Piney River Brewing Company

Posts Tagged ‘McKinney Eddy Amber Ale’

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!


Party Like It’s Been Five (?!) Years on the Farm

In Beer Events on February 24, 2016 at 7:27 am

5th aleiversary posterPiney River Brewing Company is celebrating their fifth anniversary on Sat., Mar. 19th at the brewery in Bucyrus.

The “5th Aleiversary” party will be held at the BARn—the brewery and tap room located off Junction ZZ—from 12 to 7 p.m.

“Once again, 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”. Last year’s event brought in almost 1,000 people from across the region to 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, Missouri Mule India Pale Ale and Masked Bandit IPA.

Crankbait Cream Ale, the brewery’s spring seasonal will also be available. Paw Paw French Saison will be poured again for the day, and some yet-to-be-named beers may also be available.

“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 strong hop flavor and aroma,” Brian Durham said, explaining that the 2016 imperial IPA will be 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 “5th 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 five years.Mule TeamNEW

Mule Team IPA and the other beers will be available all weekend long, beginning on Friday afternoon when the tap room opens and going through Sunday evening, if they do not run out.

“Saturday’s party can be a little too busy for some people, so we will plan to have enough Mule Team IPA available to last all weekend long,” Joleen Durham said. “You will be able to enjoy a pint in the tap room or purchase a four-pack to take home.”

Durham noted that because Mule Team IPA is only released once a year, many people purchase multiple four-packs to ration it out throughout the year.

“Mule Team IPA is a beer that can be enjoyed a few months down the road if it is cellared properly,” she said.

In addition to the handcrafted ales, the Aleiversary will feature two bands providing live music—Casey Lynne and the Dealbreakers and Deep Fried Squirrel, both 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 available on the 19th. Mike and Julie’s Smoked Meats of Huggins will provide unique handmade foods such as Irish nachos and smoked meat sliders. Twisted Mikes Food Truck of Springfield will provide a tasty twist on traditional sandwiches, tacos and fries.

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 2015, Piney River Brewing produced over 2,200 barrels of beer. A $1.2 million expansion was completed on the farm, allowing the brewery to increase production with a new brewhouse, canning line and cold storage.

The brewery has distribution throughout most of Missouri and Arkansas.

Piney River Brewing Wins Four Awards at US Open Beer Championship

In The Beer on July 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm
A line up of the four Piney River Beers that won awards at the US Beer Open Championship—Crankbait Cream Ale,  Black Walnut Wheat, McKinney Eddy Amber Ale and Hobby Farm Ale.

A line up of the four Piney River Beers that won awards at the US Beer Open Championship—Crankbait Cream Ale, Black Walnut Wheat, McKinney Eddy Amber Ale and Hobby Farm Ale.

Piney River Brewing won a gold and three silver awards at the US Beer Open Championships on July 4th. The competition featured over 4,000 beers from 90 different styles from breweries from around the world. An international panel of judges gave the awards based on blind taste tests.

Piney River’s Crankbait Cream Ale received a gold award in the “American Cream Ale” category. This beer is a spring seasonal for the brewery, so it is no longer in production until next spring.

Three silver awards were given to Piney River for McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, Black Walnut Wheat and Hobby Farm Ale.

McKinney Eddy Amber Ale received the silver in the “Irish Red Ale” category. This beer is made year round by the brewery. It was the first beer Piney River packaged for distribution at the brewery in 2011.

Black Walnut Wheat is the brewery’s flagship beer, and it took a silver in the “American Style Dark Wheat” category. This beer is made with locally sourced black walnuts.

Hobby Farm Ale is Piney River’s current seasonal beer, and it’s brewed with honey and fresh basil. Hobby Farm Ale’s silver was in the “Herb and Spice Beer” category.

“Once again, it’s a great honor for us to shine the spotlight on the Ozarks with these four awards,” Brian Durham, owner and head brewer at Piney River Brewing, said. “Our goal has always been to make high quality craft beer, and these awards show that the hard work of our brewing team is paying off.”

Piney River has also won gold awards at the World Beer Cup, the Great American Beer Festival and the Best of Craft Beer Awards.

