Millstream Brewing Company
Iowa's oldest microbrewery is now sporting a magnificent new German Beer Hall
In addition to being Iowa’s oldest (31 years) microbrewery, Millstream Brewing Company of Amana, Iowa is arguably the Hawkeye State’s largest. Located in east central Iowa (closest city is Cedar Rapids to the northeast), Co-owner Teresa Albert said that the brewery produced over 5,000 barrels last year, more than quadrupling its initial output in 1985.
“But we’re still having fun and being innovative,” she added. “We finished a mammoth German-style Beer Hall about four months ago that has been a huge success. We researched the idea for a long while and even placed taxidermy on the walls and left the ceiling beams exposed. We are, after all, a historic German community and very proud of it. We wanted our customers to feel as if they were visiting a place in the Old Country.” The Beer Hall is located next to the brewery on the banks of the Mill Race Canal, a man made waterway that flows into the Iowa River.
Millstream Brewing Company has also entered the whiskey barrel brewing end of the business. Some 30 used barrels were secured from Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve Distillery and filled with beer. After some aging, the resulting product was pegged into small barrels and put on sale. The once a year operation took place in the fall and was immediately grabbed up by Millstream’s loyal cadre of customers. Next year, rum barrels will be used in the same manner. “We plan to select a different whiskey each year for its barrels and limit our production to about the same amount as 2016,” Albert added. “We know our customers were really impressed by the short time in which we were sold out.”
Master Brewmaster Chris Priebe continues to handle the brewing chores for the Iowa brewery. He is a graduate of the well-respected Siebel Institute of Brewing/Technology in Chicago, which is an institution that has trained many of America’s well noted brewers. Priebe was formerly brewmaster for the Dubuque Star Brewery just before joining the team at Millstream Brewing Company. Priebe intends to feature more specialty beers in the upcoming years that will enhance Millstream Brewing Company’s already illustrious reputation.