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Court Avenue Brewing Company
Active Beers: 15
Beer Ratings: 104
Beer Avg: 3.65
Taps: 10 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
309 Court Ave
phone: (515) 282-2739
Monday - Thursday 11am - Midnight (with food until 10:30 p.m.)
Friday & Saturday 11am - 2am (with food until 11 p.m., late night menu until midnight)
Sunday 4:30pm - 10pm (with food until 9 p.m.)
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 29
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Everything about this brewery was great, except the service. Our waiter was stiff as can be and made several mistakes on orders (nothing serious, but still enough to be annoying). He seemed like he hated his job and thus was a hindrance to the meal. Other than that the brewery was great. Nice beer selection, all of the beers were at least decent and several were very good. The food was great (I got fish and chips) and the menu was big enough to be satisfying without being overwhelming. It wasn't very bar-like in terms of atmosphere, but it was still a fun place to be.
06-15-2010 02:31:11 |
More by jt31914
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
A: Very much a bar/restaurant. Bar itself felt a little cramped, if not somewhat neglected, compared to the spacious dining area.
Q: Ordered a sampler of all of their beers, and I enjoyed every one of them immensely. Nice, clean, and inviting place will definitely have me coming back in for another sampler and subsequent BA reviews!
S: Very good service. They ran out of stout on the sampler and gave me their breakfast stout in its place, for instance; all the mechanics of serving were there, as well. Prompt and courteous.
F: Pretty good stuff. I had some hot wings with blue cheese crumbles - pretty standard sauce, but the crumbles added a whole new dimension to my favorite food. Loved munching down the soup here, as well.
V: Was a bit more than expected for the wings and sampler, but not too terribly high.
Great place! Hope to meet some fellow Iowan BA's here soon.
06-04-2010 05:01:46 |
More by DarrinRasberry
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Living in Des Moines my whole life I have become rather familiar with CABCO, and from my many visits I have come to the same conclusion, I can not fathom why I keep coming back.
The building is located in the historic Court Avenue area, full of reclaimed warehouses that now provide some of the best entertainment in the city. CABCO is a great meeting place for many people, however I just haven't been overly impressed with it. The food just tries to do too much. The chefs try to make the food look rather fancy but it doesn't have much in flavor or volume. The beer is rather lackluster. I have not found any of their home brews that stands out and appeals to my taste buds. The only reason I go there at all is because they have awesome martinis, with periodic specials.
If they goo for flavor instead of show, they would get my business more often.
01-12-2010 04:03:52 |
More by DesMoinesMike
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Yes, Des Moines, really. It seemed like an idea, I'm not saying a good one, just, whatever, we're here. The flight, the drive in, the places seen, the grilled chicken sandwich 'et, and this long damn day doubtfully done still. What's next? The quiet from wherest we came to the now sizably livelier scene down Court Ave this Saturday night in, yes, Des Moines, really...
Oh yes, the old Saddlery Bldg, circa 1881, a big old space on the corner. Staircase to nowhere you can drink just inside the front door dropping you in on the dining areas. Front & center, a dozen tables in a room there with some peeled to expose brick. Through to the far side, roughly 2 dozen tables & booths running from the forward corner all the way back to a tighter narrow space. The room decorated with old Iowa brewery prints from the turn of the century (not this past one, but the one before that). They are awesome.
And through to the other side, another decently sized room holding a long straight bar, wood laminated with a foot space & a lip, seating for about a dozen and a half. Barback is a stainless steel countertop space running the length. The tiered booze on center lined with strung glow rope deals the bottles all lit shimmery, shelved glassware & wines to both sides and a cupboard piece on the end. Slight growlerings, pints, ceramic mugs and other pieces lining the top. Tap list printed on a blackboard piece above center, specials on smaller boards to both sides. An 8 tap tower fronts the wines & glasses displayed, a 3 tap tower on the end, and a live handpump, 1 or 2 there anyway. An ocean of numbered ceramic mug club mugs above the entire stretch of bar space and flatscreens on the end.
Big brick & deep red painted walls here. Some large logo brewery placards of their house beer labels, which are crazy retro spin offs from those of old defunct Iowa breweries. Local artwork paintings depicting a variety of different house beers further on, and framed capitol building & court house prints to the rear. A half dozen or so tables of varying size & shapes in the narrow space alongside the forward glass front brewroom, another 3 tables lying adjacent to the bar down towards the end, and 3 more in a raised area to the rear. Display case of shwag & mugs in the corner.