All of Piney River’s beers are packaged in 16-ounce pint cans and kegs and sold for distribution throughout the Ozarks. 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.

Currently a $1.2 million expansion is underway on the Bucyrus farm where the brewery is located. A larger brewhouse, fermentation and packaging line are part of the expansion in a 12,000 square foot building located next to the original barn where the brewery began.

Plans are currently underway for Piney River to expand distribution to St. Louis in the fall. Eventually, the brewery hopes to distribute beer throughout the entire state of Missouri.

The All True Story of Piney River’s First Trip to the GABF

In The Beer on October 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm

There’s a really good chance you know how this story ends. But beyond the official photo and press release, you really need to know the whole story.

Brian and I decided that we were going to attend the GABF (Great American Beer Festival) this year. We wanted the opportunity to enter our beer in a national competition—mostly to see what kind of feedback we would receive. We have two brewers that are new to brewing and to the industry—Lucas joined our team in January and Amber joined our team in April. We wanted them to get their first taste of “the industry” of brewing, and heck, Brian and I always enjoy hanging with “our people”.

We left Bucyrus as 4 a.m. on Wednesday. There was a lot of talk about sleeping on the drive to Denver, but there was very little sleeping done. We were all too keyed up to sleep. There were soybean fields, corn fields, rolling Kansas hills, a big tom turkey standing on the edge of a cornfield, the world’s largest prairie dog….

We got to Denver, settled in to our hotel rooms and went to a special event at Wynkoop for the GABF attendees. There were some great beers on tap, yummy food, and our St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the NLCS.

Cardinals advance to NLCS.  Surly Pentagram.  Hanging with your peeps at a private party at Wynkoop.  #winning

Cardinals advance to NLCS. Surly Pentagram. Hanging with your peeps at a private party at Wynkoop. #winning

We made our way to Star Bar for a few beers, and Brian and I finally went back to our hotel around 1. Lucas and Amber closed the place down. So much for starting the day at 4 a.m.

On Thursday we drove up to Fort Collins to a VIP event at New Belgium—such a great place with awesome co-workers that really care about taking care of fellow brewers.


We stopped in at Odell where a friend showed us the brand spankin’ new brew house and tap room expansion. Odell Brewing, a family-owned business that started on a kitchen stove, is SUCH an inspiration. (Thanks again, Lynsey!)

Thursday night was our first session at GABF. Each session is 5 hours. I don’t know how many people are at each session, but the GABF was a sell out with 48,000 tickets. That’s a lot of people! We were pouring Black Walnut Wheat, McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, Old Tom Porter, Missouri Mule IPA and Sweet Potato Ale. We sent our beer out in advance, in kegs, and they were already set up and ready to go. I should add here that the Brewer’s Association puts on this event with the help of volunteers. The volunteers are AWESOME. They work their butts off, and everyone that helped the area we were in and at our table was spectacular. I don’t remember all their names, but they were great.

Every session opens with a bagpipe parade.

Every session opens with a bagpipe parade.

The Piney River booth.

The Piney River booth.

The Piney River Crew in the booth.

The Piney River Crew in the booth.

The GABF divides the breweries up according to region. Our booth was in between Nebraska Brewing and Budweiser (St. Louis connection). Rockbridge, Tallgrass, Springfield Brewing Company and Mothers were some of the other beers in our section. There were breweries from all over the US—a lot of representation from breweries in Colorado and California. It was neat to have beers from New Glarus, Surly, Sun King, Three Floyds, Russian River and Elysian available to sample—all under one roof. There were also some lesser known breweries (some even smaller than Piney River) with great beers to sample, too.

Our Sweet Potato Ale was a big hit from the first night. There was only one other sweet potato beer being poured, and the brewery it was from was not pouring it. It was being poured at the Craft Brewers Guild tables. On Friday evening, we had to stop pouring the Sweet Potato so we would still have some for the later sessions. We still ran out of Sweet Potato in the first session on Saturday. Then, the attendees began hitting the Black Walnut Wheat.

