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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
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
200 N 10th St
phone: (515) 362-5222
Monday - Thursday: 11am - Midnight
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 2am
Food is served from:
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 23
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
This a great value! The selection was enough to satisfy me with a puzzling choice because I could not try them all!
The service was great! Joe directed me on making what I thought to be superior choices.
The food was outstanding! What I ordered, the chicken wings with sauce on the side, is pretty standard bar room fare. I order them cooked crisp & that is exactly what they delivered.
Things were never bad from the last review submitted, they only got better.
They have a very supportive & friendly clientele. One jovial customer, identified my traveling experience and suggested another establishment 120 miles west of Des Moines in Omaha, Nebraska. He clearly knows his beers & makes the very best recommendations. I may never see him again, but I will always remember. I left a very satisfied customer.
Be aware, as explained to me, Iowa law prevents the brewer from refilling growlers & directly returning it to the customer. The refilled growler must be sent to the distributor where it must remain for 24 hours. Then the distributor must return the growler to the brewer 24 hours later who can then sell it filled back to the customer. Extra handling, transportation & cost! If you are traveling, send your growler ahead & trust they have what you like on hand.
It sounds to me like the distributor wants a percentage of every beer sale & fears growler sales will hurt their profits! It is the three tiered system, brewery, distributor, reseller. The proverbial "middle man" wants his cut of the action!
06-24-2010 19:59:05 |
More by RLaurel
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
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: 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: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Yes, Desfucking Moines, and it was all Witzel's idea. I wanted to spend the entire time in Minneapolis but you just can't tell him shit when he gets something into his head (Yeah, that's what I need for vacation, hours and hours and hours in the car, right). He totally had that look of crazy to him, too. And had I not commandeered the rental Sunday morning, he would have had us in like Omaha or somewhere. Seriously, he is a bad man...
On the corner, in and then through a gaggle of uniformed soccer kids or something (go away!) Cavernous, split level place with lots of space. Stairs to up wrapped around the glass front brewroom to the left, and the bar to the right corner in; a darkish stained wood half a hex beaten and worn some; with a lip & foot rail, and lined with spotty bar candles. Seating for 9 and towers of 8 a piece on both ends. Barback is a wood unit, uprights with glass shelves of booze & glassware, and a light wood backing with spots illuminated. Alternating growlers & malt filled quart jars lining the top, and wines on their sides and coolered bottled macros below. Hanging sampler paddles on one end and flat screens above in the corners, one more behind me, and I know there are others. Drop cone colored lamps over the bar and tracks too.
Honeycomb tile floorings, and brick & large paneled windows up front. We are mocking the Grace Perm-A-Barrier near wall, meaning that the whole side of the place looks like it's under the construction that it is. Light art work, plants & vintage local auto shop signage riddled about, and a vertical slat wood board mounted displaying tap selections. A huddle of drop mini light sabers at different heights over the reception area, some large ball of yarn lamps up front and track spots, spinny fans & exposed ducts.
A ½ dozen+ mixed booths, tables & hightops forward the bar area and a dozen square tables up front to the left in an open area off the entrance. Straight back through under the over, a ½ dozen tables on the floor to the rear alongside 6 adjacent booths slightly raised, a large seating area to one side holding 18 tables and The River Room banquet space off to the other. Carpeted there, the walls wood slatted, large pillars lining, and a massive mural to the rear.
Upstairs, a 7 seat straight wood bar with angled mirrored piece over tiered booze. Nearly a dozen and a half raised & low square tables across the bridge as it is, and a pair of long bar counter tables, too. Good views out over everything from uppa there. Through to a long narrow lounge area with 5 billiards tables running to the rear.
Sampler gives you 5 house beers (Tallgrass Light, it's all corned up, next; Vanilla Cream Ale, to its credit, you can't smell it from afar and it's not over the top or offensively vanilla's ass, it's really a decent light Summer Ale; Homestead Red, some nice malty sweetness; Bandit IPA, a solid session IPA, Centennial & Cascade; Stonecutter Stout, licorice! It's just liquid good & plenty, I do like), and 3 seasonals (Octoberfest Lager, a good malty sweet Octo; Zustandfest Pils, a crisp clean Bohemian Pils; El Bandito Loco, a double hopped IPA, pleasant enough). The Bandit IPA, Stonecutter Stout, Octoberfest Lager and Zustandfest Pils were the best. Also 20 wines and a dozen decent random bottles micro & import that they're into just now.
Sooo, what's the soup? Cream of chicken & wild rice, yes, a bowl please, and the grilled chicken sandwich with bacon, I'll take the lettuce, tomato, onion & mustard, hold the cheese please, and a salad for the side with spicy Thai. The sandwich was damn good in a "it's hard to screw it up" kind of way. Witzel had the make your own burger which someone else did for him. "Lovely", he said, "cooked medium rare as requested, and juicy".
