Worth Brewing Company in Northwood is one of dozens of breweries that have popped up in Iowa over the last decade plus. These businesses have brought a great jolt of economic development to the communities they call home. In some cases, they have grown into large employers while also providing a new spot for entertainment, community gatherings, and in some cases - food offerings. Iowa even now has a growing beer tourism industry which something a decade ago I definitely would not have predicted.
On a recent snowy Saturday, after having a delicious lunch at Sue's Corner Post Cafe, I headed down the block into the brewery to check out the business. I was somewhat familiar with the brand as I poured beer at the Iowa Craft Beer Tent at the Iowa State Fair last summer.
Located on Central Avenue (Highway 105), they occupy a beautiful building that is now on the National Registry of Historic Places.
They occupy the large building with the yellow or gold accents in the middle. Though the company has existed since 2007, they moved into the downtown building in 2015 according to their website.
One half of the building includes the tap room where there is various seating options for thirsty patrons. The other half is where the beer is brewed. I took a couple of pictures of the brewing area from the street as you can see right in through the large windows. My photos aren't the best here but I am sure you could find better options on their Facebook page. Apparently, according to their menu, I could have paid $5 to tour the brewery. Perhaps on a future adventure!
The tap room is quite gorgeous. The flooring and the ceilings are beautiful and likely original. There are also several examples of attractive stained glass accents, too. I enjoyed reading about their story and the rehabilitation of the building in their menu.
There is ample seating. There is a bar if you would prefer not to sit at one of the many tables available.
I spotted an area toward the back that appeared to be the kitchen area. There was another nook near the kitchen that was a bit more private. I checked it out but am not sure entirely how that space is utilized by the public. There were a lot of signs on the walls and a few chairs.
Other than the beverage and food items, you could buy some branded merchandise or even a growler caddy that is manufactured right in town.
Like most Iowa breweries, Worth Brewing has a wide selection of year-a-round offerings and then some seasonal stuff.
I tried the Strange Fellas Helles, which was the basic lighter lager.
On this particular Saturday, they were celebrating Olfest, a Scandinavian winter festival. They had a few extra activities on the agenda for the day.
I really regret missing out on the "Beer Poking". That whole concept sounds terrifically interesting.
Since you might have missed Olfest, they also have other special events throughout the year. Perhaps, it would be wise to mark your calendars now.
Upstairs, they have turned the space into (or back into) a ballroom and place for events. It's quite beautiful. They are calling it the Beehive Ballroom and it's quite lovely.
There's a large room that could host a small wedding reception or any other type event. From a class or family reunion to a holiday party, the space is beautiful with lovely flooring and a very ornate ceiling.
They even installed a bar.
In addition to a second floor bathroom that can be used for Bee Hive guests, there is a smaller room that could be utilized for meetings or other similar purposes. For example, the beertender that showed me around noted that North Iowa non-profits were finding the space to be useful for board meetings. They have a nice website with lots of information about the space and how to utilize it.
I can't help but love a good pun. I especially love it when a business makes it part of their brand. "If it's not hand crafted, it's not Worth Brewing". Very clever.
Since launching Iowa Adventurer about 18 months ago, I've profiled several breweries (Pulpit Rock and Toppling Goliath in Decorah, Brightside Aleworks in Altoona, Timbukbru in Clarion, Barn Town Brewing in West Des Moines, West O Beer in Okoboji, Big Grove in Iowa City, and Winterset Cidery in Madison County) from all over this state. I am delighted to see that these businesses are adding a lot of vitality to their towns. Because of this brewery, Northwood not only got themselves a great place to gather but also got a great event space with it. It all helps to renew the promise of rural Iowa.
I hope to get back to Northwood and Worth County again soon. Maybe I can stop back in the brewery and spend more time there. Until then, I welcome suggestions of places to visit all over Iowa. If you would like to host the Iowa Adventurer or have a good suggestion of places to visit and profile in Worth County or any of the other 98 counties, please drop me a note through my website.