On Friday we traveled to Upslope in Boulder for a special event with Crown Packaging (the place we get our cans from) and Wild Goose Canning (the company that made our canning machine). The labeled Piney River cans went over better than free beer. There’s serious interest among craft brewers in finding a way to do lots of brands without purchasing lots of truck loads of cans. This little brewery in Bucyrus has found a great option for breweries that can.

The very cool Sanitas Brewing logo--a new brewery that cans which we also visited in Boulder.

The very cool Sanitas Brewing logo–a new brewery that cans which we also visited in Boulder.

Saturday morning, about 5,000 members of the industry gathered in a ballroom in the bottom of the Denver Convention Center for the Great American Beer Festival Award Ceremony. Coffee, donuts, beer, bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded for beers in 84 different categories. We entered 10 beers—the maximum number we could enter–so we had 30 chances to win a medal. The possibilities were exciting, but we felt as though we would really just get good feedback to help us learn what to do for future competitions.

The stats for the 2013 GABF competition.

The stats for the 2013 GABF competition.

I had a dream on Friday night that we won a gold medal for McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, but at the ceremony 9 of the 10 categories came and went—including Amber Ale–without a mention of Piney River. Brown Porter, the 74th category of 84 beer categories, was our final chance. Brian, Lucas and I (Amber had to go back to Missouri for a family event) were sitting on a front row in a section with a bunch of people from CA that we didn’t know. But they knew each other because they kept congratulating other CA breweries as they received awards.

The bronze award winner for Brown Porter was announced. It was not us. Down to two chances.

The silver award winner for Brown Porter was announced. It was not us. And at that point, Brian, Lucas and I felt like our medal chances were over. What first time brewery wins a gold medal at the GABF?

Chris Swersey, the emcee, began announcing, “The Gold Medal goes to Old…”

“What?!,” I was thinking. Suddenly time slowed waaay down.

“Tom…,” Swersey said.

I screamed. I was sitting between Brian and Lucas, and suddenly we were high fiving and jumping up and stumbling down the aisle to accept a GOLD medal from Charlie Papazian.

Each of us has specific memories of going to accept that medal. Brian, who remembers walking on air, was tackled by a sales person from one of our distributors. I never saw it. I was just elated, reminding myself not to run to the stage. Lucas remembers feeling a little emotional, kind of teary-eyed.

And there we were. A gold medal around Brian’s neck. The flashes of dozens of cameras. The silhouettes of thousands of people looking back at us on that brightly lit stage. I never saw the red carpet, but Brian said one was there.

I had to snap a photo of all those people looking back at us.

I had to snap a photo of all those people looking back at us.

Piney River Brewing received their gold medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held in Denver on Saturday morning.  Shown here, left to right:  Lucas Clem, brewer; Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewer’s Association; Brian Durham, head brewer and co-founder; Joleen Durham, co-founder and original keg washing queen. Not present, Amber Powell, brewer.

Piney River Brewing received their gold medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held in Denver on Saturday morning. Shown here, left to right: Lucas Clem, brewer; Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewer’s Association; Brian Durham, head brewer and co-founder; Joleen Durham, co-founder and original keg washing queen. Not present, Amber Powell, brewer.

As soon as we walked off the stage, I gave Brian a GIANT hug. I remember thinking, “All that work. All the sacrifices. All days where we went to bed and got up to go to our day jobs in the same day.” I was so proud of Brian. I was so proud of Piney River. And then I started shaking.

I couldn't take a decent photo because I was shaking!

I couldn’t take a decent photo because I was shaking!

Lucas, Brian and I went to get a beer, but the beer stations were dry!!! (We need to time our medal winning a little better.) None of us really remember any of the last 9 award recipients. I was sending texts, tweeting and posting information online. Brian was texting our distributors. Lucas was texting Amber and his family.

By the time we were upstairs in the convention hall, the winners had been announced. Piney River’s booth was a non-stop sea of people. Yes, they were interested in Sweet Potato and Black Walnut, but many people just wanted to try Old Tom Porter. The story of Old Tom Porter would never be the same.

Later that afternoon, one of the judges of the brown porter competition stopped by to say how much they enjoyed our Old Tom Porter, and that even after the judging they finished drinking it. Another judge told us that gold medals only go to technically excellent beers. Brian realized that he no longer cared that he didn’t have formal brewing training and started Piney River as a homebrewer. Just like Paul Gatza from the Brewer’s Association said–when you’ve got a GABF medal around your neck, you can run through walls.

