Far From Ordinary
Exile Brewing Company is a pillar in the craft brewing industry and has helped put the Des Moines beer scene on the map. They opened in 2012 in the historic F.W. Fitch Building in Western Gateway Park – the westernmost arm of Downtown Des Moines. In the early days, fans could enjoy their coveted beers by the pint in their brewpub or on tap at nearby bars and restaurants. Today, after a few building expansions, Exile distributes their world-class lagers and ales across Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska, with more states in planning. Below are 5 things that make this hometown brewery and brewpub Far From Ordinary.
Family Owned and Operated
Exile is owned and operated by the Tursi family, the renowned restaurateurs who have spent their lives sharing food, beverage, and hospitality with generations of Des Moines families. The idea for a brewery started in their garage, during off days homebrewing and perfecting recipes. "Our family has had a line of entrepreneurs since my grandfather and great grandfather immigrated to America in the 1900s. It's certainly not the easiest path. It takes a high level of commitment and dedication but can be very rewarding and creates opportunities for learning and new experiences."
The term “lager” comes from the German word for “storage”, as the beer was traditionally stored in cold caves for extended periods of time. Lager beers originated in Bohemia and the influence of these historic European brewers does not go unnoticed at Exile. Their facility was custom made for brewing these specialized beers and their lager room (read: aging room) is unparalleled by modern craft brewers. "We knew we wanted to make beers like the great European beers we'd had in trips to Germany and the Czech Republic. To do the beers justice, we discovered there is an additional level of equipment and process involved with their creation. We needed different capabilities in our brewhouse, an additional room for cold storing the beer for weeks. It's additional work and time, but we believe in the beers and believe the additional steps bring them to the next level." Their dedication to lager tradition has not gone unnoticed, earning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, the preeminent beer judging competition.
Exile believes their guests are their family and, since 2012, Exile has welcomed thousands to their historic facility. Hospitality is a core pillar from which the brewpub built its foundation. The guest experience is painstakingly reviewed daily with staff, from beer updates to prompt and friendly service, no stone is left unturned to ensure minds are blown. But great hospitality is not the only expectation fans have of Exile, from exclusive taproom only drafts to carefully crafted dishes built for beer pairings, guests can expect exceptional quality in both food and drink.
The team at Exile believes their fans are their family. That means more than just brewing beer or welcoming guests to their brewpub. Enter Exile Builds, the philanthropic arm of the brewery. From removing litter from local communities to raising funds for breast cancer prevention and awareness, Exile builds a highway between their team and the public by partnering with individuals and organizations that promote health, conservation, and community improvements.
“Being able to work with the great organizations that encompass our community is a privilege in itself. We can only hope to make a dent in what they are already doing already by helping give them our platform as a vessel to spread the work they have laid down. Relationships are at the forefront of what we hope to cultivate, beer follows naturally.”
Hosted annually in August, Exile Music Fest draws national and regional talent to Des Moines, as well as the next up-and-coming artists from around Iowa. What started as an anniversary celebration quickly morphed into a community festival where the music and beer take center stage. 2,000 fans from around the Midwest flock to Walnut Street for live music and community celebration. Past artists include the Motet, Fruition, Kyle Hollingsworth, Euforquestra, The Candymakers, Courtney Krause, and more.