Scratch's Hours 2022

 

Friday 12-8 PM

Saturday 12 - 8 PM

Sunday 12 - 6 PM

Orders are available for pick up on weekdays by appointment only. Visit our STORE page to order and call or email to arrange a time to come by.

southern illinois microbrewery & farm
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  open for on-site enjoyment Fri-Sun. See our hours. 

   info@scratchbeer.com   cash only

   we do not allow buses. parties of 12 or more please call ahead
 

 
 
 

ABOUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scratch Brewing Company is a farmhouse brewery located five miles from the Shawnee National Forest in Ava, Illinois. Named one of the top four breweries for foraged beer by Outside Magazine, and one of the most beautiful places to drink beer in the world by All About Beer Magazine, Scratch Brewing Company focuses on farmhouse beers and other styles brewed with home grown and locally farmed and foraged ingredients. The brewery has an ever rotating selection of styles enhanced by the innovative addition of local ingredients, such as nettle, elderberry, ginger, dandelion, maple sap, hickory, lavender, juniper, and chanterelle mushrooms. 

 

Owners Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon create beer whose aim is to showcase the “terroir” of Southern Illinois. For their efforts, they were nominated for a 2020 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer. Their book, The Homebrewers Alamanac, has become an indispensible guide to those seeking more information on brewing with native plants. Beer Advocate said that its "stunning photography makes this book a high-end addition to your homebrew library."

 

Scratch bottles special release offerings and distributes beer to select bars and liquor stores in Illinois and in half a dozen other states. The brewery also supports local artists and artisans, commissioning original ceramics, t-shirts, posters, bottle openers, and other merchandise. In 2017 it opened the Serpent Room, a collaborative project with artist Brett Douglas Hunter, who brought the room to life with his original floor-to-ceiling art and sculptures. The Serpent Room is available to rent for private events and for non-profits; more information is available below.

Mason jars
Sage
Wheezy and the goats
Outdoor fire pit
Goat house and hops
Juniper
Aaron foraging for ingredients
Scratch beer
 
 

Draft List for Weekend of May 20-22

*we are cash only!*
 

stein lager ($6/$17 growler fills)


beer brewed entirely with hot granite rocks pulled from a fire. crisp malt-forward lager with notes of bread, caramel, and smoke. 6.3% abv

  

marigold (6 snifter/$17 growler fills)

bittered and flavored with whole marigold roots, stems, and flowers, and fermented with our wild house mixed culture. aged for 9 months in neutral oak with a native wild yeast and finished with dried marigold flowers. 5.0% abv

 

barrel-aged queen anne's lace  ($6 snifter/$17 growler fills)        
lightly tart amber ale aged in a puncheon, made with wild carrot stems and fresh flowers. brewed in our copper kettle. tart with light oaky finish. 6.7% abv

barrel-aged sour cedar ($6 snifter/$17 growler fills)                    
dry-hopped sour ale, brewed with cedar branches from our property, fermented with our wild house culture, then aged in neutral oak with wild yeast and bacteria. 4.9%

sainnhus lager ($5/$15 growler fills)        
amber lager brewed with a portion of sainnhus malt from Sugar Creek Malt. the sainnhus is a rustic wood-fired malthouse inspired by the farmhouse malt of Norway--Sugar Creek has the only one in the country. grain is floor-malted, then kilned over a wood fire, creating a smoky complexity unlike any other smoked malt. a crisp and complex smoked lager. 5.9% abv

elderberry ale  ($6 goblet/$17 growler fills)    
strong ale brewed with elderberries from our property. Bready, caramel malt character with a robust stone-fruit character. 8.8% abv

hickory bitter  ($5 goblet/$15 growler fills) 


light farmhouse style pub ale brewed with hickory leaves from our property and Illinois-grown crystal hops. rustic and easy-drinking with a tannic backbone and earthy spice character from the hops and leaves. 4.5% abv

chanterelle bier de garde ($6 snifter/no growler fills-we have bottles)

