Downtown restaurant and brewery, Court Avenue Brewing Company (CABCo.), is gearing up to celebrate its much-anticipated 20th anniversary. Since 1996 the restaurant and its owner, Scott Carlson, have been a key part of the Court Avenue district’s growth and development, as well as a foundation for launching other restaurant scene staples, such as Americana (2006) and Gilroy’s (2016).
The anniversary weekend kicks off with a pre-party get together on Saturday afternoon and continues on to a larger celebration on Sunday night. All events will be held at CABCo and are open to the public – guests are encouraged to bring their family and friends for delicious provisions and craft beer in a festive atmosphere.
- Pre-Party Kickoff: Saturday, September 3rd (2:00-4:00PM) with free appetizers. If you wear any old throwback shirt (old mug club, beer, or employee t-shirt), your first beer is free. Guests can also bring an old mug and drink for current mug club pricing.
- Anniversary Party: Sunday, September 4th (6:00-10:00PM) in Court Avenue Brewing’s adjoining parking lot. Live music with Brother Trucker and new seasonal beer releases ready for tasting! There will be a special line-up of beer on tap for the occasion as well, including Vanilla Bourbon Brown, (Pointer Brown Ale aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans) and 21st Amendment (American Pale Ale brewed with rye and aged in rye whiskey barrels). If that wasn’t enough, Head Brewer Justin Cloke will be tapping these three very limited, barrel-aged imperial stout variants, each aged in Mississippi River Distilling Company bourbon barrels for six months:
- Coffee and Chocolate Imperial Stout, 10.3% ABV: Cacao nibs added to the bourbon barrel, then blended it with cold brewed coffee in a conditioning tank.
- Cinnamon and Vanilla Imperial Stout, 10.8% ABV: Cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans added directly to the bourbon barrel.
- Maple Imperial Stout, 10.8% ABV: Maple syrup added to the bourbon barrel and aged for a couple months.
Trust me, you do not want to miss them.
Before the weekend festivities kick off, I sat down with owner Scott Carlson and GM Justin Berkley, as well as brewer Justin Cloke. Over lunch we discussed the early days, rapid growth, the changing beer culture, and what the future holds for CABCo. Make sure you look for the (slightly abridged) write up in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I hope to see you all on Court Ave this weekend, celebrating a true Des Moines original!
About Court Avenue Brewing Company: CABCo. Is a full service restaurant and Des Moines’ original brewpub located at the heart of the Court Avenue Entertainment District. For more information, go to www.courtavebrew.com. For updates about the event, guests can check out Court Avenue Brewing Company’s Facebook page. This article was written in large part with the help of Des Moines PR guru Lacy Brunnette.