Is there anything better than a good hike or run or bike ride to refresh your spirit? How about a good hike or run or bike ride followed by a cold, locally made craft beer?
Here are six breweries that sit right next to multiuse trails in Missouri, and what you can expect when visiting each one.
Recess Brewing (Edwardsville, Ill.) – Madison County Transit (MCT) Trails consists of more than 130 miles of bike and pedestrian paths made up of seven interconnected loops. Spend an afternoon exploring the 25 tunnels and 46 bridges that pepper the landscape before taking the 5-mile MCT Watershed Trail into downtown Edwardsville. The route ends a block away from Recess Brewery, which has a 1,500-square-foot taproom serving year-round beers as well as seasonal and one-off specials. Refuel with in-house snacks or bring your own food.
Schlafly Bankside (St. Charles, Mo.) – Just west of the Katy Trail in historic downtown St. Charles, Schlafly Bankside (formerly Trailhead Brewing Co.) welcomes patrons with a full menu of pub fare, barbeque, and pizza, plus an increased number of tap handles — from English Pale Ale and IPA to specialty beers like the award-winning Coffee Stout. The 240-mile, crushed-limestone Katy celebrates its 30th anniversary this year (see our January/February issue) and connects to a number of small, picturesque towns on its way across the Show-Me State.
Good News Brewing (Defiance, Mo.) – Speaking of the Katy Trail and connections to small, picturesque towns, about 19 miles west of St. Charles lies the community of Defiance and its cluster of wineries, roadside bars, and, most recently, a new brewery. Good News opened its doors just steps from the Katy last April and offers hikers, runners, and bike riders a welcome respite near the banks of the Missouri River. The 7,000-square-foot venue with patio and rooftop deck has 10 beers on tap, a coffee bar, and wood-fired pizza.
Flat Branch Pub & Brewing (Columbia, Mo.) – The Flat Branch neighborhood in Columbia is becoming an entertainment district — a far cry from its old warehouse identity. The area is home to a new park at the trailhead of the MKT Trail, which runs 9 miles and connects to the Katy Trail as well as to a large system of recreational pathways in town. Flat Branch Pub & Brewing has 12 suds options brewed in-house, a diverse bill of fare, and a seasonal patio for all to enjoy.
4 by 4 Brewing Company (Springfield, Mo.) – Galloway Creek Greenway runs north-south through southeast Springfield, connecting to the James River Greenway, James River Water Trail, Springfield Conservation Nature Center, and Sequiota Park. Located across the street from the latter, 4 by 4 Brewing Company is the perfect spot to cool down with a craft beer after a run or paddle, offering traditional pours, blended beers, seasonals, and collaboration brews in a casual, family friendly setting. A new outdoor patio takes a good thing and makes it even better.
KC Bier Co. (Kansas City, Mo.) – An outing along the 6-mile Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail in Kansas City will take you past the biergarten of KC Bier Co. (We dare you not to stop.) The alfresco space is open to those of all ages — it even has a designated doggy zone — and you can bring your own food. Inside the bierhall, patrons can order traditional German sausages, pretzels, and cheeses, to be washed down with a draught of Dunkel, Hefeweizen, Helles, or Pils, or perhaps a selection from the rotating batches of special brews.
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine.