Rock Bridge Brewing Co. ribbon-cutting piques interest of Columbia beer drinkers

Three original beers were debuted at Wednesday's ceremony.

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Good times, manly ribbons and a variety of delicious-looking types of beer were on display at the Rock Bridge Brewing Company's ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at Shakespeare’s Pizza.

Two years of preparation were required to see the event through, according to a news release. The ceremony did not disappoint.

Shakespeare’s local iconic status made it a no-brainer as the host for this event, Rock Bridge Brewing Co. owner Dave Brouder says.

“Columbia has supported Shakespeare’s for years now," Brouder says. "It has become not only an iconic figure for the town but an integral part of the community as well. Because of that, we felt that it was the right place to hold this event."

Following the actual ribbon-cutting ceremony were introductions of the brewery, its objectives and three of its beers: Cysquatch IPA, Sif’s Blonde and Farmer’s Daughter Peppered Rye Saison.

The event was lively, with many attendees shouting in support of the beer. Many people seemed very excited for the brewery's presence in Columbia. The three new brands of Rock Bridge beer went on sale after the event and were bought by many enthusiastic customers.

Brewmaster Stu Burkemper says his extensive work in cities like Chicago and Munich have helped him develop a signature taste the city of Columbia can look forward to if they choose to buy Rock Bridge beer.

“My background, with the science and schooling I received, was invaluable because it allowed me to try different things that would give our beer a distinctive taste,” he says.

The opportunity to be Columbia’s only draft beer brewery, along with Columbia being a beer-friendly community, made his decision to base the brewery here an easy choice after many years of developing the idea, Brouder says.

“We did a lot of research as to what would and wouldn’t sell, along with asking questions to restaurant owners as to what people usually drank, and Columbia seemed like a good fit for us,” he says. “Also, the town did not have a brewery before us, and in an effort for them to support breweries, the decision was made to start one.”

Burkemper says he feels the future of the company in Columbia has a lot of potential, considering the reaction it received when first announcing it was coming here and during the event Wednesday.

“I want the beer to go in different locations, to stack up nationally," he says. "I really want this beer to put Columbia on the map as far as beer brands are concerned so that if you go in a Chicago bar, you can say, 'I want a Columbia beer,' and they know exactly what you are talking about.”

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