Sampler of 8 served on a curved rack gets you the 7 house beers and a seasonal. I figured we'd talk about the cask on the heels of that but they offered up that I could substitute it for something on the sampler proper, so I did, saying "Goodnight, Two Rivers Light", 'cause really, did I need that? The Belgian White, hazy, with orange peel & then the coriander behind that; Kaplan Hat Hefeweizen, banana & cloviness, decent, sure; Topping Pale Ale, a decently hopped ordinary bitter, Honest Lawyer IPA, a bit thin but nicely grapefruity, good IPA; Pointer Brown Ale, English brown, slight slight everything, really more aroma than flavor; Blackhawk Stout, roasted coffee & licorice goodness; seasonal Sophie's Mild, roasty, sweet maltiness, a solid English dark mild, undoubtedly the best of show; and the cask Hopbacca. Witzel asked if it tasted like a wookie and well, yes it does, if wookies live in the popcorn bin at the movie theatre, then yes. It was soooo not good. Best beers were the Honest Lawyers IPA, Black Hawk Stout & Sophies Mild. The big board also lists Iowa's own Sutcliff Cider in 750's for sale.
Our second of 2 brewpubs here in town, we think the other place had better beer (no contest), but there were some well made beers here. The place is absolutely hoppin'. We got bar space but it filled in tight around us. I came back from the bathroom and Witzel says this guy was playing with my pens. I gave him the "Yo man, you don't touch my pens, you don't know me" look. I'm sure he grew a-scared. And I can't help but notice that crazy hair guy from the last place seems to have tailed us here. Dude, go away. Otherwise, it's a loud boisterous younger crowd. Or maybe I should say additionally.
12-07-2009 05:28:46 |
More by slander
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have stopped into CABCO a few times when travelling through Des Moines but finally had an opportunity to slow down and take in the whole Des Moines experience this past weekend. We were in town for the Hy-Vee Triathlon and of course we had to have some local beer. Court Avenue was actually better than I remebered it. Our server was excellent. The facility was bigger than I remembered. There is an interesting history and they employ it in the marketing of their beer. I was very excited to see "spent grain pretzels" on the menu and we ordered a couple of orders for our party. All of the beers were good, but I was partial to the California Common with the Honest Lawyer IPA achieving some honorable mention. The food was very good. I had a steak salad that was just average, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the evening. Family friendly, good atmosphere and friendly service. I have to say that I think very highly of the brewpubs in Des Moines compared to the rest of the country. They are definitely in the top 1/4 as far as overall experience is concerned.
07-01-2009 04:50:32 |
More by Ragingbull
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Court Ave. is clean, pleasant, and classy in ambience. Pleasant dining experience, and the bar area is nice as well. Lots of dark wood, comfortable seating, etc.
The beers are middlebrow to be sure, but relatively well brewed. I've not had a Court Ave. brew that made me sit up and shout to the heavens, but more often than not they make a pleasant drink. The selection is acceptable for a brewpub, with the obligatory light beer, wheat beer, pale, IPA, and dark beer. The seasonal/specialty beers are similarly modest, but drinkable and add a little bit of interest: they brew a witbier, a themed amber once, they had a winter cask ale last time I was there, etc.
I've eaten there a few times, and gone for drinks more than once. The service really is quite slow, although variable. Timing matters, perhaps a little more than it should. I came at a very busy time, with a table of three. It took twenty minutes to order and obtain drinks - our water glasses were refilled before our beers arrived, and we were about 15 feet from the bar. After the rush slowed, our waitress seemed to hover, and the check was presented before we ordered another drink. We just went to another bar for the next round. No hair off my chin...
The food is generally terrific, although for a vegetarian it's a little sparse - not as bad as Average Joe's sports bar or brewpub, but for the quality of the kitchen staff, they could improve the selection. Entrees are reasonably priced, with the high end dinners coming in over 20 and the burgers and sandwiches starting around 8. The only meal I've had that I didn't really love was the fish and chips; inauthentic and middling (I'm not a particularly militant veggie when it comes to fish and chips).
My overall impression of Court is that it's a nice restaurant with a decent brewery. Their niche is not creativity and excitement but popular, steady drinks that come with good meals. I would love if Des Moines could support a more adventurous brewing environment, but I prefer Court to Raccoon River for my brewpub dining.