a scratch classic! one of our favorite beers. this is a malty farmhouse beer brewed with over 100 lbs of chanterelle mushrooms from the woods behind our brewery. a crisp farmhouse beer with notes of apricot, caramel and a mushroomy cellar character on the finish. 6.5% abv


sycamore ($6 snifter/no growler fills-we have bottles)
golden lager brewed with toasted sycamore bark. a smooth pilsner, vienna, and munich malt backbone complements an apple-cinnamon aroma with a spicy alcohol finish. 7.0% abv


non-alcoholic    hot coffee from dark matter coffee ($3)  •  tumeric sweet clover soda ($3)

Bottles


Cold bottles available for here and all bottles available at cellar temp to-g0
 

foeder-aged bark ($10)

amber ale brewed with wild cherry, hickory, and oak bark, then aged in oak foeders from our friends at Foeder Crafters in Missouri. malty backbone with flavors of stone fruit, incense, and baking spice and a smooth, oaky finish. 6.9% abv •  355 ml

mumm ($15)     

dark sour ale brewed without hops. bittered and flavored with sage, basil, lemon thyme, rosemary and lavender from our garden. fermented with our wild house culture. 4.2% abv   •  500 ml

 

maypop ($17)

sour beer brewed without hops. fermented with our wild house culture and flavored with native wild southern illinois passion fruit 4.6% abv  •  500 ml


single tree hickory ($17)
Bottle-conditioned sour ale brewed without hops. Made with grain from Sugar Creek Malt, bittered and flavored with hickory leaves, nuts, and bark, and fermented with our house mixed culture. Notes of incense and toasted marshmallow. 5.8% abv •  500 ml

fig porter ($17)     

robust porter brewed with chicago hardy figs and juniper branches in the mash. chocolatey base beer with notes of coconut and cinnamon. 6.2% abv   •  750 ml

eastern red cedar ($17)

this crisp lager beer was brewed with pilsner malt from Sugar Creek Malt, Southern Illinois-grown hops, and juniper branches in the mash. clean and easy drinking with a resinous finish. 5.7% abv  •  750 ml

sycamore ($17)

golden-amber lager brewed with toasted sycamore bark. a smooth and bready malt bill is complemented by notes of apple-cinnamon from the bark. 7.0% abv  •  750 ml

ebulon ($20)

this special release bottle is based on historical recipes for a beer called "ebulon" which was brewed with elderberries and aged in barrels, giving it rich stone fruit character and a complex oak finish. our version was brewed with single maris otter malt, Southern Illinois-grown elderberries, then aged with wild yeast in a Hickory Ridge Vineyard Norton wine barrel.  10.7% abv  •  750 ml

chanterelle biere de garde ($25)

a scratch classic! one of our favorite beers. this is a malty farmhouse beer brewed with over 100 lbs of chanterelle mushrooms from the woods behind our brewery. a crisp farmhouse beer with notes of apricot, caramel and a mushroomy cellar character on the finish. 6.5% abv  •  750 ml

Food


 *pizzas available starting at 4:00 on Fridays and Noon on Saturday and Sunday

Our food is almost entirely locally sourced. Bread is made entirely with local flour from Janie’s Mill in Ashkum, Illinois, fermented with our sourdough culture, and baked in our wood-fired brick oven. Pizza dough is made with King Arthur flour. Produce is foraged on our land, grown on property managed by our farmers Kris Pirmann and Adriane Koontz, or purchased from local farmers. Goat cheese is from Baetje Farms, located outside Ste. Genevieve, Missouri; and sausage for pizzas is Big Muddy Hogs.

Wood-Fired Oven Pizza (approximately 12 inches)
Our pizzas are stretched lovingly by hand. Please allow 20 minutes or longer if we are busy.

