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Peace Tree Brewing Companypeacetree logo

Peace Tree Brewing was started in a former car dealership on Main Street of Knoxville, Iowa, in 2009 by owners Scott Miller, Dan McKay and Megan McKay. Named for a historic grand sycamore tree rising out of Lake Red Rock, the Peace Tree was estimated to be the second largest sycamore in North America and a place for generations of Native Americans to meet and negotiate treaties. Head brewmaster Joe Kesteloot joined Peace Tree with a passion for creating unique recipes and years of experience in both professional and home brewing. With just six full-time employees at the helm, Peace Tree has grown quickly in its short time, from hand-delivering its products around Iowa to distributing them around Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota as well. It now has two 20-Bbl and six 40-Bbl tanks to keep up with distribution.

The Brewmaster

Joe Kestleloot came from a suburb of Chicago to study at Iowa State University, where he met his wife and began brewing beer at home. He later went to brewing school at the American Brewer’s Guild and moved to Minnesota for five years. When he heard about a brewery starting up in Knoxville, Kestleloot knew he wanted to join the team and return to Iowa where he could be near family. After about 13 years of brewing and creating more than 50 different varieties, Kestleloot said his favorite part of brewing is seeing people enjoy his creations. Peace Tree offers a wide variety of seasonal beers, in addition to its year-round flavors. The most popular is the Blonde Fatale, which won a Gold medal in the Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category at the 2014 World Beer Cup Award Ceremony last spring.

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The Taproom

The Peace Tree Taproom is the place to be for the ultimate Peace Tree experience. It offers growlers, bottles and merchandise, in addition to tours. Owners ask that you call ahead for large groups, but individuals or small groups can usually get a tour upon request. Though they don’t serve food, the beer will never run out, and visitors can also find draft root beer and unique sodas — a great addition to the live music offered each month on Friday or Saturday nights. Guests can see a variety of genres from Iowa musicians for a $5 cover charge. Brews on tap are updated weekly, but the Red Rambler, Hop Wrangler 3 IPA and Blonde Fatale are always available in the taproom. Peace Tree also hosts beer dinners to pair its products with the creations of regional and local chefs. Hours are 4-10 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; and 1-5 p.m., Sunday. Peace Tree is located at 107 W. Main Street, Knoxville. Call 641-842-2739 or visit CV



Casks are closed, barrel-shaped beer containers that come in a variety of sizes. They are usually made of metal. The bung, or stopper, in a cask of “Real” beer or ale is made of wood to allow pressure to be relived as fermentation continues inside the cask.


September – Hops Across America, Keg Stand, West Des Moines,

Through the big game – Craft Football Sundays, Keg Stand, West Des Moines,

Sept. 5 – Run Like A Girl 1K race from Mullets to El Bait Shop, Des Moines,

Sept. 13 – Founder’s Tap Takeover featuring Dissenter Ale, Captain’s Quarters, Adel,

Sept. 7 – Concours d’Elegance, 11 a.m., Des Moines Concours, Downtown Des Moines,

Sept. 13 – Joe and Vicki Price, 8-10 p.m., Peace Tree Taproom, Knoxville,

Sept. 19 – Music to My Beers featuring Brad Seidenfeld, The Keg Stand, West Des Moines,

Sept. 20 – Music to My Beers featuring Damon Dotson, The Keg Stand, West Des Moines,

Sept. 20 – Brews & Muse, Peace Tree Brewing Taproom, Knoxville,

Sept. 21 – Fat Tire Fun Ride/Sunday Funday Ride, noon, Flat Tire Lounge, Madrid,

Sept. 24 – Taste of Ankeny, 5-8 p.m., FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny,

beer pairings

Give cheesecake a try!

pairing cheesecakeWine and cheese have long been known as a great pairing, and a multitude of options have pleased the palates of aficionados for decades, if not centuries. The pairing of beer and cheese has also become popular in recent years — and not just nacho cheese dripping over tortillas. So if cheese can be so delightful with beer, why not cheesecake? It’s not as crazy as it might sound.

One pairing to try is a slice of New York Cheesecake with The Blonde Fatale from Peace Tree. This Belgian Style Strong Ale is refreshing with its light color but also packs a punch with its 8.5 percent abv. Belgian candy sugars add to the alcohol without weighing the beer down, which leaves just enough room for the complementary cheesecake.

The sweet fruit taste and clove characteristics of the Blonde play well with the richness of the cheesecake. You can even make a glaze with Blonde and fruit to add depth. A popular and oh-so-tasty choice is raspberry. Contrasting flavors, like sweet and tart, seem to work well for New York-style cheesecakes. But experiment with a variety of flavors and brews until you find the mix you enjoy. After all, what’s not to like? CV

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