The Year in Beer 2018

When we published our inaugural The Year in Beer feature three years ago, our region's craft-beer industry was booming, with an influx of new breweries opening every month and new and expanded production from longtime favorites. In this, our now third-annual salute to the ever-evolving local craft-beer scene, we’re proud to report that we’ve only seen further growth in the industry in those few years.

In the following pages, you’ll read about 15 new breweries that opened between October 2017 and October 2018, 16 must-try beers from established breweries released during the same time frame and big industry news from producers from Waterloo, Illinois, to St. Louis and Kansas City to Springfield, Missouri, and Shawnee, Kansas, and many others in between. More than a roundup of what’s new and notable in the community, we hope this feature acts as an overview of the expansion and innovation in the regional craft-beer community.

Please join us in raising a pint to all of the brewers who are driving the craft-beer industry forward – both here in the Midwest and across the country – and making our region a destination for beer-lovers everywhere.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Writer Pete Dulin is the author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail, and Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across Central Kansas and Missouri.

When Rose Hansen isn’t out chasing stories, she lives like a pioneer woman (of sorts) on a cattle farm in McDonald County, where she also practices a love/hate relationship with gardening.

Justin Phelps is a Certified Cicerone® as well as the owner and editor of, a beer website with a St. Louis focus. While he may be a marketing professional by day, he's a blogger, brewery hopper and beer enthusiast by night.

More Features articles.