Piney River Brewing Company

Going to Kansas City, Kansas City Here Piney River Comes

In The Beer on October 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Amazing things can happen in Kansas City.

On May 17, 1997 Brian and I traveled to KC for our first Kansas City Royals baseball game.  We were celebrating our first anniversary with a few days in KC.

The Royals were playing the Tigers.  The Royals weren’t as well regarded in baseball at the time.  Since we avidly followed the St. Louis Cardinals and the National League, we really didn’t know much about the Royals or the Tigers, but we were at a baseball game together. And we loved baseball.  Kaufman Stadium was really beautiful, too, with the fountains in the outfield.

We had excellent seats…a few rows up, behind home plate.  I don’t remember if the seats were really easily available, or if we just got them off a scalper.  Either way, the seats were great, and we could hear the thwack of the bat connecting with the ball and the thud of the ball into the glove way better than on TV.

At some point in the game a foul ball was hit back, up and over the net, behind home plate, and it came spinning down toward us.  The guy next to me stuck his hand out.  Smack!  A quick deflection into Brian’s outstretched hands also next to me.

Just like that, Brian had a foul ball!

He raised it up…you know, like guys do when they get the ball, and then he gave it me.  Congratulations rang out around us.  An usher ran down to make sure we were okay.  The guy next to me massaged his baseball stung but empty hand.

You have to understand that 20-something Brian Durham was completely stoked about this foul ball.  He grew up on baseball, playing baseball, rooting on the Philadelphia Phillies and going to Phillies games as a child with his glove in tow.  Never did he get a foul ball. He came close one time, but an adult man got the ball.  (And Brian still remembers that.) This was before the days of smart phones and social media, so we weren’t able to tell our friends in real time, but as soon as we could, we told the story of Brian’s amazing foul ball catch in Kansas City.

Brian went on to get lots more foul balls–one at Dodger Stadium, one off Albert Bell’s bat at Tiger Stadium (before they tore it down), and a couple of home runs balls, too.  Turns out, the closer you sit to the field, it’s easier to get baseballs at a game….  But we have never forgotten that night in KC when we went home with a real, live foul ball.

We’ve spent lots of fun times in KC since that game.  Most recently, we’ve been the guests of our friends at Boulevard Brewing at Boulevardia.  Definitely the most fun you can have sweating and pouring beer at the same time!


Boulevardia 2016! Brian and Joleen (right couple) and Amber Powell, our brewer, and Peter Jankowski, (Amber’s domestic partner).

Since 2011 we’ve been asked about getting Piney River beer to KC on a regular basis.  Since we grew the brewery here on the Farm last year, Kansas City has been in our sights.  We wanted to be able to provide lots of high quality, award winning beer when we knew we wouldn’t run out.  The time is finally right.  We’re very pleased to announce that next week we are shipping beer to our new distribution partner, North Kansas City Beverage.north-kc-beverage-logo

We started talking with NKC Beverage in the spring.  Again, NKC Beverage is a smaller, family-owned distribution company.  It’s the type of distributor with whom Piney River seems to find a good groove.  Brian Duff and Chad Borland visited the BARn in June, and we showed them around and hashed out what a partnership with Piney River would look like.

This summer Brian and I were figuring out the whole 16-ounce/12-ounce can thing, and we determined the best way to send out beer to KC would be launch in the new 12-ounce cans.  Not that KC folks aren’t as thirsty as the rest of the state, it just made sense for NKC Bev to start off with our new package rather than transition into it shortly after launching our brand. img_1532

These will begin appearing at your favorite liquor stores and retail locations next week.  If you like Piney River, tell your local retailer to order some in for your drinking enjoyment.  Draft beer is also being sent and will pop up in select locations, too.  Stay tuned…we will also have some Piney River event dates to announce for you very soon.

We’re really pleased to be part of the NKC Beverage family, and we thank Chad and his crew for their interest in growing local craft beer in KC and in taking on the Piney River brand.  Thanks for your patience in waiting for our brand, Kansas City!  Let’s get together for a beer real soon!  We’re looking forward to more amazing memories made in KC.joleen-and-brian-barn-1

Honey, I Shrunk the Piney River Cans

In The Beer on October 12, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Today was a cloudy, rainy day on the Piney River Farm; not too different from the cloudy, rainy night in 2011 when Piney River first canned craft beer in the Ozarks. Today’s first–12 ounce Piney River cans.

