NOTE: The move is complete and Madhouse is open! While at the Des Moines Metro Opera Wine and Food Showcase I ran into the boys from Madhouse Brewing. Madhouse makes very good beer, probably among the best in Iowa. Along with their mandatory high-hop “Hopburst” IPA, they make a Pastime Pale Ale for the transitional folks and some stiff oak aged session beers like Imperial Red. I tried their V.I.P. Vanilla Imperial Porter and was reminded again how wonderful it is when the “little guys” take chances and make brews that make beer worth drinking again.
They also mentioned that Madhouse Brewing is moving from the Maytag factory in Newton to the East Village. This was news to me and I was sort of peeved to find out that the opportunity to invest in this operation ended in 2013. Oh well.
I like to spend quality time tooling around distilleries and breweries so it is always disappointing when I can’t get inside some operation. Since the owners of the old Maytag plant can’t let people go wandering around the complex, Madhouse was, as far as I know, unable to offer any real public tours or to sell beer at the brewery. Changing their location to the East Village will change that. The new building will be at 501 Scott Avenue. Craft beer enthusiasts will be able to visit the brewery for tours, tastings and special events. This is an important revenue stream that Madhouse has been missing so far.
Now about that new location. The new building location will sit on the south side of MLK, and not off the main drag. With Court Avenue finally filling up with new businesses, including, perhaps, the long-awaited grocery store, the new MLK bypass is where the new investment is flowing, both on the east side and the west sides of downtown.
Good luck to Madhouse and its intrepid group of new investors. I wish them the best and will certainly be there as soon as it opens.