The Busch family has always been legendary in St. Louis for their market-dominating beers, but with the recent growth of the craft beer movement, Missouri has reclaimed its rightful place at the forefront of American brewing. From St. Louis, to Kansas City, to Springfield, and several points in between, here are the 10 best breweries in the Show-Me State.
Boulevard Brewing Company started in 1989 and has grown to become one of the largest specialty brewers in the Midwest. Known as “Kansas City’s Beer,” Boulevard offers a fine selection of ales and lagers, including the famous Boulevard Wheat, the seasonal Nutcracker Ale, and the Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. The 60-minute walking tour is free and open to the public.
More popularly known as Schlafly, St. Louis Brewing Company is Missouri’s largest locally-owned brewery. With over 50 different beers (many of which are sold exclusively at the Schlafly Tap Room in downtown St. Louis), the Hefeweizen, pale ale, and oatmeal stout are among the favorites. Free tours are given every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. Not to be missed!
Missouri’s most widely-distributed brewery, Anheuser-Busch brews more than 100 brands, with Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob being the most popular. In fact, Anheuser-Busch holds a 45 percent share in the American beer market, making it the most recognizable of Missouri’s beers, as well. Tours of the historic brewery are a highlight of any trip to St. Louis.
Springfield BrewCo, as it’s known locally, has been a staple of downtown Springfield since 1997. The historic location, paired with the brewpub, brings in people from all over the Ozarks. Walnut street wheat, Paul’s pale ale, and hop lobster are among the tasters’ favorites. Occasional tours are given.
Named for the log boats which gave Missouri its name (the word “missouria” referred to “the people in the wooden canoes), Logboat Brewing Company is fast becoming a Missouri original. Favorites include Shiphead, a ginger wheat, Mamoot, a “mild beer,” and Snapper, an India pale ale. The one-of-a-kind taproom is filled with recovered and restored Missouri Heart Pine.
Rolla’s first brewery, the Public House Brewing Company opened its doors in December 2010, and people have crowded in ever since. With two taprooms (one in Rolla, the other in St. James), people from all over the region come to sample the lagers and ales. Most popular with the public are Rod’s Cream Ale, Hide-and-Seek Hefeweizen, and Frisco 1501 Historic Lager. Don’t miss the live music each weekend.
Piney River prides itself on celebrating the culture and the beauty of Missouri’s Ozarks. With beers like Float Trip Ale, Missouri Mule IPA, and black walnut wheat, Piney River has made a name for itself serving up tasty brews. The taproom is family friendly (homemade root beer for the kids), and the atmosphere is like a big Missouri family celebrating the Fourth of July. Tours can be arranged on Saturdays and Sundays...just speak to whoever is tending bar!
Located in the tiny little community of Martin City, part of the greater Kansas City area, Martin City Brewing has grown into a rather large operation. With a pizza and taproom next door, people come from around the region to sample Belgian Style Abbey Ale, City Saison, and gluten-free Yoga Hotpants. Tours can be arranged through the brewery’s website.
Part of Springfield’s burgeoning craft beer movement, Mother’s Brewing Company is housed in an old bread factory in historic downtown. Best known for Towhead, an American Blonde, Lil’ Helper, a Midwest Coast IPA, and Three Blind Mice, a brown ale, the brewers say they are out to “make beers people love.” Judging by the response of Springfield residents, they’ve hit their goal. Frequent tours and tastings are offered.
Most American beers are English-style or Belgian-style. The owners of Kansas City Bier Company believe that Americans need to be reintroduced, not simply to good German bier, but Bavarian bier-drinking culture. Toward that end, they serve up some delicious drinks in their taproom and biergarten, including a Helles, a Dunkel, and some great Hefeweizen. Live German music on the weekends rounds out the experience.