4 Small Town Breweries with Big Hearts – #DrinktheStory

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Beer drinking and story telling is our business and with travel plans and life itself a bit on hold, what is one to do? Drink the story! This week’s #DrinktheStory focuses on 4 small town breweries. In true Stout Life style, we’re “traveling” all over the place to bring you these stories. Complete with big hearts, strangers becoming family, small town love, and of course a dash of humor and lots of good beer, sit back, relax, and drink the story.


Key City Brewing

Zack and beer at Key City in Vicksburg Mississippi small town brewery
Zack at Key City

Trying to find a brewery to check out while traveling through Mississippi is easier said than done. When we visited in the spring of 2019, there were only 12! Feeling quite lucky to be near Vicksburg, home of one of now nine breweries in the entire state, we literally bumped into Zack, owner and brewer, at the bar. Chatting for awhile about the difference between San Diego (his hometown) and Vicksburg, we ended up sitting outside on the patio, fire crackling, beers in hand, conversations continuing.

While we plan ahead and schedule conversations like this for our Stout Conversations video series all the time, this one came about so organically that it holds a special place in our hearts. You’ve heard it plenty of times from us, “Say hi to a stranger.”

We honestly have no idea when we might be back through Vicksburg, but when we are, we will be back at Key City. This little gem, for the sake of all Mississippians desperately seeking out craft beer, needs to stay open. Zack kicks some serious brewing ass, and his partners at Cottonwood Public House serve up beautifully crafted cocktails and drool-worthy food.

How do I support them now?

  • Key City Brewing offers daily takeout hours from 4pm – 8pm. Call ahead 601-501-7712 or order online.
  • Teaming up with Downtown Vicksburg neighbors, Key City Brewing is proud to present Downtown Provisions, a collaborative project bringing you family meals, staple groceries, world-class pizza, hand crafted cocktails, and delectable craft beer to go. Call to order at 601-501-7712.

Click here to listen to our Stout Conversation with Zack from Key City Brewing in beautiful downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi.


Wildwood Brewing

Meeting Jim Leuders, Patriarch and head brewer at Wildwood Brewing during a private beer festival for BeerNow attendees (we are soooo in the right business), we knew we had to sit down with him and talk more about his innovative ideas for sustainability and organic brews. And then we found out he used to work, travel, and live in his van. Talk about a match made in heaven.

Ken and April at WildWood Brewing in Stevensville Montana
Ken and April at WildWood

Located on a farm in Stevensville, Montana, just south of Missoula, Jim’s brewery is like a scene from a western. Striking up conversations with him, a few long-time customers, and a few new ones, this place invites community. His love of beer is evidenced in everything he creates at this place, and since we speak quite often of possibly living in Montana, we would love it if Wildwood stuck around for years to come.

How do I support them now?

  • Wildwood Brewing is now open for regular service! Yes, their taproom is officially open. Stop by and pay them a visit Tuesday through Sunday from 4p-8p. Pizza for dine-in and take-out is also available those same days from 5p-7p.
  • Have a beer for us while you’re there! Cheers!

Click here to listen to our Stout Conversation with Jim from Wildwood Brewing on the farm in Stevensville, Montana.


Omaha Brewing Company

The first time we stopped at Omaha Brewing, we were invited to brew with them. The second time we stopped there we were invited for dinner. The third time we stopped there, we don’t know yet, but maybe we’ll be invited to move in. When these guys tell you you’re family, they mean it. That, plus one of the best quotes ever:

“You know, it’s going to take like seven to ten years for the grapes to mature. I think it only takes like two weeks to brew a beer.” 

Doc Lee, Omaha Brewing

Yep, we’re hooked. Did I mention they have great beer? Every coconut beer we drink is compared to their 7.62 Coconut Imperial Brown Ale. It is that good. So maybe I can’t get that exact beer right now, but thankfully we’ve had it before and memories of this beer, this place, and this family are precious.  All I have to do is close my eyes, tap my shiny red shoes  – oh wait, that’s Kansas! Well, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, so I will tap my shoes while repeating, “There’s no place like home.” Maybe, just maybe I’ll end up in Omaha…Georgia (not Nebraska)!

April Pishna mashing out at Omaha Brewing in Georgia
April on brew day at Omaha Brewing

How do I support them now?

  • Omaha Brewing Company is open for pickup of beer to go Monday-Thursday from 1-6pm and Friday and Saturday from 1-7pm. Call ahead 229-838-4779 or just show up.
  • Curbside pickup available and payments can be accepted over the phone.
  • Now making hand sanitizer – available for purchase onsite or online by clicking here.

Click here to listen to our Stout Conversation with Doc, Stephanie, and Hayden from Omaha Brewing on their farm in Omaha, Georgia.


Superior Bathhouse Brewery

When we first heard about Superior Bathhouse Brewery, we were stoked to meet the woman that started a brewery in a national park and brewed with water straight out of the ground. Yep, the only brewery in a US National Park and the only brewery in the world to utilize thermal spring water in their beer. What’s even better is that Rose and her brewer Jimm are simply great people and will give you their shirts off their backs if the need ever arises! While we do wear their schwag proudly, I don’t think it came from their closets. (Maybe it did. I have been wondering why Kenny smells like beer all the time.)

Ken Jimm April Rose at Superior Bathhouse Brewery in Arkansas small town brewery
Ken, Jimm, Rose, and April at Superior Bathhouse

We’ve shared beers, laughter, and conversations with them in Arkansas and in Denver. But what makes for an even better story is knowing that when they drove to Denver in an RV for the Great American Beer Festival last year, they parked their RV in our driveway! RV lovin’, beer lovin’, travel lovin’ Southern folks. Yep, friends forever.

Sang to the theme song of the Beverly Hillbillies TV show.

Come and listen to a story ’bout a woman named Rose.
Travelin’ tuba player – that’s how the story goes.
Then one day she was looking for some beer.
And up through the ground came a bubbling cheer!
Water that is, liquid gold, Arkansas beer!

April Pishna – feeling sassy

Great beer combined with great mountain biking trails just three measly miles away, we will be back. This place damn well better be here – Rose, Jimm, and the beer, too!

How do I support them now? 

  • Superior Bathhouse Brewery is open for delivery and to go beer and food. Call in orders at 501-634-2337. Available 7 days a week from Noon-8pm.
  • Check out their website for full menu and delivery areas.

Click here to listen to our Stout Conversation with Rose and Jimm from Superior Bathhouse Brewery on their historic bathhouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Since #DrinkTheStory launched, many great stories and positive messages have come from it. Bloggers and beer friends have banded together in a Facebook group and we want to make sure to highlight stories that have emerged. Linked below are posts that we encourage you to read. There’s also a fantastic campaign going from an organization called Drink Local Think Global that has emerged as a craft brewery employee assistance relief campaign. Please consider donating to the DLTG campaign.

More #DrinkTheStory Articles:

Many wonderful things come from bringing beer and people together. There is also some great discussion on our Facebook group, which you can join here.

We urge you to #DrinkTheStory by sharing your own brewery stories and photos on social media, in the comments below, and on your own blog if you have one. Don’t forget to support as many local businesses as you can. We’re all in this together.

Ken & April


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