On March 16th, Exile Brewing Co. will open our doors early for the downtown Des Moines St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Beer Hall bar will open at 6 am for early beers, as well as breakfast burritos (it’s important to establish a base). At 9 am, the Annex and full lunch/breakfast menu will be open and continue throughout the day. To help celebrate the day, we will be releasing a St. Patrick’s Day seasonal beer, an oatmeal stout, named Brigit! The downtown Des Moines St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts just a few feet from us on 15th street, so arrive early to get a good spot and start your St. Patrick’s Day festivities off right!
Who? Exile Brewing Company… and you!
What? Opening night
When? Friday, August 10th, 4pm – 2am (21+ 11pm-2am)
Where? 1514 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA, 50309
Why? The time has come. This Friday, August 10, we invite you to celebrate with us as we begin our journey by unlocking the doors and welcoming the public for our opening! The Annex, the restaurant portion of Exile Brewing Co., is the stage for our first act and we’re eager to start the show. Featuring the menu of Chef Tim Garton, dinner service will begin at 4pm and end at 11pm.
After the first night of dinner has ended, the party will continue in our Beer Hall with tankards upon tankards of beer and a full bar until 2am. Following an early knockdown by Mother Nature, the beer garden has recovered and is poised to go deep into the late rounds (we all love a good comeback story)! Whether it be from the sky or cheersing glass, beer garden v2.0 is here and ready for the most torrential downpour. For those that enjoy a more intimate environment, with hints of Lady Liberty reflecting from below, The Annex bar will remain open until 2am.
We invite you to join us on this memorable night. The time has finally come. To celebrate, to see old friends, to meet new friends, and to burn bright!
This Friday and Saturday, after hosting our first weekend of beer dinners, we will be opening our bar from 10:30pm – 2am. Our beer is not quite ready, so we’ve teamed up with a few local and regional breweries to have beer on tap, as well as a fully stocked bar and cocktail list. Come discover what we’ve been up to the past two years.
We’ve almost reached the starting line. For more than two years we’ve worked towards this moment. With help from family and friends, and scores of support from all of you, our dream is finally becoming a reality.
Final touches for the Annex
Final preparations are underway. Months of construction are almost complete as crews check off the last remaining details. Tanks have arrived. Booth and bar counters are being installed. Floors have been sealed. Beer dinners are coming quick and filling up fast. John, our Head Brewer, has returned from Scotland and will be arriving in less than a week to experiment and craft ales and lagers. Training for servers and bartenders begins Monday, while Tim and the culinary team have scrubbed and polished every inch of the kitchen in anticipation of food deliveries.
The kitchen, ready and waiting.
We’ve navigated our way through long hours, late nights, some stress, and tons of laughs to reach the starting line at Exile Brewing Co. We’re excited to share this project with Des Moines and looking forward to the stories that will be created with full stomachs and tankards of beer in hand!
The years long process of launching Exile Brewing Co. is nearing its end. The Fitch Soap Co. building, which was once a run-down and vacant warehouse, has been transformed into a modern-day brewery that beautifully displays its historical integrity. But while our project is complete and our team is ready to serve, our beer is still bubbling away in fermentation.
Exile Brewing Co. would like to invite any and all beer lovers to an exclusive event featuring the beverages of acclaimed breweries from around the state and the cuisine of our talented Executive Chef Tim Garton. Be one of the first to tour the brewery with Exile’s founders and brew master, then stay for a four-course beer dinner tailored to Iowa beers you already love. While we wish we could serve our own lagers and ales as well, we must obey the age-old rule of no brew before it’s due. Each night has a limited amount of seats available. All parties wanting to be a part of this special first look, please contact our event coordinator:
515-883-2337 (M-F, 9AM-5PM)
We initially heard about Tim Garton a few months ago. When we met him, we were immediately blown away with his culinary chops, passion for quality, and ability to drink from a boot. Tim first earned his stripes in the restaurant scene when he moved to Chicago. It was in kitchens there that he spent his nights searing, sautéing, and braising, working his way up Chicago’s food pyramid to open an LEED certified boutique hotel on Lake Michigan. He can now be found creating and experimenting at Tursi’s Latin King and crisscrossing Des Moines in final preparation for Exile Brewing Co. We recently sat down with Tim to enjoy a few beers and talk about the brewery, food, vikings (yes, vikings!), and more.
(Tim will represent Exile Brewing Co. at the Morsel Combat food challenge on April 27th at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Tickets are available here.)
Executive chef Tim Garton, Exile Brewing Co.
Exile Brewing Co.: What is your go-to drink while trying to impress a girl, your friends, and your boss?
