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Logboat Brewing Co. is gearing up for a major expansion in Columbia
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COLUMBIA, MO.

Logboat Brewing Co. is gearing up for a major expansion in Columbia

Logboat Brewing Co. first opened its doors in Columbia, Missouri, in 2014, and has since made the property a craft beer landmark in mid-Missouri. As the brewery enters a new phase of growth, its founders are set on continuing their story exactly where it began: right at home on Fay Street.

In early October, the brewery announced plans to nearly double its current footprint, creating more space for its crew to brew and for its loyal fans to imbibe. It’s a goal that’s been brewing since Logboat’s inception, but the soar of retail sales, along with other changes during the pandemic, prompted liftoff. “I think we always knew we would outgrow this facility; it was just a matter of time,” co-founder Judson Ball says. So, what can you expect from the next chapter of Logboat’s story? In short, there’s going to be a lot more room for fun.

Outdoor space is a hallmark of the brewery, where on any given sunny day you’ll find patrons sipping brews on the lawn, but a key element – shade – has always been elusive. “We realized that we needed to make a better experience for people, where they’ll have access to a covered space, so that you can sit outside even in cooler or rainy weather,” co-founder Tyson Hunt says. The installation of an awning over the beer garden, an elevated patio and a container bar to serve guests outside are a trio of exciting changes to come to the outdoor space.

Inside, a second bar will be added upstairs, where the loft will be enclosed and the openings that currently overlook the brewery will be glazed with glass to keep the noise level down. Finally, a proper vestibule with retail space and elevator access to the second floor will be added. “That's the best view of the brewery, to see the entire operation, so it's really important that everybody can experience that, especially when we're giving tours and pointing out stuff,” Ball says. With these changes, they’ll be able to offer more brewery tours, private event space and more space in general for guests to enjoy beer on the property. Behind the scenes, expanded production space will allow Logboat to introduce some new packaging sizes and keep up with customer demand for core styles while also exploring new recipes.

Although Logboat's founders have longed dreamed of this expansion, they never really entertained leaving their home base on Fay Street or the community who’s supported them along the way – many of whom even sent letters to the city in support of the rezoning. And true to Logboat’s community-first philosophy, the beautification projects won’t end at their own property lines. They plan to pave and stripe the adjacent parking lot and add a crosswalk, along with burying the power lines to upgrade the sight lines in the neighborhood.

For the whole Logboat crew, the adventure is just beginning. “One of the most fun things about the expansion for us is we're adding about 20,000 square feet of production space to this building, but that doesn't mean we're going to use all 20,000 square feet out of the gate,” Ball says. “We're going to slowly implement as we need to, and maybe grow into this space over the next 10, 15, 20 years. It's not gonna happen overnight; our growth has always been slow and deliberate.” 

Ball estimates that the construction process – which could, at some point, cause the taproom to close temporarily – will be complete by late fall or early winter of 2022. In the meantime, though, Logboat is also announcing two new collaborative beer launches in mid-October.

“We're going to be able to do some smaller batch stuff that we aren't currently able to do… we also have our cellar project; we're cellaring a lot of beer in the back and [at sister company] Waves right now, so there's a lot of fun stuff coming out,” Ball says.  “Our goal is to keep growing and keep making fun projects, to give our brewers the freedom to do what they want and do smaller projects.”

Logboat Brewing Co., 504 Fay St., Columbia, Missouri, 573.397.6786, logboatbrewing.com

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Jessica is a freelance writer based in Columbia, Missouri. She lives by the words of M.F.K. Fisher: "First we eat, then we do everything else."

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