Currently there are 4 breweries in Dubuque Iowa: Dimensional Brewing Co, 7 Hills Brewing, Jubeck New World Brewing and Catfish Creek. They cover a good spread of the Downtown Dubuque area so here’s my guide to each brewery!
Dubuque Iowa Breweries
Dimensional Brewing Company
Location: 67 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001
Lets start with the newest brewery in Dubuque! Dimensional Brewing Co opened Thanksgiving week 2018 but have been brewing since the summer. (They were sampling their creations at a local event I went to in August…and I single handedly drunk most of their watermelon flavoured beer. AMAZING.)
Their location along Main Street is just a stone’s throw from the historic Hotel Julien. The inside of the taproom isn’t exactly massive, with a handful of booths and tables dotted around. I’d imagine during busy times it’d be standing room only!
The brewery part of the building is separated by a glass window behind the bar area but is still very much on display.
Dimensional’s tap list includes 12 in-house beers and 2 guest hard ciders from Crimson Sunset Vineyards, Winery and Cidery based out of Cascade Iowa. A couple of their beers are coffee flavoured, a collaboration with Jumble Coffee, another Dubuque business!
I bought a flight of 4 beers for $9, choosing:
- Stone cold: Apricot sour
- Builder The Bob – an English brown ale (no surprise there! Was Bob the Builder a thing in America?!)
- Cool Story Hazel – an oatmeal stout with hazelnut
- Sticky Beans – coffee and maple syrup milk stout
They all had very distinct flavours that were definitely true to their names…there’s nothing worse than picking a drink because of it’s flavour…that then tastes nothing like the name/flavour stated. I can say that Dimensional Brewing Co’s beer tasted like the name on the tin.
The English ale was a REALLY GOOD tasting beer, said straight from the mouth of an English girl, therefore it has to be true. The coffee beer definitely tasted of coffee. My favourites however were Cool Story Hazel, I LOVED the hazelnut taste and even said ‘oh wow!’ after my first sip, and the Apricot sour beer. I’ve always been a fan of cider and the apricot sour beer had a taste very similar to a fruit cider. Again, the watermelon beer from the summer was also amazing. (They recently had one that tasted like neapolitan ICE CREAM).
Dimensional Brewing Co also offer a MEGA FLIGHT which includes samples of ALL 14 beers and ciders that are currently on tap. The thing is about a metre long which is crazy and I definitely wouldn’t trust myself carrying! It’d be perfect if a group of people wanted to taste all they have to offer!
I like the way you can buy smaller flight sized glasses of each beer as well as the regular sizes. I find that when I visit a brewery style taproom, I’d rather taste a couple of different flavours than drink larger sizes.
As it’s still early days, there isn’t a kitchen at the Dimensional Brewing Company. Instead they have various food trucks stationed outside on different evenings, in case you get peckish! They also have live music on some nights.
The building looks like it has roller shutter garage door style walls so if they are opened up in the summer, I’d imagine that it’d be a great place to hang out!
Wednesday – Friday: 4pm until 11pm
Saturday: 11am until 11pm
7 Hills Brewing
Location: 1085 Washington St, Dubuque, IA 52001
I’m a huge fan of 7 Hills Brewing, ironically mainly for their pretzel crust pizza…which isn’t obviously a beer AND I don’t actually eat cheese, but I order it every time I visit! So yes, this Dubuque Iowa brewery does also serve food and has a good sized menu. It’s usually my to-go when friends come to visit Dubuque!
7 Hills Brewing was established in 2017 and is located in a corner of my beloved Millwork District in Dubuque. They converted an old disused warehouse into this large brewpub complete with an outside sitting area (which is dog friendly).
Unlike Dimensional Brewing Co’s closed off brewery area, 7 Hill’s is all open planned, with the kettles, fermenters and tanks all sat right there in the corner. This also fills the room with a lovely smell of cooking beer! It almost has a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel to it as you can watch the staff checking on different things!
There are plenty of places to sit with the majority of the tables being large banquette style tables. The chances are if you are a small group, you could be placed next to another group, although they are quite good with spreading people out if it’s quiet.
Children are welcome to sit and eat at the tables (they even have a kids food menu), however the seats at the bar are for adults over the age of 21 only.
Part of craft brewing is that the tap list tends to change throughout the year with seasonal brews or limited edition beers making an appearance. As 7 Hills Brewing has been around for a little while now, you’ll see some familiar names that seem to have a permanent spot on the menu, such as the ‘7 Headed Monster’ IPA and the ‘Muddy Tugger’ brown ale.
They also have a couple of Dubuque themed beers too, like the ‘Town Clock’ pilsner and ‘Bernie’s Red Ale’ (Bernie is the local ice hockey team’s mascot (The Fighting Saints)).
I also keep meaning to try the 7 Hills Brewing ‘Stout Float’ which is obviously beer and ice cream! Although I’m usually so filled up on pizza I then don’t have enough room for dessert! One day!
There’s also a large stage area where there’ll often be live music and events going on!
Sunday – Thursday: 11am until 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am until 12am
While in the Millwork District…
Although it’s not one of the Dubuque Iowa breweries, you’ll also find the ‘Backpocket Taproom‘ just across the road, which is a brewery based out of Coralville Iowa (around 1hr 30 away). They have retro arcade games in their Taproom which is cool, and the night I went in there, they were having a quiz night too!
