There is nothing like enjoying a cold beer on a hot day, and if that isn’t good enough, you could always BREW your own brand of beer WHILST drinking a brew on a hot day…but wait, you can do all this without needing to clean up the massive mess you just made. It sounds too good to be true…what have we done to deserve such generosity, such joy, such bliss? I am of course talking about none other than Show-Me Brewing: a full-service homebrew supply store and do-it-yourself brewery located conveniently on Bennet Street in Springfield, MO.
I had driven by Show-Me Brewing several times and hadn’t bothered to stop in until Celine mentioned I should check it out. Oh Celine, you have the best ideas. The minute I walked in, I was greeted with the smell of grains and hops cooking in a large vat – which, if you haven’t delighted in this olfactory experience, you most definitely should. It was even mentioned by my S/O that they should make man-candles out of this scent. Never in a trillion years would men outbuy women in candles and candle accessories unless this scent was captured. It’s a million-dollar idea I tell you!
I was greeted by Andy, one of the owners of this quaint and welcoming establishment. He was friendly, informative, and didn’t judge my distaste for IPA’s and brews which smell and taste like dirty socks and gutter water. I know, it’s a crime to say this in Springfield, MO., but I just can’t wrap my head around this acquired taste. Little did I know, I was more of a “wit” and “saison” kinda gal. After testing a few of their microbrews, I decided, “Hell yeah I want to make my own beer!” And so, the adventure began.
101 Beers – Making Beer at Show-Me Brewing
The experience was to be a nostalgic one. It was my two-year anniversary with my man who happens to love all that is hoppy, stinky, and IPA in nature. We set up a day and time and I surprised my poopsicle with an experience neither one of us would forget: the first time we made beer together.
Let’s be clear – you aren’t making a six-pack and taking it home that day. Oh no. When you sign up for this experience, you are making around a hundred beers which is a lengthy process. We waltzed in together, taking in the sights and smells of Show-Me Brewing, and perused through the aisles of home-brew kits, grains, yeasts and more. It wasn’t long before we ordered our beers, decided on a recipe they concocted (the hibiscus saison), and got down to business. It took us around 3 hours to measure all the things out, put them in a vat to cook, stir and transfer into containers to rest. So, if you decide to try this yourself, set aside half a day and bring your own snacks!
We had tons of fun. While there was a lot of downtime between needing to stir and adding ingredients, one of the things I absolutely LOVED about this place was the people. We had the pleasure of meeting John, Andy and the lovely Julie, though Andy wasn’t there when we started our brewing adventure. Julie and John were uh-mazing. They grabbed beers and sat down and chatted with us and everyone else in the establishment. Some people found their way in just to sit and chill during that hot afternoon, and we made friends with them as well! Everyone we met was super chill and fun, and Sean even met a fellow coworker from Mercy!
It is important to note that I have visited many watering holes in our town. Most of the time, people keep to themselves unless they’ve seen you a few times and they or you muster up the courage to start up a convo. At best, people seem glued to their phones or to the sports screens. This isn’t a bad thing, but it was a breath of fresh air to experience something completely different. At Show-Me Brewing, I hardly saw anyone on a phone or being anti-social. Everyone turned into a long lost friend by the end of our brewing class.
The best part was trying their variety of home-made beers on tap while cooking up our batch. They have some good beers people! After cooking everything up, your beer goes into massive containers to rest over the next two weeks. Then you get to go in again and bottle it yourself!
In we walk to bottle our beer, and the same experience unfolded again. We met new people, hung out with Julie, John and Andy, and we made friends ALL OVER AGAIN! It was fantastic!
The things we learned, I probably forgot most of it due to wanting to sample all their beers. Some of their ales, stouts and IPAs are over 7% ABV whaaattt? But I was happy to find out I had my own unique taste in beer which completely does NOT match my boyfriend’s. Apparently, I have a thing for champagne yeast. This makes sense as I do love me a nice Brut.
101 Bottles of Beer in Mai Kitchen
As I write this little diddy, our 101 bottles of beer are now conveniently located in our kitchen. They need to sit for another 10 days or so before we can throw them in the fridge and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Would I do it again? Oh yes, yes I would. Here are some tips which can help you should you be a first-time brewer at Show-Me Brewing:
- If you have your own bottles, bring them. Around 101 to be precise. They have bottles there – we ended up purchasing them because we have a habit of recycling our beer bottles.
- Bring snacks! They don’t serve food, however you can order delivery or bring your own munchies in with you.
- If you don’t know what kind of beer you like, it’s all good. They have stuff on tap AND recipes so you can replicate whatever it is you like.
- Keep in mind, the first day takes around 3 hours, and the second day (which you schedule about two to three weeks out) of bottling takes around an hour and a half. It would have probably gone faster if Sean and I didn’t keep stopping to take a “beer break.”
- You get to take your beer home, and you have to let it rest for 10 to 14 days before cracking open a cold one.
I loved this experience – it’s just another thing to add on your list of things to do in Springfield, MO. And when you go in, say hi to Andy, John and Julie for us. They are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Ask them to tell you the story of how Show-Me Brewing started…it’s a good one!
Cheers (literally and figuratively),