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Mark Twain Brewing Company...Serving Pints of Prose!

Jan 12, 2022 05:19PM ● By William Gray
Mark Twain Brewing Company [7 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

Mark Twain Brewing Company

Serving Pints of Prose


Each year, thousands of tourists visit Hannibal, Missouri, a thriving community on the banks of the Mississippi River. These tourists come for the scenic waterfront views, the eclectic shopping, and to see the town where renowned American novelist Mark Twain grew up.



Twain spent his childhood and adolescence in Hannibal and used it as an inspiration to create “St. Petersburg,” the primary setting in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and also its sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Sightseers can visit Mark Twain’s boyhood home, take a Mississippi riverboat cruise, tour caves, and the Rockcliffe Mansion. Need lodging? Take your pick of haunted accommodations or traditional hotels. Just remember, when you get thirsty, stop by Mark Twain Brewing Company.


The Mark Twain Brewing Company building was a Ford Model-T plant and a John Deere Tractor facility that now crafts cold beer seven days a week. The century-old stone building is adorned with fixtures created with reclaimed materials from other historic sites in town. In 2014, Hannibal native Lance Smith and his now-retired uncle, Bill Martin, opened the brewery. Lance saw both a business opportunity and a chance to invest in the town that helped raise him. So he decided to open a space that honored Hannibal’s world famous son.


Shortly after opening, Lance hired beer brewing power couple Dave Alley and Cat Golden from Tennessee. These two quickly made the program their own, introducing their skills and taste into the beer menu. Many of the beers, like just about everything in Hannibal, take inspiration from Twain’s writing: including Sawyer’s Blonde, Clemens Kolsch (Clemens was Mark Twain’s real last name), and Jumping Frog IPA (a nod to The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, another of Twain’s novels).

Dave and Cat try to keep a diverse but relatively traditional lineup on tap. They’renot against a bit of experimentation — Huck’s Habañero Apricot Wheat beer gained somewhat of a cult following, but their main focus is quality. If it’s not good, it’s not going on the menu. For Dave, in particular, a lot of heart and soul goes into the brewery’s barrel-aged offerings. This program takes a lot of time and care; barrel-aging is a long and arduous process, and if anything goes wrong at any point, he has to start over. However, his efforts have not gone unrewarded. Mark Twain Brewing’s Wee Bit Foggy Scotch Ale won third place in the Other Strong Beer category at the 2021 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer.

Mark Twain Brewing isn’t just a place to stop and grab a pint. Their food menu is formidable, with eight different appetizers and a smattering of entrees, salads, and tacos. In addition, guests can enjoy the “big-ass pretzel” while they sip a Molly Brown Brown Ale or a Chocolate Coffee Stout. The brewery is also home to a rooftop beer garden and upstairs event space that overlooks the river.


Simply put, it’s a great place to relax after shopping downtown at Mississippi Marketplace, America’s Hometown Essentials, Badger Cheese Haus, and Ava Goldworks. If you’re looking for a warm, friendly, and delicious piece of Americana in Northeast Missouri, look no farther than Mark Twain Brewing Company.



422 North Main Street

Hannibal, MO

(573) 406-1300