Alluvial Brewing

Over the past nine years, Alluvial Brewing, located in north Ames, has developed over 100 unique blends of beer, and has evolved and positioned themselves as a social outlet for ale and lager enthusiasts, and music lovers.

Elliot Thompson opened the brewery in March 2015, along with co-developers Jason Peterson and Matt Nissen, who is also the manager at Prairie Moon Winery. At the time, Thompson was an organic vegetable farmer on the acres near the winery and used the building that is now Alluvial for storage.

With a small amount of experience in brewing, the three embarked on the new venture. “We wanted a name that tied into the prairie and farmland out here,” said Thompson as he reflected on the first tough decision. A musician friend was going to name her first album Alluvial, and he was quick to pick it up for the new business. “It has a great geological feel to it. The name was easy. The logo took some time.”

“When we first started, we had a small system,” said Thompson, thinking about the early days. “It was almost like an expanded homebrew system because that was the right fit for us at the time.” Their small tap room served what they needed for a time, but after three years, they were looking to expand. “We outgrew the space pretty quickly.”

The expansion allowed Alluvial to focus on music, quickly becoming a sought-after venue in the region. In December 2019, they built a performance stage and since then have continued to make incremental improvements to aesthetics and acoustics. “We strive to be an active part of the incredible music community in our area,” said Thompson.

Over the years, they have found a strong interest in bluegrass and Americana acts. In all, they host about 70 shows a year, supporting local artists. In recent years, they have expanded to regional and national touring acts, while sprinkling in a jazz act or two along the way. The style of music pairs well with the outdoor, summertime, prairie and farmland view.

Alluvial is a place to connect with friends, build community, and live in the moment. The music and landscape contribute to the vibe, along with the quaint taproom full of local art. You won’t find a television in any of the rooms, notes Thompson, because, “we want our guests to focus on conversation, connect with people, and just hang out.”

​The Gilbert Gold has consistently been the most popular beer at Alluvial. But with up to ten beers on tap at any given time, and new ones coming weekly, you’re sure to find one to fit your taste.