Backpocket Brewing, located in the vibrant and booming Iowa River Landing district in Coralville, is home to a wide selection of locally crafted brews, brick-oven pizza and a large shaded patio and beer garden.
While Backpocket Brewing opened in Coralville in 2012, its story starts four years prior as Old Man River Restaurant and Brewery in McGregor. Backpocket no longer brews out of McGregor, but the restaurant is still open and operated by another group. The brewery opened in Coralville in June of 2012 and what was then a seven-barrel operation has turned into a 30-barrel facility. Five years after opening the Coralville operations, Backpocket was ready to expand and opened the Dubuque taproom in May of 2017 and, most recently, launched a third location in Johnston in 2023. While Backpocket has expanded its craft beer footprint across the state, all of the brewery production takes place in Coralville.
Walking up to Backpocket Brewing, you will be greeted with its expansive – and dog-friendly – patio and green space full of shade trees, string lights, umbrellas and a large fire pit. As you enter inside, you will notice the large brewing operations and barrels. Also greeting guests is a merchandise section stocked with apparel, glassware and, most importantly, to-go beer. Next to the merchandise is the bar with nearly 20 taps, a descriptive menu of each of its brews and a knowledgeable bartender ready to answer all of your craft beer questions. At the end of the bar is the small but mighty exposed kitchen where you can watch staff hard at work moving pizzas in and out of the cozy brick oven. The seating area is a healthy mix of high-top tables and booths lining a wall of windows overlooking the patio. Backpocket does not fall short on natural light and casual dining. The team uses its facility for a variety of events such as popup workout classes and outdoor movies, keeping the welcoming and fun atmosphere alive and well.
Backpocket Brewing lets its beer be the star of the show – and it deserves a round of applause! There are five core beers: Slingshot (Dunkel Lager), Gold Coin (Blonde Lager), Murderhorn (Belgian Golden Ale), Bubba (Hazy IPA) and Raygun (IPA). Backpocket doesn’t stop at tradition and features around a dozen other beverages on tap and in cans including seasonal and experimental beers and non-alcoholic drinks such as the Sunday Morning Sour and Ginger Beer. You can also drink for a good cause at Backpocket by purchasing its Sight for the Blind Hazy IPA; all proceeds are donated to Brews for Blindness to raise funds for the University of Iowa Institute for Vision Research. Something new for Backpocket is its canned Horse Shoe Mule Cocktail, which comes in both traditional and peach flavors. Slingshot and Bubba are the best-selling brews while the Horse Shoe Mule is the top non-beer option.
Backpocket Brewing says it best: the food menu is “simple and straightforward, complementing the beer and not competing with it.” If you’re looking for a bite to eat at Backpocket, you can indulge in a variety of appetizers including the spinach and artichoke dip full of cheesy, creamy and garlic goodness served with seasoned homemade pizza chips. The cheese pull is real with this one! Also featured on Backpocket’s food menu is its brick-oven pizza. The dough is made in-house daily and is baked to perfection leaving it sturdy for toppings yet chewy and light in texture. The chicken-bacon alfredo, margherita and The Works are three of the more popular combinations, but guests can also create their own with a selection of cheese, produce and in-house smoked meats. What’s a meal without dessert? Backpocket has you covered with a root beer float featuring its very own root beer!
The craft beer scene in Iowa seems to be growing, so what sets Backpocket Brewing apart from the others? The brewery is family-owned, the goods are hand-crafted and the team couldn’t be more excited about their future growth inside and outside of Iowa.
For more information about Backpocket Brewing, visit backpocketbrewing.com.
903 Quarry Rd.
Coralville, IA 52241