The craft beer revolution at the Lake
He is a wise man who invented beer.
Plato, the originator of that quip, was indeed a wise man. He parsed those words some four centuries before Christ was born. Yet, he must have been a wise, wise man to have such love for beer.
Beer is one of the oldest drinks humans have produced. The first chemically confirmed barley beer dates back to the 5th millennium BC in Iran, and was recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and spread throughout the world.
Beer is a common staple among an estimated 244 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Judging from a typical weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks, most of those brewski enthusiasts hang out here to toss back a few.
So, we aren’t surprised that several Lake-based bars, pubs and brewhauses make their own or carry some of the most flavorful brews known to our tastebuds. In support of that love for beer, we offer some insight into a handful of those brew houses.
As always, drink responsibly. Designate a sober driver. Find alternate modes of transportation with any of the many cab companies here, with Uber or Lyft. Make good decisions.
Of course, these bars also offer some type of food or snack. Some to compliment the beer, others to help fill your belly. Some have kids’ menus.
Bees Knees Brewing Company
Location: 106 W. Jasper St., Versailles
Downtown southwest of the Morgan County Courthouse
On the web: www.beesknees.com
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bees Knees sports a family-friendly venue offering pizza, pasta and sandwiches as well as eight on-tap craft beers brewed on site. Locally made craft beer brewed by Brewmaster Chris Byars.
Beer by the pint
The little sister to the Electric Nectar Honey Blonde Ale displaying all the flavor with a lower ABV to make for an easy drinking pint.
Electric Nectar Honey Blonde Ale
The Honey Blonde Ale is crafted with a Midwestern malt to be crisp and smooth. This is the most refreshing beer with a mellow maltiness and light hop bitterness.
Hazy Hive Hefeweizen
Hazy Hive Hefeweizen is a pale, refreshing German wheat beer with high carbonation, dry finish, a fluffy mouthfeel and a distinctive banana and clove character.
Colony American Pale Ale
The Colony American Pale Ale is a traditional Northwest pale ale with notes of citrus and pine and a solid malt backbone.
Six Feet Away IPA
India Pale Ales are popular for their hoppy bitterness and rich malt character. With a deep golden color, full malt flavor and aggressive bittering hops, it will not disappoint.
I’ll Bee Bock
I'll Bee Bock is on the smaller side and is a dark American Lager with copper hues. It boasts a rich, malty flavor with a low hop profile.
Sweat Bee Stout
You don't like stouts? Your perceptions may change after trying ours. It has converted quite a few naysayers because of its rich taste, creamy mouthfeel and sweet finish with notes of chocolate and coffee.
Lake of the Ozarks Brewing Company
Location: 6192 Osage Beach Pkwy., Osage Beach
West of Rt. KK on Old U.S. 54
On the web: www.lozbrewingco.com/menu
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 2-9 p.m.; Saturday, 12-9 p.m.; Sunday-Tuesday, closed
LOZ Brewing Co. is a locally-based microbrewery serving craft beer by the glass and growler offering each customer knowledge of the area with unique beer names and descriptions.
Here is a sampling of their offerings.
Served to you by the pint, in flights or growlers
4-Beer Flights $8
6-Beer Flights $12
32-oz. Growler fill $10/$12
64 oz. Growler fill $20/$24
Gold Nugget Jct. Golden Ale
This golden ale is named after the 1970s Osage Beach amusement park, Gold Nugget Junction. This old-time amusement park featured an authentic 1890s country music show, can-can dancers, famous western gun fights and much, much more! The Gold Nugget Jct. has a light, yet crisp flavor to quench your thirst.
Damsel (in distress) Blonde
AKA Double D Blonde.
She's sweet and light and surprisingly not very bitter!
This ale is brewed right in the original town named Damsel. Although the origin of the name is uncertain, Damsel established a post office in 1885 and remained in operation until 1920.
