116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Business
As Big Grove works to bring a microbrewery to Cedar Rapids, it also will be expanding to the state’s capital, extending the popular brewery’s footprint in the state.
The new brewery in Des Moines will be in the east side of the former Crescent Chevrolet building on 17th Street off Ingersoll Avenue, and is expected to open in spring 2022.
That building has sat empty since 2008.
The development will be part of a $209.1 million project in Des Moines from Krause+, the real estate wing of the Des Moines-based Krause Group.
A Big Grove microbrewery is part of the planned First and First West development in Cedar Rapids, on land previously intended for a casino. Located on eight acres at First Street and First Avenue W, west of downtown across the Cedar River, the project proposes a mixed entertainment district.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority board on June 25 recommended the state award $9 million to Cedar Rapids in Reinvestment District funding, which will put toward First and First West and other urban projects.
Though the $9 million fell $30.5 million short of the city’s request, Moore said that likely won’t affect the brewery’s plans to move into Cedar Rapids.
The Cedar Rapids Big Grove is expected to open in 2023.
The Des Moines development was recommended to receive $23.5 million in Reinvestment District funds.
The new Des Moines expansion plans came together for a number of reasons for Big Grove, the company’s Chief Operations Officer David Moore said. Big Grove successfully weathered the pandemic in a good financial position, and there are several employees that are ready to take on higher roles at the new restaurants.
In addition, Moore said the company wants become “the beer brand of Iowa.”
The Des Moines location will be smaller in size than its Iowa City location, about 12,000 square feet inside with a 12,000 square foot patio, and a smaller brewing area.
According to building schematics, the Des Moines brewery will maintain the outer walls and design of the Crescent Chevrolet building, with an outdoor covered patio and an open patio on a multilevel terrace.
The new space will allow the Iowa City brewery to focus on producing its most popular beers such as Easy Eddy and Arms Race, while allowing space to make small batch, experimental beers in Des Moines, Moore said.
Big Grove, which opened with a brewpub in Solon in 2013, expanded to Iowa City in 2017 and opened a larger taproom with a new menu curated by head chef Ben Smart, who was named Iowa Restaurateur of the Year in 2018.
Smart will be curating the menu for the location in Des Moines, and he said the menu will include a number of Big Grove favorites as well as unique items.
Zachary Mannheimer, CEO of Atlas Community Studios which contracted with Cedar Rapids to work on the First and First West project, said both developments are evidence that Des Moines and Cedar Rapids are working to recruit people to live and work in the cities.
Mannheimer said population trends show people leaving major metropolitan areas for smaller cities, and Iowa’s two largest cities are in the population range that is on track for growth.
“A brewery of that size is going to have a significant impact on the area,” he said. “It lends itself to showcasing these cities, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, as major contenders for third cities that are trying to gain population.“
Comments: (319) 398-8473; firstname.lastname@example.org