I am proud to be a member of the Young Professionals in Agriculture (YPiA), an organization that brings together some of the best and brightest emerging talent in Iowa agriculture. This organization is constantly growing and the leadership does a great job putting together interesting social and educational events on a very regular basis.
Earlier this week, YPiA met up at Barn Town Brewery, which is on University Avenue. Technically, Barn Town has a West Des Moines address but I would say it belongs more to Waukee. Our group, on this particular night, joined together for networking and to tour this newer addition to the Des Moines metro's culinary and craft beer scene.
When you think of the name, you might assume this brewery is in an old barn. Not so.
They actually occupy a large corner unit of one of several brand new strip malls that have popped up in the last year or two on University Avenue.
However, once inside, you do find that they did a nice job combining the rustic charm of the farm with the modern design and amenities you would expect in this rapidly developing area.
With their "elevated bar food menu", trendy atmosphere, and ample televisions, this brewpub can fit any number of social situations a patron might find themselves in. It's diverse enough that you could take a date (and not get dumped after!), bring your parents, have a business meeting, or even meet a pal to watch the Cyclones game. There's plenty of seating at the bar, in booths, or at tables.
While my group ordered drinks and shared appetizers, plenty of other parties, of varying size and social situation, were ordering any number of options from the menu.
While I am not sure how often they give "tours" of their brewery, our group was fortunate to spend about a half hour learning about their brewery operations from head brewer Grant Brower.
Grant discussed all aspects of the beer making process - from procuring the raw ingredients to bottling the finished product. It was very interesting. I always enjoy learning something new from talented people who are passionate about their crafts.
There are a lot of new restaurants popping up in the Des Moines metro to go along with a lot of great existing ones. That said, Barn Town is certainly worthy of a visit. Check out their website to learn more. I think they have plenty of reasons to feel good about their future in the western suburbs.