Scratch's Hours for Christmas and New Year's Weekends
Friday, December 24: CLOSED
Saturday, December 25: CLOSED
Sunday, December 26: 12-6 PM
Friday, December 31: 12-8 PM
Saturday, January 1: 12-8 PM
Sunday, January 2: 12-6 PM
We require masks inside once again. Thanks for your patience and cooperation.
To order beer to go ahead, visit our STORE page.
southern illinois microbrewery & farm
open for on-site enjoyment Fri-Sun. See our hours.
email@example.com cash only
we do not allow buses. parties of 12 or more please call ahead
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.
Draft List for Weekend of December 31 - January 2
*we are cash only!*
filé farmhouse ale ($5/$15 growler)
blonde farmhouse ale brewed with sassafrass leaves from our property. light and effervescent with a peppery, citrusy finish from the leaves. 5.2% abv
foeder-aged bark ($6 goblet/no growler fills- we have bottles)
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
barrel-aged queen anne's lace ($6 snifter/$17 growler)
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 apple-grapevine ($6/$17 growler)
sour ale brewed without hops. brewed with wild grape leaves and vines, and refermented on southern Illinois-grown apples and aged in oak puncheons for a year with wild yeast and bacteria. crisp, cider-like sour beer with a smooth oaky finish. 6.9% abv
sainnhus lager ($5/$15 growler)
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
single tree hickory ($6 snifter/no growler fills--we have bottles)
sour ale brewed without hops. bittered and flavored with hickory leaves and toasted hickory bark. an unusual combination that is characteristic of scratch: sour flavors melding with a toasted marshmallow-like finish, reminiscent of a campfire. 5.8% abv
peach farmhouse ($6 snifter/$17 growler)
tart wheat beer dry-hopped with illinois grown mackinaw hops refermented on fresh peaches from mileur orchard. 4.5% abv
wet-hopped farmhouse ale ($5 growler/ $15 growler fills)
fresh cascade and chinook hops from our hop yard were added directly from the bines to the fermenter. light, refreshing, tropical, with pineapple aromas and an herbaceous finish. 4.5% abv
mumm ($6 snifter/no growler fills--we have bottles)
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
non-alcoholic hot coffee from dark matter coffee ($3) • tulsi basil soda ($3)
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
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
bottle-conditioned sour beer brewed without hops. made with pilsner malt from sugar creek malt, honey from royal bee in Steeleville, and ginger from our garden, fermented with our wild house culture. tart, spicy, refreshing. 5.6% 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
foeder-aged fig ($20)
bottle-conditioned beer brewed with Chicago hardy figs and clover from our property, then aged in a new oak foeder. the figs and clover lend notes of cinnamon and baking spice flavor that melds well with the vanillins in the oak and a balancing acidity from the wild yeast and bacteria. 5.5% abv • 750 ml
*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 from Lick Creek Beef & Pork.
Wood-Fired Oven Pizza (approximately 12 inches)
Our pizzas are stretched lovingly by hand. Please allow 20 minutes or longer if we are busy.
Pesto & Goat Cheese ($13)
Topped with house-made arugula pesto and chevre goat cheese
Tomato & Pepper ($13)
Topped with our own heirloom tomato sauce, thin slices of house-pickled peppers, 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 wedges of 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 Wheat and Corn Hearth Bread
Pickled Green Tomatoes
Cardamom Ice Cream ($5)
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:
264 Thompson Rd
Ava, IL 62907
Due to our limited space and small parking lot we do NOT allow buses. Parties of 12 or more please call ahead.
Mon - Thurs: To-go only
growler and bottle sales by appointment. Please call the brewery at 618-426-1415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to come by
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.
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.
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
Lost Trail Cabins in Ava
RENT THE SERPENT ROOM
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 (email@example.com) for more information on the space and on pricing.