Scratch's New Hours for 2021!
Mon-Thurs: To-go orders by appointment only. Call 618-426-1415 or email to arrange a time to come by.
Friday: 12 PM - 8 PM
Saturday: 12 PM - 8 PM
Sunday: 12 PM - 6 PM
We request that you please wear a mask when you arrive at Scratch and when you are out of your seat in any of our common spaces. Thank you.
To order beer to go ahead, visit our STORE page.
southern illinois microbrewery & farm
open for on-site enjoyment Fri-Sun. See our hours.
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.
BEER & FOOD
At this time, Scratch is open for on-site consumption in our beer garden only and we are not serving food to eat on-site (you may bring food with you to eat).
All beer may be ordered in growlers and bottles to-go on our STORE page.
week of april 30 - may 2
filé farmhouse ale ($5)
blonde farmhouse ale brewed with sassafras leaves from our property. light and effervescent with a citrusy finish from the leaves. 5.2% abv
hickory vienna lager ($5)
super smooth Vienna lager made with Vienna and pilsner malt from Sugar Creek Malt and toasted hickory bark from our property. toasty and lightly sweet malt character is complemented by a vanilla marshmallow finish from the hickory bark. a unique and eas going lager. 5.1% abv
barrel-aged plum ($6)
sour ale aged for two years in a red wine barrel, then racked onto locally harvested wild green gage plums. Oak vanillins complement the fruity plum flavor and balance a dry, sour beer. 5.7% abv
a refined farmhouse beer brewed with Chicago Hardy figs and clover from our property, and aged in an oak-forward foeder from Foeder Crafters, with wild yeast and bacteria. lots of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla baking spice character with a lightly tart finish. 6.2% abv
blackberry lavender ($6)
sour ale brewed without hops. bittered and flavored with southern illinois-grown blackberries and lavender, and fermented with our wild house mixed culture. Pronounced fruit character with a cinnamon-like finish from the lavender. 5.5% abv
basil farmhouse ale ($5)
farmhouse ale brewed with dried sweet, tulsi, and lemon basil from our garden. easy-drinking with a familiar spicy basil aroma and light lemony finish. 5.5% abv
sweet clover stein stout ($6/snifter)
stout brewed with roasted barley from sugar creek malt and sweet clover flowers from our property. this is a stein beer that ws brewed with hot granite rocks heated in a bonfire until glowing red, then dropped into the beer to boil, adding a little smoke and caramelization. 6.0% abv
barrel-aged sour beer co-fermented with southern illinois-grown chambourcin grapes, then aged in a napa valley cabernet barrel for a year. a true beer-wine hybrid with a ton of chambourcin character and moderate oak character from the barrel, a bit like a sparkling red wine. 6.3% abv
barrel-aged sumac ($7)
sour ale brewed with staghorn sumac from the woods around our area, fermented with our wild house culture, then aged in a former wine barrel with wild yeast and bacteria for a year. wine-like with a finish reminiscent of tart cherry pie. 5.7% abv
homemade soda ($1 sample · $3 mason jar · $8 growler)
hot coffee ($3) coffee from our friends at dark matter in chicago!
foeder beer ($10)
this farmhouse beer went through primary fermentation in stainless steel and was left to rest for a year in Missouri white oak foeders from our friends at Foeder Crafters. the beer was brewed with wild grape vines and leaves for a white grape-like character and has a smooth vanillin finish from the oak. 7.5% abv • 355 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 mixed culture. tart, spicy, refreshing. 5.6% abv • 500 ml
dead leaves ($13)
one of our classics, brewed with different leaves each year. this year's batch was brewed with sweet gum leaves and pine needles. the base style is like an english pub ale, moderate in alcohol with a crispy malt profile that complements the leaves. an easy drinker that finishes with the impression of having just jumped in a pile of freshly fallen leaves. 5.3% abv • 750 ml
this bottle-conditioned farmhouse ale was brewed without hops. bittered and flavored with whole marigold roots, stems, and flowers, and fermented with our wild house mixed culture. it was then aged for 9 months in neutral oak with a native wild yeast and finished with dried marigold flowers. 6.4% abv
barrel-aged sahti ($20)
northern european-inspired dark beer mashed in an oak puncheon through a bed of juniper branches. brewed over a wood fire in our copper kettle with additional juniper branches, then aged in oak for a year with wild yeast and bacteria. 7.6% 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 and caramel and a mushroomy cellar character on the finish. 6.5% abv
OUR KITCHEN IS NOT CURRENTLY OPEN FOR ON-SITE CONSUMPTION. YOU MAY BRING FOOD WITH YOU AND PICNIC ON OUR TABLES.
See our store page for a few food items to go.
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 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on the space and on pricing.