Hessen Haus is a German beer hall in downtown Des Moines with 22 taps and thirtysomething bottles. The taps are almost exclusively German, while the bottles offer variety from the UK and US.
But you’re here for German stuff, right? They do it up in style. Great atmosphere, a gorgeous look. I had the nerve to be disappointed in not getting to try a schwarzbier or alt on tap as their online menu suggests, but I visited during their annual Oktoberfest celebration, and they had the O-fests out en force, at least 4 or 5 to choose from. I cannot complain about that. I’ll do the other beers on another visit.
They did not have a single beer from Millstream, an Iowa brewery that brews reasonably well up the German alley. If they can sacrifice a tap to the Guinness gods, then they can sacrifice one to a local brewery.
Our waitress was helpful and efficient on a busy day, and our jaegerschnitzel was good, though my comrade’s German potato salad looked a little lackluster. He said it tasted like it looked.
The atmosphere was excellent: wide-open, well-lit and raucous. A healthy dose of German beer and revelry, with the Iowa Polka Hall of Fame on the Wall. I don’t know if it’s an everyday thing, but they had a lederhosened bloke entertaining the tables with his accordion, and the crowd loved his range.
I’ll save The Boot for another day. There will be another day, as this place was great.
101 4th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Wanna check it out? Here’s a map.