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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
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
200 N 10th St
phone: (515) 362-5222
Monday - Thursday: 11am - Midnight
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 2am
Food is served from:
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 23
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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: 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: 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: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I was in town on business and got to spend a Thursday night touring the three brewpubs that have creative license to brew beers on site.
Ranked by quality of beer, they are - Court Avenue, Rock Bottom, and Raccoon River.
Raccoon River was my second stop. Urban Spoon gave them and Court an 85% like it for food so I decided to eat at my second stop - Racoon River.
Racoon River is more of a good restaurant that happens to brew beer as opposed to a brewpub that focuses on beer.
The bartender gives samples when people ask questions about the beer.
I had an IPA and he gave me a sample of the double IPA (El Bandit). They also had a light, vanilla cream, red, stout, pils, and pumpkin.
The IPA was mellow and sweet with not much hop aroma. While drinkable, I left half a pint.
The double IPA was a mouthfull of sweetness.
The food was very good. I had an appetizer of the seared ahi tuna and the greek salad. The greek salad was probably the best greek salad I've had in Greece or the USA.
10-22-2010 02:34:25 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Stopped here on a Saturday afternoon... beers were standard fare, nothing that pushed the envelope. It was a nice location and the atmosphere/ servers where nice. Not a good sign when I strike up a consersation with someone about microbreweries and they start talking immediately about Boulevard. Worth a stop but there is a better option in town.
03-15-2013 01:22:35 |
More by MilwaukeeCrusher
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | $$
Tuesday August 28, 3:45-4:30pm
Considering I was staying next door at the Hotel Des Moines, there wasn't a closer or easier to find beer locale. I entered through a pair of sturdy wooden doors to find an eerily quiet (few patrons this early on a Tuesday afternoon - just before 4pm), but cheery enough space. The tall ceilings (partially divided into two floors), wood trim and grey/white tile patterns give away the buildings age; a sturdy bar with chipping lacquer looks a bit 'tired'...er, 'loved'.
The stop on this day was strictly for beer; the mid-90s Iowan heat after a long flight from Portland and a brief business meeting made RRBC an easy pick. I sat alone at the bar, tended by a friendly young woman (missed her name) who gladly offered samples (free) of their three IPAs: Bandit, Midnight Bandit and El Bandito Loco. I tasted diacetyl in both the Bandit and Bandito Loco, so I chose the Midnight Bandit (normally don't like 'Black IPA' much, but this was pretty good to me). A few minutes later, my co-worker arrived and asked for tastes of the pilsner, wheat and red (which she chose for being 'smooth').
Overall, there were 9 beers on draft, all pretty standard styles. I noticed a few bottles in an under-counter cooler, all 'macro' lagers for the unadventurous.
I wasn't overly impressed with any of the beers, but appreciated the generosity with tastes and the $7.25 tab for two pints (we tipped well). Not a 'must', but a possible pit stop if I'm ever back in DSM.
A side note: we skipped food, but were told by a couple different people (not affiliated with the brewery) that the quality of food was greatly improved in recent months
09-03-2012 22:43:38 |
More by msubulldog25
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
My visit was around 4 pm on a Saturday the place was dead. Yet it took 5 minutes before we (party of two) got seated. The service improved, our waitress was nice and attentive. She was able to recommend both food and beer.
The décor is stereotypical upscale brewpub. Clean, modern, wood, brick sterile. Two floors, the upstairs has pool tables. It is a rather spacious establishment with plenty of seating. The bar is upfront. A few TVs.
The food is flat out too expensive! The menu is a touch limited as well but fairly inventive. The dishes sampled were tasty. The dessert sampled was tasty but pricey.
The beer is cheap but not all that tasty. The IPA was average. The seasonal Pumpkin Ale was good. My girlfriend thought the Red Ale was bland. Their light beer has rice in it. The beer wont draw me back and the food prices will seal the deal. Skip this one if youre in Des Moines and go to Court Ave.
10-20-2003 14:37:30 |
More by bditty187
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
Located downtown and for whatever reason a very dark place. I agree with some other reviews. This is a food place first and a beer place second.
The IPA and DIPA were okay..a bit too sweet and catty for my likes...but a typical midwest IPA.
There seemed to be a lot of locals that really liked the place. I was there by myself, and was dissapointed by the 2 small tv's.
However, this is a food place and not a place that highlights their beer. I would reccomend the ramen soup, which was WONDERFUL! If you are in town for a night I would go other places. However, it is certainly worth a try and a freindly place.
07-14-2011 17:16:06 |
More by ndolover
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
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 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I stopped here for Saturday lunch while driving from IL to CO. It was a gorgeous day out, so Raccoon River wasn't getting much action. That made for a quiet experience that I really appreciated. It also meant that I had my own personal waitress. She was friendly and quick, but didn't know much about the beers beyond what was on-tap that day.
Like many a downtown brewpub, this one is in an old brick building that was used for something else that's now long gone. In Raccoon's case, a former car dealership. Because of its original purpose, the building has huge windows that let in ample light. That's a nice shift from the darkness present in many older buildings.
Also like many brewpubs, there's a ton of exposed brick and dark wood. The tables, bar and booths are dark wood too. So the windows are all the more welcome.
Enough with the ambiance. Let's talk food and beer. I ordered the asiago cheese dip. It was large and tasty. Other menu items didn't stray far from standard pub fare: burgers, sandwiches, pasta, etc. There were 8 beers on-tap. Six were year-round and two were seasonal. The Saison I drank was quite good. Since I had to drive, I didn't try any of the others.
All in all, Raccoon River is a nice brewpub that I'm glad I visited.
07-20-2009 21:02:40 |
More by Rayek
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Raccoon River Brewing Company in Des Moines, IA
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