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Friday, Saturday & Sunday

12 pm - 8 pm

Special Eclipse Week Hours

Weds (4/3) 12-8
Thurs (4/4) 12-8
Friday (4/5) 12-8
Saturday (4/6) 12-10
Sunday (4/7) 12-10
Monday (4/8) 4-8

Tues (4/9) 12-8

We will not be open as a viewing site on Monday, April 8th, but we will be open for beer after the event

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

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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 have been nominated for three James Beard Awards: a 2020 Award for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer; and again in 2022 and 2023 for Outstanding Bar. 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
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Draft List for Weekend of March 29 - 31

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


cedar brown ale ($6 snifter/no growlers)

pub-style brown ale brewed with chocolate and munich malts, making for a full-bodied toasty complexity with a touch of juniper on the finish. 5.2% abv


hickory lager ($5 goblet/$15 growler fill)

rustic blonde lager beer brewed with toasted hickory bark. crisp and clean with a very light finish of toasted marshmallow and campfire smoke. 5.2% abv

wild grapevine saison  ($6 snifter/$17 growler fills)         

farmhouse ale brewed with wild grape leaves, green grapes and toasted vines. soft, spicy flavors with white grape character and an oak-like finish from the vines. 5.6% abv

dead leaves ($6 snifter/no growler fills)        
english pub-style ale brewed with dried oak, hickory, and maple leaves. crisp and easy drinking with a tannic leafy finish 5.6% abv


estate saison ($5 goblet/no growler fills)                    

lclassic Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed with pilsner malt from Sugar Creek Malt and our own estate-grown cascade and chinook hops, used fresh off the bine. Fermented dry with our house culture for a spicy, tropical, lightly funky finish. 4.5% abv

baby basil ($5 goblet/no growler fills-we have bottles)    
smaller version of 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 Steeleville; grain from Sugar Creek Malt; and fermented with our house culture. 4.2% abv

fig leaf and sweet clover stout ($5 goblet/$15 growler fills) 

an English style stout, notes of chocolate, vanilla, anise from addition of fig leaves, sweet clover and anise hyssop grown around the brewery. 4.7% abv

beet weiss ($6 snifter/$17 growler)

bright purple from the addition of a copious number of beets from our garden, this refreshing berliner weiss-style sour beer has subtle notes of apple, pear, and earthy undertones. 4.2% abv     

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

sour beer fermented with our house culture, then re-fermented for three months on local green gage plums. 5.5% abv

non-alcoholic   coffee from dark matter ($5) • lemongrass soda ($4)


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

mumm ($15)

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

wild grapevine saison  ($17)      

farmhouse ale brewed with wild grape leaves, green grapes and toasted vines. soft, spicy flavors with white grape character and an oak-like finish from the vines. 5.6% abv

wild carrot & nettle ($17)

light golden farmhouse ale brewed with wild carrot leaves, and stinging nettle. earthy and spicy effervescent. 5.2% abv • 500 ml

131 ($17)

this unique farmhouse ale is an imprint of its place and time. brewed with 131 different leaves, roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and fungi from the height of the growing season, it conveys a subtle earthiness and spice that is characteristic of our location in southern illinois. 5.3% abv  •  500 ml 

strawberry rhubarb ($17)

sour beer made with local strawberries and rhubarb and fermented with our house culture. 5.5% abv  •  500 ml 

sassafras saison ($17)
bottle-conditioned farmhouse ale brewed with file' spice made from sassafras leaves; tropical notes of ginger, lemongrass, and passionfruit with a dry, lightly acidic finish. 6.1% abv

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 Steeleville; 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. 6.7% abv • 750 ml

roselle ($17)

this farmhouse ale was brewed with roselle, a type of hibiscus flower, from our garden. roselle has a natural tartness reminiscent of cranberries and tart cherries and adds a hint of pink color to this dry and lightly funky farmhouse ale. 5.5% abv • 750 ml

foeder-aged porter ($20)

this robust porter brewed with a hefty dose of chocolate malt and a touch of sweet cicely flowers, then aged in our 7 bbl oak foeder from foeder crafters in Missouri. veevtly smooth with a strong oak backbone, a hint of licorice, and a very light acidity. 5.5% abv • 750 ml

wild cherry biere de garde ($20)

bottle-conditioned beer brewed over a wood fire in our copper kettle with grain from our friends at Sugar Creek Malt, Illinois-grown hops, and wild cherry bark from our property. woodsy, slightly smoky bark character with bright cherry aromas and a clean malt-forward finish. 7.0% abv  •  750 ml


black walnut ($20)

dark lager brewed with southern Illinois black walnuts, toasted in our oven. rich and robust with a chocolate malt background, a slight fruity cherry profile and a nutty finish. 6.2% abv •  750 ml


chanterelle biere de garde ($25)

bottle conditioned farmhouse ale brewed with chanterelle mushrooms we foraged from the woods around the brewery. 6.5% abv  •  750 ml


 *Pizzas available starting at 2:00 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 farmer, Kris Pirmann 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. 

Heirloom Tomato ($15)

Topped with a tomato sauce made with our heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, and dried basil from our garden

Arugula & Sausage ($15)

Topped with sauce made with heirloom tomatoes from our garden, sausage from Wenneman's, fresh arugula from our garden, and mozzarella

Bloomsdale Cheese Platter ($18)

One of the world's finest goat cheese is made from Baetje farms, just over the river in St. 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 our hearth 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 (contains nuts)

  Herb Salt

  Olive Oil

  Pickled Carrots

  Wild Garlic & Spring Green Pesto


  Grisonthaler, emmenthaler-style swiss cow's milk cheese from Grison Creamery



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





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.


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 winter 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.



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

Stay up to date on Scratch happenings!

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