BOAT TOWN BREWING, Comfy Like Home, Rare Like VacationMar 24, 2022 02:28PM ● By MARIE EDINGER
For the past several years, Boat Town Brewing has been the pride of Phillipsburg, Missouri. The spot offers a wide variety of brews, pleasing various palates. From hefeweizens to lagers,New England hazy IPAs to Belgian wits, barrel-aged gems like a Belgian strong golden ale, a Scotch “Wee Heavy” and an imperial double stout, Boat Town has it all.The unique offerings on their tap list aren’t the only thing the brewery offer
Boat Town Brewing was born in 2015 after a group of medical professionals who shared a love for home brewing decided to expand on their passion.They took it to the next level in 2016 when the doors to the brewery first opened. Brian Hash, the current owner, started working behind the bar about three months after opening day. “They kind of underestimated how popular they were going to be,” explained Brian.“In the beginning, two guys and their wives were trying to do everything.They realized they needed more help, and that’s part of how I got here.
”Brian grew in his role, going from being a part-time bartender to getting involved with the brewing process, becoming general manager, and finally buying the place in August 2019. He’s also the head brewer now.“
They were still working full-time and didn’t really have the time to devote to it, the way it needed,” Brian elaborated. He explained he grew up in small businesses and retail and became passionate about the brewing process while working there.
Brian grew up nearby, in Lebanon,Missouri. He loved how much the community embraced Boat Town. Many of the customers were familiar, but many also came from afar. The brewery sets right off Route 66 and is close to popular fishing spot Bennett Springs. “It’s really cool to see people enjoying something that you created, and that’s a real hook for us,” said Brian.
Now, the brewery is a beautiful, fam-ily-friendly space. Brian says he took great efforts to differentiate Boat Town’s taproom from the environment at bars.For example, there’s a large outdoor area where people can relax and let their kids roam free, and on the weekends, they can listen to live music.
One of the benefits of being the owner and head brewer is that Brian is free to experiment. He and his right-hand-manJustin, who brews and handles the cellar, have been trying unique flavor combinations. “We really do like the, ‘What would happen if?’ We enjoy trying new things. We like to take beer that we make that we know is great and then play with it some,”said Brian. One example is a smoked pepper beer called Smokin’ Hot Date. They also do a Mexican hot chocolate beer for the holidays, using their imperial stout as a base, then adding cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa nibs, and dried ancho chilis.
Boat Town always has about a dozen beers on tap and also shares the love by featuring a few offerings from guest taps chosen by Brian. In addition, he makes an effort to partner with other local businesses, like Leaky Roof Meadery in Buffalo,Missouri. “We know the owner of that meadery, and we love their products, we love the fact that they’re neighbors, and that’s really neat to be working with someone that’s very local to us,”said Brian. “Like I said, I grew up in small business, and we really do want to lift other businesses up and do what we can to help.”
Another way Boat Town Brewing “supports local” is by leasing an on-site food vendor space. Rather than having a restaurant or rotating multiple food trucks, in 2018, Boat Town created a kitchen in a neighboring building and leased it. Recently, a new vendor, Hot Mess Express, moved in.Want a Boat Town Beer? They are only served in the taproom conveniently located just off I-44 at exit 123, just west ofLebanon. But Brian acknowledges they could change their business model in the future
18146 Campground Rd.