Piney River Brewing Company

Posts Tagged ‘Aviary on the Fly’

4th Aleiversary—The Best One Yet

In Beer Events on March 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Yes, we had some anxiety about the 4th Aleiversary.

Just like the 3rd Aleiversary, we planned to be overwhelmed.



Two food trucks?




Beer trailer with six taps outside?


ID bracelets and beer tickets?

Had those to.

We even had a brand spanking new deck addition–built just in time.

Everyone knows that the sun always shines on the Aleiversary, so even though we began watching the weather religiously a month in advance, sunshine seemed pretty likely (insert fingers and toes crossed).

On February 13th the construction on our building ground to a halt with snow, cold, snow that melted into ice to be topped by more snow that melted into ice to be topped by more snow that melted into ice. Finally, the weather warmed up on March 7th and the great melt and dry-out began. Only six days to the 4th Aleiversary (insert nervous mud discussions here).

Due to construction, our parking lot was cut down (to a mud pit) the week before the Aleiversary. The week of the Aleiversary, the rebuild of the parking lot began. A couple dozen loads of chat later, hours upon hours of work by Holland Excavating, some additional gravel laid on Walnut Grove Drive by our township, and with some gravel spreading help from Brian in the skid steer, we were ready for the for the 4th Aleiversary.

Of course, it rained up until the morning before the Aleiversary. The yard around the brewery was muddy, but the field (aka additional parking) drained well. A little well-placed gravel, some caution tape and we were ready to go.



Smokey Folk from Springfield and Joshin the Giants from Joplin provided handcrafted tunes that were enjoyed by all ages all day long.

Smokey Folk

Smokey Folk

Joshin the Giants

Joshin the Giants

Emma, Lucas and Ian served in the taproom. Pete and Amber served at the beer tent. Tessa and Jonathan sold beer tickets outside. Jamie and Brian handled parking.

Pete and Amber at the beer trailer with the head root beer maker.

Pete and Amber at the beer trailer with the head root beer maker.

Ian and Emma behind the bar in the tap room.

Ian and Emma behind the bar in the tap room.

Ian and Lucas behind the bar in the tap room.

Ian and Lucas behind the bar in the tap room.

Jonathan and Tessa took care of beer tickets for almost every customer that came through the Aleiversary.

Jonathan and Tessa took care of beer tickets for almost every customer that came through the Aleiversary.

I tried to do everything else as needed (no photos of that).

I cannot say enough about our staff and the work they do to help put the Aleiversary on. In addition to helping get everything ready for the day, they arrive early the day of the event and work their butts off until every customer goes home. There is no time for breaks, eating the great food served or even sipping a beer. They put their heads down and poured beer and tried to keep customers happy for seven hours straight. And they did a fabulous job with helping make another wonderful Piney River experience at the 4th Aleiversary.

Asking 21-year olds to wear a wristband and to purchase beer tickets made for a very smooth day for patrons and for our staff. Nobody had to wait very long for a pint at all.

The 2015 Mule Team IPA was delicious and smooth. Several people were proud to take home a four-pack or more.

Both decks and the tap room were filled.



Even the muddy yard became a place to sit and enjoy a beer with family and friends.


Both food trucks had a steady line of customers all day long, but the waits were very reasonable.  Mike and Julie’s Smoked Meats and Aviary on the Fly both received rave reviews and even sold out of some food items. We appreciate everyone supporting our local food vendors, too.


At some point about mid-day a customer said to me, “The parking lot is full.”

I thought, “The parking lot????”

“You mean the field?” I asked.


cars at aleiversary

Indeed the field was nearly full of cars, and all day long only one truck needed some assistance in getting out.

One of our neighbors noted to his wife that at about 12 p.m. when cars were pouring down ZZ Highway, it “was like we live in the city”.

And we appreciate our neighbors sharing this little piece of heaven with the hordes of folks that want to celebrate Piney River in the Ozarks. Thank you!

We believe 850 or so people came out and participated in this particular Piney River experience.

As the official “field attendant” for every car that came down the drive last Saturday, Brian had the opportunity to personally greet most folks that joined us. As I wound my way up and down and in and out of the brewery and the grounds, I kept running into friends, family and fans. We were honored to host staff members from three of our distributors, too. I hope we had a chance to say hello, shake a hand, share a smile or laugh with you.

The Aleiversary is not about selling a bunch of beer a the BARn one day a year. The Aleiversary is about celebrating craft beer in the Ozarks with you. Two people that some thought were a little (or a lot!) crazy had a dream about making beer in a barn on farm just up the hill from the Piney River.

