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BREWING A PASSION FOR BEER

Confluence is defined by our respect for tradition, a passion for innovation and a relentless commitment to quality.

a man and a little boy that is standing in the kitchen

In 1991, a farm boy from rural Imogene found himself fascinated by the endless combinations and possibilities of Iowa’s bountiful grain crops. That teenaged Iowan was John Martin, and that year he and his high school buddy, Sean McClain, tried to make a drinkable raisin almond beer… and failed. However, that attempt sparked a passion in John that would forever alter the trajectory of his professional life. John’s fascination with beer grew over the years, and he began researching ways to make truly drinkable brews. John wasn’t interested in beer for the stereotypical college experiences; John fell in love with the craftsmanship and creativity involved in brewing.

John’s wife Katie appreciated his passion and quickly became his brewing enabler; the newlywed couple even picked up supplies for home brewing while on their honeymoon in 1995. That equipment helped John produce his first quality home brewed beer, an Oktoberfest Marzen, which continues to hold a special place in his heart to this day. That Oktoberfest in turn led to many years of hobby brewing and a growing interest in the professional side of the craft. John would eventually meet home brewer and co-founder Ken Broadhead, whose persistent encouragement helped to convince John to take the big leap from amateur to professional. In 2012, John left his career in construction management behind, and with the assistance of investor Greg Schultz and many hours of hard labor, turned Suite A at 1235 Thomas Beck Road into a full time production brewery.

In those days, the craft beer movement was still a relatively new phenomenon in Iowa, and word spread pretty quickly about the quality beer being produced by the new kid. As it’s done for the entirety of its existence, Confluence started to attract some great people, and those people helped in expanding output and reach. Pretty soon the demand outpaced John’s ability to sell and deliver beer out of the back of the family Suburban, and the addition of a delivery driver morphed into our sales and distribution department for a full self-distribution model–an integral part of what Confluence Brewing is all about. Our sales and distro team deliver the beer, interact with our customers, troubleshoot issues, face and restock shelves, clean draft lines, and share an integral role with the rest of the Confluence team to ensure the highest quality beer gets from our kettles to your glass. We take pride in the amazing reality that other craft breweries across Iowa have entrusted us with distributing their beer as well. Like our founder, we’re all craft beer people here at Confluence, and getting to help bring the greatness of Iowa Craft Beer to Iowans all over the state–well… that makes us pretty darn happy.

From its humble beginnings in Imogene to our current spot on Thomas Beck Rd, Confluence has always been about bringing good things together. The bounty of the land, the hard work and innovation of our team, the love of craft, and the camaraderie of community are integral to who we are as a company. What began as a single vision has grown into a collaborative effort from the entire team, and we invite you to come down to our taproom or pick up a 4-pack, and join in our story. Cheers!

Diverse talents make for a strong team