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Scratch Brewing (and food) Ava, IL

Scratch Brewing (and food) Ava, IL
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  • Scratch Brewing (and food) Ava, IL

    Post #1 - August 23rd, 2017, 1:10 pm
    Post #1 - August 23rd, 2017, 1:10 pm Post #1 - August 23rd, 2017, 1:10 pm

    The two of us had a wonderful time at Scratch Brewing in Ava Illinois at eclipse time. Its primarily a beer geek destination but they do offer a limited menu of home grown or locally sourced food like bread, pizza, cheese and charcuterie. It is the only brewery I know of that employs farmers and foragers who work the farmland and surrounding area.

    Probably after New Glarus (and not a fair comparison) it is the most beautiful brewery setting I have ever seen. Scratch is located on a farm and surrounded by farms for many miles. Every road you turn on as you approach gets narrower and narrower until a small lane ends at their property. They have a small tap room and larger upstairs event space, but most of the seating is on a huge amount of outdoor space on reclaimed brick patios or small river rock pebbles. The outdoor furniture is old tables or picnic tables, mismatched chairs, logs and benches. Reclaimed wood in heavy use.

    I tried all of the thirteen beers on offer that day and many of them were very good, some were not so much to my taste, yet it was fun to taste things like a beer made with smoked foraged wild hen of the woods mushrooms even if I didnt love it. They also feature several beers that do not use hops as bittering agents, but rather marigolds, cedar, hyssop or wild carrots. Some of these were amazing. Just about everything that goes into their beers is foraged or grown on their property. For me, the best beers were the ones that used the house wild yeast strain; saisons and sour/vegetable/herb/fruit brews. I liked the carrot wheat and cedar stout alot too.

    We tried a wood oven pizza w sausage, arugula pesto and goat cheese. Maybe could have used a couple more minutes to get a little crispier but a minor quibble considering how busy they were. Super tasty. Alot of folks were getting the loaf of bread with an assortment of spreads, Bloomsdale goat cheese from a small farm over the river in Missouri, or salumi from Beddu in STL. Goes without saying the pizza crust and bread use the house wild yeast culture. And of course they have a house pickled vegetable platter.

    Cant imagine Id ever go back but certainly an amazing experience if you happen to be anywhere near the Carbondale (St Louis?) area.

    Lastly, if anyone is curious about their beers, but doesnt want to make the trek, local store the Beer Temple carries some of their beers.
    264 Thompson Road
    Ava, IL
    open Thursday-Sunday only.