19th W'Hole Wheat
With more than 10 golf courses in the Lake area, there is plenty of opportunity to play 18 holes -- but only one place you can have a 19th W’Hole Wheat. Whether you had a great day or bad day on the course, you can always count on this ale to be nice and refreshing at 5.9 percent brewed with Valencia Sweet orange peel to give a great citrus flavor.
Little Niangua Pale Ale
Not really into bitter beer, but curious about IPAs? Try the Little Niangua, not as "hoppy" as its older brother, Big Niangua IPA. This pale ale is brewed with Cascade hops and offers a nice, smooth flavor -- just like the float trips you can take on the river.
Big Niangua IPA
Every little bro needs a stronger older bro to look up to. The Big Niangua is just that at 6 percent, the perfect big brother. FYI, The Big Niangua River runs about 13 miles from Tunnel Dam to Ha Ha Tonka State Park.
Dragon Lake IPA
Are you a hophead and in search of bitterness? With double the hops and a large grain bill, this double has the bitterness that will explode your tastebuds but with a smooth silky touch. Lake of the Ozarks gets its nickname Dragon Lake from its serpentine shape. With 1,150 miles of shoreline it has more shoreline than the California coast.
And the list goes on – so, put LOZ Brewery Co. on your Lake of the Ozarks Bucket List.
Location: 1684 Highway KK, Osage Beach
Take Highway KK at the west end of Osage Beach, then about two miles toward Margaritaville.
On the web: www.ozarkdistillery.com/ozark-brewery
By email: email@example.com
By phone: 573-348-2449
Hours: Sunday-Monday, closed; Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tap Room is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; Due to production schedules tours are only offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Lake of the Ozarks Brewery is located at Ozark Distillery. Owners Dave and Tiffhany Huffman started the brewery because at the time there were not any open at the Lake. Dave wanted to reuse their Bourbon barrels to create a Stout beer. This beer is unique as they dump the bourbon from the barrels in the distillery, roll them into the brewery and immediately fill them with an Imperial Stout beer he’s brewed. It ages for six months before it winds up in a keg. Stop in for a flight or pint and a pizza. The current selection of beer includes with prices ranging from $2 for 4-ounce drafts to $18 for 64-ounce growlers.
Pilsner or Pale Lager. With a nod to the European pilsners, this selection offers a slightly sweet, pleasant flavor profile with little bitterness. Think Stella Artois but with an Ozark twist. This is the most approachable beer on tap. Light, crisp and low alcohol. American hops and German pilsner malt combine to make the brewery’s version of a light beer.
Beach Blonde Ale
Traditional Blonde Ale, light and easy with low bitterness. A great starter beer if you are new to craft beers. If you like Michelob Ultra or Miller/Bud Lite this is your beer.
Crazy Daizy Almost Hazy IPA
Juicy IPA with hops in the boil, hops in the whirlpool, and double dry hopped. Balanced flavor profile with fruity notes balancing the malt and bitterness. Not quite hazy but not clear, unfiltered. Don't let the flavor fool you, it will sneak up on you.
For those of you who don’t think you like darker beers. Nice malty flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee. Balanced hop profile to complement the malt. Not too heavy, but enough to let you know your drinking something.
Bourbon Barrel Stout
A big beer. Everything you’d expect in a stout with more. Chocolate and coffee notes combined with Ozark Distillery Bourbon gives this a complex flavor profile that evolves as you head to the bottom of the glass. Aged 6 months in a fresh Ozark Distillery Bourbon Barrel, this beer is in a class of its own.
More craft beer offerings depending on season.
PaPPo’s Pizzeria and Pub
Location: 4705 Osage Beach Pkwy., Osage Beach
Just off the Jeffries Road intersection across from Casey’s.
On the web: www.pappospizzeria.com
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Owner Chris “PaPPo” Galloway had many years of pizza experience and a desire to produce exceptional pizza at a higher level. His first foray into the pizza business was in 2012 in Springfield. Expansion began in 2014 at the Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach. PaPPo's has since opened a second location in Springfield and at the end of 2019 opened a location in Columbia. The company’s first franchise opened in Quincy, Ill., in 2020.
