Iowa isn’t usually a place I think of when I think of breweries, but over the last few years several have sprung up. Millstream and West-O have been making waves, especially at the last few Omaha Beer Fests, but one brewery always escaped me. Peace Tree Brewing out of Knoxville, IA.
Peace Tree six packs started showing up in the local beer markets a while ago and I immediately noticed them. The brewery uses squat little “stubby” bottles for their beer which is unique, and the label art is done in an illustrative style that reminds me of stained glass with thick black lines and panels of color making up a cohesive picture. All of this certainly makes their product stand out before you even try a sip. I kept the brewery in mind as I left Omaha to visit my brother Jon who lives in Oskaloosa, Iowa. (pictured above modeling with a Rye Porter)
As it turned out Knoxville, the home of Peace Tree brewing, is like 30 minutes away from Oskaloosa. Obviously I had to hit it up! Jon, a few of his work friends and I arrived hungry and thirsty around 8pm Saturday night and immediately set about enjoying the brews available.
I had the Blonde Fatale Belgian-style Blonde Ale and a Cedar Ridge Barrel Aged Wee Heavy and then it was time to order food. I say order, but I mean order in. Peace Tree doesn’t have a kitchen so they partner with local places to deliver food. This, I realized, was why the place smelled like chinese food. We got burgers and waffle fries from The Fox bar and grill which were great.
A Sour Mash Saison and Royale 41 Double IPA after the food and I was feeling pretty happy. It’s around this moment that I realized I had hoped for a tour, but there was only one person handling the bar by this point, and I didn’t have the heart to ask. Honestly though, the tour couldn’t have been much more than going into the other room behind the bar and looking at the tanks that you can already see through glass behind the taps. It’s a pretty small place.
The refreshing early fall air hit us in the face as we left the taproom and I pepped up a bit, happy to have a brother willing drive 30 minutes to Peace Tree and drink just 2 beers so I could experience much of what they had to offer and be driven home safely.
I left Oskaloosa the next morning and had planned to hit Albia Brewing Company (in Albia, duh) on the way home, but they were only open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. BOOOO.
With this plan ruined, I realized that I could still hit up Peace Tree again to have the few I couldn’t the night before and pick up some packaged beer to have on Bottles and Cans. This worked out splendidly as I got to spend an hour or so talking with the bubbly bartender girl and a other patrons at the bar. Before long though, I had to get a move on to keep on schedule. I bought my 6 packs and a few 22oz bombers and trundled off to Omaha, a great weekend in the books.
Blonde Fatale – 3.5/5
Cedar Ridge Wee Heavy – 4/5
Sour Mash Saison – 4/5
Royale 41 – 4.5/5