Scratch's Hours 2022


Friday - Sunday

12 PM - 8 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.   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.

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

Draft List for Weekend of November 25 - November 27

*we are cash only!*   *all prices include tax*  try a flight of 4 for $12 

ebulon ($7 snifter/no growler fills)

strong ale brewed with elderberries from our property. This beer was brewed following the descriptions of a historical English beer called “Ebulon,” which was wine-strength and reported to taste like Port. In our abbreviated solera method, we pull half of the beer from a wine barrel every year and replace it with fresh beer so that a portion of the remaining beer stays in the barrel year after year. Some of the beer in this version is 5 years old and takes on some of the oxidized characteristics of aged Port wine. 10.5% abv


wild carrot and nettle ($5 goblet/$15 growler fills)

light, refreshing farmhouse style ale with wild carrot and stinging nettle with a small amount of lemongrass and lemon balm. green earthiness from the nettle with a light, lemony, dry finish. 4.5 % abv 


barrel-aged blackberry lavender ($6 snifter/no growler fills-we have bottles)         

bottle-conditioned sour beer brewed without hops. bittered and flavored with southern illinois-grown blackberries and lavender and fermented with our wild house mixed culture. aged for one year in a red wine puncheon. 6.7% abv

foeder-aged grapevine ($6 snifter/$17 growler fills)                    
farmhouse ale brewed with wild grapevines and fermented with our house culture, then aged for a year in an oak foeder. lightly tart with notes of oak, peaches, and white grape, this beer is similar to an oak-aged sauvignon blanc. 5.9% abv

file farmhouse ale ($5/$15 growler fills)        
saison-style ale brewed with sassafras leaves and fermented with our house culture. light, citrusy, and refreshing with notes of passion fruit and lemongrass. 4.7% abv

kvass ($6 snifter/no growlers-we have bottles!)    
sour ale brewed with toasted house-made hearth bread mashed overnight. the bread liquor is then steeped with grains, sparged, boiled, and fermented with our sourdough culture. a surprisingly refreshing beer that is tart and bready, and reminiscent of a gose from the small addition of salt in the bread. 4.1% abv

lemongrass sour ($6 snifter/$17 growler fills) 

sour beer brewed with lemongrass from our garden and fermented with our wild house culture. notes of apple, and pear with a refreshing lemony finish. 4.2% abv

peach farmhouse ale ($6 snifter/$17 growler fill)

lightly tart farmhouse ale brewed with southern Illinois peaches from Mileur Orchards and dry-hopped with Illinois-grown hops. crisp and refreshing with subtle notes of peach. 5.5% abv

estate saison ($5 goblet/$15/growler)

classic saison-style farmhouse ale brewed with Sugar Creek Malt, fresh cascade and chinook hops from our farm, and our wild house culture. effervescent and capped with rocky foam, this beer brims with notes of peach, banana, and clove, balanced with a moderately high bitterness. 4.5% abv

non-alcoholic   hot coffee from dark matter ($3) • hickory cream soda ($3)


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

kvass ($15)

sour ale brewed with toasted house-made hearth bread mashed overnight. the bread liquor is then steeped with grains, sparged, boiled, and fermented with our sourdough culture. a surprisingly refreshing beer that is tart and bready, and reminiscent of a gose from the small addition of salt in the bread. 3.1% abv  •  500 ml

single tree hickory ($17)

bottle-conditioned sour ale brewed without hops. made with grain fro 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

barrel-aged blackberry lavender ($20)

bottle-conditioned sour ale brewed without hops. bittered and flavored with southern illinois-grown blackberries and lavender and fermented with our wild house mixed culture. aged for one year in a red wine puncheon. 5.5% abv  • 500 ml

chestnut & oak ($17)

lightly tart amber farmhouse ale aged on roasted southern Illinois-grown chestnuts and oak heartwood. aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, and cherry with a delicate nuttiness on the finish. a great beer to pair with turkey and holiday festivities. 6.2% • 750 ml

basil IPA ($17)

one of our all-time classics! this beer's aroma comes from basil rather than hops: brewed with lemon basil, sweet basil, and tulsi basil from our garden; honey from our friends at Royal bee in Steelville, grain from Sugar Creek Malt; and fermented with our house culture. Bright basil and hop-like aroma that tastes fresh now but stands up well to aging. 6.8% 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.

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

Roasted Squash & Chevre ($15)

Topped with a roasted squash spread made with garlic, herbs, and spices, and chevre goat cheese from Baetje Farms


Pepper & Sausage ($15)

Topped with freshly sliced peppers, sausage from Wenneman's, house-made heirloom tomato sauce, 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

  Squash Pickles
  Basil Pesto

  Pickled Radishes

  Chevre Goat Cheese from Baetje Farms  




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:


Barnes & Noble



Stay up to date on Scratch happenings!


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

On-site hours:

Friday: 12 PM - 8 PM

Saturday: 12 PM - 8 PM

Sunday: 12 PM - 8 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.


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


Lost Trail Cabins in Ava



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 ( for more information on the space and on pricing.