The craft beer revolution at the Lake

Dan Field
Special to the Lake Sun, USA TODAY NETWORK
A beer flight at Lake of the Ozarks Brewing Company.

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.

Brewmaster Chris Byars.
Bee's Knees is located in Versailles.

Bees Knees Brewing Company

Location: 106 W. Jasper St., Versailles

Downtown southwest of the Morgan County Courthouse

On the web:

Phone: 573-539-2525

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

Low Voltage

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:  

Phone: 573-693-1993

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

On Tap

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.

Pick the beers you want to try at Ozark Brewery. Selections change, especially with the seasons.

Ozark Brewery

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:

By email:  

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.

Patio Pilsner

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.

Gateway Porter

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. 

A flight from PaPPo's in Osage Beach.

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:


Phone: 573-693-1092

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:  

Phone: 573-207-0029

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.

Draft-Craft Beers

Tap and Grill (seasonal)

Tap & Grill IPA

Tap & Grill Ale

Tap & Grill Lager

Tap & Grill Wheat

Logboat Bobber

Logboat Snapper


Shock Top

Sweet Bee Stout

Sweet Bee Blond Ale

Deschutes IPA

Michelob Golden Light

Angry Orchard

Boulevard Wheat

Can-Draft Beers

Space Camper IPA

Kona Long Board

Kona Big Wave

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

Land Shark

Goose Island Next Coast IPA

Goose Island 312 Wheat

Corona Premier

Truly (assorted flavors)

The taps at Tucker's Shuckers on the Bagnell Dam Strip.

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:   

Phone: 573-365-9769

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

Deschutes IPA

312 Lemonade Shandy

4 Hands Single Speed

Boulevard Wheat

Boulevard Space Camper IPA

Sea Dog – Blueberry

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

Logboat Snapper

Logboat Neon Blonde

Blue Moon Shock Top

Golden Road Mango Cart