Spotlight on local breweries, taprooms for Craft Beer Month

Tri-state breweries and taprooms

Area residents don’t have to travel far to visit a local brewery or taproom.

The local options include:


  • Bellevue: River Ridge Brewing, 303 S. Riverview St.
  • Cascade: The Corner Taproom, 201 First Ave. W.
  • Dubuque: Backpocket Dubuque, 333 E. 10th St.
  • Dubuque: Catfish Creek Brew Pub, 1630 E. 16th St.
  • Dubuque: Dimensional Brewing Co., 67 Main St.
  • Dubuque: Jubeck New World Brewing, 115 W. 11th St.
  • Dubuque: 7 Hill Brewing Co., 1085 Washington St.
  • Dyersville: Textile Brewing Co., 146 Second St. NE
  • Elkader: Deb’s Brewtopia, 106 Cedar St. 
  • Guttenberg: Guttenberg Brewing Co., 530 S. First St.
  • Holy Cross: TLC Brew Works, 947 Main St.
  • Manchester: Franklin Street Brewing Co., 116 S. Franklin St.
  • Maquoketa: Maquoketa Brewing, 110 S. Main St.
  • Peosta: Darkbird Taphouse, 7305 Thunder Valley Drive


  • Elizabeth: Highway 20 Brewing Co., 113 S. Main St.
  • Galena: Galena Brewing Co., 227 N. Main St.
  • Stockton: Mud Run Brewing Co., 124 Main St.


  • Darlington: City Service Brewing, 404 Main St.
  • Mineral Point: Commerce Street Hotel & Brewery, 23 Commerce St.
  • Potosi: Potosi Brewery, 209 S. Main St.
  • Platteville: 7 Hills North, 92 E. Main St.

There is seemingly no limit to the number of craft beer options for people to try in the tri-state area.

“People are going (to breweries) to try new things,” said Tom Olberding, co-owner of Textile Brewing Co. in Dyersville, Iowa. “I don’t think it hurts that we’ve been having other breweries opening up. I think it helps everybody.

“People travel just to try breweries, so the more breweries we have, the more people will come.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has declared June as Craft Beer Month in the state. The proclamation states that Iowa has more than 110 breweries, a total that has doubled since 2014.

The tri-state area itself boasts more than a dozen breweries and taprooms. Below are some facts and tidbits about a few of them.

Textile Brewing Co., Dyersville, Iowa

Brewing process: Olberding said the system at Textile is “pretty much a glorified home brew system.” Instead of relying on an automated process, he said, staff moves the pumps around by hand during the brewing process.

Beverage options: Textile has 20 beers on tap, and Olberding said the brewery tries to switch out more than a dozen of them throughout the year. For example, he said, Textile will introduce a rhubarb sour this week made from rhubarb brought in by customers.

Other highlights: Olberding said one of the brewers likes to dig into the history of a beer before making it, and the brewery makes a lot of traditional German beer.

“I think a lot of people in this area never knew what those beers are supposed to taste like,” he said. “We kind of introduced it back to the community.”

Dimensional Brewing Co., Dubuque

Brewing process: Dimensional beer is brewed on-site and typically takes eight to 10 weeks to brew. Taproom Manager Bart Frederick said the business aims to sell kegs beyond Dubuque, especially with the addition of more fermenters.

“Hopefully with that, we can not only put more beer through the tapline, but further out as well, more into Iowa and potentially Illinois and Wisconsin,” he said.

Beverage options: The most popular of the 18 beers and ciders on tap are the Pilsner Dubuque, which Frederick described as “nice, crisp, easy drinking,” and the Claw Machine, a hazy New England IPA.

Other highlights: The brewery ages brews in barrels from Blaum Brothers Distilling Co. in Galena, Ill., a technique Frederick said has been gaining popularity in the brewery scene.

River Ridge Brewing, Bellevue, Iowa

Brewing process: Co-owner Kelly Hueneke said River Ridge brews on a standard three-and-a-half-barrel system. Staff also try to focus on as many local ingredients as possible, such as using maple sap from trees in Jackson County and local honey.

Beverage options: Hueneke said the best-seller is the Lock 12 Lager, and Verna’s Honey Blonde made with local honey is also a highlight. The menu also features fruit flavors such as raspberry and mango

Other highlights: Hueneke said the brewery’s owners joke that patrons can touch barges on the Mississippi River from the brewery, which sits right on the water.

“We strive to really make our brewery a community feel,” she said. “We want everybody to feel at home here.”

Backpocket, Dubuque

Brewing process: Owner Jacob Simmons said all of Backpocket’s craft beers are brewed on a state-of-the-art German system at the main production facility in Coralville, Iowa, before being brought to the taproom in the Millwork District.

Beverage options: Backpocket keeps a lineup of five beers on tap year-round, Simmons said, such as a golden and dark lager and a hazy IPA called “Bubba” that has been growing in popularity. Brewers like to experiment with flavors in smaller batches of sour beers, he added.

Other highlights: Backpocket includes a retro arcade in the basement, where most of the games are about 30 years old.

“We’re able to appeal to a pretty diverse group of people in terms of entertainment,” Simmons said. “Most places say, ‘Here’s a beer we made — enjoy,’ but we can offer a little bit more.”