Peace Tree — one of Iowa’s oldest breweries, with two locations — is up for sale

Peace Tree Brewing Co.’s Des Moines taproom, 317 E Court Ave. — Britt Fowler/Little Village

Peace Tree Brewing Co., one of the pillars of the Iowa craft beer scene, is up for sale.

“Peace Tree is not closing its doors,” owner Megan McKay said in a news release on Thursday. “Normal operations will continue uninterrupted, and plans for 2024 are already in motion with some exciting new beers we think customers will love.”

But while Peace Tree is staying open and continuing to pursue current plans, McKay said she feels “it’s time for fresh ownership.”

McKay founded the brewery in her hometown of Knoxville in 2009. Peace Tree is one of the oldest craft breweries in Iowa, and in 2017 it expanded beyond its original taproom in Knoxville to open a second location in Des Moines’ East Village.

“The brewery has won gold medals at some of the world’s largest and most prestigious beer competitions,” Megan Bannister noted in Little Village last year. “Its fan-favorite Blonde Fatale earned gold at the World Beer Cup in 2014. Then, in 2021, Peace Tree’s Get a Little Hazy IPA took home the gold at the Great American Beer Festival.”

There were few craft breweries in Iowa when Peace Tree opened 14 years ago, and Peace Tree immediately made history as the first 100-percent woman-owned brewery in the state’s history. Last year, McKay made Ashley Hynick one of the company’s brewers. Hynick, who started working part-time as a bartender at Peace Tree’s Knoxville taproom in 2020, was the first Black woman to become a brewer in Iowa.

In the news release on Thursday, McKay explained she’d founded Peace Tree out of a desire “to create a place for community, connections, and conversations.”

“We’ve created an economic spark in Knoxville, driven tourism, generated employment opportunities, enhanced community bonds, crafted exceptional beverages, and had a blast doing it all,” she said.

According to the news release, anyone interested in buying Peace Tree should contact Kevin Lease or Rey Gonzales at Murphy Business Sales.

“I’m looking for someone who can carry on the legacy and take the company to new heights,” McKay said. “Different skill sets and energies are required for the startup phase compared to running a mature business. Peace Tree is strong, and I’m excited to see where the next owner will lead the company.”

Peace Tree Brewing’s bartender Hans Decker draws a pint in Des Moines. — Courtney Guein/Little Village

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