Photo Gallery: Iowa’s only spring beer festival, Salvator Fest, celebrates centuries of good suds

The Hall DSM owner Lynn Kuhn and 2023 Salvatorfest on Tyler and Stacey Phelps on April 15, 2023. — Courtney Guein/Little Village

A festival of beer, music, fun and more beer usually pairs with warm weather. But sunshine or not, beer fest season actually starts in spring with the Salvator Festival, honoring the first strong beer brewed by the monks of Neudeck ob der Au Monastery in 1516.

The Paulaner Salvator masterpiece the Salvator Double Bock, the festival’s namesake, propelled the Bavarian brewers to centuries of success, serving brews worldwide in over 70 countries.

Des Moines’ version of the Salvator Festival is Iowa’s only spring beer bash, and is similar to Oktoberfest, another German festival held in late September and early October. This year’s Salvator Festival was put together by the Polka Police at The Hall DSM on Saturday, April 15.

A huge selection of German brews were on tap, as well as German treats, live music, best dressed competitions and Munich-style steins. This year, The Hall DSM gave away 100 free steins to the first 100 guests. Those steins can be brought back at a later date for beer discounts. Along with the free stein, those 100 guests are entered into the Stein Club for discounts on other treasures in the future.

The 18th Oktoberfest is from Sept. 22-23. If you enjoyed Salvator Fest, you’ll enjoy this one. For updates, visit the website.