I’d been looking for an excuse to check this place out for some time now. But with there not being any film releases the past few months to get excited about, my first Flix experience was not until earlier this week. The movie that was able to draw me in was Mad Max: Fury Road. A visually stunning and exciting movie that held my attention for the entire feature.
This is not a movie blog, however, it is a beer blog. So that will be the extent of my comments on the film. It’s worth mentioning that they brewed a beer for this movie: fury road IPA. Was not able to secure any more info on this brew but the gentleman in our party who tried it out described it as “okay”.
Beer: Overall, it’s a great experience for the craft beer lover. They have 40+ taps and several of them are high quality brews that are not offered at most establishments. Some examples would include Surly Todd the Axeman & Abrasive, Boulevard Saison Brett, and North Coast Old Rasputin. Shortly after they opened they briefly had Bourbon County Coffee on tap and Founders KBS was listed on the screen when I was there but it has since run out, sadly. There’s also a focus on using proper glassware. It seemed as if each style had it’s own unique glass.
Tried a couple of the Flix brews, thought they were also okay. First was the 10 day Scottish ale, which is like a sessionable scotch ale. It’s a dark amber/brown pour that comes in at only 5.4% ABV%. It was lacking in flavor which is not uncommon for scotch ales but with this having a lower ABV, there was little discernible flavor other than a slight caramel note. I then moved onto the MacLead’s 140 Schilling Ale. Liked the homage to Highlander, and the beer was a step up from the 10-day. More complex and malty, this beer is versatile and can pair with many different entrées.
I would say the main reason I didn’t get too excited over the house brews is that most of them are a pre-made recipe passed down from the chain headquarters. The head brewmaster has been given freedom to make a few of his own beers and I’m sure they’ll improve with more trials.
Food: Flix offers a simple and straightforward menu that still has a diverse selection of sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, salads, and other entrées. Went with the Fajita Street Tacos; wasn’t that impressed. Part of that was because it had probably been sitting out for too long, which is more a knock against the service than the food quality. I’ll get into that later in the review. The steak and other ingredients were fresh but the tortilla fell apart very easily so it was more like eating a salad. Everybody else in out party enjoyed their food, though, so I’d probably give the pizza or burgers a try next time.
Atmosphere: This is where Flix shines the most. It creates a cool backdrop as you ascend the escalator upon entering. The restaurant/bar area is wide open and uses digital screens to rotate through the various taps they have on hand. It is a full bar but the focus is clearly on beer which is refreshing and in my eyes, it makes up for their shortcomings in a few other areas.
The theaters themselves have been put together very well. You have a comfy, leather chair and a moveable table that pulls all the way back to you so you don’t have to lean over while eating. Still, it is somewhat unpleasant to be looking and up and down while eating during the film so I recommend avoiding the first few rows close to the screen.
Service: Simply put, it is slow. But the staff will advise you of this and as long as you’re proactive on your ordering, it doesn’t take away from the experience too bad. Do not go into expecting to get the same speed of service that you would at most restaurants. Due to the staff trying to be as unnoticeable as possible during the film as well as a few other factors, it takes longer for them to get your food/drinks out to you. It’s not something that would keep me from going back but it’s definitely something to be mindful of for future visits.
Overall Rating: 3.75/5. They’re off to a good start. This is a unique and new theater that Des Moines has embraced. It’s centrally located in the metro area and isn’t overpriced. There’s a few areas that they can improve in (house brews/service) but I’m confident that they will over time. It could serve as an activity for a variety of occasions and I would even go there just to enjoy a few brews due to the high amount of good brews available. Find a movie that you’re interested in seeing and get out to Flix for a satisfactory night of craft beers/dining/movies.