Long damn day doubtfully done. It was pretty late in the evening when we rolled in, so we caught a light but decent crowd and good tunes. It's chill, yo. Servicewise barside, Emilie was just excellent; she's lovely, we do like her. Fine foodings and they make pretty good beer here, too.
12-04-2009 01:12:32 |
More by slander
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Move over Court Ave. Brewing Company, your superior is being announced.
RRBC has a nice, relaxing atmosphere with almost a dozen home-made brews to quench your thirst. The interior is in the style of an old warehouse, like so many places in downtown Des Moines. The menu has a lot of variety and good quality. Service is decent.
Their beer selection includes: light lager, wheat, pale, red, stout, pilsner, three seasonals, and one other that escapes me. I chose the Belgium White because it had an interesting fruit character and the others seemed a bit bland.
08-25-2008 02:05:01 |
More by DesMoinesMike
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have been into Raccoon River a few times as I have travelled through the area and was able to "take it all in" this past weekend on a mini-vacation with the family while in town for the Hy-Vee Triathlon. I must admit that eating dinner was a very different experience than eating lunch at the pub. During the day everything is bright with natural light and it all seemed a little dark to me the night I was there. It perhaps was simply because I have come to expect the place to bright and clean. They have some pool tables in the upstairs and a large seating area downstairs. There is a bar in the main entry way and another at the top of the stairs. They had a decent number of beers on tap. I had a pint of the saisson and a pint of their "amber waves of grain." The saisson was a little sweet to me, but I have picked up some other saissons as I don't want to review until I have an adequate number of comparisons, although I did take notes. The amber was solid, though not as good as the server would have one believe. I was disappointed to not find the rio arriba porter this time, but can't say whether its a freak occurrence or not as I am just a travelling customer. In any event, I have yet to have a meal at Raccoon River that didn't satisfy. Everything tends to be above average to excellent. Maybe I do a good job selecting meals, but I have been with others and everything seems to be very good. I do prefer the daytime atmosphere to the evening. Service is pretty decent, but was less stellar on my most recent visit compared with past experiences. I can't fault a place for an "off night" however. The quality of the beers was good, but the food definitely stole the show. I am very pleased with the brewpubs in Des Moines and think that they compare well with the brewpubs around the country. Any beer lover would enjoy a stop at this establishment.
07-01-2009 04:59:48 |
More by Ragingbull
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
I was out in Des Moines for work, and wanted to try some local beer while I was there. I walked there via the skywalk, which is a terrific way to go! I sat down at the bar, and was greeted by a tremendously friendly bartender. It was early on a Wednesday evening (5:30ish), so it was not all that crowded, so she was able to talk. At the racoon, they do a really nice sampler tray where you can try every one of their brews, even the seasonals, and due to the fact that they had just put a new one on and the previous ones had not kicked, I actually got an extra one on my tray.
Overall, the beers were decent, and not necessarily the best ever, however, there were enough choices that anyone could find one or two to really enjoy. I found the Java Joe's porter seasonal to be one of the top two. It was reportedly brewed with coffee from a local roaster, and was quite tasty (if you like coffe, of course). The other one I liked was their IPA. It was not at all bitter, and was pretty floral over all. I shall post individual reviews of most of what I tried. The place is in an old ford model T factory building, so it was pretty cool looking. The old elevator is still there, but it is covered with two very nice, very large wooden doors. The bar has a nice shape to it as well. I did enjoy my visit, however at one point, a guy walked up to the bar and ordered some big 3 lite beer. I asked him why he didn't get one of the beers brewed there and he responed with something like "Because they are so big, they know what they are doing". The bar tender and I had a very nice discussion about that after he departed. She said she tries to encourage people, but some just will not even consider it! Their loss!!
I did have food as well, and as vegetarian, there was really only one dinner choice, which was a penne pasta with broccoli and sundried tomatos with freshly grated parmesian cheese. It was cooked perfectly, even the brocolli and I was quite pleased.
Overall, if you are in the area, it is worth a visit.
02-26-2004 17:59:37 |
More by gueuzegeek
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: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Contemporary atmosphere..clean and spacious. The menu was somewhat pricy, though the beer sampler was a pretty good deal at $7 for 8 4oz. samples. 15bbl. There is an upstairs area and bar with high cielings throughout. Not too noisy. They had 5 regulars and 3 seasonals on tap, all of which were ok to good in quality. Located downtown, with free parking after 6:00pm. The wait staff was a little slow, but friendly and the food was pretty good. Menu selection offered some traditional fare but also some ethnic-hybrid dishes to keep it interesting. I don't think this breweries yeast strain does well with higher gravity beers, as they all tended to have some degree of isopropyl alcohol tinge to them.
08-30-2003 20:51:13 |
More by Mitchster
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
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Raccoon River Brewing Company in Des Moines, IA
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