Anna de Oliveira– Staff Writer
Editor’s Note: In the Dec. 12, 2021 version of this article, the author incorrectly quoted a patron of Late Harvest Brewery, saying they “ordered a mixed cocktail.” Late Harvest Brewery does not serve cocktails, but does offer a Mocktail Ginger Mimosa. The article’s error has been removed.
In mid-October, Late Harvest Brewery added to Sioux Center’s small, but growing nightlife. The brewery opened in the town’s 815 complex, the former Bomgaars building next to Jimmy Johns on North Main Avenue. Its co-owners, Ben Kurtzleben and Dan Hibma, held a soft opening for the brewery on Oct. 2 and hosted their grand opening on Oct. 15.
The agriculturally themed brewery has seen a steady flow of customers ever since, with several out-of-town patrons frequenting it. Late Harvest Brewing’s brewing tanks are visible from the building’s entrance. Once inside, customers can enjoy their freshly poured drinks and also see the tanks where their beer is made. The brewery’s interior design is mixture of the rural and industrial, and its brick oven, used for making pizzas, provides warmth from Sioux Center’s cold winter nights. For the summer months, though, Late Harvest boasts a rentable outdoor dining area. Occasionally, food trucks park in this area, allowing Late Harvest Brewery to host events.
Kurtzleben and Hibma currently offer multiple, home-brewed beers on tap, as well as some unique flavors of apple cider, such as pineapple and guava.
In addition to offering a new option to Sioux Center’s restaurant goers, Late Harvest has provided 30 new jobs for the area, including some for Dordt University students.
“I was not expecting [Late Harvest] to have such a variety in the menu,” Johannes Dijkstra, a senior at Dordt University, said, “Especially since this is a small town and oftentimes breweries like to stick to just a beer. I’m not a beer person, but I do enjoy a good cider. I came here and I ordered their pineapple cider and am truly enjoying it.’
Though Late Harvest initially had 50 seats, they have expanded to over 150. Their main clientele are not college students either, despite Sioux Center’s status as a university town. Instead, their main clientele comprises of families and young people who need a place to gather and rest at the end of a long week.
Even though there is already a bar in town, Late Harvest Brewery does not play second fiddle. They are a new space, and they have a very specific audience to which they provide a homey feel. Also, its interior design, being a mix between rural and industrial, provides a West Coast aesthetic to rural Iowa’s Iowa-ness. The aesthetic and mood of the brewery has attracted many customers and will continue to attract people as its menu grows.