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The Scarlet & Black

Peace Tree taproom to open on Main

Peace Tree Brewing Company, established in 2009, will be opening a taproom at 923 Main St. in downtown Grinnell. While the exact date is yet to be determined, opening day is expected sometime next fall.

Last autumn, the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce conducted several focus group meetings to determine what community members thought would improve the city’s downtown area.

“What are some things we can do to make our downtown stronger, what do [we] see the future of the downtown looking like, and what types [of business] are we missing” were all questions on the table, according to Rachael Kinnick of the Grinnell chamber of commerce. After reviewing the results of these meetings, several business types stood out with regards to what the community was looking for, and  “a brewery was one of them.”

Hannah Vander Veer, marketing assistant for Peace Tree Brewing Co., said that the owner of the property at 923 Main St. originally intended “to open a retail space for local artisans, specifically focused on women.” However, after hearing the community’s desire for a brewery, the owner researched the Iowa craft-beer scene, which lead her to Megan McKay, owner of Peace Tree Brewing Co.

“It wasn’t Peace Tree’s plan, really, to open a new taproom,” Vander Veer said. “We just opened one in Des Moines, but Megan [said] that everything just felt right… and we’re excited to be coming to Grinnell.”

Knoxville, Iowa, Peace Tree’s home base, is a town slightly smaller than Grinnell, located about an hour to the southwest.

“The brewery’s founders wanted to bring some traffic and some tourism to downtown Knoxville, so that’s what we hope [for] when we bring a taproom to Grinnell,” Vander Veer said.

Since its founding eight years ago, Peace Tree has made a name for itself in the local craft beer market, distributing its brews across Iowa and parts of Nebraska. Peace Tree’s products can be found at local grocery stores in Grinnell, as well as a Belgian style beer, “Peace Tree Cornucopia,” at Prairie Canary.

Though certain Peace Tree products are already available in Grinnell, the taproom will offer another experience for beer connoisseurs. There will be brews that customers cannot get anywhere else. Peace Tree also likes to experiment with the beers they put on tap, testing them out on those who visit the taproom before bottling and distributing them more widely.

“A lot of people… like the draft better than bottles,” Vander Veer said. “At the taproom, we put a lot of stuff on tap that we don’t bottle, so you’ll be able to get a lot of unique Peace Tree brews, as well as the classics.”

Further, while most of the beers will be brewed at Peace Tree’s Knoxville or Des Moines locations, a small, experimental “pilot brew” system will be on sight at the Grinnell taproom. In total, there will be roughly twenty beers on tap for customers to try.

“You have your home, you have your work, and we want to provide [a] third space, where [people] can go and have conversations, sit down with their friends and enjoy each other’s company,” Vander Veer said.

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