The winning entries ran inside the hall all day on Saturday.  I managed to snap a photo of the screen showing our category.

The winning entries ran inside the hall all day on Saturday. I managed to snap a photo of the screen showing our category.

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.

We ended Saturday at the GABF with celebratory beers at Star Bar. It seemed like a good place to round out one of the most amazing days of our lives. On the ride home, I studied the corn fields, hoping to see another old tom. Old Tom didn’t need to make a second appearance. One was all we needed.


A Toast to Local, Handcrafted Ozark Beer

In The Beer on August 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

We went back to the scene of our very first tonight.

We had a delicious dinner of Ozark BBQ and fried okra.  We tipped back a pint of McKinney Eddy Amber Ale (they were out of Black Walnut Wheat).

We were at Olig’s BBQ in Licking.  While Olig’s is a great little barbecue joint…in an old barn, no less…Marie and Dan Lewis were the first restaurant to put Piney River beer on tap.

We had mentioned the possibility of putting our beer on tap in Olig’s last summer, long before we even had draft beer available for restaurants.  Some of our beer in a growler had been sampled by the staff, and when they heard that they could have us on draft last winter, they were the first place to take a keg.

When we heard that we had our first tap handle (that’s brewery speak for getting on draft in a restaurant or bar), Brian, Andy and I had dinner at Olig’s that night.  McKinney Eddy Amber Ale was the first beer to find its home in the kegerator at Olig’s.   The patron’s loved it, and of course, the Lewis’ did, too.

Since putting the McKinney Eddy Amber Ale on draft, Marie has added another Piney River tap handle—Black Walnut Wheat.  Apparently the patrons are enjoying that one, too; there wasn’t a drop for us to drink tonight.

That’s alright, but we were planning to have a toast with Black Walnut Wheat.  A toast to Black Walnut Wheat.  A toast to putting another beer into a Piney Pint…only eight months after our first two Piney Pints hit the store shelves.  A toast to never letting anyone out work us.  A toast to celebrating the Ozarks with craft beer about the Ozarks.

So we had a toast with McKinney Eddy Amber Ale to all of that.  And it was good.

The really cool thing is that every table around us was drinking McKinney Eddy Amber Ale.  And it’s not because that’s all that Olig’s has on draft!  No, Dan and Marie and their staff encourage everyone to try their local beer.   Piney River beer has become the draft beer of choice for many of Olig’s customers thanks to their belief in and their support of the local craft brewery.  Let’s face it, we’re in the heart of a certain formerly St. Louis-owned, now Belgian-owned brewery territory, but there are TWO, yes, that’s one and two, tap handles from the little brewery in Bucyrus that handcrafts every beer that goes out the big barn doors.

While we filled our bellies with delicious smoked beef and pork, garden fresh veggies from the salad bar and locally handcrafted beer, I realized again that it means a lot to Dan and Marie that Brian and I—the local brewery owners—take the time to come in and enjoy some BBQ and a laugh or a story with them.  Unlike anybody else, we’ve got the corner on the local brewery market in their establishment.  How cool is that?!

And it’s because of this great love for local beer that from 6 to 11-something last night we were doing this last night:

Yes, we were doing the first can run for Black Walnut Wheat.

Big thanks to our friends and help, Jamie and Debra Smith, for hanging with us and getting all that beer canned and packaged last night.

As Brian and I rolled into bed about 1:30 a.m. this morning, Brian said, “We’ll never let anyone out work us.”

I reminded Brian, “We can sleep when we die.”

We were able to can enough beer for three of our distributors—Grellner Sales; Heart of America Beverage, and NH Scheppers.  (Beer for Arkansas is up next, we promise!)  Folks throughout much of the Ozarks will have a Piney Pint of Black Walnut Wheat in their hands, in their cooler, on their float trip very, very soon.

