Craft Breweries on the Rise in Columbia

6 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, September 12 2013 Sep 12, 2013 Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:18:00 PM CDT September 12, 2013 in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - More and more craft breweries are opening across the country. According to the Brewers Association, there were 409 brewery openings in 2012 and the industry grew 15 percent by volume. A craft brewery is one that produces a limited amount of beer.

You'll find a similar trend in Columbia. During the next couple of years you can expect to see three breweries on the rise. This does not include Broadway Brewery or Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, which are considered "brewpubs" because they also have a restaurant.

One of the new brewers in town is Rock Bridge Brewing Co. Like a kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, this local brewery is constantly in motion.

"Owning your own business is very much more unpredictable, little more chaotic. Sometimes we work 12 hour days," said Dave Brouder, one of the co-owners of Rock Bridge Brewing Co.

Brouder said the long days are worth it.

"I think the best part is just seeing other people enjoy it, being able to go to a bar or a restaurant and see a product that we worked on is actually being sold there and people are actually buying it," Brouder said. "It's really satisfying to see kind of the end result."

This brewery is inside a hot storage unit off of Big Bear Boulevard, reaching temperatures in the 90s.

"We are two dudes in a storage unit sweating most of the days," Stu Burkemper said, the other co-owner of Rock Bridge Brewing Co.

The steamy unit is the birthplace of this brewery.

"We've always wanted Columbia to be a beer destination anyway. So we're trying to help with that trying to get the craft brew scene more focused on Columbia," Brouder said.

Brouder began brewing beer as a hobby at home.

"(It) turned into a passion that turned into an obsession and then started doing it commercially," he said.

He abandoned a 13-year insurance career to jump into the brewing industry.

"I would never go back to a corporate job, not after doing something like this."

Brouder needed help to bring his dream to life, so that's where Burkemper comes in.

"My wife came home and I told her I said, ‘Hey, there's a new brewery opening in Columbia, what do you think?' She said,'Oh, that sounds good, did you apply.' ‘About six hours ago,'" Burkemper said.

He went to brewing school in Chicago, trained in Germany and worked for O'Fallon Brewery in St. Louis before he also tried out a corporate career.

"Then I was in corporate world for a couple of months and then I just two weeks into it, I realized I couldn't do it," Burkemper said.

Pursuing their brewing passion is no easy task.

"It's really stressful. Had to do without a lot of things, ever since we've started I haven't really taken a vacation," Brouder said.

"It's been exciting, stressful. Beer helps at the end of the day," Burkemper said with a laugh.

Right now, their beer is on tap at some local restaurants and you can come by and fill up a growler, but this pair couldn't help but want something more.

"Craft only is limiting," Burkemper said. "Once we have cans, we can distribute to a wider area and hopefully nationwide eventually."

With these dreams, their storage unit quickly became too small and a new nearly 18,000 square foot building became just right.

"It's real exciting. We're just really ready for the equipment to be here," Brouder said.

This fall the duo's brewery will move into an old steel factory. They'll brew 15 times more beer, and start canning it. They hope to distribute their dream nation wide, a dream nurtured here in Columbia.

"Columbia supports the locals, local guys. We've gotten a lot of support from them," Burkemper said.

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to control your own time and your own business," Brouder said.

A business built on the guts to dream big and a shared love for a good drink.

"Just to continue to make good quality beer, to be around in 20 years," Brouder said.

Two other breweries are coming soon to Columbia. Logboat Brewing Company and Bur Oak Brewing Company. Logboat is set to open at 504 Fay Street, the former Dale Diggs Meatpacking Plant near Walt's Bicycle Shop. The building is currently undergoing major renovations after being vacant for more than a decade.

Owners expect the building to be ready to start brewing beer before the end of this year. They plan to allow customers to purchase the beer from the brewery tasting room and from other places in Boone County. The founders of this brewery include Tyson Hunt, Judson Ball and Andrew Sharp, all from Missouri.

"We will have a garden and eventual greenhouse, picnic area with room for yard games including croquet, bags and polish horse shoes," Sharp said.

Josh Rein will serve as the brewer. He used to work as the brewer for Broadway Brewer and was the assistant brewer at Flat Branch.

Bur Oak Brewing Company will open later this year around December. The brewery will be located in the Tradewinds Industrial Park area, east of Columbia. The facility is 15,000 square feet, which will give the business space to expand. Craig Stichter, president of the brewery, said the company plans to start out brewing three different beers including a wheat, IPA and brown ale.

Stichter previously worked at the University of Missouri-Columbia in campus facilities as a project manager. He said he's always had an interest in craft beers and did some home brewing of his own in the 90s.

"I knew that someday I would probably leave the university looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity," Stichter said. "When I decided I wanted to open my own business, I decided obviously that would be craft beer."

Bur Oak will have two brewers. The head brewer comes to Columbia from Lost Coast Brewing out of California.

Bur Oak will first only be available on tap at bars and restaurants in Columbia and Jefferson City. Stichter said the company should start bottling its beer by the end of 2014. He said the growth of craft breweries in Columbia only makes the city more attractive.

"I think it's great. Columbia's going to be instantaneously well served," Stichter said. "I think it's going to draw a lot of attention to Columbia as a destination, beyond what we already have. I think this is yet another complementary type of business to our area."

For more information on craft breweries, click here

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY- As classes are preparing to begin, the conversation around in-person or online classes intensifies for some. Tuesday ,... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 8:29:00 PM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 5:20:00 PM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services issued new guidelines for the rest of the month that begin... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 4:10:00 PM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – A Korean War veteran won his latest battle on Thursday. Harold Clark, formerly with the U.S. Army,... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 3:32:00 PM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Businesses are seeing an influx of customer traffic because college students and their families are back in town. ... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 2:36:00 PM CDT August 09, 2020 in Continuous News
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The opening game of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals has... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 12:02:53 PM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deaths of two men found with gunshot wounds in a backyard... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 11:15:17 AM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating shots fired in downtown Columbia early Sunday morning. According to a news release from... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 9:40:44 AM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - A Gravois Mills man is dead after being ejected from his vehicle Saturday night. According to... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 9:18:00 AM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The call to improve community policing is on the rise, especially in the wake of nationwide protests after... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 8:47:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 4:41:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
PIKE COUNTY - A woman who the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported missing and "possibly in danger" Thursday was found... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 3:08:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
WARRENSBURG, Mo (AP) — Two Warrensburg man have been charged in a shooting at a large birthday party that left... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in Continuous News
OSAGE COUNTY - One 15-year-old died and another was airlifted to University Hospital after they hit a truck head-on while... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 12:32:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
(AP) - The Mid-American Conference has become the first league competing at college football's highest level to cancel its fall... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 10:48:00 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The tax holiday weekend is here and shoppers are bumping up computer sales. From Aug. 7-10 shoppers can... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 10:45:00 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A 24-year-old Carthage man is charged with first-degree murder in a December 2019 shooting death of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 10:17:44 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- A salmonella outbreak caused by onions is expanding and has infected 640 people from 43 states.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 9:18:00 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
8am 78°
9am 82°
10am 85°
11am 88°