Fun Times at Lua Brewing

This is the Everything Lox Bagel at Lua Brewing— “a little teaser,” we’re told, of the beer-pairing dinner Feb. 20.

By Karla Walsh

Ten years ago, Whitney and Scott Selix met as co-workers at Reds Alehouse in North Liberty. One law degree (Scott), one big move (to Minnesota), one marriage, and two kids later, the duo decided to move back to Iowa and open Lua Brewing on High Street, just west of A Dong.

“Iowa is closer to family—I was raised in Decorah and Scott was raised in Ankeny,” Whitney explains. “Plus we just love the state and the people. Minnesota Nice just doesn’t compare.”

Scott and Whitney opened Lua (named after the couples’ Staffordshire Bull Terrier), with their friend Zack Dunbar last November. Their kitchen is run by chef James Arbaugh, who has flexed his culinary muscles at Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area.

The products change with the seasons, but the Selixes aim for a consistent experience: fun, upbeat, welcoming and community-focused. That’s one of the main reasons the space at the base of Sherman Hill was so appealing, according to Whitney. “We have people come in suits and others who come in sweatpants,” she says. “We get craft beer connoisseurs as well as people just looking for a bite who also order a beer.” Those bites are prepared with the best available ingredients—local whenever possible, Arbaugh says.

Come springtime, the Lua team plans to get their patio up and running. Expect live music, parking lot festivals and a Lua Luau, plus upscale beer-pairing dinners in the meantime. Reservations are now being accepted for the first of those dinners,
Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. It will feature 10 courses with 10 beer pairings for $180 (tax and gratuity included). Don’t dawdle; seating is limited to 16. 

If you haven’t been to Lua yet, Whitney shares this Cliff’s Notes version of what to expect: “Amazing beer and food in a dope gathering place.” Learn more at

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