03-28-2009 16:20:42 |
More by BretSikkink
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Nice big old building in downtown Des Moines.
Was in town visiting my gf's family (boy now that's something to write about). An excellent brewpub. I mean, it's not Oregon, so my standards are set unnaturally high, but it was damn good.
Got a sampler with a good 10 beers on it, all of which had their merits. I really enjoyed their IPA, a bourbon porter, and a red.
Food is great quality and portions. Unique entrees are a bit lacking, but you can't go wrong with a steak, pasta, appetizers (happy hour).
From what i've also heard from local friends, they have the best selection and quality in Des Moines.
02-22-2008 01:51:58 |
More by SurlyDuff
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5 | $$
After our birdwalk at Neal Smith NWR, we were both hungry and thirsty. What better time to visit a brewpub! Once we located an exit to get to downtown Des Moines, it was not hard to locate the Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company.
The brewpub was near the IMAX theater and several bail bondsman storefronts (Im not sure what that says about this town ) The only problem was parking we found a meter, but it was a little pricy. Court Avenue does feature free parking after 5 PM.
The brewpub was in a building which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1881, it is the former Des Moines Saddlery Co. where they made harnesses, saddles and leather works. The downstairs portion has been restored into a busy downtown restaurant. After the great flood of 1993 filled the first floor with 19 feet of water, the brewpub moved in. There was a wait for tables in the more refined dining area, so we ate in the more informal bar area. I cant confirm it, but it may have been a non-smoking facility.
Our beers were fine; our food was terrific! They generally carry 7 continuous craft beers and one seasonal, as well as homemade rootbeer (they list it as Zimmermans Rootbeer 0% ABV). We had:
Honest Lawyer IPA (4.3% ABV) deep copper color with a dry hop aroma; very nice flavor for a low alcohol IPA.
Blackhawk Stout on Cask (4.9% ABV) roasty but lacking full body
and the seasonal Honey Ale (ABV unknown) non-descript copper colored ale
We didnt try: Two Rivers Light, Capital Raspberry Wheat, Kaplan Hat Hefeweisen, Topping Pale Ale, Pointer Brown Ale, Blackhawk Stout on tap.
The Spent Grain Pretzels appetizer looked wonderful (served with caramel, beer cheese and stone ground mustard), but we didnt have it. Id really like to go back again just to try that!
I ate the Asian Chicken Salad with Thai Peanut Sauce (described as way better than McDonalds I should say so! The orange ginger vinaigrette was fabulous with the mandarin oranges and wontons; he topped it all off with the bartenders private stash of Sriracha hot sauce.) Carolyn fell in love with her Vegetarian Burrito which featured a falafel, Spanish rice and black beans in a tomato basil tortilla topped off with sour cream and fire-roasted salsa with a side salad.
05-28-2007 09:03:49 |
More by Deuane
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
In a search for the other beer spots in down town Des Moines, I ended up here due to the cold snowy weather and not knowing where the hell I was.
A large quasi-grandios interior, you are immediately confronted with the hostess partition. Off to the right is the bar seating area, about 15 stools in a U shape with tons of mugs overhead sits to the North side with tables and Brew/fermentation kettles off to the left. You could see the steam rising off of the kettles in the chilled air aloft.
The beers were decent, the Juniper Rye was very herbal if not a bit lacking, the cask stout was served warm and very mundane but good, the IPA (Honest Lawyer) was the best with a very full profile. The food was decent at best, my artichoke dip was ok, the pita chips were burnt. The rueben was alright but nowhere near the Blackstone Hotel version.
Overall this place was not bad.
01-30-2007 04:30:49 |
More by hoffman
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Court Avenue has a very cool atmosphere loaded with beer memorbilia. And the service was pretty good. As for the most important aspects....the beer and the food, I really enjoyed Court Avenue. The beers I tried were the Blackhawk Stout, Pointer Brown Ale, Winter Ale, and the Honest Lawyer IPA. These 4 beers were quite good. The IPA is outstanding, very hoppy. The Brown and Stout were very good, too. The food was quite good, too. I had a Bourbon Steak and sampled some other food from other people in my party and it was all good. Deserts and appitizers were excellent as well. Food prices were a little higher than the typical brewpubs, but so was the quality. Beers were $4 a pint ($2.50 during Happy Hour). Overall, I was extremely impressed with Court Avenue Brewing Company.
01-06-2007 15:15:04 |
More by zeff80
Court Avenue Brewing Company in Des Moines, IA
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