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SingleSpeed Brewing

9/6/2023

Des Moines’ new Market District is ready for takeoff with its first retail offering, a brewery, in the 230-acre urban development. 

SingleSpeed Brewing, located at 303 Scott Ave., is walking distance to Principal Park and right off the bike trail near the banks of the Des Moines River. It’s housed in the former Earl’s Tire building just south of East Village. The former industrial area is a work in progress. Dirt banks from the river are unfinished. A bike trail connector is under construction. Bike parking is ample, yet vehicle parking is a bit challenging.

Opening in July 2023, SingleSpeed is new to Des Moines, yet hails from Iowa. The popular brewery was established by bicycle enthusiast Dave Morgan in Cedar Falls, with another location in Waterloo.

The brewery is a full-service, onsite brewery with a kitchen, tap room, dining room and two large patios. Several garage doors open up to let in the breeze.

The outdoor back patio overlooks the river and includes picnic-style seating, Adirondack chairs, fire pits and shade canopies. An outdoor seat offers a view of barrels through glass windows or downtown. Stay when the Iowa Cubs shoots off fireworks for a view of the spectacle in the sky. The front patio is cozy with umbrellas and shade.

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Inside, the tap room includes an industrial look with cement flooring and high ceilings with exposed metal. Black metal and light wood complete the simple decor. Bicycle wheel lights overlook the bar. The bar stools are bolted down, so no scooting chairs together. A wheelchair-height bar on the corner is accessible, so patrons in wheelchairs can belly up to the bar.

Did we mention there’s beer? With nearly two dozen beers, there’s rotating and regular options, limited releases, Nimble series, Shift into Sours and creative brews that craft beer drinkers crave. Their popular Tip the Cow is a cocoa expresso milk stout. 

For non-beer drinkers, there are a few Iowa spirits, including Gotcha, Iowa Distilling and Cedar Ridge. Beer cocktails include the SingleSpeed-A-Rita, consisting of their Ring Around the Goose (a 2018 World Beer Cup bronze winner), Astral tequila, agave nectar and lime juice for $10.

Half pours, 16-ounce and steins range from $4 to $11. Menu items include shared plates of appetizers and A&E Party Dip served with house-made potato chips, celery and carrots — a right-at-home snack. Salads, soups, tacos, burgers, wings and sandwiches round out the menu. A plate-sized tenderloin cost $16. Food items range from $10 to $18. The most expensive were the yummy Technically Gnarly nachos ($16) and buffalo mac and cheese ($18).

SingleSpeed joins a list of other breweries that have opened in the past decade. Downtown Des Moines is quickly becoming known as a brewery destination, and SingleSpeed is the latest addition. ♦

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