Piney River Brewing Company

Piney River Brewing Plans $1.2 Million Expansion at Bucyrus Farm

In The Beer on December 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Piney River Brewing will soon be available to more craft beer fans across the Ozarks with a $1.2 million expansion beginning this week at the Bucyrus, MO farm-based brewery.

The expansion includes a 12,000 square foot barn located near the current “BARn” production facility and tap room.

The new building will house a custom built 15-barrel three-vessel brew house from Criveller Company of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; four 60-barrel fermentation vessels and two 60-barrel bright beer tanks from Paul Mueller Company in Springfield, MO and a Series Three eight-head automatic canner from Wild Goose Canning in Boulder, CO.

This expansion is the third expansion since the company opened its doors in March 2011 as a nanobrewery, brewing 10 gallons of beer at a time. The brewery was also the first microbrewery in the state of Missouri to can beer on site in November 2011 with an MC100 two-head Wild Goose canning machine.

Piney River is on track to produce 1,800 barrels of beer in 2014, having produced 1,100 barrels in 2013 and 525 barrels in 2012. The new brew house and cellar will give Piney River the capacity to brew up to 9,000 barrels, with plenty of room for additional growth. The new equipment is slated to come on line by May 2015.

“Currently, the demand for Piney River beer is much greater than what we are able to supply,” Brian Durham, head brewer and owner, said.

Durham explained that retail shelves and distributor warehouses have been low and empty over the last few months because the brewery could not keep up with growing demand.

In October 2013 Piney River won a Great American Beer Festival gold for their Old Tom Porter, followed in April by a World Beer Cup gold for their Float Trip Ale. Both beers were seasonal brands until they claimed top accolades in their style.

“We are in a great situation for a small brewery, and with this expansion we are looking forward to being able to easily supply beer to all of our distributors,” Durham said. “We also hope to begin to distribute some Piney River in the major metropolitan markets in our state.”

Currently the brewery is distributed in all of central and southern Missouri and in Arkansas. Distribution is available in Missouri through Bluff City Beer in Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff and Herculaneum; Grellner Sales in Rolla, West Plains, Camdenton and Sedalia; Heart of America Beverage in Springfield and Joplin, and NH Scheppers in Jefferson City and Columbia. Glidewell Distributing in Fort Smith distributes Piney River beer throughout the state of Arkansas.

Durham noted that it was important to his distributors that the brewery would remain on the Durham family farm.

“We have a great Ozark spring water supply that helps us make excellent English-style ales, and a visit to the BARn tap room is truly an original Ozark experience,” Durham said.

The original brewery and the tap room are located in a 1940’s era restored barn located on the Piney River Farm.

Joleen Senter Durham, brewery co-founder, explained, “It’s an honor to share our little piece of heaven with the world.”

“Our goal has always been to produce high quality craft beer that celebrates the Ozarks,” Joleen Durham said, “We are fortunate to be living the American dream here in the Ozarks, too.”

When the new production facility is running, the Durham’s plan to re-purpose the brewing portion of the current BARn to produce small batch beer, including barrel-aging and sour beer production.

“We are looking forward to having space to tinker with new recipes and to create some special beer blends that will only be available on a very limited basis,” Brian Durham said.

For more information on Piney River Brewing visit their website at

Joleen, Brian, the BARn and award-winning beer.

Joleen, Brian, the BARn and award-winning beer.

Getting Ready for GABF 2014

In Beer Events on August 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Our first Piney River toast with our Gold medal winning Old Tom Porter.

Our first Piney River toast with our Gold medal winning Old Tom Porter.

You may have heard that at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013, Piney River took home a gold medal. Yep, we’re still kind of in shock about that win. But after our Gold Award experience at the World Beer Cup in April, it’s safe to say that we are really excited about entering in the 2014 GABF Competition. The chances are much greater that we will come away empty handed than with any awards, but our level of excitement for the competition is much higher in 2014 than it was when we shipped off a slew of Piney Pints in 2013.

So, if you happen to be in Denver the first week of October, come see us! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent craft beer made in the Ozarks again, and since many people have been asking, here’s the Piney River line up:

float trip aleFloat Trip Ale, 4.5% ABV, 18 IBUs  The 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Award for American-Style Wheat Beer, Float Trip Ale is a wheat-based blonde ale featuring subdued fruitiness a light hop bitterness and a crisp, smooth finish.

black walnut wheat labelBlack Walnut Wheat, 4.5% ABV, 18 IBUs  Black Walnut Wheat is an American style wheat beer with a black walnut aroma and a crisp, black walnut finish.

sweet potato aleSweet Potato Ale, 6% ABV, 24 IBUs  Sweet Potato Ale is our fall seasonal.  It is a malt forward blonde ale featuring the flavors of roasted sweet potatoes, spices and vanilla with a balanced hop profile, a subtle vanilla and spice aroma and a smooth finish.

