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Merge Urban announces Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. as primary tennant in new development


Merge Urban Development Group announced Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. as the primary tenant for their multipurpose development project in the Drake neighborhood. According to a press release from BusinessRecord, the space will include a restaurant and brewery and occupy 15,000 square feet of street-level space. 

The first location of Toppling Goliath was founded in Decorah, Iowa in 2009. The award-winning brewery is nationally recognized and distributes in 30 states, according to their website. Known for their IPAs and barrel-aged stouts, the Des Moines location, which is set to open in 2025, will be Toppling Goliath’s second. 

Located on Carpenter Avenue between 24th and 25th streets, this multipurpose development will also include affordable housing, among other resources. 

“Drake University sold these properties to Merge in May 2022,” Director of Community Engagement Ryan Arnold told the Times-Delphic via email.  “We worked with neighbors to help Merge identify key desired outcomes for the real estate development, and we are proud of the agreements Merge reached with the City of Des Moines, which includes provisions for environmental sustainability and affordable housing.” 

This development is a community partnership intended to benefit both Drake and the surrounding neighborhood. Having an Iowa-based business in the space will allow larger-scale development, Arnold said. 

“Generating density will aid the vitality of the local entertainment and business district, which is primarily populated by locally owned and operated small businesses.” Arnold said. “Certainly, the University has a long history of welcoming restaurants to the near campus area, and we appreciate responsible alcohol service from neighborhood businesses.” 

Junior Carissa Johnson was surprised but excited to hear that the Drake neighborhood was selected for Toppling Goliath’s second location. 

“From a company perspective, it makes sense that they would want to be near a university where there are people who are 21 and over who give them business,” Johnson said. “But I’m a little surprised that they would go there as opposed to downtown [Des Moines] or something like that.”

As a student, Johnson said new restaurants are a priority in neighborhood developments. Especially given the recent closures of neighborhood restaurants, Johnson appreciates new additions. However, she believes it is important that restaurants in the neighborhood stay affordable and accessible for students. 

“I always [like] new restaurants,” Johnson said. “When I was a [first-year] here, there was a Fong’s Pizza location, and it was so upsetting when it ceased to exist. I get it though. I think [restaurants] have to play their cards right when it comes to not being super expensive, so students will actually go.” 

Ultimately, Arnold looks forward to the addition to the Drake neighborhood as a part of Merge’s development project. 

“We look forward to welcoming Toppling Goliath into the Dogtown area of the Drake neighborhood,” Arnold said. “Upon learning of Toppling Goliath’s agreement with Merge, we shared their sentiment with their ownership.”


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