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Missouri beer today

Beer travel

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(This is the second of a two part article series. The first is Beer travel - A brief history of Missouri beer)

By the 1970s Anheuser-Busch stood alone among Missouri breweries. But, that was about to change. At that time, small brewers on the west and east coasts were starting to make a different kind of beer. Americans were growing tired of the fizzy, yellow pale lager that the major breweries were producing. What had begun as an interpretation of the crisp, full flavored Pilsners of Bohemia, had slowly transformed into a thin, vaguely sweet beer. The good beer renaissance was past due.

It did not arrive in Missouri until 1989 when the first new brewery in the state opened in Kansas City. Boulevard Brewing Company opened in October of that year. It started small but tasty new beers like Bully! Porter, Pale Ale and it's runaway best seller, Unfiltered Wheat earned the brewery a loyal following.

Within a decade, breweries and brewpubs seemed to be popping up everywhere in the state. At this point there are more than forty breweries in the states. They range from wineries that make a couple of beers on the side to big operations like Schlafly in St. Louis which ships beer several states away.

Recently, another change took place that radically changed the look of Missouri. Anheuser-Busch. The brewing dynasty that had been headed by members of the Busch family since before the Civil War, was bought out by Belgium based Inbev. Although, St. Louis remains the head of the Anheuser-Busch portion of the company, the move left a lot of St. Louisian beer lovers feeling betrayed. Previously fiercely loyal beer drinkers who would never consider drinking anything else than Anheuser-Busch products, are now exploring the many new beer experiences in the city.

The beer industry in Missouri is continually changing. From the brewpub sitting on a hill over the Katy Trail ready to serve thirsty cyclists to the tiny little production brewery hidden in the Ozarks that consists of a man and his assistant selling beer directly out of the outbuilding that holds his brewing equipment next to his house, there are no two identical beer experiences in Missouri.

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