It was our great pleasure to send the first four-pack of Piney Pints to Rodney Edwards at Grellner.  Rodney was the first distributor willing to take a chance with us.  Rodney’s sales staff has Piney Pints stocked in little and large retail locations across the area, and they are keeping us busy filling kegs for the many draft accounts they have picked up.

Word got back that Rodney was able to enjoy those first beers at the end of the day today.  And they were good.

Two great, local retail establishments—Pit Stop Convenience and S&S Package in Houston—have invited us out to share our Black Walnut Wheat and our Old Tom Porter on Friday.  We will be providing tastings of both beers from 4 to 6 p.m. as they make their Piney Pint debut in Texas County, and Dean and Doug have promised to have lots of Piney Pints in stock and cold.

Local, handcrafted beer.  That’s what it’s all about.  Thanks to you for enjoying one with us!


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.


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!

Jeff City, Columbia…Handcrafted Beer from the Ozarks is Coming!

In The Beer on June 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Writing this blog post is risky because all those people that love Piney River beer, or who want to love Piney River beer in Kansas City & St. Louis are going to be aggravated that this blog post is not about them and their city.  So, we’ll just cut to the chase about that—yes, we want to have our beer in KC and St. Louis, but it’s not happening yet.

What is happening, probably about the last week of June, is the Missouri Mule India Pale Ale and McKinney Eddy Amber Ale are going to find their way on to shelves in the Columbia and Jefferson City area.  That’s all thanks to N.H. Scheppers Distributing.

Back in April we attended a beer festival in Columbia, and a whole new group of Missouri residents kept four of us busy pouring our beer all day long until all but a few cans of IPA and Amber Ale were left.  (For the record, the Black Walnut Wheat keg emptied first, followed not too long after by the Old Tom Porter keg.)  Apparently the people in Columbia are very thirsty…very thirsty for craft beer.

Brian and I and our friends, Logan and Shanna, that helped us pour that Saturday were inundated with, “You need to get this on tap at (insert Columbia restaurant here)” or “You’ve got to talk to (insert Jeff City bar here) about getting this beer”.  We didn’t even have a distributor in the area to make any of that happen!

However, at one point during the day, Paul Wissman, the craft beer manager for NH Scheppers was bending my ear about their company while Joe Priesmeyer, the owner of NH Scheppers was bending Brian’s ear.  Wow.

So, we did a little homework.  We talked to some additional distributors in the Columbia/Jeff City area.  We talked to some bar and restaurant owners and employees.

We are very happy to announce to you and to those really thirsty folks up in the central part of our great state, that Piney River Brewing products are being handled by NH Scheppers Distributing.

Scheppers is a family-owned company. Their flagship products are from AB/In-Bev, but they are very proactive about pursuing craft beer for their portfolio of products because they believe in it.  Now, Scheppers believes in Piney River Brewing, and we plan to provide them with lots of locally handcrafted beer for their thirsty customers.

Just for the record, here’s the McKinney Eddy Amber Ale and Missouri Mule India Pale Ale canned just this week for a little journey North on Hwy 63.

For those of you that can’t wait for Piney River beer to be in your neck of the woods, as soon as we know it’s available, we’ll post the news here.  Meanwhile, ask your local retailer to get some Piney River beer in their store or restaurant.


American Craft Beer Week…Ozarks Style

In Beer Events on May 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Brian and I recently returned from the Craft Brewer’s Conference, an annual event sponsored by the Brewer’s Association.  It was inspiring and tasty, and some of the inspiration came from what we tasted.  But more about that later…

Next up on Piney River Brewing’s agenda is the celebration of American Craft Beer Week right here in the Ozarks.

What is American Craft Beer Week, you ask?

American Craft Beer Week is a nationwide celebration of the handcrafted beer made in the US by small, independent brewers.  From Monday, May 14th to Sunday, May 20th, thousands of beer beginners, beer enthusiasts and beer geeks across the nation will raise a glass in a celebratory toast to the handcrafted beers coming from their local craft breweries.  Piney River Brewing, our distributor, Grellner Sales of Rolla, Open Range Steakhouse of Willow Springs, Horseshoe Saloon Bar’n Grill of Salem and Fisher and Brown Speakeasy of Rolla have partnered together to bring excellent American Craft Beer Week celebrations to you.

