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Raccoon River Brewing Company
Active Beers: 9
Beer Ratings: 51
Beer Avg: 3.39
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
200 N 10th St
phone: (515) 362-5222
Monday - Thursday: 11am - Midnight
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 2am
Food is served from:
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 23
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Generally quiet and pleasant during the evening hours. The building is quite large, with the dining downstairs and the pub upstairs. Not bad, except you have to go a long ass way to the restroom. Lots of pool is a plus, free pool on Mondays is a huge plus.
The beers are moderately well crafted, with the occasional dud thrown in. I generally think that the regular rotation is unchallenging and palate-friendly, while the seasonals tend to go a little overboard in some way (over-spiced wit, e.g.). They seem to have a carbonation issue on their taps - none of the flavors really jump like they could, and some of their similar beer styles really taste a lot alike.
The wait staff is attentive and pleasant - if you're in a nook somewhere they occasionally forget, but the bar doesn't seem to get hugely crowded very often.
I would like to see a few more taps, but since they're frequently rotated it's not too bad. I haven't had the food recently enough to comment - I remember it as decent and it looks perfectly fine.
The prices are commensurate with the area - it would be extremely cheap in a larger metro area but I doubt the lads who come in just for the pool would appreciate a price hike. Pretty solid brewpub with decent craftsmanship and a clean, quiet atmosphere.
10-16-2008 02:37:31 |
More by BretSikkink
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Move over Court Ave. Brewing Company, your superior is being announced.
RRBC has a nice, relaxing atmosphere with almost a dozen home-made brews to quench your thirst. The interior is in the style of an old warehouse, like so many places in downtown Des Moines. The menu has a lot of variety and good quality. Service is decent.
Their beer selection includes: light lager, wheat, pale, red, stout, pilsner, three seasonals, and one other that escapes me. I chose the Belgium White because it had an interesting fruit character and the others seemed a bit bland.
08-25-2008 02:05:01 |
More by DesMoinesMike
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Ambled over for dinner. Since it's a bit outside the central downtown district, getting there via the skyway is a challenge best attempted with plenty of time. Got a nice seat by the window looking out on dreary Des Moines, but what can they do? Best part of the meal was the menu; an interesting, enjoyable variety. My calamari salad was terrific. Apple crisp dessert was lame, though. Should have been wary of any beer called "cherry wheat," which was, as feared, insipid, maybe nice for newbies. Java Joe's porter, on the other hand, was rich, tasty, and satisfying. Which was good since Stonecutter stout was thin, not deserving the name. Well, give Des Moines credit for having a variety of brewpubs in the middle of Iowa, even if this isn't the best of the bunch. Not bad, just not the best.
05-01-2007 17:40:31 |
More by DreamFielder
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The entrance was on 10th Street, just down from Walnut and there was an abbreviated outdoor patio on the right side of the building. The entire front of the building featured a number of high windows with the double doors of the entryway in the middle. They had two heavy wood doors at the inside end of the vestibule with dining areas on either side of the entryway. The maitre d station was at a left oblique with the copper-jacketed brewhouse visible just behind it. Beyond the m.d.s. was a set of steps leading to an upstairs bar, with a line of high tables and chairs along the railing above the first floor and a bank of six pool tables. The second floor was in a U-shape, so as not to create too much overhang above the first floor restaurant area, with its booths to the left and tables to the right. They also had the River Room a small meeting room to the right, as I headed aft, followed by the kitchen and then the washrooms.
I found it interesting that a white board announced, Welcome to the River! and yet, the raccoon motif was prevalent, with ceramic and plush toy renditions of the critter seemingly everywhere. I had a seat at a corner of the bar, where a plush toy raccoon had his masked eyes on me the whole time. One of the waitstaff came over and shyly asked me if I had ever been told that I look like Woody Allen. HA! I shouldnt have laughed that hard, but wow I gave her my business card and then it was her turn to laugh. It all worked out. The bar was a long, angular dark-wood affair with the back bar made of the same darkly stained wood. Lest I forget, the sampler paddles were also of that same wood, which was perfect. Yes, I was paddled at this establishment. I was such a bad boy on this trip.
