Explore Shawnee Forest Country!
Scratch Brewing Company is a farmhouse brewery located five miles from the Shawnee National Forest in Ava, Illinois. Outside Magazine named it one of the top four breweries for foraged beer, and All About Beer Magazine declared it one of the most beautiful places to drink beer in the world! Scratch Brewing Company focuses on farmhouse beers and other styles brewed with homegrown and locally farmed and foraged ingredients. The brewery has an ever-rotating selection of styles enhanced by the innovative addition of local ingredients, such as nettle, elderberry, ginger, dandelion, maple sap, hickory, lavender, juniper, and chanterelle mushrooms.
Scratch Brewing Company is a hyperlocal farmhouse brewery that produces beer made from ingredients harvested in Southern Illinois, most of which come from the brewery’s own farm and the woods surrounding the brewery. Try a flight of four of the nine seasonal varieties on tap, which could be made with any one of a number of unique ingredients, such as sassafras leaves, rhubarb, wild mushrooms, hickory bark, acorns, sorrel, or nettle. Traveling with the family? Grab a couple of glasses of house-made soda for the kids, along with a cheese platter of local goat cheese, and pizza made with tomatoes and basil from the brewery’s garden and cooked in its wood-fired brick oven. Fill a growler of beer to go or mix and match a case with the ever-changing bottle selection of special beers from the cellar.
If you’re in town the first week of March, don’t miss Scratch’s anniversary party, a two-day event that features 20 different beers, unlimited house soda, tea, and coffee, and great farm-to-table fare from guest chefs. Or, if you’re passing through during Southern Illinois’s spectacular fall colors, check the calendar for Scratch’s Oktoberfest, usually held the last week of September. Oktoberfest marks the release of Scratch’s traditional Marzen, a beer brewed in March and lagered until October, poured in abundance into handmade steins made by local ceramicists, and served with German-style food. It’s a celebration of the of the season in Southern Illinois, and what better place to be to experience the changing leaves and weather in all their glory?