Tapping the microbrew market
Mizzou alumni start a local brewery
Story by Marcus Wilkins | Photo by Rachel Coward
College towns and beer go together like pretzels and, well, beer. So it was only a matter of time before Columbia’s first dedicated craft brewery bubbled up.
In April 2012, Rock Bridge Brewing Co. joined Flat Branch Pub & Brewing and Broadway Brewery as one of CoMo’s pre-eminent microbreweries. But unlike the latter two restaurants, Rock Bridge will stick to perfecting its barley pop and leave the burgers and pizza to the brewpubs.
The fledgling company evolved from an informal beer club at the home of Dave Brouder, BA ’95, president and founding partner. Also among the club members and co-owners: Eric Peterson, BSF ’75, MPA ’94, executive vice president, and Daniel Clay, MA ’91, PhD ’94.
“Columbia is a great market for craft beer,” says Clay, College of Education dean and company. “So how do we go from home brewing on somebody’s deck to producing high-quality craft beer?”