Jubeck New World Brewing
Location: 115 W 11th St, Dubuque, IA 52001
The oldest brewery in Dubuque is Jubeck New World Brewing, first opening in July 2014. Jubeck New World Brewing is actually considered a nano brewery. All the equipment is right there in the tap room next to the bar! It may be small but I think it has the most personality out of the 3 Dubuque Iowa breweries!
I love the decor in this brewery. It’s small and cozy and decorated with planes and globes. The traveller in me was very happy. Even the beer taps are propellor blades!
I tried their Lavender Honey Wheat beer, which was a really nice and tasted like drinking flowers…that’s a compliment by the way. I’ve never had lavender beer before, I found lavender lemonade at the Farmer’s Market so I knew it was a flavour I liked. At the time of my visit, they were very close to releasing a Creamy Vanilla Ale which sounds nice too!
Another unique feature of this brewery is that the music played in the tap room is via an old record player. There’s a big collection of records and it creates a very laid back relaxing atmosphere.
It’s also possible to become a ‘member’ of Jubeck New World Brewing. You can pay a membership fee which gives you discounted beer. There are different levels of membership, which obviously gives you more. For example (at the time of writing): a social membership for $180 a year gives you 50 pints (or 12 growler refills – roughly 4 pints in a growler). This equals around $3.60 a pint and can be shared with family/friends.
The most expensive membership is $600 a year which gives you 52 growler refills or a combination of refills and pints in the tap room, equalling 220 pints ($2.72 per pint). The first years membership comes with 2 growlers and the option to take away the beer in your own keg.
As a second year member you receive a locally made ceramic beer mug, that stays at the tap room, so whenever you visit, you drink from your own mug! All the mugs are labelled with your membership number so you don’t have to worry about someone else drinking from it! They are all stored in drawers behind the bar.
Jubeck New World Brewing is too small for a kitchen but they encourage customers to bring in their own food, take away or to order delivery from one of the nearby restaurants or cafes!
Wednesday: 4pm until 8pm
Thursday – Friday: 4pm until 11pm
Saturday: 11am until 11pm
Catfish Creek (Catfish Charlie’s)
Location: 1630 16th Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
Catfish Creek is another Dubuque microbrewery! It’s part of the Catfish Charlie’s restaurant, located on Schmitt Island (yes Dubuque has an actual island!), where you can dine and drink while enjoying views of the Mississippi River.
All the beers in the brew pub are brewed on site and many have ‘river themed’ names, such as ‘Lock 11 Light’ (the Mississippi River Lock and Dam 11 is just down the road), ‘Ice Harbor IPA’, ‘Sandy Bottom Brown Ale’ and ‘Golden Eagle Ale’ (the river is a great place to spot bald eagles!).
Sunday – Thursday: 11am until 9pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am until 10pm
As mentioned, with small scale craft brewing, the tap lists do tend to change and so some beers that I’ve mentioned in this guide may not be available year round or at the time of your visit. I was speaking to one of the staff members at the Dimensional Brewing Co and asked about how long it takes to brew beer. He said it varies from anything from a week and a half to 30 days. Popular flavours may be kept in stock but some could be rotated out and may not come back for a while.
Dubuque Craft Beer Events
If you like craft beer, there are a couple of events that happen in Dubuque throughout the year. The largest being the Dubuque on Ice Brewfest which is held annually in February at the Mystique Community Ice Arena. General admission tickets are $35 and there are a wide range of vendors offering samples of beer, wine, cider, coffee, cheese and meats. It’s put on by Potosi Brewery just across the state border in Wisconsin.
Another slightly smaller event is the Dubuque Oktoberfest held at the A.Y. McDonald Park annually in September. ‘Bier tasting’ tickets are $25 in advance.
Parking in Dubuque
All the breweries in Dubuque have nearby on-street parking which is free after 5pm (metered from 8am until 5pm). All the times I’ve been Downtown, I’ve managed to find a parking spot, you just may have to walk a little way. Otherwise there are 24 hour parking ramps in various locations.
Breweries near Dubuque
Textile Brewing Company, Dyersville IA
146 2nd Street NE, Dyersville, Iowa 52040
Textile Brewing Company opened in late 2019 and is located in an old sewing factory! The decor embraces the buildings history, with textile measuring sticks, sewing machines and old tables. This microbrewery have a wide range of unique beers, I tried one with Fruit Loops cereal in it (well not floating in it…somehow it was made using them!).
They are fully aware that East Iowa beer drinkers aren’t exactly experimental when it comes to beer (no offence, if it’s not Bud or Busch Light then they tend to get a bit panicked), so Textile Brewing Company created a light beer and depending on what name you call it, TrALEblazer or Bobcat, then 10% of the sale gets donated to the represented local school.
The highlight for me is their GIANT pretzels, they really are HUGE and cost $14, you’ll probably need to share them! They come in several different flavours from: regular salted to pizza to sweet french toast.
Hotels in Dubuque
Otherwise if you don’t have a designated driver and want to be responsible, there are plenty of hotels in Downtown Dubuque. The most convenient to the breweries would either be the Hotel Julien or the Holiday Inn, both on Main St and have free parking for guests. The Grand Harbor Resort along the Mississippi River also has free parking but it’s a 15 – 20 minute walk from the breweries, depending on what one you go to.
If you need any tips or ideas for a visit to Dubuque, you may find this post useful: 40 Things To Do in Dubuque Iowa! Or feel free to drop me a comment or a message, as a local, I’m happy to help!