Tim Garton: Small batch whiskey, small batch whiskey, and small batch whiskey.
Exile Brewing Co.: And when alone?
Tim Garton: Small batch whiskey with water!
Exile: What is your favorite 3 a.m. cuisine?
Tim: It would probably have to be White Castle… yeah, I know, I know… guilty pleasure.
Exile: You spent the past year working with food outside the kitchen, what brought you back in?
Tim: I felt something missing. I felt like I was working stiff doing the 9-5 thing. I liked my job, it was a good job to have, it paid the bills, and it was secure, but at the same I felt myself wanting to do something more, wanting to get back in the kitchen and be creative. I missed the adrenalin, the drained, tired and excited feeling you felt after the end of a Saturday night. You go home and you’re dead tired, but you feel good because you fed a lot of people and a lot of people were happy with what you and the kitchen team made. I think that’s what probably got me back in to it more than anything else.
Exile: Do you think there is one characteristic all chefs have in common?
Tim: I think so. I think you have to be a little bit crazy. I mean, who else is going to go willingly work 90 hours a week in 130 degree heat, missing friends, family, and social events? But I think, also, any good chef is obsessive compulsive, a little OCD. You have to have that dish looking the same way every time, tasting the same way every time. If it’s not going to be consistent, people aren’t going to come back. If they eat it twice and it’s different both times, why are they going to come back? They aren’t, they’re going to check out someone else. You have to have consistency, which is where the OCD comes in.
In the kitchen, doing what he does.
Exile: Say the first thought that comes to your head when you hear the following words: Tankard.
Tim: I see a viking sitting with a big mug of beer, saying, “Burn the village and bring me the women!” Tankard, that’s a good word!
Tim: My favorite food in the world.
Tim: Good beer.
Tim: God’s gift.
Exile: Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island with a cooler of ice, beer, three ingredients to cook with, and a volleyball. What three ingredients do you choose? More importantly, what do you name the volleyball?
Tim: I like this one! What three ingredients? Kosher salt, prosciutto, and… butter. I think with those three you can pretty much make anything taste good, whether it be a coconut, crab, or a volleyball.
Exile: So you’re going to eat the volleyball you name?
Tim: Oh, you’re right, I can’t do that! What would I name it? I would probably name him Jerry, maybe after Jerry Garcia.
Exile: What should Des Moines look for and expect from the food at Exile Brewing Co.?
Tim: What Des Moines can look for is approachable food, cooked very well. What can Des Moines expect? They can expect to see things in a different way. They can see approachable food, but maybe plated a little differently, with a little twist on it. Or flavor combinations that you wouldn’t think of, like the cauliflower and chorizo. As far as the kitchen team, the staff we want to put together are people that really care. It’s not just a job, they don’t come in, make their hourly wage, and then don’t give a shit. They come in for the greater good, which is to make Exile Brewing Co. the best it can be. I never want to be complacent, whether it be a dish or cleaning or anything. ”Strive for perfection, even if it’s unattainable, you will attain a high level of excellence.” That’s what I am going for. I know Bob and Amy, R.J., and Todd are all on board with that, “we want to be the best we can be.” Awards and accolades are nice, but that’s not what we’re there for. We’re there to put out good honest food, for good honest people.
Exile: Finally, hotdogs: with or without ketchup?
Tim: #@!$ no! No, no ketchup. That’s sacrilege!
(If you want to know more about our head chef, Tim has officially tweeted for the first time @timmaygarton.)
After having yet another location slip through our fingers we decided to take a drive. It was a beautiful October afternoon and we wanted to see if there were any eye-catching buildings sporting a sign listing a realtor. As we turned north on 15th St. from Martin Luther King South the dilapidated building above caught our eye. Pat Morris, the head chef at Tursi’s Latin King was sitting in the front seat. Pat is the ultimate realist. He had roundly rejected all of the previous sites we considered. ”Oooh my God, can you believe the vermin that must be crawling through this place?!”, “Ugh, the mold here is killing me, no way…”, “This is just bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, horrible”. These were only a few of the comments we heard during our search for the right location. When I saw the for sale sign on what I would eventually learn was the old Fitch Company Soap Manufacturing building I timidly commented, “That place looks kind of cool…I’ll bet it has high ceilings.” Bob didn’t say a word. Pat took a deep breath and sighed. ”You know…that place actually doesn’t look so bad.” That statement, which barely qualified as a vote of confidence, was all we needed. A non-negative comment from Pat Morris is 1,000 times better than Jim Cramer screaming and slamming the “Buy” button. We took down the realtors numbers and were touring the building less than 48 hrs later.