Piney River Brewing Company

Posts Tagged ‘Glidewell Distributing’

How Piney River Runs Through St. Louis

In The Beer on October 15, 2015 at 8:38 pm

A couple of years ago, Brian and I poured beer at Augusta Bottoms Bierfest. We met John Hummel from Summit Distributing for the first time at that festival.summit

Like many people in the St. Louis area, John and members of his family had found a little convenience store near St. Louis where they could sometimes find Piney River beer. They wanted more.

John had also heard about Piney River through the Missouri wholesale distributor network. He let us know that he would like a seat at the table when we began talking to distributors in the St. Louis area. I’m pretty sure that we had no clue when that conversation would ever take place.

St. Louis? That’s a huge market. St. Louis? They have lots of great craft beer there already. St. Louis? How could we ever possibly meet the demand?

Fast forward to spring 2014. We began looking at ways to meet our current distribution needs. There were lots of thing we knew: We need a new brewhouse. We need a bigger place to brew beer.  And if we had a bigger place to brew beer and a bigger brewhouse, we would also need all the other stuff…bigger cellar, bigger cooler, bigger canning line. And If we had all of that, what would that mean for the Piney River brand?

IMG_3094Earlier this year, we picked that conversation with John back up. It was a beautiful Friday in April at the BARn. John, Brian Dix and Ryan Carolan stood on the new concrete waiting for the construction of a bigger barn. They tried our beers. They listened to our story of brewing beer on the kitchen stove and hauling old hay out of a barn loft to winning a World Beer Cup.

IMG_3111About a month later, we visited Summit’s offices and warehouse in St. Louis. We met more of the Summit management team. John and Kim Barrow gave us a tour of the warehouse (Wow!), and we talked some more about how the Piney River brand could fit into the Summit portfolio.

Later this summer, a contract between Piney River and Summit was executed. More importantly, John and members of his team came back to the BARn in August. At Piney River, we believe in sharing beer while enjoying nature, and that’s exactly what we did.

With the Summit team, we drank beer, we floated and flipped our canoes on the Big Piney River, we drank some more beer, and we worked out a plan for Piney River to flow through St. Louis.

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For as long as we’ve been brewing beer in Missouri, we’ve had the craft beer lovers in St. Louis and Kansas City asking for our beer in their bars and restaurants and on their store shelves. For the first time in about five years, we have finally reached the point where we are able to brew enough beer to begin to meet the demand a large metropolitan area places on a brewery. With every batch of beer on our new system, we are able to quadruple the amount of beer we turn out.

Why St. Louis?

Our microbrewer, Andy, shows our team a little love.

Our microbrewer, Andy, shows our team a little love.

We love the Cardinals. We love the Missouri Botanical Gardens. And City Museum. And Ted Drewes.

Seriously, the reality is that we are only 2.5 hours from St. Louis, so that’s a little easier to work around with our first foray into a major metro area. Brian and I still try to be at and do as many events as possible. We love the opportunity to share a beer with the people that enjoy our beer.

With this brewery expansion and the ability to provide lots more beer to the good people in the Ozarks, we have hired our first salesperson. Yay for Rick Lange, and the ground he’s helping us cover! Rick will also help us in the St. Louis market.

We are working diligently to fill the orders our current distributors—Grellner Sales, Heart of America Beverage, NH Scheppers Distributing, Bluff City Beer Co., and Glidewell Distributing have placed with us. We hope to help all of them grow the Piney River brand in their respective markets. And we’re excited to add Summit Distributing to the Piney River family of distributors.

So, the cat’s out of the bag. Piney River will be available in St. Louis city, St. Louis County, St. Charles county and Lincoln county. You’ll find Piney River in cans and on draft in bars and restaurants and on shelves. And if you don’t see it, ask for it.

A huge thanks to John Hummel for his efforts to bring Piney River to St. Louis. We are really looking forward to working with the entire Summit Distributing team. This is really happening!  The first week of November, Summit Distributing is will spread a little bit of the Piney River Farm all over St. Louis.

The Piney River Farm

The Piney River Farm

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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 http://www.pineyriverbrewing.com.

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

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

Piney River Brewing Wins Gold at the World Beer Cup®

In The Beer on April 13, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Piney River Brewing Company in Bucyrus, MO claimed a gold award in the 2014 World Beer Cup, a global beer competition that evaluates beers from around the world and recognizes the most outstanding brewers and their beers.

Gold, silver and bronze awards in the competition’s 94 beer style categories were presented April 11, 2014 during the World Beer Cup award ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado.

Piney River Brewing was awarded a gold award in the American-style wheat beer style category for its Float Trip Ale, a wheat-based blonde ale featuring pale wheat and malted barley with balanced, light hop bitterness and a smooth finish.

“We are truly honored to receive this gold award which recognizes our little brewery for brewing the best American-style wheat beer in the world,” Brian Durham, co-founder and head brewer at Piney River Brewing Company, said.

Float Trip Ale has been brewed since the brewery opened its doors in March 2011. In May 2013 the brewery began packaging the beer for distribution in kegs and 16-ounce pint cans. The beer highlights the Ozark experience of “floating” in a canoe, kayak, raft or tube on a Missouri stream.

“Around the world, people of all ages enjoy activities on streams, rivers and lakes, but in the Ozarks we are known for using the term ‘float trip’, which describes what many men, women and children do every year in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways,” Durham said, explaining that the brewery seeks to highlight the Ozarks with its beer.