The beers were sooo good here, perhaps in comparison to some that I had drank in recent days, but they were still very good. It might have been the result of drinking so many passable, but not great, beers for so long that the swing back north restored my faith in craft brewing. Actually, allow me to amend that: the Tallgrass Light had an unpleasant sharpness. The Vanilla Cream Ale was their alternative to the common raspberry beers and was quite interesting. I actually enjoyed a red, Homestead Red, for the first time in a long while because of its lack of cloying sweetness. The Rio Arriba Porter had a great cocoa aspect to it. Stonecutter Stout had a nice smoky quality with a lingering roasty aspect.
12-02-2006 11:25:09 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Two visits in three days, one for lunch, and one between lunch and dinner. Overall, I'd probably rank this place as roughly a tie with Court Avenue Brewing. Good beers, good food, but not amazing.
Had a sampler, and numerous pints. Overall, the quality of the beer was quite good. The highlights were the Bandit IPA, spicy, grassy, earthy, and a great basic west coast style IPA, full of centennial and cascade; and Stonecutter Stout: thick, sweet, and full of chocolate and rich roasty flavors. It's probably a false association, but the stout reminded me a lot of the Sagebrush Stout at Wynkoop. Decent but nothing to write home about were a chocolate porter (but it warmed very well, and I eventually got a pint), the Homestead Red, and a light modied but pleasantly spicy seasonal Maibock. Mediocre to underwhelming was the overly sweetish Rye.
$6 sampler racks are difficult to meddle with: they seem to like to force you to drink what they want you to. But I eventually convinced my kind and accommodating server that I really, really didn't want to drink a few of the styles, and really, really wanted to sample a couple more of the seasonals/richer styles, and tipped her heavily for her kindness. Got pints of the stout, IPA, and chocolate porter. For Des Moines, and the midwest generally, the beer selection was solid.
Food: had an excellent Maytag blue cheese entree salad, and some average to decent appetizers. Prices are great on the lunch menu; they definitely climb rapidly at dinner (which I didn't have.)
Atmosphere: lunchtime was a little stuffy in terms of suits engaging in business conversation and deals. The physical setting is nice, big, open, long glass windows, and was an easy place to eat and drink alone.
I was actually a little disappointed, since I love Wynkoop in Denver, which apparently has some sort of a business and brewing history relationship with this place (their house ale yeast was apparently chosen by a Wynkoop brewer.)
While I wasn't overwhelmed, it's certainly a solid option in downtown Des Moines, and I will return when I'm in town next.
08-21-2006 03:44:45 |
More by warmstorage
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
While on a roadtrip to go see Omaha Lancers play in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, I made sure this brewery was on the agenda, since it was closed the first time I tried to go there.Hampered by a snowstorm, my girlfriend and I finally found the place in downtown Des Moines.
As we walk into the building through the two huge doors (which I believe have some kind of history to them), the place was spacious and empty. Which, I'm sure, that the snow had a lot to do with. It was around noon on a Saturday. Coming in from that mess, the atmoshere was very relaxing and comfortable.
We were seated right away and our waitress was very prompt. I ordered the sampler (that is all I had because I had a some more driving to do). The beers that I tried were all very good. I didn't have a complaint with any of them. They didn't stand out, but they were good quality beers that I would go back and try again.
The food was really good as well. We ordered the chips and salsa as an appetizer. The salsa alone was worth the trip. Our lunches were good quality - neither of us had any complaints. The price range was fair for lunch.
I think our waitress really added to the experience. Very nice and attentive. I had asked for some coasters and she wanted to know how many. I told her, "As many as you can give me." She came back with a handful and asked, "Is this enough or do you want more?" Needless to say, I walked out with two handfuls.
Overall, I liked the place. I would definitely go there again whenever I am in town. Good beer, good food, and good service. What more could you ask for?
* On their beer menu they state that their beers are brewed with Des Moines' famous water or something along those lines. I may have an idea what they're talking about, but does anyone know the real story behind this statement?
02-05-2006 22:07:05 |
More by jhammerly
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4
This downtown, des Moines suds factory, is housed in a large multi leveled room with some pool tables upstairs. The room is fairly dark, low lighting, lots of dark wood, large windows. Bar is close to the entry way and L shaped. They also have a small, but pleasant out door seating/drinking area. The menu was extensive and all the food smelled and looked good (no time to try it however). About 10 of their brews available on tap, as well as a full drink menu available. Definatly a worthwhile stop if in town. Classy and pleasant place to try some new brews and lots of tasty looking food for lunch or dinner.