Those of us that have been canning beer on the Farm are still trying to adjust to these smaller cans in our hands, but we’re doing what many of our consumers and our distributors have asked us to do by putting our beer in a smaller can.

Waaay back in 2011 when Piney River was the first microbrewery in the state to can beer at their brewery, we were following suit with the 16-ounce pint can like our craft beer brothers and sisters in the Midwest—Tallgrass, Surly, Sun King. We’re in the Show Me state, why not show our customer a true pint? Plus, it was perfect—the Piney Pint.

Back then, there wasn’t much canned craft beer on the shelves in 2011 and 2012 or even 2013, but now canned beer is growing by leaps and bounds, and breweries that were once only bottling their beer are now canning it, too. Twelve-ounce cans are easier to source, plus, if you were a brewery already packing 12-ounce beers, it only makes sense to continue that in a can form. And now, it’s easier to find 12-ounce cans on the shelf here in the Ozarks than it is possible to find 16-ounce cans on the shelf.

I even had a conversation with a fellow brewer that packaged beer in 16-ounce cans and started packaging certain beers in 12-ounce cans for grocery stores. He thinks that it will ultimately lead to the demise of his 16-ounce canned beers.

Our distributors were also asking for 12-ounce cans from Piney River. For those distributors that sold 12-ounce/6-packs and 16-ounce/4-packs, they felt like they could sell more cases of 6-packs than 4-packs. Truly, a case of 6-packs equals four purchases to be empty the case, and a case of 4-packs require six purchases to empty the case. Plus, we’re hearing about this issue that the consumer can’t generally do the math that even though a 4-pack usually costs less than a 6-pack, all the consumer sees is 6 beers versus 4 beers.

And while we love floating down the Big Piney with pint of Piney in our koozie, we have heard from some of you that your 16-ounce beer gets warm before you finish it. Can we suggest here that you drink just a wee bit faster, perhaps? Just an idea….But never fear, your warm beer concerns have also been heard!

So, raise those Piney pints high in the air (or save them for your beer collection); either way, they are going away.

Today, we canned Piney River’s Black Walnut Wheat in 12-ounce cans, and that will be followed up by 12-ounce versions of all of our core beers in the coming weeks. Depending upon your distribution market and the stock of 16-ounce beers your distributor has in place, you will see 12-ounce 6-packs of Piney River beer in your favorite drink-buying place very soon or shortly down the road.

In the upcoming months, you will also see us release “Raise a Ruckus” (an Imperial Stout) and 2017 Mule Team Imperial IPA in 12-ounce 4-packs. We thought 10% ABV might be a little more easy drinking in the smaller sized can, and we can keep it at a good price point, too.

Four brands will remain in 16-ounce cans until we run out of the blank pounders. Masked Bandit IPA and Old Tom Porter are two brands you already know well. Two new Piney River offerings in 16-ounce 4-packs will be River Access Ozarks Lager and Aux Arcs Dry-Hopped Saison.

Same delicious Piney River beer. Same commitment to quality. Same love of what we do…just in a smaller package and lots more of them.



Chchchchanges Coming in 2017

In The BARn, The Beer on September 21, 2016 at 10:59 am

We are so excited to bring you the Piney River Brewing Company 2017 release calendar!

Twelve ounce cans are headed your way! There will be more information about that later, and actual 12 oz cans sooner rather than later, too. Stay tuned for that!

We are releasing–in limited quantities–new canned beers throughout the year. They are Raise a Ruckus Imperial Stout, River Access Ozarks Lager and Aux Arcs Saison. 

And that foeder, those barrels, the original BARn is officially where we’ve got the funk going on.  The first of our Farm Raised Funk was Lizzie Twister, the first funkified beer from the BARn.  We plan to release even more Farm Raised Funk in 2017.

Thank you so much for raising a pint with us in 2016.  None of this would be possible without your incredible support. Let’s raise a few more together in the upcoming year!