Guttenberg brewery hopes to serve as community gathering spot

Guttenberg Brewing Co.

Location: 530 S. First Street, Guttenberg, Iowa

Hours: For Memorial Day weekend, the business will be open from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, May 27; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 28; noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 29; and noon to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 30.

The following week, the business will be open for the same hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,  with a grand opening planned for June 3 and 4.

After that, the business also will be open from 2 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, in addition to its Friday, Saturday and Sunday hours.

Online: and

GUTTENBERG, Iowa — Sixteen months after Kathryn Klaes started hatching plans to bring a brewery to Guttenberg, her new business now is poised to open its doors.

Guttenberg Brewing Co., 530 S. First St., will open to the public at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 27, offering patrons a variety of locally made brews, along with Midwest beers and other beverages.

“I hope that it’s a good gathering place for the community,” Klaes said.

The brewery stands at the corner of South First and Schiller streets in Guttenberg, boasting an outdoor patio that will serve the business during the summer tourism season. Inside, customers are greeted by a large, open room with a mix of high-top and regular tables, with the bar set in the corner.

Klaes, who will serve as both the owner and brewer for Guttenberg Brewing Co., will have several of her own beers on tap, including an oatmeal stout, a raspberry tart, an amber beer, a white IPA and an Irish red.

Another brew, named Bob’s Beer after her husband’s grandfather, Robert Klaes, has a taste akin to a Miller Lite, Klaes said, noting that the business also will feature paintings of Guttenberg that Robert created.

The brewery already is filled with family ties. Kathryn Klaes recruited her father-in-law to serve as the contractor to build the facility, and her mother-in-law will be the bar manager and help Kathryn with the brewery’s day-to-day operations. Klaes and her husband, Jon, have pitched in during the building process.

“This is a family business, through and through,” Klaes said.

In addition to the locally made brews, Guttenberg Brewing Co. will sell craft beers from other Iowa and Midwest breweries, including Franklin Street Brewing Co. in Manchester, Iowa, and from Coralville-based Backpocket Brewing Co. Klaes also will offer wine from Jennings Winery in Garber, Iowa, and from Park Farm Winery near Bankston, Iowa.

Opening a brewery has been a passion project for Klaes, 24, who studied food science at Iowa State University. She worked at Franklin Street Brewing while she was in college, and when a brewer there moved to Dimensional Brewing Co. in Dubuque, she shadowed him and further solidified her interest in making beer.

“They served as really good mentors,” Klaes said.

Klaes said she hopes her new business will help bring people together and spark vitality in the Guttenberg community, noting that several businesses recently have opened or relocated in the downtown area.

Brandie Tomkins, executive director of the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce, said the community is excited to have a brewery opening in town, noting that brewery patrons also likely will end up visiting other local shops.

“We’re super excited to see what it stimulates our economy with and brings more people to our town, to hopefully recruit more businesses because of it, as well,” Tomkins said.

Guttenberg City Manager Denise Schneider said respondents to recent community surveys indicated that they wanted a brewery in town, so she is excited to check something off the community’s wish list.

“I think it’s going to be great,” she said. “I think it’s going to be, and has been already, a catalyst for other businesses opening here in town. … I think the survey and the brewery, her making that investment in the community, has definitely opened people’s eyes. It’s like ‘Whoa, yeah, this town is going places. I want a business there.”

As she prepares to open her business to the community, Klaes said she is both excited and proud of herself and of her family.

“That’s a really strange feeling, to see your dream come to fruition,” she said.