Local to Iowa, the owners of Carroll Brewing wanted to open their doors in the city of Carroll, as it’s an epi-center of Western Iowa, yet hadn’t been home to a brewery since the 1880s. Iowans have long appreciated the taste of a fresh beer after a hard day of work, and Carroll Brewing now exists to satisfy that thirst.
Like our Midwestern values, our product is high-quality and hand-crafted, but not pretentious. We aim to make easy-drinking ales and lagers similar to the beer you’ve grown accustomed to drinking, but brewed locally, right here.
Since taking possession of the space in August of 2017, we have been hard at work converting this historic brick building located one block off of Highway 30 in downtown Carroll into a full-scale production brewery and taproom. The 10,000 square feet of space houses a 20-barrel brewhouse, five 80-barrel fermenters, a 100-person capacity taproom & bar with 30 draft lines, and additional production space that will house a canning line for distribution.
The Carroll Brewery building is on the site of the first Carroll Heat and Light Plant, later the Iowa Public Service plant. The first power plant was built there in 189. The property was originally owned by the railroad and before the power was built, it was the Joyce Lumber yard. Edison invented the first light bulb in 1879 and towns were finding ways to get electricity into businesses and homes.
A larger brick building was built in 1899 at a cost of $25,000. Coal was stored in the yards to the west. A train track was laid adjacent to the south side of the building to deliver the coal to the yard and into the schutes that delivered the coal into the building.
In 1924, the electric plant building was rebuilt and enlarged, incorporating the first building into the larger construction. That is the building that the Carroll Brewery now occupies. It was a third again larger than the first building. The new building was constructed with a flat-roof style constructed entirely of steel and concrete; the walls and all wood structures were strengthened and made fireproof. The coal bunkers were replaced with concrete bunkers. Basically the new building was built over the first building and a section added onto the south. Although the building interior was open, the two sections, the engine room and the boiler room had a separating brick wall between.
In 1924 the tunnel was built under that building with a conveyer system to bring the coal underground eastward, up into the building, then it was elevated and looped over to heat the area under the boilers. The conveyor with a trough and bucket system was run by electric motor. The massive area that the three hoppers n the basement level drop to is about 40’ by 40’ and 30 feet under the ground level.
In 1952 when a new modern steam plant was built on the east corner of Fifth and Clark Streets, a 6’ by 6’ tunnel was built that ran the entire span west to east under the 1924 building and under Clark Street to move the coal in conveyor buckets to the new plant. Overhead in the tunnels were the steam pipes. While the new plant was operated by natural gas, coal was the stand-by power. The tunnel originally spanned 100 feet length but has since been closed under the street.
The 1924 plant was officially “laid by” in 1952 and no longer used except in peak-load when extra power was needed. In November 1955, The old Iowa Electric Light and Power Co Steel smokestacks were taken down. In 1980 the 1952 plant was “laid by” and in 1984 the footings were dynamite and the building was demolished.