Kinship Brewing Company celebrates 1 year in business as owner adds food menu, plans for a permanent kitchen

Sarah Kay LeBlanc
Des Moines Register

Zach Dobeck has plans to make 2022 even bigger than 2021 for one of the metro's newest, largest breweries.

Kinship Brewing Company, which opened in Waukee on Jan. 1, 2021, had a record year: The business raised and donated more than $50,000 to local charities and hopes to double that number next year, and the taproom served about 1,200 barrels of beer, which far exceeded Dobeck's expectations.

"We were thinking half that, at best," he said. But "people have shown up."

And Dobeck has some plans up his sleeves to keep that momentum going.

In November, the brewery welcomed chef Jacob Demars, formerly of Marlene's at Sevastopol Station, and introduced a temporary mobile kitchen concept called Next of Kin.

More, from December 2020:Sprawling Kinship Brewing Company opens in Waukee

Demars, working out of a food truck, is bringing an "edge" to what Dobeck calls an introductory menu that features classics such as chicken wings, beer-battered cheese curds, sandwiches and a burger with two patties.

Jeff's edge comes from using mostly housemaid ingredients.

The menu will evolve a bit over time, Dobeck said, to add some more international items, including ramen with homemade noodles and broth.

The brewery has also added a brunch menu that, for now, runs 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays. That menu includes pancakes, French toast, eggs benedict and chilaquiles.  

Dobeck said the brewing company plans to start construction on a permanent kitchen in its beer garden as soon as possible, with the hope that it can be finished by the spring. 

"That kitchen is going to be obviously much larger and more accommodating," he said. "In addition to our kind of revolving food fare, we'll definitely bring some pizza-like items so that families can come in and be quick and on the way."

On the beer side, Dobeck said he and head brewer DJ Norton are going to lean into lagers in 2022. Kinship has a few IPAs and craft beer options, including Dear Annie and Oh, Billy, but those can be expensive for both the brewery and the customers due to supply chain issues and inflation.

Over the last two months, he said, the company has been building a backlog of its lager program. Current options include a Light Lager, an American Lager, an Amber Lager and a Dark Lager. Those cans, called the 1986 series, after Dobeck's birth year, will start trickling into stores early next year.

"We are Iowa's lager brewery."

More:Looking for Iowa craft beer in the Des Moines metro? Here are 20 breweries you can try

Where to find it:

Where: 255 NW Sunrise Drive, in Waukee

Hours: Kinship's taproom is open 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 12-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

Find them online: On Facebook, at; Twitter, at; Instagram, at; and

Sarah LeBlanc covers the western suburbs for the Register. Reach her at 515-284-8161 or Follower her on Twitter at @sarahkayleblanc