When Brenda Peshel bought Captain’s Quarters, a local bar in Adel, three years ago she knew she only wanted to serve craft beer on tap. "My husband, Dave, is a huge craft beer fan, and there wasn’t really anything out here that offered that," she said. Something else Dallas County didn’t offer was a micro-brewery, but Peshel decided to change that. "Dave and I have been brewing for fun for 20 some years," Peshel said. "It’s always been a nice hobby so after I bought the bar I thought it would be something new to try."
The micro-brewery, located above the bar, currently houses five batches of beer–two IPA’s, two Irish reds, and a Belgian Pale Ale–which will be available March 15– just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. "We are really excited to share these beers with our customers, so hopefully we will continue to keep brewing and see what people like," Peshel said. "We aren’t looking at distributing right away because I have to keep up with the demand I have now."
Her first beer, a red IPA, was such a huge success that the 10-gallon keg ran out in only two days, so Peshel decided she needed to brew more.
"It takes around 4-5 hours to brew and between two weeks to a month to ferment," she said. "It’s not a quick process so I have to devote a lot of time to this."
And how does she decide what beers to serve? She relies on her customers.
"I don’t drink, but I like experimenting and hearing what different flavors and mixtures my customers like," she said. "I have some customers say ‘This is one of the best beers I’ve ever had.’ It’s so exhilarating hearing that we did that here in Adel.
"People really enjoy the experience here, and that’s what it’s all about."
At $3 a pint, Peshel said her customers appreciate the cheap prices and ability to try something new. She currently has 12 local craft beers on tap.
"I want to keep my prices low because I want people to come out, try the beers, and to broaden their horizons a bit," she said. "I want to be able to offer varieties for people to try and provide a nice, clean environment for people when they visit us."
She also enjoys residents knowing her by name, especially after working for the county for 12 years and serving as deputy auditor for four years.
"People know my name, and that’s what I like about it," she said. "It still has the small, hometown feel, but I also bring a lot of new business to town. We bring in people from all over Des Moines, other states, and even places like the Czech Republic.
"It’s really neat that we are getting noticed, and it means a lot to me that this (Captain’s Quarters and her brewery) is successful."
In addition to acting as owner of Captain’s Quarters, Peshel is a full-time student at DMACC and is a navy reserve. She and her husband, Dave, live in rural Adel and have three sons, Dalton, 22, Devin, 20, and Dillon, 19.
Captain’s Quarters is open Monday through Friday starting at 2 p.m. and weekends at noon.