Missouri’s alcohol industry enters a new golden age

DanWhen we think about the alcohol industry in Missouri, we have a tendency to look back.

We revel in the story of the historic Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis. We feel pride that a Missouri company was responsible for creating some of the world’s most popular beers.

We remember that Missouri’s wine country once produced more wine than any other state.

We recall how our state’s abundant natural springs once helped create a rich industry of distilleries.

These are all great stories. But the trouble with basking in our past is that we just might be overlooking the greatest moment in Missouri’s alcohol industry – happening right now.

This issue of Missouri Business aims to celebrate this industry’s historic present in our state.

Anheuser-Busch remains a cornerstone of our state’s economy. The company employs more than 3,400 Missourians, and its payroll in the state tops $400 million.

Even as it owns a massive share of the domestic beer industry (including 58 percent of Missouri’s beer market), the company continues to innovate – creating new beers at its St. Louis-based Research Pilot Brewery.

Click here to read more about what Anheuser-Busch is doing in Missouri today.

The state is also experiencing a boom of small brewers. Over the last five years, Missouri has seen a nearly 65 percent increase in the number of craft brewers in the state. One of the most exciting small brewers is Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Read about this company.

Missouri’s wine business has also seen major expansion. Today, the state hosts more than 125 wineries and sells more than 900,000 barrels of wine each year. Nearly 15,000 Missourians work in this industry.

Stone Hill Winery in Hermann has a historic past and a very relevant present. Click here to read about this winery.

Missouri is also home to a growing number of distilleries. One of the most significant is located in Weston: Holladay Distillery. The business traces its roots back 160 years. Read about how the historic company has come full circle with this year’s reintroduction of its original Missouri bourbon.

Distributors are also a critical piece of the alcohol industry in Missouri. With all the changes happening, these businesses’ operations have had to evolve to keep pace. Fechtel Beverage in Jefferson City is helping lead the charge as the fourth generation of the Fechtel family begins to take on leadership roles in the company. Read more about how this business is changing.

No doubt, there’s never been a better time to be in the alcohol industry in Missouri. I can’t wait to see what comes next.


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