As you might expect from a bar and restaurant with more than 150 beers to choose from, Red’s Alehouse takes its craft beer seriously. Their motto—no crap on tap.
Located in North Liberty, Red’s Alehouse was opened by the Swift family in 2009, with the concept of offering 18 beers on tap, friendly service and a fresh menu. But it quickly became apparent that the beer was becoming the star of the show.
“We believe that great craft beer can add something extra special to not only your dining experience, but to life in general,” said Matt Swift, who opened the restaurant with his mother, Faye.
They brag that you won’t find a mass-produced domestic beer on tap. The beer list has something for every taste, and for those who really take their beer seriously, a “Reserve List” offers something truly unique.
What’s on those 18 taps is constantly changing, but you can expect it to include choices from the best microbrews across the country. On a recent visit that included an imperial IPA called the Toppling Goliath ReGifter, brewed in Decorah, Iowa, and the Boulevard Chocolate Ale brewed in Kansas City. Looking outside the Midwest, maybe you’d like to try the Deschutes Red Chair, a red ale from Bend, Ore., or the Stone Cali-Belgique, a Belgian IPA from Escondido, Calif.
For bottled beer, you can choose from three dozen categories of beers with offerings from all over the world. Choose a Hefeweizen from Munich, Germany, or an ESB from Tadcaster, England.
While the emphasis is obviously on the beer, the food doesn’t get forgotten at Red’s. While you’ll find your usual pub grub, like wings, burgers, and chips and salsa, you’ll be impressed with what else is on the menu. Entrees include a juniper rubbed pork belly served with whipped potatoes, candied pearl onions and butter-glazed carrots; blackened north Atlantic salmon and a wide selection of flatbreads.
Of course, nothing is wrong with burgers and beer, and if you end up ordering one of their half pound Angus beef burgers, you can’t go wrong. Although the Wake & Bacon with guacamole, a fried egg, bacon and cheddar cheese is all kinds of wrong, and yet so tasty.
You’ll find many two-for-one drink specials during happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and be on the lookout for special events and tastings. The outdoor patio is the place to be when the weather’s nice, but is there ever a wrong time to be at a place with more than 150 kinds of beer available?