Is it a coffee shop, or a bar? Vintage Brewhouse says, “Why not both?”
Open since December last year, Vintage Brewhouse is located in the northwest corner of Ankeny, minutes down the road from the area’s long-awaited second Costco.
Walk into the newly constructed building, and it feels anything but vintage. Metal industrial chairs surround a mix of high- and low-top tables, with those exposed Edison lightbulbs that are all the rage these days. A small patio includes three tables, but the garage door can be opened to welcome the fall breeze into the entire building.
Two couch seating areas and an array of board games contribute to the cozy coffee house vibes while four TV screens, a projector screen and bar seating channel the taproom side of the business.
Their list of 13 beers on tap includes local favorites from Confluence, Peace Tree and Kinship, plus staples from across the state: SingleSpeed, Front Street and Big Grove. Pints run about $6 while a 4-ounce flight of four costs $9.50. Patrons can also choose from two types of sparkling wine, or six whites and four reds by the glass or bottle.
If beer and wine aren’t your thing, the mixed drink menu beckons with creative cocktails like Tootsie Pop (“tastes just like the Tootsie Roll sucker!”) or classics like the bloody mary or paloma. The “Wake Up Call” encapsulates Vintage Brewhouse’s bar/coffee combination: dark rum, hazelnut, coffee liqueur, espresso and coconut milk. The strawberry basil lemonade I sampled was a refreshing pick-me-up on a gloomy day, and its $8.75 price tag seemed reasonable for the large glass.
The food menu is short, but mighty. Choose from pretzel bites with beer cheese or chips with salsa or an entire flight of dips. A loaded charcuterie board delivered to a neighboring table sparked some serious food envy — charcuterie is $5 off and wine bottles half-priced on Trivia Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.
If you’re craving something heavier to munch on, try the Trash Can Pizza with all the toppings you could imagine, or build your own starting at $18.50. Their 16-inch thin-crust pies, fired up in their own pizza oven, offer a melt-in-your-mouth crunch with a surprisingly sweet tomato sauce.
As of last month, Vintage Brewhouse also offers Taco Tuesdays from 4-8 p.m., with three tacos for $10.
The cafe menu offers all the drinks you’d expect at a coffee shop, plus Red Bull infusions, yummy-sounding smoothies, and breakfast and bakery items. Cafe items can be ordered any time, all day — and the same goes for the taproom menu.
The unique coffee-bar combo brings in a diverse set of customers. During my visit, a mom relaxed with a glass of wine while her daughter enjoyed a smoothie and oversized Connect Four. On the other side of the room, a group of friends shared drinks over happy hour: 4-6 p.m. on weekdays, with $1 off all beer, wine and cocktails.
Operations Manager Tiera Cordaro called it “the best of both worlds.”
“It really is fitting for any audience, whether it means coming in and working on your laptop or coming in for girls’ night,” she said. “It can be very diverse in that way.”
So, if you feel like having a java chip frappe at 11 p.m. or a flight of craft beer at 6 a.m. — or something in between — head over to Vintage Brewhouse. ♦