a portion of the building. A joint venture between WineStyles CEO Bryan McGinness, WineStyles COO Andrea McGinness, Jeff McGinness and Executive Chef Kevin Cahill, the structure will ultimately house a total of six different experiences under the same roof and under the parent company Salt.
BeerStyles opened in mid-July while Salt of the Hearth — offering casual fine dining — opened in September. Still yet to open are La Veranda (tapas-style food inspired by southern Europe and served on the patio), The Residence (wine lounge and private event area) and The Last Course (dessert bar). In a concept new to Iowa, patrons are able to open a tab and float freely between the different sections.
Back at BeerStyles, beer and upscale pub fare are the main attractions. With the boom of craft beer, partner and beverage director Jeff McGinness finds it hard to pare it down to 110 choices.
“We try to balance between national craft breweries and local ones as well,” McGinness says.
Part of that balance includes monthly tap takeovers, where a brewery will offer as many of their signature beers as possible on tap until the keg runs out. Previous tap takeovers include Lion’s Bridge in Cedar Rapids and Single Speed in Waterloo. As the selection is ever changing, beer connoisseurs can check which beers are available in real time on BeerStyles website or though the app Digital Pour. Users can see how much is left in each keg, alcohol content, vote on beers they’d like to see and more.
While the beer might be the major draw, the food is far more than a footnote. Chef Cahill has put upscale spins on bar classics and then some. One salivating appetizer is the Fried Chicken Medallions, cooked to a tender perfection and served with Belgian waffles in a spicy pineapple sauce. The Styles Burger is the most popular of the sandwiches and is a deliciously monstrous gourmet burger. Also wildly popular are the poutines, and there are nine to choose from. McGinness says almost every table that comes in orders at least one. As a result, he estimates the kitchen goes through roughly 600 pounds of potatoes a week. One difference poutine lovers might notice at BeerStyles is the gravy is offered on the side so the fries don’t get soggy.
“We ask ‘Are you a douser or a dipper?’ ” McGinness laughs. ♦