We dreamed of making beer that celebrated our home, a great place in the US—the Ozarks. We dreamed of making beer that could be canned for consumption in the beautiful and secluded places of the Ozarks. Four years later, all those dreams and much more have come true.

From Brian and I and our whole Piney River Crew, THANK YOU for four phenomenal, unforgettable, mind-blowing years!

Cheers to you!  From All of Us--Jamie, Emma, Brian, Joleen, Pete, Amber, Tessa, Jonathan & Ian (Lucas, not shown)

Cheers to you! From All of Us–Jamie, Emma, Brian, Joleen, Pete, Amber, Tessa, Jonathan & Ian (Lucas, not shown)


Brewery Celebrates Four Years of Business with Aleiversary Event

In Beer Events on March 1, 2015 at 8:30 pm

aleiversary 15 larger

Piney River Brewing Company is celebrating their fourth anniversary on Sat., Mar. 14th at the brewery in Bucyrus.

The “4th Aleiversary” party will be held at the BARn—the brewery and tap room located off Junction ZZ—from 12 to 7 p.m.

“After a few weeks of wintery weather, we are looking forward to enjoying a beautiful spring day in the Ozarks at our upcoming Aleiversary,” Joleen Durham, co-founder and owner, said.

Durham described the Aleiversary as “the biggest event in Bucyrus”, and over 600 people from across the region enjoyed the day with the Durham’s at the Piney River Farm.

“The event is family-friendly, and there is no charge for admission,” Durham said. “Many Piney River fans look forward to this day at the BARn all year long.”

The Piney River tap room will pour several beers that are available year round in the tap room including Float Trip Ale, Black Walnut Wheat, McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, Bronzeback Pale Ale, Old Tom Porter and Missouri Mule India Pale Ale.

Piney River Brewing also has some small batch limited release beers available for the Aleiversary.   Paw Paw French Saison and Brick and Mortar Coffee Porter are two of the small batch beers that will be poured that day.

Paw Paw French Saison is a French saison-style beer that is brewed with paw paw fruit. Brick and Mortar Coffee Porter is the brewery’s award winning Old Tom Porter that has fresh coffee from Brick and Mortar Coffee Company in Springfield, MO added.

Crankbait Cream Ale, the brewery’s spring seasonal, will make it’s spring debut at the BARn on the 14th, and it will go out to retail locations through brewery distributors after the party.

“Probably our most anticipated limited release beer to be available at the Aleiversary will be our Mule Team India Pale Ale,” Brian Durham, co-founder and head brewer, said.

Mule Team IPA is an imperial India pale ale that was first brewed for Piney River’s 2014 anniversary event.

“This year’s Mule Team IPA has more pronounced hop flavor and aroma,” Brian Durham said, explaining that the 2015 imperial IPA is also “more dry”, coming in at 10 percent alcohol by volume.

“All of the brewing staff is very excited about releasing this year’s version of Mule Team IPA at the Aleiversary,” Brian Durham said.

Mule Team IPA takes almost a month to complete from brewing to packaging. The “4th Aleiversary Limited Release” Mule Team label thanks the team—“dedicated employees, partnerships with distributors, support of friends, neighbors and craft beer lovers”—that has helped the brewery achieve success over the past four years.

In addition to the handcrafted ales, the Aleiversary will feature two bands providing live music—The Josh Jennings Band from Joplin and Smokey Folk from Springfield. Both bands feature multi-talented instrumentalists and singers that perform Americana, folk and rock covers and original songs.

Two food trucks will be on site–Mike and Julie’s Smoked Meats of Huggins and Aviary on the Fly of Springfield–will provide unique handmade foods such as Irish nachos and sweet and savory crepes.

Piney River Brewing is located on Durham’s 80-acre farm, operating out of a restored 70-year old barn. Durham founded the brewery with his wife, Joleen, in 2010 with a 10-gallon brewing system.

In 2014, Piney River Brewing produced over 1,800 barrels of beer, and their Float Trip Ale won a World Beer Cup gold award in Denver in April.

Currently, a $1.2 million expansion is underway on the Piney River Farm. A larger barn will house a new, larger brewhouse and related fermentation and packaging equipment to enable the brewery to produce up to 9,000 barrels of beer a year and increase distribution areas.

The brewery has distribution throughout Central and Southern Missouri and Arkansas.

Additional information about Piney River Brewing and the 4th Aleiversary can be found at

The label for 2015 Mule Team India Pale Ale

The label for 2015 Mule Team India Pale Ale