Des Moines Beer Week | Q&A with 818 Design’s Rachel and Melissa 3

If you know anything about the craft beer industry, it’s a very busy and growing one. With new breweries popping up in buildings monthly, it can be tough to keep up with everything.

screenshot via

screenshot via

If you don’t know what IPA stands for, what craft beer means or still not sure if you enjoy a hoppy beer or a fruity beer then this is the perfect time for you to get those questions answered and samples sampled!

If you’re a seasoned craft beer drinker then you’re probably as bubbly as a German Wit beer for Des Moines Beer Week. 

Quick side note: I’m drinking a homebrew (Suburban Brewing Project) which I call: Handlebar Hefe, – a hefeweizen with coriander and orange peel. 

Des Moines Beer Week

des moines beer week buttons

des moines beer week buttons

On Sunday, June 14, 2015, join fellow craft beer enthusiasts at El Bait Shop from 1:00 – 5:00 pm to proclaim the official start to Des Moines Beer Week. Be the first to enjoy the 2015 Des Moines Beer Week Collaboration Beer, “All Hands on Deck,” created together by 9 Des Moines area breweries. Organizers have enlisted Greg Edwards, President of the Des Moines Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, to assist in tapping the first collaboration beer keg at 1:00. On Tuesday, June 16, Confluence Brewing Company is hosting the official Des Moines Beer Week Collaboration beer celebration in their taproom starting at 4:00 p.m. Dozens of events are happening during Des Moines Beer Week and the week culminates with the Iowa Craft Brew Festival on June 20.

photo via

photo via

Des Moines Beer Week Features:

  • Daily events (bike rides, tap takeovers, special tappings, education, meeting brewers, beer dinners, specials and more!)
  • DSMBW Untappd badge can be earned by checking in a craft beer within 30 mile radius of downtown Des Moines during that week
  • Brewery visit punchcard & t-shirt organized by Firetrucker
  • DSMBW Collaboration Beer “All Hands On Deck” created by 9 Des Moines area breweries
  • Iowa Craft Brew Festival on Saturday, June 20th

How can people get involved?


  • Or, simply attend an event and support the local craft beer scene!

Des Moines Beer Week Collaboration Beer:

Confluence Brewery

  • 9 Des Moines Area Breweries: Confluence, 515, New American, Exile, Court Ave, Firetrucker, Rock Bottom, Flix, Madhouse
  • English Summer Ale with 7 different hops
  • Available in limited quantities across the metro starting June 14th
  • On tap and in 32 oz. commemorative growlers (aka boston rounds)

des moines beer week growler

Check out the 2016 Des Moines Beer Week Collaboration Brew!

818 Design

With a beer week full of events, you might think a large team, besides the breweries, would be managing and promoting event. The truth is that there is one “tiny design empire” that is branding, promoting and making sure you have a great time during beer week. It consists of 2 friends and business partners Melissa and Rachel and one additional designer, Paige.

Des Moines Foodster blog had a chance to meet up with the two and do a Q/A session all about Des Moines Beer Week while sharing a Des Moines IPA from Confluence.  Let’s get into the questions – cheers! 🙂 

Q/A with Rachel and Melissa of 818 Design

What beer are you most excited about trying at this year’s festival?

The All Hands On Deck. It was put together by 9 breweries. It’s one of the most interesting aspects of the week. Confluence took the lead and were joined by brewers from 8 other Des Moines area breweries and together they brewed the beer throughout the day. This beer really showcases what the whole week is about. Take look at the photos here

You’ll find All Hands On Deck on tap at most of the breweries around town. You’ll be able to buy the branded Beer Week growlers at Hy-Vee. Click here for the full list of of where it will be distributed. 

How many people are you expecting to come out for the events?

The kick off will have a good turn out. Tickets for the craft beer festival will most likely reach 2,000.

What’s the ONE event during the week that people can’t miss out on? Okay, 2 events.

Confluence will tap a cask of All Hands On Deck on Tuesday, June 16 at 5:00. You can sign up at Confluence to have a chance to be the one who taps it! And, there will be Des Moines Beer week and Confluence prize giveaways there too. Join the Facebook Event.

You’ll also want to catch the movie Blood, Sweat & Beer, a documentary about the explosive growth of the craft beer industry and the journeys of two start-up breweries. The creators of the movie will be there to chat with the audience and there will also be some tastings of Flix Brewhouse beer.


How do you keep up with the ever-changing Des Moines craft beer scene?

We have a unique perspective because of relationships with different people. We’re always working with clients [in the industry]. We’ll also see brewers at events. It really comes down to that we love craft beer and Des Moines. 

How did you score an Untappd Badge for Des Moines?

We wrote to Untappd asking about having a beer week badge. Next thing you know we had a phone call and talked to one of the co-founders!

What’s something unique or fun you’ve learned about the craft beer industry in DSM?

They work together like no other industry.

Des Moines supports it so well too. It effects the economy and tourism. Bars and restaruants are benefiting too. 818 benefits from beer industry – grew with Confluence

The beer industry in Des Moines is super unique because they work together – it’s not really competitive. It’s really awesome to see breweries collaborate together. Not sure where it comes together but it comes from ‘going against the “big competition.”

It’s just really a friendly industry. 

Do you brew? Have you tried brewing? Would you want to be a brewer?

Melissa: When craft beer like this wasn’t around some friends tried it. I have interest but once all of the breweries popped up I thought it was a waste of time.

If 818 Design had a beer what would be it:

Imperial IPA or a really good nitro stout.

[Of course] the label would epic! 😉

If you had to pick one single beer to drink for the rest of your time on this planet, what would you choose?

Melissa: Des Moines IPA – I really like not just because they’re a client.

Rachel: Left Hand Milk Stout.

Any “Pro Tips” for the craft beer week?

Drink lots of water. Have a safe ride. Don’t be affraid to try something new.

Keep open on your phone. Events are added daily. 

Would you ever order a Coors Light at El Bait shop?

NO! If you have 180 options why choose that one! 


I’m going to leave it up to Jimmy Fallon to sum up this post 🙂

craft beer week des moinesSee you at some events! Cheers! 

About Nick Lucs

Nick is the founder of Des Moines Foodster. He was born and raised in Des Moines and has always had a passion for being creative in the kitchen. Des Moines Foodster has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Juice Magazine, amNY, Travel Iowa and the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau blog. He believes that coffee and craft beer make the world go 'round .

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 thoughts on “Des Moines Beer Week | Q&A with 818 Design’s Rachel and Melissa