But what’s good pizza without good craft beer?
Available in flights, snifters and pints from $5-10; growlers $18-$32.
Their beer menu changes frequently and PaPPo’s also gets tap takeovers occasionally from the breweries.
Here’s just a sampling of the more than 30 craft beers:
4 Hands Ripple
Traditional Belgian-style white ale
Boulevard Chocolate Ale Spiced Beer
The perfect harmony of chocolate and malt
Boulevard Steep Drop Coffee-Stout
Creamy with notes of honey, molasses and coffee
Elysian Space Dust IPA
Hopping outta this world
Bur Oak Cooper’s Landing IPA
Tug of war between the citrus and fruity notes
Boulevard Ginger Lemon Raddler
Zesty, refreshing, thirst-quenching beverage
Ace Pineapple Cider
The worlds original pineapple cider
Sudwerks Small Town Hustle IPA
New England-style IPA
Founders All-Day IPA
Easy drinking IPA
Piney River Black Walnut Wheat Beer
Made with hand-harvested black walnuts
Six-Mile Bridge Pilsner
Made with true German malts and hops
21st Amendment High or Hell
Brewed with real watermelon
Schlafly Tropical Saison Farmhouse Ale
Sour, fruity and funky
Oskar Blue’s Dale’s Pale Ale
Critically acclaimed American pale ale
KC Bier Hefeweizen
Pale, hazy, wheat le with malt flavors
Leaky Roof Gandy Dancer Mead
Sweet and light with wildflower honey
Flying Monkey Red
Sweet, smooth and malty
Guinness Draught Stout Irish Dry
Pure beauty; Pure Guinness
Firestone Nitro Merlin Stout Milk
Smooth, creamy roasted stout
Tap & Grill Lakeside Brew Haus
Location: 31959 Dunwandrin Rd., Gravois Mills
By water near the mouth to the Gravois Arm of the Lake on the north side of the Main Channel at about the 6.5 mm; by land toward the end of O Road in Laurie. Watch for the signs on the right as you’re headed down O Road.
On the web: www.tapandgrillatthelake.com
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-close
Tap and Grill offers more than 60 craft beers, and is possibly the only waterfront brew haus.
Check out any of these beers separated into Draft-Craft Beers and Can-Craft Beers, available by the glass for $6.
Tap and Grill (seasonal)
Tap & Grill IPA
Tap & Grill Ale
Tap & Grill Lager
Tap & Grill Wheat
Sweet Bee Stout
Sweet Bee Blond Ale
Michelob Golden Light
Space Camper IPA
Kona Long Board
Kona Big Wave
Leinenkugel Summer Shandy
Goose Island Next Coast IPA
Goose Island 312 Wheat
Truly (assorted flavors)
Tucker’s Shuckers Oyster and Tap
Location: 1339 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake Ozark
Midway on The Strip in Lake Ozark, next to the Malted Monkey.
On the web: www.tuckersshuckers.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight, 7 days a week.
The claim to fame for Tucker’s Shuckers, one of the newer restaurants/bars in Lake Ozark, is that it is located on the historic Bagnell Dam Strip. It features oysters flown in daily – and 28 beers on tap.
The fact that it offers oysters makes it unique among the standard fare restaurants on The Strip.
Here are your choices for any beer-drinking mood you might be in.
Kona Big Wave Golden Ale
Sudwerk Solar Haze
Elysian Space Dust IPA
SweetWater 420 Strain G13 IPA
312 Lemonade Shandy
4 Hands Single Speed
Boulevard Space Camper IPA
Sea Dog – Blueberry
Leinenkugel Summer Shandy
Logboat Neon Blonde
Blue Moon Shock Top
Golden Road Mango Cart