Peaking interest with every pour

Roger Brown said with each new batch of beer he makes there is always some level of excitement.

“I don’t ever know how it’s going to turn out,” he said. “Every batch you get that excitement of – is it going to taste good or bad? That excitement is always there every single time.”

Brown, of Conrad, is planning to open his new microbrewery, Iowa River Brewing Company, at 107 N. First St. in Marshalltown at the site of the old Marshallnet location sometime next month.

“I just have fun doing it,” Brown said of beer-making. “I’ve been doing it at home, and I brew my own because it tastes better.”

He continues to shoot for that perfect mix of ingredients to flush out that “bad beer” in time for his opening. In fact, he tweaks the mixture of the grains and hops so much he is planning to make more than 100 different varieties of ale to see what customers prefer. He will then narrow his focus on the most popular types and name and brand those beers.

Brown is unclear yet of an exact official opening date and what his hours of operation will be, but the facility will work more like a tasting room and less like a bar. He has already hosted private parties at the brewery. Brown said people are amazed that a building that looks more like a plain storage building on the outside has so much character inside.

“So far, I feel like the response has been great,” Brown said. “The concept I wanted all along was to provide comfort to people.”

He feels Marshalltown is an untapped market for a microbrewery and feels the size of the town is a perfect fit for the capacity of beer he produces. Microbreweries seem to be making a return as people are getting educated on how to brew beer themselves, he said.

“There are hundreds of breweries opening up all across America,” Brown said. “It has just exploded again.”

Brown has put plenty of sweat equity into the place, doing much of the remodeling himself in the past year. He is finding new uses for old barn wood from his grandparents farm and the bar itself is wood from an old telephone pole. The foot rest for patrons is actually a part of an old railroad track.

Beer prices include $1 for a sample size, $4 for a pint, $10 for a boot-shaped glass and $15 for a growler. He has yet to bottle his beer, but does have plans to sell six packs of bottles in the future, especially for his most popular beers.

Brown quit his job as a health care consultant to be a full-time beer-maker and brewery host and looks forward to opening to the public soon.

“It seems like people are really excited about it,” he said.