She’s Here for the Beer

—By Design presents dsmDining—

Above: Better than most bar food, not shooting for fine dining, the menu includes this very satisfying Gorgonzola, fig and prosciutto flatbread.

By Wini Moranville

BeerStyles Taproom and Gastropub opened this past July in West Des Moines, and the management team recently invited me in for some dinner and sips.

First and foremost, I’m happy to report that you need not be a “beeroisseur” to enjoy this fun, easygoing spot. I should know: I’ve just started drinking beer after a 25-year hiatus, which means I’m a complete newbie to the ever-evolving craft beer movement. Nevertheless, I managed to feel quite confident about my picks. Here’s why:

• The menu of 100 beers on tap is neatly divided into specific styles of beer to choose from—such as sour, tart and funky, dark and roasty, and fruity and spicy, among others.

• Rather than trying to describe the beers that interested us, the affable server offered to bring samples. Better yet, because draughts are available in 4-ounce glasses (most costing in the $1.50 to $3 range), I wasn’t too worried about rolling the dice on an unknown. Ready to commit? Ten-ounce and pint glasses also are available.

• Alcohol-by-volume percentages are listed with every beer; with options ranging from 2.5 to a whopping 13.5 percent, you need to pay attention.

• My favorite feature? The menu indicates where each beer comes from—whether down the street or across the ocean. There’s something pleasurable about ordering a beer from someplace you feel connected to; I snagged a glass from the city of my birth, Cedar Rapids, as well as from my new city-crush, San Diego.

• With a raw bar, creative flatbreads, polished sandwiches, nine choices of poutine and a handful of entrees, the menu strikes a nice balance—better than most bar food, but not meant to be as swanky as fine dining. The Gorgonzola, fig and prosciutto flatbread especially satisfied.

BeerStyles Taproom & Gastropub is at 5513 Mills Civic Pkwy; 515-483-2337; beerstyles.com. If you’re a true beer geek, consider downloading the DigitalPour app at DigitalPour.com. It lets you keep track of what’s on tap at Beerstyles, flag your favorites and more.

Wini Moranville covers food, wine and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food – DSM Wini Moranville.

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