#MyDesMoines: Comfort Food and Brews at Exile Brewing Company

I love a good cocktail as much as the next girl, but honestly, there’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a flavorful, juicy burger paired with an ice cold ale or lager. To me, that’s comfort- why make a fuss when you can keep it simple with great food and even better beers?

The first time I visited Exile was shortly after I had moved to Des Moines, Iowa. Around the same time, I was doing research for two beer-related articles (you know when your research includes beer, you’re in a good career field!) and I was in the market for trying new beers. After my first visit, I continued to buy Exile’s full-flavored brews at my local grocery store. I genuinely enjoyed the taste of each beer, the perfectly-executed meals, and the atmosphere Exile Brewery  Co. had to offer.

Ultimately, that’s what kept me coming again and again and what also motivated me to feature Exile as part of my new #MyDesMoines series on this blog.

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

About Exile Brewing Co.
Exile’s philosophy is a tribute to the founding family’s hard work and the journey immigrants take that make up the American Dream. The brewing company’s logo, Lady Liberty’s crown, represents new opportunities, possibilities and hope through perseverance- and also celebration once hard work pays off.

The brewery itself is host to a the brewing equipment that makes the production of Exile beer possible. The space also has a beer hall, dining area and outdoor seating in the warmer months and offers brewery tours every Saturday.

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile’s Beers
There are four staple beers that are continuously produced- The Hannah (a Bavarian Wheat); The Beatnik Sour (a Berliner-style Weisse); The Ruthie (a Gold Lager); and the Gigi (a dark lager.) There’s also a large mix of seasonal beers that are on tap, all the more reason to visit the brewery in person! My personal favorite Exile beers are the Ruthie, the Hannah, the Cherry Bohemian Sour Ale, the Raspberry Bohemian Sour Ale and the Sir Moch-a Lot.

Exile’s beers are only distributed on draught at the brewery or sold in bottles throughout the state of Iowa- so if you’re passing through, make sure you give the beers a try (or take some home with you!)

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile Brewery Des Moines IowaPictured above, the black and bleu burger, buffalo chicken bites and the pig wings, all paired with the Cherry Bohemian sour ale. 

The Restaurant:
The building has both a dining area and a beer hall. The beer hall is filled with beautiful natural light and is great for grabbing beers after work or for casual dining. The restaurant area has more intimate seating areas and a great bar area as well (my go-to spot is the beer hall or the bar.)

Executive Chef Craig Vorba said that one of the best aspects of creating meals for Exile is that he can touch every base with food, beers and satisfaction, all while enjoying what he does.
“We have so many beer options and we have pride in our kitchen,” he said. “[Our staff] is passionate and we want to provide a wow factor- it’s so rewarding leaving work with a smile on your face.”

The menu, which boasts several different categories- all of which are filled with crowd-pleasing options- is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. One of my favorite things about the menu is the variety- each time I visit Exile, I am able to try a different starter and meal (and I’ve enjoyed each one so far!)

What to Try:
Buffalo Chicken Bites:
According to Chef Vorba, the buffalo chicken bites are the most popular starter on the menu. I loved these because the mild spiciness of the buffalo sauce was just right for me and I feel like this is a great way to start your Exile journey.
Pig Wings:
The pig wings were perfectly crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside- plus the sweet chili sauce was meant for these honey soy glaze drenched wings.
Black and Bleu Burger:
If you’re in the mood for a down-right flavorful and hearty burger that hits the spot, the black and bleu burger is the one for you.

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile Brewery Des Moines Iowa

Exile Brewery
1514 Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50309
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
*Brewery tours are Saturday, from 3:15 PM to 4:00 PM
(Tickets are $5, must call ahead to reserve spot)
Weekend Breakfast:
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Follow Exile:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Have you dined at Exile Brewing Company or have other great Des Moines eats I should try? Tag  me on Instagram or tag #MyDesMoines so I can check them out!

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  • Even though I don’t live near Des Moines, I love reading about a city’s local scene! And Exile sounds excellent!

    • Awesome!! Thanks for reading, Erica! And maybe if you ever have to come this way, at least you’ll know where to go! 🙂

  • Looks amazing! Love your photographs too

  • Trisha Hughes

    I’m just down the road in Omaha! This is such a cool write up & you got some amazing shots in the restaurant. I’m always wanted to do that but been too scared to ask. haha If you ever make it up to Iowa City, check out Mosely’s BBQ. Super cute atmosphere & great (photogenic) food!

    • Thanks so much Trisha!! You should totally do it!! I usually visit a place I’m curious a few times to see if it’s something I’d want to feature on the blog- once I decide it’s a go, I reach out to the restaurant managers to let them know I’d like to feature them- this also helps me set up an interview with the owners, managers or chef.

      and YES!! I’ve heard of Mosley’s BBQ- I actually have to go to Iowa City twice a month anyways so I’ll be sure to check it out! Thanks for your kind words!

  • My parents are driving from Minnesota to visit us in Arizona. They were stopping in Des Moines for lunch today. I sent them your post and they are currently enjoying a beer at Exile!