08-16-2004 15:32:07 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
Despite the fact that I work less than 1/2 mile from Raccoon River Brewing Company, I've never been there in the 9+ years that I've lived in Des Moines. In fact, I don't ever remember walking or driving past. Needless to say, I don't get downtown much.
I found a parking spot right in front of the brewpub at high noon, but parking should never be a problem because there's a parking garage right across the street. The inside is open and airy with a 'warehouse' feel that includes bare brick walls and minimal wall decorations. I can't say that I was overly impressed with the decor, but it's functional I guess. There's an upper level that contains several pool tables and even though it's open to the lower level dining area, the noise wasn't really noticeable with the murmur of a busy lunchtime crowd.
The food was average. My wife thought that her hamburger was passable, but nothing special and I thought the same about my BBQ pork sandwich. I only had one pint of beer (Bandit IPA) which I found to be good, though it seemed more of an APA to me. Our waitress was pleasant and attentive, but she did give me a funny look and asked if my beer was alright when she saw me holding it up to the light to check the color and clarity. My wife just rolled her eyes and sighed. She's used to me by now.
Not a bad lunch by any means, but I won't be counting the days until I can return, at least for the food. I will be making an effort though to stop in on occasion to have a pint or two. Something tells me that the Bandit IPA may a highlight, but I'm still looking forward to sampling the rest of RRBC's offerings. I have to agree with the BeerFly consensus, Court Avenue is the superior brewpub in downtown Des Moines.
08-10-2004 03:38:51 |
More by BuckeyeNation
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3
I stopped in to the Raccoon River Brewing Company with a friend before walking to an Iowa Cubs minor league baseball game. As Raccoon River is a bit of a walk from the stadium, we eventually went back to the car and drove the a closer parking place.
This brewpub is located near the commercial portion and is on the edge of the social-scene portion of Des Moines. Parking was ample (we had our choice of meters steps away from the front door). Suppertime (6:30 pm) on a Tuesday is a slow time in Raccoon River and few other patrons were present. We seated ourselves at the bar and were promptly greeted by the bartender. Outdoor seating is available in summer months. The brewing equipment is visible behind large windows and added to our experience.
We ordered a pizza to split and I ordered the beer tray, which is a row of 8 glasses with a small sample of each of the 8 beers on tap. The bartender was friendly and, when I mentioned that I homebrew, she pulled out the brewery recipe instruction book for me to peruse. When sampling the beers, I started with the Light and worked my way to dark and then hoppy. I was not impressed. The Light was a hands down winner to other Light Beers (Bud Light, etc), but the other 7 beers were all quite lacking in malt sweet and/or body. Watery. Really nothing here to get excited about. The pizza arrived hot and quick (few other people placing orders) and tasted mediocre. Pricing was about right for this kind of establishment.
I found the too quiet atmosphere and food not to my liking. Perhaps on a busier evening, the bar would have been happening and enjoyable. The food may be better when the kitchen is in high gear, or I may simply have picked one of the poorer menu selections. If you can only visit one brewpub in Des Moines, visit Court Avenue Brewing...Raccoon River doesn't hold a candle to it (I stopped by Court Avenue after the ballgame...see my review in BeerFly).
07-07-2004 23:27:29 |
More by mentor
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
Found this place by accident passing through Des Moines.
Stopped at the Hotel bar down the street and tried Raccoon River IPA. When I asked where the brewery was the bartender said it was about 100 feet away at the corner.
Nice big restaurant/bar. Got the sampler with Mai Bock, Wheat, more IPA, a red ale and the Vanilla Cream Ale. (They threw in a sample of the windex blues Cream soda as well).
They have no big beers. Even the IPA doesn't give you a hop bite.
However, my service was excellent and friendly. It was Salsa night and a steady stream of dancers were arriving. The server explained that the blue cream soda was the owner's kid's idea. A fun place.
I liked the atmosphere. This is the kind of place that is great for making folks comfortable with different beers. Will BAs rate it in their top ten? No. Still, it is worth a stop. (The food is decent if pricy by Iowa standards).
06-18-2004 03:30:57 |
More by brewQ
Raccoon River Brewing Company in Des Moines, IA
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