Durham noted that when he and Joleen, his wife and brewery co-founder, decided to start a craft brewery in the Ozarks, they planned to package their beer in outdoor and river friendly aluminum cans.

“It was only natural that we highlight the quintessential Ozark experience—a float trip—with one of our beers,” Durham said. “Joleen and I love floating, and we developed this beer as something that could be enjoyed all day long while floating or doing anything fun in the Ozarks.”

Piney River Brewing is located on the Durham’s 80-acre farm, operating out of a 70-year old barn. The brewery was founded in 2010 with a 10-gallon brewing system. Today the brewery has a seven-barrel brewhouse which turned out 1,100 barrels of beer in 2013. In addition to draft beer, the brewery cans all of their beer in 16-ounce aluminum cans. The brewery has distribution in Central and Southern Missouri and Arkansas.

Last October, Piney River Brewing received a gold medal for their Old Tom Porter, a brown porter style beer, at the Great American Beer Festival—a national competition.

“We are thrilled to again shine the spotlight on our brewery and the beer that we’re brewing right here in the Ozarks,” Durham said. “To receive the top award for one of our beer styles at national and international competitions within less than one year’s time is a huge recognition for us.”

The Float Trip Ale was brewed by Lucas Clem and Amber Powell, the two full-time brewers at the brewery. Four additional part-time employees also work at the brewery.

“I cannot say enough about our brewery team and their commitment to quality,” Durham said. “Our mission at Piney River Brewing has always been to brew high quality beer that celebrates the Ozarks, and this World Beer Cup gold award for Float Trip is the realization of our brewery’s mission on an international stage.”

World Beer Cup winners were selected by an international panel of 219 beer judges from 31 countries. Regarded as the “Olympics of Beer Competition,” the World Beer Cup saw an impressive field of 4,754 entries from 1,403 breweries in 58 countries.

Presented by the Brewers Association, the World Beer Cup has been held every other year since 1996, to celebrate the art and science of brewing by recognizing outstanding achievement. For more additional information, visit the World Beer Cup website.

Piney River Brewing received their gold award at the 2014 World Beer Cup held in Denver on Friday night.  Shown here, left to right:  Brian Durham, head brewer and co-founder; Joleen Durham, co-founder, and Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewer’s Association.

Piney River Brewing received their gold award at the 2014 World Beer Cup held in Denver on Friday night. Shown here, left to right: Brian Durham, head brewer and co-founder; Joleen Durham, co-founder, and Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewer’s Association.

Hello Arkansas! May We Introduce Craft Beer from the Ozarks?

In Beer Events, The Beer on July 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Last year, when Piney River Brewing was still a mere nanobrewery, we were contacted by a craft beer loving salesman, James Denoyer, from Glidewell Distributing in Arkansas.  James expressed his eagerness to have Piney River beer in the Ozarks.

Although we knew that a lot of great outdoor activities take place in Arkansas, we really couldn’t fathom making enough beer to send to Arkansas when James first contacted us late last summer.  Perhaps it’s time for a couple of personal disclaimers here….Brian has a great love for the rice fields and flooded timber of Arkansas, which are great places for duck hunters (which Brian is at least once a year).  As a small child, I lived in Pocahontas, AR where my dad had a job.  I had this crazy Southern drawl that sounded just about adorable coming from a three-year old, pig tailed girl.  I’m not that adorable sounding anymore, but I do have some fond memories of those early days in Arkansas.

While we couldn’t fathom making enough beer to send to Arkansas, Brian and I could both see how Piney Pints would work for craft beer lovers in the state.  As we were able to meet the demand from our Missouri distributors, we talked again to James about getting our beer out in Arkansas.

Glidewell is another family owned business with a long business history in Arkansas.  James is absolutely passionate about craft beer and getting it to people in Arkansas.  Perhaps most importantly, a brewer at another Midwest brewery spoke very highly of Glidewell and the job they have done promoting his beer brands noting that he wished all of his distributors would promote his beer as well as Glidewell.

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Brian and I submitted the required paperwork to the Arkansas Beverage Commission and were approved to sell Piney River beer in Arkansas beginning July 1st.  Shortly thereafter a refrigerated box truck from Arkansas appeared at the BARn, and we loaded a pallet of McKinney Eddy Amber Ale on the truck—Arkansas bound!

You can find Piney Pints of McKinney Eddy today at several places in Little Rock:  Colonial Wine & Spirits; Popatop on University; Springhill in North Little Rock; Flying Saucer; Big Orange Burgers and O’Looneys.  There will be many more places that will add Piney River beer in Arkansas, too…stay tuned.

We’re coming to see you, too, Arkansas!

Grapes, Grains & Growls (Beer Festival) on July 21 in Little Rock

Fest of Ales (Beer & Bourbon Festival) on August 17 in Fort Smith

Little Rocktoberfest (Beer Festival) on October 6 in Little Rock

The Flying Saucer in Little Rock is also opening their arms wide to the new craft beer in town.  Piney River glass night is July 26th—you can drink our beer in one of our pint glasses and keep the glass!    Then, we’ll be at the Flying Saucer on the evening of August 16th for a Piney River Brewing tap takeover.  You’ll be able to really get your Piney River beer on!

Personally, we’re looking forward to enjoying Piney Pints on the Buffalo and White rivers as well as Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes.  Maybe we’ll see you there!