Two Saints Winery holds fast to the belief that wine should be representative of its region. That's why to create its award-winning Iowa wines, Two Saints uses only grapes from its own property or grapes grown by local farmers. Embedded within the rippling countryside of rural Warren County, the facility produces up to 30,000 bottles per year. And instead of using juices retrieved from faraway sources, such as California or the mini refrigerators inside seashells, Two Saints spurns flavor enhancements and lets the natural flavors of Iowa's land emerge by aging bottles for at least a year. Customers, meanwhile, can enjoy those products right at the winery, especially during free tastings and live events held frequently on the property.
Peace Tree Brewing Company takes its name from the ancient sycamore tree that currently peeks its head through the watery surface of Lake Red Rock. Legend has it before the tree was half submerged in water, it served as a meeting place for negotiations between natives and traders. Above all, the tree stood as a symbol of neighborly conversation, friendship, and agreement—aspects of life that Peace Tree Brewing Company hopes to facilitate with their frosty beers and neighborhood atmosphere.
Inside Peace Tree’s taproom, which is open Wednesday through Sunday, visitors can gather for tours of the brewery or sit and enjoy its year-round beers on draft. Sippers can introduce their taste buds to the malty flavor of Red Rambler or prepare themselves for the blend of American and English hops in the Hop Wrangler. Occasionally, guests might find seasonal brews available for taste, such as Cornucopia, an ale brewed with Iowa sweet corn, or the heavy and malty Imperial stout. Since the taproom has taken a vow of hunger, it doesn’t serve food, but it does have a bundle of local takeout menus that visitors can use to order food they can enjoy alongside their drinks and the occasional performance of local live music.
Within Central City Liquors' family-owned walls, a comprehensive stock of spirits moistens maws with 175 single malts, 130 tequilas, and more than 50 bourbons. Customers can uncap 750-milliliter bottles of Jack Daniel's single-barrel whiskey ($34.99) to electrify a party or water a fern that had a particularly rough workweek. Postshopping cocktail glasses brim with Bombay Sapphire gin ($22.99) or sweet potations blended with Disaronno amaretto ($20.99). Mixologists can transport taste buds south of the border with 1800 Reposado or Silver tequila ($19.99), an ideal liquid to lay the groundwork for a margarita or an environmentally unsound koi pond.
Variety is the main draw at Last Stop Beverage Shop, a family-owned-and-operated emporium of adult-friendly elixirs. The doors of this unassuming roadside warehouse open to reveal sprawling shelves stocked with wine, beer, whiskey, tequila, and other potent potables that can easily enliven any celebration or Meet the Press viewing party. Owner Jim Swacker and his knowledgeable staff are on hand to make recommendations or help navigate the well-stocked aisles, where coveted labels such as Black Velvet, Patron, and Ecco Domani share space with budget-friendly bottles of Barefoot and Jacob’s Creek wine.
Jasper's modern winery squeezes the life out of central Iowan grapes to create a delicious lineup of colorful wines. The 60-minute VIP tasting gives groups of four or double-four a tour of the winery's chambers and splashes tongues with tastes of all 11 vintages, which include the crisp and citrusy Edelweiss white and the Norton dry red, whose smells of baked fruit awaken connoisseurs to flavors of currant and blackberry with slight hints of cinnamon and mint.