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GOOD SHIPS AND WOOD SHIPS - The adventures of Friendship Brewing Company

Jul 25, 2023 01:16PM ● By ANDREW TESSMER
There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.”

This Irish proverb was caringly hand- painted on a small section of wall at Friendship Brewing Company 's original East Pitman Avenue location in 2016 when the now stalwart brewery, taproom, and beer garden began.

The fraternal theme of this phrase is evident in the brewery’s convivial moniker. The nautical theme came to fruition years later, when the Mark Twain Brewing Company—nestled on Hannibal’s North Main beside the mighty Mississippi—went up for auction. 

According to Friendship co-owner David Brewer, his business partner and Friendship founder, Brian Nolan, heard through the grapevine that Mark Twain Brewing was up for auction, and the deadline was quickly approaching. The friends did some quick, back-of-the- napkin accounting and decided to, in the paraphrased words of Mark Twain, throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in their sails.

Armed with a plan and a smartphone, Brian placed the winning bid a mere 18 hours after first hearing of the brewery auction, introducing Friendship’s nautical theme.


Friendship Brewing Company officially took ownership of the 100-plus-year-old brewery on May 2, 2022, and renovations kicked off mid-summer 2022.

Measuring at approximately 14,750 square feet, Friendship Brewing - Hannibal spans two floors. The property includes some impressive features like  a covered rooftop deck, a 1,600-square- foot terrace seating area, and a beer garden on the south side of the property with access to the main taproom through two newly installed glass garage doors that will open as weather permits. A pair of boutique bed and breakfast rooms above the tap room also have been added to the second floor for overnight stays. Plans to renovate the second story event spaces are forthcoming. Most noticeable though, is the main entrance and main taproom’s relocation.


Rearranging the flow of the entire space, the taproom and entrance are now at the front of Hannibal’s historic Main Street building. The first floor facade features an impressive array of huge picture windows, providing natural lighting and a striking series of live-action snapshots of Main Street. The well-lit main taproom includes a large, rustic repurposed bar as well as artistically stained concrete flooring.


Friendship Brewing - Hannibal will make use of its 10-barrel brewhouse, helmed by veteran Brewmaster Shawn Herrin. Shawn got his start in professional brew- ing at the now defunct Trailhead Brewing Company on St. Charles’ storied Main Street in the spring of 2007, finding his way to Square One and Augusta Brewing Company. A graduate of Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy, Shawn started brewing at Friendship part time and became the full-time brewer in March 2018. Shawn possesses a world of knowledge about the brewing process and the science behind the craft. 

Keeping with its motto “friends making beer, beer making friends,” Friendship Brewing - Hannibal intends to craft a few beers specific to the Hannibal location. Plans include tapping into the local beer community to develop new brews with Shawn’s experience. The majority of the Friendship beers on tap will come from Friendship’s Flint Hill production and tap room facility, dubbed Friendship Brewing Company Fli-Hi.

Friendship Brewing - Hannibal will remain focused on their steadfast support of the Hannibal community at large, especially area first responders and hometown organizations. 

Co-owner David Brewer is thrilled to team with Sidekick’s BBQ & Sweets, a Hannibal restaurant that will use the brewery’s on-site kitchen to provide visitors with exciting, beer-friendly culinary offerings on a daily basis.

Friendship Brewing - Hannibal is expected to open mid-summer 2023. Visit hannibal for updates.



In more Friendship Brewing Company expansion news, Friendship Brewing Company has been working hard on a production facility and taproom in Flint Hill, Missouri, just 4 miles from the original Pitman Avenue location. Dubbed Friendship Brewing Company Fli-Hi, the new space will host its Grand Opening Gala Celebration on July 29 with special beer releases, food, music, prizes, and Fli-Hi merch.

The 10,000-square-foot location features a 15-barrel brewhouse, plenty of fermentation tank space, two 15- barrel foeders, a canning line, as well as an on-site distillery. The on-site taproom, complete with a hand hewn walnut bar top, will feature 40 taps, including some draft cocktails made with house distilled spirits.

With seating for 200 split between the main floor and a mezzanine bar, the second story also features a stage that can accommodate larger musical acts. While there is a fair amount of breweriana at the Pitman location, the space has a more restrained, industrial- meets-rustic feel that fits well on its wooded 1.5-acre lot in the quiet Flint Hill area.

Friendship will be partnering with Peter Venezia and the folks with Dukes BBQ Shack to run the Fli-Hi Kitchen, with plans to feature a unique, upscale pub and fusion-styled menu.

Friendship Brewing Hannibal
422 N. Main St.
Hannibal, MO

(636) 856-9300

Friendship Brewing Company
100 E. Pitman Ave. 

Wentzville, MO

Friendship Brewing Fli-Hi

400 Crossroads Business Park Court

 Wentzville, MO