Writer: Karla Walsh
Photographer: Duane Tinkey
James Peterson is no novice when it comes to all things ales, stouts, IPAs and beyond. As the owner of Iowa Brew Tours, he admits that narrowing down his favorite beers made right here at home is “very tough. Each year, the diversity and quality continue to improve in the Des Moines beer scene.” Sip your way through some of Peterson’s current favorites at home, then when you’re ready, visit this website to book a tour to try them straight from the keg.
1. Neon Hazy IPA, Barn Town Brewing (Clive): This citrus India pale ale is juicy, creamy and full of flavor, plus it has nice dry hops.
2. Mistress Boudica Irish Dry Stout, Mistress Brewing Co. (Ankeny): The flavor, texture and color reminds me of a local version of a Guinness-style stout, which is perfect for winter with its hops and richness.
3. All About That Base, Brightside Aleworks (Altoona): If you like your beers clean, tart and sour—and I do—definitely ask for this brew if you see it on tap.
4. Arctic Breakfast, Fox Brewing (West Des Moines): Mainly available in the winter months, now is the perfect time to indulge in this rich, nutty, creamy and dark beer. Roasted barley and chocolate malt make it taste like dessert.
5. Blood Orange Wheat, Reclaimed Rails (Bondurant): For something lighter-bodied, this golden-colored American pale wheat beer is what I have in mind when the temperatures start to climb toward spring. It’s fruity, bright and smooth.