By Design presents dsmDining —

Better than most bar food, not shooting for fine dining, the menu includes this very satisfying Gorgonzola, fig and prosciutto flatbread.


By Wini Moranville

BeerStyles Taproom and Gastropub opened this past July in West Des Moines, and the management team recently invited me in for some dinner and sips.

First and foremost, I’m happy to report that you need not be a “beeroisseur” to enjoy this fun, easygoing spot. I should know: I’ve just started drinking beer after a 25-year hiatus, which means I’m a complete newbie to the ever-evolving craft beer movement. Nevertheless, I managed to feel quite confident about my picks. Here’s why:

• The menu of 100 beers on tap is neatly divided into specific styles of beer to choose from—such as sour, tart and funky, dark and roasty, and fruity and spicy, among others.

• Rather than trying to describe the beers that interested us, the affable server offered to bring samples. Better yet, because draughts are available in 4-ounce glasses (most costing in the $1.50 to $3 range), I wasn’t too worried about rolling the dice on an unknown. Ready to commit? Ten-ounce and pint glasses also are available.

• Alcohol-by-volume percentages are listed with every beer; with options ranging from 2.5 to a whopping 13.5 percent, you need to pay attention.

• My favorite feature? The menu indicates where each beer comes from—whether down the street or across the ocean. There’s something pleasurable about ordering a beer from someplace you feel connected to; I snagged a glass from the city of my birth, Cedar Rapids, as well as from my new city-crush, San Diego.

• With a raw bar, creative flatbreads, polished sandwiches, nine choices of poutine and a handful of entrees, the menu strikes a nice balance—better than most bar food, but not meant to be as swanky as fine dining. The Gorgonzola, fig and prosciutto flatbread especially satisfied.

BeerStyles Taproom & Gastropub is at 5513 Mills Civic Pkwy; 515-483-2337; If you’re a true beer geek, consider downloading the DigitalPour app at It lets you keep track of what’s on tap at Beerstyles, flag your favorites and more.

Wini Moranville covers food, wine and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food – DSM Wini Moranville.

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Bonnie St. John: Olympian, economist, leadership guru, author. She'll share what she's learned along the way at an event Sept. 21.


We’ve been looking forward to this: Bonnie St. John will be in town Sept. 21 to speak about the “Ripple Effect of Micro-Resilience” at the Chrysalis Foundation’s annual Inspired event. St. John, a world-renowned leadership expert who has been called “one of the five most inspiring women in America” by NBC, has faced challenges most of us can barely imagine: a leg amputated at age 5 and a childhood otherwise marked by sexual abuse and economic hardship.

St. John not only overcame these struggles but flourished: Among her innumerable accomplishments, she was the first African-American to medal in a Winter Olympics, taking home three medals for alpine skiing at the 1984 Paralympics competition; graduated magna cum laude with an economics degree from Harvard University and became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford; served as a director of the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration; and became a leadership consultant for Fortune 500 companies. As if all that weren’t enough, she’s the author of seven books, including “Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive and Energy,” published earlier this year.

The event, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes lunch. Tickets, $75 per person or $60 for young professionals age 35 and younger, are available here. Proceeds benefit Chrysalis, which invests in programs and organizations that support Greater Des Moines girls and women. To learn more about St. John, view this YouTube video.

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The soothing sound of the fountain is a fitting backdrop to lunchtime yoga and meditation sessions at Cowles Commons.


Cowles Commons, managed by Des Moines Performing Arts, has initiated an autumn series of midday activities focusing on fitness and family fun. Through October:
• Wellness Wednesdays offer yoga and other healthful activities from noon to 1 p.m. Tomorrow, for example, is yoga. Details on events and providers are here.
• Tastes and Tidbits Thursdays feature food trucks and assorted fun to brighten your workday. This Thursday, Sept. 14, join the Science Center of Iowa with a variety of science-based, hands-on activities. Explore your artistic side on Sept. 28. Poetry takes the stage Oct. 5, including an opportunity to create your own poems.
• Saturday Story and Sketch: Starting Sept. 23, bring the kids from 9 to 10:30 a.m. for art activities and dramatic readings of children's literature by the organization Drake Theatre People.

Jackie Norris has followed an astonishing career path and reflects on her journey in this article from dsm magazine.


Jackie Norris returned to Des Moines last year to become president and CEO of Goodwill of Central Iowa. Earlier, she had served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, President Barack Obama’s Iowa campaign manager, a teacher here and in Rome, and executive director of the Points of Light Corporate Institute. She also had worked for Al Gore, Tom Vilsack and Andrew Cuomo. Along the way, she learned some things. She shares them in the current issue of dsm magazine. To read her amazing story, click here.

Des Moines is growing through international commerce and a warm welcome to immigrants, celebrated in a festival this weekend.


From the islands of the Caribbean to the vineyards of Argentina, the World Food & Music Festival this weekend offers a world’s worth of exotic cuisine, beverages and 18 musical acts—plus cooking demonstrations. More than 25 countries are represented Friday through Sunday, Sept. 15-17, at Western Gateway Park downtown. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, including a list of participants and a detailed schedule, click here.

Learn about the history and revival of the Historic Sherman Hill Neighborhood in this video from the neighborhood association.


The doors on Sherman Hill are opening to the public once again this month for the 40th anniversary of “Doors to the Past: A Walking Tour of Homes” Sept. 16, 17, 23, and 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The walking tour takes you at a leisurely pace, guided through the history and architecture of homes, gardens and buildings. This year’s tour includes about 15 historic homes, either under rehabilitation or completed, plus other points of interest.

Discounted tickets are available online here through noon Thursday, Sept. 14. Day-of-tour tickets, available at the Hoyt Sherman Place box office, will be $15 per weekend or $20 for both weekends.

Author, entertainer and raconteur Garrison Keillor is a treasured storyteller with amazing recall of people and events known only to him.


Garrison Keillor, David Crosby, Beth Hart, the hilarity of Broadway's "Something Rotten!" ... Good things are coming fast to Des Moines stages. Don't miss out. Peek into the future of Greater Des Moines' arts and cultural events with these calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. Looking for even more categories? Check Catch Des Moines.

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