Courtesy of Logboat Brewing Company
By Jonas Weir
Logboat Brewing Company opened three weeks ago with big plans for the future, an enthusiasm for good times, and spirit that can’t wait for summer.
“We want to create a good community gathering space,” says Tyson Hunt, one of the three owners and founders. “We’re looking forward to summer.”
The brewery is a perfect place to hang out. Although it’s located in a more industrial area Northeast of Downtown Columbia, the modern, yet rustic tap room inside is a welcoming, open space, and the lawn, which the owners have dubbed the Shipyard, is large, well-kept, and full of potential. In fact, Logboat is looking to host bocce ball and croquet leagues, and they’ve been inviting local food trucks to pull up into the Shipyard during taproom hours.
“It’s really an extension of ourselves and what we like to do,” Tyson says.
Logboat isn’t the only place to drink good beer and be with friends outside this summer, but it is unique in Columbia because they don’t serve food, and the taproom isn’t open as late as bars. The main focus is distributing beer across the city, which has always been the goal since Tyson and owners Judson Ball and Andrew Sharp started brewing beer in their garage.
“We realized Columbia needed some beer that was sold outside of the brew pub model,” Tyson says. “We spent the last three years pounding the pavement, trying to learn as much as possible, and raising money. “
To begin their education process, the trio went ventured to Hamilton, Montana, and did an apprenticeship of sorts with Bitterroot Brewing Company. After learning the ins and outs from Bitterroot, Andrew, Judson and Tyson learned what they could from Columbia’s brew pubs: Flatbranch Pub and Broadway Brewery.
“That collaborative spirit that exists in our industry is something that we’re all about,” Tyson says.
But they got more than just tips from Columbia’s two brewpubs; they also recruited the assistant brewer at both locations to become their master brewer. Josh Rein was not only assistant brewer, he was also trained at the Siebel institute in Chicago.
“We call him our wizard,” Tyson says. “He’s an incredible brewer.”
And Josh’s mastery over brewing is already showing with Logboat’s four flagship beers: Lookout, an American pale ale made with citrusy hops and a rich caramel body; Mamoot, a English mild ale with notes of coffee, jam, and chocolate; Shiphead, an American wheat beer made with fresh ginger; and Snapper, an American IPA that at 7.1 percent alcohol by volume, is as strong as it is delicious. The brewery also has seasonal ales and is trying out “crazy one-offs” to get a feel for what people like. After all, they just want to satisfy Columbians.
“I’d love to expand across the state, but we have to keep our local customers happy first,” Tyson says.
Expansion doesn’t seem like an outlandish possibility, though. The brewery will be distributing kegs to bars locally through Major Brands, a St. Louis-based company. And Logboat has an in-house canning line, so they can can their beer and sell it regionally. Never mind the brewery’s seemingly bright future, though, the owners’ original goal is what matters most.
“Through it all, we just have to make the best beer we possibly can.”