Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing

First up is a can’t-miss gem located just a hop, skip, and jump away from Council Bluffs. Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing is a combination winery and brewery tucked along the picturesque Loess Hills in nearby Mineola. While their top-notch wines garner plenty of well-deserved acclaim, it’s their craft beers that earn Soaring Wings an honorable spot on this list. Step into their cozy tap room for a rotating selection of innovative brews and time-honored favorites, all crafted on-site. The flagship brews include a smooth Blonde Ale, IPA, and Cream Ale, but you’ll want to check what seasonal picks are currently on tap. Maybe it’s an Oatmeal Milk Stout, Honey Wheat, or even a limited-release sour. The drink menu features a solid range, ensuring there’s an enticing flavor for every palate. And the atmosphere? As inviting as it gets. Spread out on the scenic patio with its sweeping views of the vineyards or gather with pals around the tap room’s intimate fire pit. With nightly entertainment and frequent food trucks, Soaring Wings was practically built to be your new go-to hangout. (They even have luxury cabins for rent if you really don’t want the party to stop.)

Bucktail Brewhouse

Head back across the Missouri River into the heart of downtown Council Bluffs and you’ll stumble upon the Bucktail Brewhouse. Don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you—this humble brick storefront conceals one of the area’s hippest microbreweries. Proudly run by military veterans, Bucktail has been dishing out outstanding hand-crafted beers since 2015. The crew here emphasizes adventurous experimentation by constantly introducing new varieties to their diverse tap list. Thirsty patrons return again and again for tried-and-true favorites like the Bold Blonde Ale and the Sacagawea Wheat. But the real crowd-pleasing draws are Bucktail’s rotating seasonals. The toasty Autumn Cream Ale is always a fall hit, while the refreshing Raspberry Blonde perfectly encapsulates the dog days of summer. Feeling really bold? Swing by when they’ve tapped their legendary barrel-aged stouts. These bad boys like the Suck Portney Wallis are complex, smooth, and absolutely heavenly. And be sure to arrive with an appetite because Bucktail offers elevated pub grub, including wood-fired pizza, that gets rave reviews from beer connoisseurs and chow hounds alike.

Bayliss Park Beer Garden

If (indoor) breweries aren’t really your scene, pack up the crew and venture over to the Bayliss Park Beer Garden. Nestled along Council Bluffs’s scenic riverfront, this local hotspot combines a laid-back pub vibe with the carefree ambiance of an old-school beer garden. You can’t beat sharing an ice-cold draft from the full-service bar amid lush greenery with the Missouri River as the backdrop. Talk about the ultimate spot for day drinking! The beer menu keeps things simple yet enticing with a range of around 8 draft beers featuring selections from popular regional craft breweries. You’ll find everything from time-tested pilsners and wheat beers to experimental styles like hard seltzers and fruited sours. Since the taps rotate frequently, you’re bound to discover a new favorite during every visit. The garden also serves up a tasty selection of on-site food truck cuisine to pair with your perfectly poured pint or bourbon cocktail. Pro-tip: Go for the over-the-top bison nachos (you won’t regret it!).

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Step aside, dull domestic drafts. There are wildly creative craft brews being concocted at the appropriately named Drink Lab cocktail bar in downtown Council Bluffs. Though mainly focused on inventive mixed drinks and infusion cocktails, you’d be remiss in overlooking the Drink Lab’s constantly-rotating selection of offbeat yet delicious craft beers. These mad scientists of suds never fail to whip up one-of-a-kind thirst-quenchers unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Will it be a tropical, coconut-infused wheat ale this time? Or maybe a nitro oatmeal coffee stout beckons? Checking in on their current experimental offerings is half the fun of stopping by this funky drinkery. Of course, any excuse to return to the Drink Lab is a good one when you’re seated alongside the likes of atomic gummy worms, disco balls, and murals covered in plasma tv static. We dare you to find a taproom anywhere else with cooler vibes than this blast from the past.

Address: 300 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: 515-244-9292

Baroque Brewery

For a more traditional yet wholly inspired taproom experience, frequent beer aficionados rave about Baroque Brewery. The husband-and-wife team behind this West Council Bluffs operation takes immense pride in their handmade micro-batches of European-style brews. Translation: You’ll encounter the sort of authentic Old World flavor profiles that’ll have you feeling transported to the chalet tap houses of Bavaria. Baroque’s tap list skews heavily toward recreating time-honored varieties like dunkel lagers, hefeweizens, and crisp pilsners. But their malty creations also include unique twists like the popular Dragon Fruit Wheat infused with bold tropical notes. All beers are offered in half-liter refillable boots (while supplies last) because everyone deserves to feel like German royalty when sipping on brews this skillfully crafted. Best of all, Baroque welcomes its loyal followship of “beer saints” to enjoy every pour inside their inviting European beer hall. Or if you prefer, take home a growler to go and infuse your home with bready, biscuity brewery aromas.

Iowa Brew Tours

Don’t have a hot take on which Council Bluffs brewery to hit up? Why not experience them all on a tour with Iowa Brew Tours? This locally-owned company offers themed daily tours across five Pottawattamie County breweries and taprooms. Follow their Council Bluffs run for an immersive sampling of the best the city has to offer. Your knowledgeable beer guide will shuttle you and your crew to Bucktail Brewhouse, Soaring Wings, and several other standout alehouses. Enjoy behind-the-scenes facility tours, personalized tastings, and meet-and-greets with legendary local brewers. With plenty of beer trivia and Iowa brewing history along the way, it’s an experience all fermented disciples are sure to find enriching. Without any need to worry about driving from spot to spot, you’re free to savor every sip to the fullest.

Phone: 515-512-2781

Take A Bus to Visit Any Brewery!

Whether you’re a local connoisseur or an out-of-towner seeking the region’s finest brews, don’t let transportation logistics keep you from experiencing Council Bluffs’s celebrated brewery scene. Join the regulars by renting a compact minibus or spacious motorcoach from Party Bus Council Bluffs! We’ll make sure your entire crew gets around to every hoppy hangout in total comfort. Our team is available 24/7 at (712) 318-5524 to build a customized brewery tour just for you!