During an impromptu office happy hour this past year, I became a huge fan of Jackson Street Brewing. I had been there once before, not long after they opened, but I hadn’t been back since. Admittedly, we had become creatures of habit and had our list of bars and restaurants we would frequent for lunch and happy hour. So, when Riley suggested it one afternoon, we were reluctant to change. I was more than impressed by the number of beers on tap, the creativity and diverse styles, and the laid-back atmosphere.
My Favorite Beers
The beer that initially drew us to Jackson Street that afternoon was the Pickle Juice! Pickle Juice! Sour. As a fan of a dill spear in a cold beer on occasion, I was intrigued. I’m not the biggest fan of sours (I think they’re too sweet, and I can never have more than one or two before getting sick of it), so I was also skeptical. I decided to skip the sample and go right for a 16oz. Pint; go big or go home, right? The combination of saltiness and sweetness was delicious, nicely balanced, and kept me wanting another drink. I went home with a 32 ounce growler of it that night, and it’s been one of my all-time favorite beers since! My advice, if you manage to see it somewhere, buy it immediately because it doesn’t last long. It’s very popular around Sioux City and can sometimes be hard to find outside the brewery.
Another of my favorites is the Smoked Red Rooster Lager. It’s their Red Rooster Marzen-Style Lager but, ‘on steroids with an impressive dose of German malt.' I love a malt-forward beer, and this one does the trick. It's perfect for when the leaves start changing and there's a chill in the air.
The Diverse Menu
One of the biggest surprises to me was the diverse and comprehensive menu at Jackson Street Brewing. When you approach the bar, you’re greeted by a self-explanatory menu divided into six categories: Easy Drinking, Malty (my favorite), Hoppy, Sour, Dark & Roasty, and Not Beer.
If you’re new to craft beer or like to be on the safer side of adventuring into flavorful beers, this is the place to start. Beers like the Heidel-Brau, a crisp and refreshing pilsner, are perfect for a hot summer day.
The malty category is my favorite at Jackson Street, with many excellent beers to try! The Smoked Red Rooster, Jasksonator Doppelbock, and Brother Jack’s Bock are all phenomenal brews with heavy German influences and maltiness.
This can be a category that a lot of people shy away from, but I encourage it. The Stone Park IPA is a fantastic West Coast-style India Pale Ale. If you’re a little more adventurous, the Fruity Pebbles IPA is a wild brew with rotating hops and notes of citrus and Fruity Pebbles!
Although not my go-to beer style, this is where Jackson Street's creativity shines. Beers like my favorite Pickle Juice! Pickle Juice!, Marshmallow Melba, Banana Cream Pie, and Jungle Punch are all great examples of what a sour should be: tasty, creative, and a little off-the-wall.
Dark & Roasty
This is my second favorite category because I love a good, creamy stout. But be careful; these brews can pack a punch with ABVs ranging from 6-13%. So, consider yourself warned! I usually try these in a flight to lessen the blow of the high alcohol content or make sure to carb-load beforehand. Be sure to try the Chocolate Lava Stout; it's one of the rotating Hell's Half Acre series. It's a barrel-aged rye stout brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, chiles, and cinnamon.
I will admit I have no experience in this category. If I go to a brewery, I am there for the beer! That said, I’ve heard very good things from friends who love a good hard cider. The Sioux City Cider is a great option made from apples and pears from local orchards and pressed on-site.
Apart from the great beers to taste and enjoy, Jackson Street is an excellent place to hang out and relax. It’s in an old brick building in downtown Sioux City, on the 5th Street block between Nebraska and Jackson Streets. The brick gives the interior tons of character, and a few long, live-edge wood tables provide plenty of seating away from the bar. They even have outdoor seating when the weather is too nice to be trapped inside!Along with the atmosphere, the service has always been outstanding, and the bartenders are very knowledgeable. They’ve helped us pick our next beer or flight many times, so ask for their recommendation if you’re on the fence!
Where to Find Jackson Street Beer
My favorite place to enjoy a beer from Jackson Street is the taproom. Still, if you’re looking to take some home for later or enjoy one while out to eat, you can find them at these fine establishments in Siouxland:
Grocery & Liquor Stores
Fareway (War Eagle Drive, Sergeant Road)
Hy-Vee (Hamilton, Gordon Drive, Sergeant Road)
Bars & Restaurants
You can also order online from Clover and choose from an assortment of 16oz. 4-packs, 2-packs, 25.4oz. single cans, and 750mL bottles.
See You at Jackson Street!
Jackson Street has quickly become my favorite place to grab a beer in Sioux City. They have some amazingly creative beers, like my favorites Pickle Juice! Pickle Juice! and Smoked Red Rooster Lager. Along with a laid-back atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, they have numerous places to purchase, including grocery and liquor stores, bars and restaurants, and online ordering. So, stop by Jackson Street if you’re out after work on a Thursday. You might see the Antidote 71 team enjoying a few adventurous brews!