Get ready for Scratch’s Fifth Year Anniversary this year! As always, the party will be held the first weekend of March over two days, Saturday, March 3rd and Sunday, March 4th, from noon to 6 PM. Our friends have come together to help us celebrate our 5-year milestone, overwhelming us with amazing art, food, and drink to share with attendees--read on!
As in years past we will offer 20 beers on draft at pouring stations around the brewery. While reflecting on the first five years of brewing beers with a sense of place in Southern Illinois, we wanted to breathe some life back into creations that spoke to our connection to the farm and the woods, and beers people loved that we only brewed once or twice. On the beer list this year are some Scratch “classics,” including our Lavender Tripel, Chili Coffee Amber, Pumpkin Seed, and Wild Grapevine Wee Heavy. Other beers of note include "5," a special fifth anniversary beer available on draft and in bottles all weekend; one-of-a-kind barrel-aged beers, which spent time in Missouri oak barrels that previously held whiskey from our friends at Wood Hat Spirits; and beers with foraged ingredients that are difficult to procure. If you were able to try the fermented acorn beer at the Botanical Beer and Bonfire festival, you tried one version of it and we will have differently processed versions during our anniversary for your comparison. A full list of beers is below:
5 (Scratch's 5th Anniversary Beer)
Ginger Golden Strong Ale
Single Tree Hickory
Single Tree Cedar
Wild Grapevine Wee Heavy
Acorn Stein Beer
Paw Paw Stein Beer
Scratch Matter (Scratch-Dark Matter Coffee collab)
Barrel-Aged Sweet Clover Brown
Barrel-Aged Blue Corn
Chili Coffee Amber
We will also be releasing our one-time only fifth anniversary beer in bottles over the weekend, along with an extensive bottle list, including some special cellared editions. The anniversary beer, "5," was brewed with filé spice (dried sassafras leaves) and juniper branches from our property, malt from our friends at Sugar Creek Malt, Nugget hops from CL Hops in Illinois, and our wild house culture. The tropical--dare we say juicy!--aroma and flavor is derived entirely from the juniper and filé, which, combined with our wild sourdough culture, creates a naturally cloudy appearance. The only hops used were a bittering charge at the beginning of the boil. Everything in this beer came from within 300 miles of our brewery, in this pocket of the Midwest we call home. Drink fresh, share with friends, this is not a whale, it's friendly dolphin! It will be on tap at the brewery all weekend.
In addition, we will be featuring special art for sale commissioned from local artists and craftspeople: original handmade 5th anniversary posters and t-shirts from Jared Davey, bottle openers from Kevin Dotson, ceramic mugs from Stephanie Dukat, and our favorite local herb-infused huntsman soap from Tam Pirmann of River to River Farms.
Finally, we can't forget to mention the food! Brewery friend and talented chef Obie Ferguson will be making food all weekend for purchase á la carte (vegetarian and vegan options available). Obie is the chef and partner of Wisteria Southern Gastropub in Morganton, North Carolina, and has visited Scratch as a collaborator. He is planning a menu with a combination of farmed and foraged ingredients from North Carolina and Southern Illinois, highlighting a friendship created between the two regions nearly since opening. The tentative menu includes:
Porchetta with cedar berries and sassafras
Fermented pepper mash bratwurst
Beeswax and pine new potatoes, poached and grilled
Baked beans with "bacon" mushrooms
Celeriac, fennel, apple slaw
Kraut and other fermented goodies
Scratch also welcomes good friends and frequent collaborators Dark Matter Coffee from Chicago who will be on site all weekend making hot coffee and pouring their own cold brew. Their coffee will be featured in a couple of beers on tap during the weekend, including a collaboration brewed at Scratch. The coffee, along with Scratch's house made soda and Southern Illinois chai tea, will be unlimited and included in the ticket price.
The party is a ticketed event only. Tickets are $30, available online on at scratchbeer.com/tickets or at the brewery, and include a glass, 8 tasting tickets, and unlimited house made soda, hot chai, and coffee from Dark Matter. Food is available á la carte and more sample tickets can be purchased throughout the day. Designated Driver and non-alcoholic tickets are available as well for $10 and include a mason jar and unlimited soda, tea, and coffee.