Last year on Friday night we had to stop serving Sweet Potato Ale because we were into our second keg, and we were asked not to run out.  On Saturday the Sweet Potato Ale ran out in the first session.  We thought we should bring back this crowd pleaser for another go round, since beers made with sweet potatoes aren’t easy to find in the GABF hall.

old tom labelOld Tom Porter, 5% ABV, 25 IBUs  The 2013 GABF Gold Medalist in the Brown Porter Category, Old Tom Porter is full of roasted malts featuring chocolate and coffee flavors with a balanced hop profile for a smooth finish.

masked bandit black rye ipaMasked Bandit India Pale Ale, 7.5% ABV, 70 IBUs  Masked Bandit IPA features full-flavored dark malts and spicy rye combined with citra, centennial and amarillo hops to create a rich, full-bodied and complex India pale ale.

This year we have the awesome opportunity to share our Old Tom Porter at Friday’s GABF Media Lunch.  Old Tom will be paired with one of the courses at the lunch, and we’ll have a chance to share a little bit of our story with those present.  How cool is that?!

Let’s just say, the Piney River crew will work our way through the next few weeks, and we’ll be hopping on a plane bound for Denver.  We’re so excited about yet another trip to Denver.  We’re excited about pouring our beer for over 40,000 craft beer lovers. We’re excited about being with “our people” for four days.  We’re excited about the possibilities at GABF 2014!


A Craft Beer Book Review: The Craft Beer Revolution

In The Beer on June 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

I love to read. But I don’t have much time to read these days.

This past week I had some time alone, away from the brewery to stick my nose in a book. The Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers is Transforming the World’s Favorite Drink by Steve Hindy, a co-founder of The Brooklyn Brewery was so interesting that I had to carve out a little time tonight to tell you about it.

So…I’ve got Full Circle by New Holland Brewing on the patio table, Ani DiFranco and a cacophony of frogs and insects playing in the background as the sun goes down ending the first weekend of summer for 2014. craft beer revolution book

Steve Hindy’s first life was as a Associated Press journalist. He’s traveled the world and written about the news happening there, but in 1984 he returned with his family to live in New York where he took up home brewing, and in 1988 co-founded The Brooklyn Brewery.

Hindy’s new book covers the past 48 years of craft brewing in the US, beginning in 1965 with Fritz Maytag’s purchase of the failing Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco. Maytag’s was the pioneer of American craft beer.

This book is broken up in historical segments that are well-crafted and easy to read. Hindy spends particular time on “the class of 1988″, those brewers that started their breweries almost 20 years after Maytag’s and Anchor. Among that class were Wyncoop, Rogue, Deschutes, Matt, Goose Island and others. And since this is Hindy’s story, The Brooklyn Brewery story is told here, too.

An unusual number of English majors have found themselves involved in the industry (including yours truly), but all of the stories include an entrepreneurial spirit, a belief in their community, a love for great food and drink and the willingness to make sacrifices and work harder than they have ever worked before.

Hindy recounts the stories of the growth of some brands like Boston Beer, Pete’s Wicked Ale and Hart Brewing (which later became Pyramid) through IPOs. He covers the stories of some of the second generation of brewers which included figures that I also see as pioneers, such as Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch of New Belgium Brewing and Sam Caligione of Dogfish Head Brewing. About 1000 breweries sputtered to life in the 1990s, and Hindy tells about the innovation the new generation of craft brewers brought about in the US.

And of course the past decade has brought great change to our nation as American craft beer has become recognized around the world. Hindy discusses some of the political changes that have come about between brewing organizations in the US. He also provides some personal experience and thought about the three-tier distribution system that US Brewer’s operate under.

If you enjoy craft beer and want to learn more about its origins, this book is a must-read. There are parts of the book that will mean more to different folks depending upon if they are home brewers, distributors, retailers, or part of an American craft brewery.

It was in 2008 that I said to Brian, “These are our people,”  about craft brewers after reading a story about the craft brewing industry. Once again, Hindy reminded me that Brian and I follow in the footsteps of great people that have helped pave the way for craft beer in the US.

I’m glad to read their stories of working late into the night, of their belief in making a high quality product, of their budgets and brew houses built with financial creativity. I especially loved reading about Kim Jordan (New Belgium) picking her son up from school and delivering cases of beer to retailers with him in tow, and after putting him to bed at night, working into the night on marketing and other aspects of their fledgling brewery. Perhaps the most exciting take away from this book for me is that there is still a lot of American craft beer history to be written, and our little brewery here in the Ozarks is part of that.

Thank goodness there’s a high percentage of English majors in the craft beer industry because we have the opportunity to read books like this one! I don’t know what’s on your summer reading list, but you should definitely take some time to read this one. Best enjoyed with an American brewed craft beer in hand!


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