Look on the brightside at Altoona's popular new craft brewery

Des Moines is experiencing a bit of a renaissance and that momentum has lead to explosive growth in several of the popular suburbs, including Ankeny and Waukee. But the east side of Polk County, home to Altoona, is getting in on the action too. Several big development projects that have been in the works for awhile are opening soon and there is a lot of excitement in the community.

While it may not garner the huge headlines like other economic development projects, small businesses lead by talented entrepreneurs are sprouting up all over, too.

One of those new businesses is Brightside Aleworks, owned and operated by Andrew and Molly Frana, dear friends of the mine. They are located near a bike trail and in the same area as the Altoona Pizza Ranch.

Late last week, they hosted a "soft opening" for friends, family, and staunch supporters. The real "grand opening" is on Friday, October 13. The Iowa Adventurer encourages anyone interested in good, local beer to stop in and congratulate them on this newest venture.

I couldn't stay long, but the place was packed. I enjoyed an "EnlightenMint", which is their chocolate mint stout.

They have a handful of beers ready to launch and as things continue to evolve, will no doubt add additional brews. They even have plans to offer wine. Like many taprooms, they likely will host regular events and partner with food vendors, such as food trucks, to cater to those who need a little food to soak up the good beer.

Check out some of the photos of my visit and be sure to check out their Facebook page to learn more about their business, beer specials, and upcoming events.

I would also encourage you to read this story from the Des Moines Register about their business and history in the Iowa craft beer scene.

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Polk County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this site.