New local brewery opening in former bank branch

TLC Brew Works

LOCATION: 947 Main St., Holy Cross, Iowa.

HOURS: 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday through Wednesday. 

PHONE: 563-210-2750. 

ONLINE: On Facebook as “TLC Brew Works, LLC” and on Instagram @tlc_brew_works. A website is coming soon. 

HOLY CROSS, Iowa — A former Holy Cross bank branch now will be a stop for craft beer lovers.

TLC Brew Works opens today in a former bank building on Main Street. The building opened as Farley State Bank in 1978 before becoming a Dubuque Bank & Trust branch location that closed in 2019.

The brewery’s three partners — Tom and Linda Roling, of Holy Cross, and Linda’s sister Carol Woten, of Davenport — started transforming the space into a brewery after Woten bought the building last April. The brewery’s name comes from each of the partners’ first initials.

“We were looking to bring some more excitement to the community,” Tom said.

The brewery will feature 12 taps, nine of which will dispense beer brewed in the basement of the building.

“About eight or nine years ago, Carol gave Tom a home-brewing kit,” said Linda. “That’s how all of this kind of started.”

TLC Brew Works has three kettles in which batches of beer start before they are transferred to fermenters for about two weeks. Then, the beer gets put into kegs connected to the taps upstairs.

Tom said the business will start with a couple of different flavors of IPAs, including a New England IPA and a chocolate stout. But more flavors will be coming, such as a strawberry cream ale and raspberry ale.

“Being a nanobrewery, we can have different styles more often, since we distribute on a smaller scale,” Linda added.

Also on tap will be a seltzer from Mistress Brewing Co. in Ankeny and two ciders from Crimson Sunset in Cascade.

TLC Brew Works will have a few snack items available for sale, but it doesn’t have a kitchen.

But Linda said the group has partnered with Neumann’s Bar & Grill, which is just up Main Street from the brewery. She said Neumann’s will have a separate menu for the brewery, and customers can purchase their food there and bring it into the brewery. TLC Brew Works also will have Neumann’s menu available.

TLC Brew Works also features several elements left from the building’s banking days, including the counter and the drive-thru window. The former vault, complete with safe deposit boxes, is intact and now holds TLC Brew Works merchandise available for sale.

“We tried not to completely destroy the bank part of it,” Tom said.

The brewery has seating for 38 people, including two rooms that offer semi-private seating. The rooms were previously offices at the bank, Tom said.

Woten added that they even kept the pens attached to the bank’s counter, and customers can write orders for beer flights with them.

She also said they might utilize the bank’s former drive-thru by sending growlers of beer to customers who can’t stop inside.

Linda added that an original Farley State Bank sign was found while they were getting the building ready to open, and it now hangs in the brewery.

Also decorating the brewery is Tom’s collection of growlers, with the TLC Brew Works growler marking the 50th piece in the collection.

Woten said the building needed a lot of work before opening, including electrical updates and plumbing installation. They also assembled the cooler for the kegs and had to jackhammer a 600-pound night deposit box out of a block of concrete.

“There was just a lot of things that we didn’t consider when we were drinking beer and said, ‘We should open a brewery,’” Woten said.

But she said that people from all over have said they are looking forward to their opening, even people from Davenport, where she lives.

TLC Brew Works also is the latest Iowa brewery to open in the area. Dubuque, Dyersville and Peosta all have breweries, she noted, and plans are currently in the works for Guttenberg Brewing Co. to open next month.

“It’s really nice for people to go through the area and have multiple stops they can go to,” Woten said.