As a side note–I find it so exciting to see all of the local, family-owned businesses working together to promote local food & local drink.  How cool is that?

Here’s the scoop:

Monday, May 14th from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Open Range Steakhouse in Willow Springs–Jim & Angel Alessi have graciously opened their doors and their taps to Piney River Brewing.  We will do a complete tap takeover at Open Range, and Jim and Angel and their great service staff will serve up some delicious homemade food (maybe even something that’s Piney River beer battered) to go with your craft beer pints.  Open Range has it all–appetizers, pasta, steaks, sandwiches, salads and AMAZING desserts, so you won’t go hungry, and Brian and I will be down at Open Range pouring up all six of our beers–Ozark Firefly Wheat; Black Walnut Wheat; McKinney Eddy Amber Ale; Bronzeback Pale Ale; Old Tom Porter and Missouri Mule India Pale Ale.  We’ll even help you pair our beer with your food!  So, grab your friends, your family, your neighbors and join us for an evening of great food and craft beer to kick off American Craft Beer Week in the Ozarks!

Tuesday, May 15th, 6 to 10 p.m. at Fisher & Brown Speakeasy in Rolla–Rick and the staff at the Speakeasy will have all six of our Piney River brews on tap to go with their lineup of appetizers and main courses.  Stop in for dinner, a couple of craft beers and karaoke with Ricky Bobby!  Again, Brian and I will be there to talk with you about our beer and to raise a toast to a great craft beer lineup at a locally owned bar in Rolla.

Thursday, May 17th, 6 to 10 p.m. at The Horseshoe Saloon Bar’n Grill in Salem–The Gray family is turning over their taps to their local brewery on Thursday night.  The Horseshoe serves a great lineup of  food including steaks, sandwiches and Tex-Mex.  We know you’ll be able to find something to pair with a beer from your local craft brewery–especially since we’ll have all six of our flagship beers on tap that night.  We’re hoping to raise a glass with you and the Gray family on their new patio that night.

At each of our tap takeovers, Grellner will have a copy of the Declaration of Craft Beer Independence that you can join men and women across the nation in signing the Declaration to show your support of beer made in America by small, independent breweries like Piney River.

Go ahead and clear your calendar now.  We’re looking forward to raising a glass with you right here in the Ozarks as we get together to celebrate American Craft Beer Week.

A Doer, Not a Dreamer…Piney River Brewing Style

In Start up on January 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

It started early in the week…we spent our evenings wrestling with white pine boards for the walls of the tap room at the BARn.  We knew we needed to just “take a day” and work non-stop on our construction work.

My mom was coming in for a visit, and we knew that we would have a little childcare for Andy available.  I also shoved my regular five day a week job into four days this week and took Friday off.

The Piney River Brewing “weekend” started on Thursday evening.  Brian, Andy, my mom and I went to the Midway Bar and Grill in Mountain Grove for dinner.  The Midway has had our McKinney Eddy Amber Ale on tap for a few weeks, and we wanted to meet the owner and have dinner.  First of all, let me say, going into a restaurant and ordering your own beer is NOT overrated.  It’s fun!

The Midway had a big McKinney Eddy Amber Ale sign hanging inside, and right next to it was a huge “Support Your Local Brewery” sign.  Wow.  Thanks, Grellner.  (Our distributor hooked them up with the cool signs.)  We recommend the homemade Midway “chips” with your McKinney Eddy.  Yum!   We met the owner, Shari, and of course, it was Andy that really recognized her because he knew her as the mom of one of his classmates.  Thanks, Andy.  And a BIG thanks to Shari and the staff at the Midway for supporting your local brewery!

Rodney Edwards at Grellner invited us to a meeting with the sales staff at Grellner on Friday morning, so we got up and around early for a 7:30 a.m. meeting in Rolla.  We had the opportunity to meet several members of the sales staff, and Piney River Brewing is the featured brewery for the month of February for the Grellner sales staff.

