Piney River Brewing Company

Posts Tagged ‘NH Scheppers 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.

IMG_3434 IMG_3435 IMG_3436 IMG_3443

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


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.

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!