The Missouri Ozarks has some unique, if somewhat hidden, brewpubs and breweries. While St. Louis and Kansas City has more prevalent brewpubs, Springfield and Fayetteville have two brewpubs that garner a loyal following for homemade beer.
Springfield Brewing Company on South Market just west of downtown has been a staple of Springfield’s locally owned scene for over ten years now. Started by local steelmaker Paul Mueller, Springfield Brewing is the last bastion of locally made beer. The building looks historic, but the two-story brick façade building is gorgeous and new. Mueller beer is brewed on the premises, and you can take home what’s on tap in bottles. If they have it, the honey wheat is spectacular as it is the perfect blend of sweet and bitterness. Live music happens on a weekly basis with favorite local acts. While the food is ordinary, the beer is fantastic.
Little Yeoman Brewery in Cabool sits just off a rural road in the middle of nowhere, but their locally-marketed beer is perfect for light tastes and won’t sit heavily in your stomach. You used to be able to buy it in bottles, but now the only way to get this beer is to travel to the brewery and they bottle it themselves. Hopefully they will have enough presence to start their own website and market their own beer because Little Yeoman is a treat to behold for middle of nowhere beer.
Bootleggers Restaurant and Brewery in Aurora is west of Springfield and has a little restaurant in downtown Aurora just off the railroad tracks. Like any sleepy little town in Missouri, this building sits in an historic red brick building amongst other red brick buildings. Homemade bread and beer go wonderfully together in this sleepy little cattle town.
Hog Haus Brewing in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is the place to go if you are a ‘Backs fan, meaning the Arkansas Razorbacks. As you can expect, their brews are themed around hogs, such as the Razor Bock, Curly Tail Ale, and my favorite the Scout Stout which is very nutty and full bodied. If you want to watch your favorite Arkansas sports team (there is only one according to the locals), this is the place.
Boulevard Brewing Company is perhaps the most famous Missouri brewery and their beer is served in many Kansas City restaurants. While the brewery itself doesn’t have a restaurant, many brewpubs serve it with pride. A simple brewpub exists in the KCI airport that serves two of KC’s best known culinary traditions: steak and beer. Try some of their tender ribeye steaks with Boulevard’s Pilsner for a great pairing.