The great news for all of our customers in the Central and South Central Ozarks is that Grellner will be pushing our beer out to ALL retail locations in their sales territory.  Lake Ozark, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lebanon and all of the towns in and around those areas will soon be offered a beer handcrafted in the Ozarks.  We’re very excited about offering “Missouri Mule IPA” at the home of the University of Central Missouri Mules.  We can’t wait to provide locally brewed Piney Pints to be enjoyed at Lake of the Ozarks and at Bennett Springs State Park and on the Niangua and Gasconade Rivers.  Plus, Grellner worked with the corporate folks at Casey’s, and our UPC symbols are now in the Casey’s corporate system.  We know there are some towns in the Ozarks where Casey’s may be the only place to buy a craft beer. (If you are one of those folks, ask Casey’s to get some Piney River Beer for you!)

On our way home from Grellner, we stopped in and met the owner at Triplett’s in Licking.  He had Piney River beers right there next to the “big guys”.  Doug at S&S Package in Houston also chatted with us for a bit.  He’s selling Piney River four-packs and as singles which allows people the opportunity to try one before they buy the entire four-pack.  And we can’t overlook Houston’s Pit Stop which has supported craft beer in the Ozarks for a long time, and they are thrilled to have a locally crafted beer to sell in their store.

We were home and working in the BARn by 10:30 a.m., hanging more white pine on the walls.  With the help of my dad, we about got a 60′ X 8′ wall covered.  Whew.  He was so tired, he wouldn’t even take any beer home with him as thanks for his help.

We stopped for dinner, went back out to the brewery to set up for being open on Saturday, and headed back out about 7:30.  Since we hadn’t been to Rolla in a few hours, we headed back that way and stopped in at The Speakeasy, a new 1920’s style bar that recently opened in downtown Rolla.  The Speakeasy was very cool, definitely a good place to spend some time on a Friday night.  Currently, our McKinney Eddy Amber Ale is on tap at The Speakeasy, and you may see some more Piney River brews there very soon.

Our evening wasn’t over though, from Rolla we drove to Salem to the Horseshoe Bar and Grill, a new restaurant/bar that opened late last year.  Although the owners at the Horseshoe hope to add some more taps, they are currently offering McKinney Eddy Amber Ale in its Piney Pint form, and they are selling a few of them.   They have hopes of putting in a set of “local” taps in the near future.

Brian and I finally closed our eyes about 1:30 the following morning…a pretty late night for us.  I told Brian that the breweries in urban areas have it easy, just walking a few blocks to find their beer on tap.  In rural America, you have to cover a lot of miles between the brewery and the places that have you on tap, but that’s what we love about bringing craft beer to the Ozarks.  We know how to celebrate those wonderful places in between us and the stores and restaurants that are serving their local craft beer!

Saturday was another great day at the brewery.  We had a lot of “regulars” and  a lot of newcomers as well.  We love the way people enjoy sitting down with a pint and taking in the tap room in the works, the cows and calves in the pasture, the sunshine and fire pit outside.  We are so glad the BARn is place that people want to come back to!  Thank you for letting us be a part of the good times in your lives!

Sunday wasn’t a day to sit around either.  We had a brite tank full of Missouri Mule India Pale Ale to can.  We kegged some of the IPA, then we cranked out 84 cases of beer that already has a destination point in its future…Springfield, MO.  That’s right, on Friday Heart of America Beverage Company is sending their first beer truck in.  They are taking Missouri Mule IPA and McKinney Eddy Amber Ale to the thirsty people in Southwest Missouri.  Lance Forsee and the folks and Heart of America already have a plan in place to distribute our beer to selected locations in Southwest Missouri, and we are looking forward to sharing those locations with you very soon.

About 7:30 tonight Brian and I sat down to a dinner of leftovers and Rompo Red Rye Ale that was brought to us in a growler from Jackalope Brewing in Nashville, TN.  The beer was good, but the long weekend of work was even better.

“Heckuva weekend,” I said to Brian.

Brian gave me a high five and quoted a line from Tom Asacker, that has been our mantra since we began this thing called Piney River Brewing Company–“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

Cheers to all of you–the distributors, the sales teams, the retail stores, the restaurant and bar owners, the customers that visit us and the places that carry our beer.  You are the best, and you give us the inspiration to keep “doing” craft beer in the Ozarks every day!