On the far west side of Sheldon, along the old Highway 60, a largely under utilized transportation garage was put up for sale by the O'Brien County Supervisors and purchased by a pair of entrepreneurial sisters. In the months since, the old building has undergone a total re-birth into what is now a trendy and popular hangout in Northwest Iowa.
Breu Haus Coffee and Brewery opened early last summer, a challenging time given the global pandemic. Yet, it has already positioned itself as a popular gathering spot in Sheldon and the surrounding area. During my visits, I've noticed license plates from all over in the parking lot.
Admittedly, this business and the lead up to it has been on my radar for quite some time as Sheldon is my hometown. In fact, my brother and I would often brainstorm about places in Sheldon that could be good spots for a brewery. We even bantered with former area newspaper report Ty Rushing about what types of names, with local tie-ins, we might utilize. However, I'd never considered the old transportation garage as a spot that could be a good location.
But, now that the brewery and coffee shop is in place, it's pretty obvious that it works quite well. The long brick building has been overhauled. The dirty outdated white garage doors have been replaced by black and clear glass doors, giving it a trendy and modern industrial feel.
There's ample concrete and gravel parking in front and to the side of the building. They even added in a drive-thru window on the south side.
Like a lot of smaller and mid-size towns in Iowa, there is a lack of quality housing options. The owners put two nice apartments in the upstairs. I'm sure they've been leased by now, but a few photos were posted on the business' Facebook page after completion.
The north end of the building is filled with brewery equipment. That's of course not open to the public, but you can kind of peer in a bit through one of the large glass doors. It looks like a set up you would see in just about any of the 100+ micro-breweries that now call Iowa home.
I don't know that they are offering any tours these days, but for now, there's a large door separating the tap room from the brewing area.
The rest of the indoor portion of the building is full of varying seating options.
Unique lighting has been added throughout, but the large windowed garage doors provide plenty of natural lighting.
There's some older windows on the western side of the wall and a fireplace in the corner.
There's an L-shaped serving area where beers are poured, coffee drinks and smoothies are made, and delicious homemade treats are served. I'd encourage you to check out their Facebook page for more information on their various food and beverage offerings. Not to mention, many of the pictures they post will make you want to get in your car and load up on sweet treats.
When you think about any full-service coffee shop serving a wide array of coffee beverages (both hot and cold), Breu Haus rivals just about any of them in terms of menu, ingredients and the equipment to make it happen.
There's an old Hoosier cabinet nearby that offers other merchandise for sale.
The beer portion of the serving area includes a few taps.
As of now, they only offer a couple of different beers on tap but perhaps that will expand down the road.
Iowa Adventurer is not a beer snob or connoisseur by any means but certainly recommends the "Rising Son".
They also offer a couple of wine options from Backcountry Winery, a business located in Central Iowa.
Breu Haus offers a number of sweets and pastries but otherwise does not have a food menu. They instead often welcome food trucks or encourage patrons to bring in food from local establishments.
I've popped in 3 or 4 times since the place has opened. One day, there was a BBQ truck in the back getting ready to serve evening guests.
If you follow along on their Faecbook page, you can see that they are always promoting an event (such as a trivia night) or the hosting of a local food truck. Not only that, I think you might even be able to host your own event here. I can already see my Sheldon High School Class of 2004 getting together here in a few years for an informal class reunion.
As someone who grew up near Sheldon and is a cheerleader for the town's future, I am just so happy to see that Breu Haus has opened. This was something Sheldon, a town of 5100+, badly needed. I'm excited to see what kinds of steps this business will make in a post-pandemic world. If you like coffee or beer or just like checking out cool new businesses around Iowa, you'll have to plan a stop here in the near future. Not to mention, there's plenty of other things to see and do in the Sheldon area. You could make a full day of it.
Personally, I'm already looking forward to my return visit when I am again in my old stomping grounds.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in O'Brien 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 website.