Green Garlic Pesto and Chevre ($13)
Topped with house-made arugula pesto and mozzarella

Fennel & Sausage ($14)
Topped with garden-grown shaved fennel, sausage from Wenneman's, and mozzarella

Bloomsdale Cheese Platter ($18)

One of the world’s finest goat cheeses is made at Baetje farms, just over the river in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. A gold medal winner, chosen as one of the top 16 cheeses in the world at the world cheese awards, the pyramid-shaped Bloomsdale is a mold-ripened cheese rolled in a mixture of ash and salt. As the cheese ages it becomes softer and creamier around the rind and takes on blue cheese flavor compounds. Served with scratch’s house-made bread.

Picnic Plate ($20)
Feeds 2 people or 4 as an appetizer. Assorted foods from our garden and breads made with Illinois flour from Janie’s Mill. All of the sides were prepared in our kitchen with our own garden-grown produce. This week we have:
  Wedges of House-Made Bread (Wheat and Rye)
  Herb Salt

  Olive Oil

  Chevre Goat Cheese
  Arugula Pesto

  Pickled Radishes
  Pickled Beets

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THE HOMEBREWER'S

ALMANAC

Our book on brewing with farmed and foraged ingredients is available at all fine booksellers!

 

The book features 36 plants that add unique character to your beer, which you can grow in your garden, gather from your yard and other wild spaces, or buy from farmer's markets. Chapters focus on individual plants with information about how each has been used historically in food, medicine, and drink, and how we've used them here at Scratch. Recipes are included in each chapter, along with beautiful photographs by our resident photographer, Aaron Kleidon.

The Homebrewer's Almanac has been featured in Brew Your Own magazine, Craft Beer & Brewing, and was a top choice in Imbibe Magazine and Zymurgy's holiday gift guides. Beer Advocate magazine says "Marika Josephson, Aaron Kleidon, and Ryan Tockstein share their successes in this guidebook to homebrewing with foraged ingredients... Kleidon's stunning photography makes this book a high-end addition to your homebrew library."

 

You can buy a copy of The Homebrewer's Almanac on our online shop, which comes signed by authors Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon. You can also find the book at your local bookseller or on:

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

 
 
 

Stay up to date on Scratch happenings!

CONTACT

264 Thompson Rd

Ava, IL 62907

 

info@scratchbeer.com
618-426-1415

Due to our limited space and small parking lot we do NOT allow buses. Parties of 12 or more please call ahead.

HOURS

Mon - Thurs: To-go only

growler and bottle sales by appointment. Please call the brewery at 618-426-1415 or email info@scratchbeer.com to schedule a time to come by

On-site hours:

Friday: 12 PM - 8 PM

Saturday: 12 PM - 8 PM

Sunday: 12 PM - 6 PM
 

We are CASH ONLY and have an on-site ATM.

ACCOMMODATIONS

 

Below are the closest accommodations to Scratch. There is more camping, and more B&Bs, inns, and hotels in Carbondale and farther south in the Shawnee National Forest and along the Wine Trail.

Camping

Johnson Creek Recreation Area in Ava

Lake Murphysboro in Murphysboro

Mudline Lodging in Ava

B&Bs, Inns, and AirBnB

Old Bank Studio in Ava

Renovated 1930s Farmhouse in Vergennes

Oxbow Bed & Breakfast in Pinckneyville

Historic Hull House Inn in Murphysboro

Cabins

Lost Trail Cabins in Ava

RENT THE SERPENT ROOM

AT SCRATCH

The Serpent Room is a manifestation of the creative energy of local artist Brett Douglas Hunter, featuring his original art and sculptures. The room is available to rent for business events, birthdays, receptions, and other moderately sized gatherings for people who want a private bartender and an intimate, colorful space to enjoy with close friends, family, or colleagues. We have room for seating for 50 people with a bar that can handle 4 different taps of Scratch beer. This is an extremely unique space that is unlike any other place you may have considered renting for your event.

Rates vary by season and by weekday or weekend rentals.

 

Please email or call the brewery (info@scratchbeer.com) for more information on the space and on pricing.