Jen and Curtis are co-founders of Tie & Timber Beer Co, a neighborhood brewery opening early 2018 in the historic Rountree area of Springfield, Missouri.

As I was reflecting on our journey of opening a brewery and contemplating what topics we might initially blog about, I was reminded of a letter we wrote to our community earlier this year. Before we could move forward with our chosen location at Pickwick Place in the historic Rountree neighborhood, it was critical we first answer the question:  Do our neighbors want us here?

And not just will they tolerate us, but do they REALLY want us here? Like “willing to spend hard-earned cash to support a start-up brewery in their neighborhood” want us here?

To find out, we decided to write a letter to the community and ask.  The published letter was quite a bit shorter than this one, but I thought it would be interesting for our neighbors and future patrons to read the original unedited version.

BTW, The fantastic image above was shot by Rountree’s own Thomas Jenkins.

We are Curtis and Jen and we make beer.

In fact, we love to make beer so much that we are asking for the honor and privilege to make beer for you.

That’s what this letter is all about. We are looking for honest and sincere feedback from the Rountree community on potentially bringing our vision to your neighborhood. Please take a few moments to get to know us and provide feedback – both positive and constructive are welcome.

Interested in being a part of this journey? Ok then. Let’s get to know each other a little bit.

We are Jen and Curtis and we make beer. We want to be your neighbor by opening Tie & Timber Beer Co. in your historic community.

In the rawest terms, Tie & Timber Beer Co. combines 4 ingredients (water, grain, hops, yeast) and produces an entirely new product: premium, local, fresh craft beer.

Curtis was raised in Springfield, but has been exploring Colorado since 1999. It was in Colorado that Curtis discovered his love for fresh, local craft beer. It was also in Colorado that Curtis discovered his love for a fresh, local Jen.

Jen is a native of Colorado, but is ready for a new adventure in the great state of Missouri. Jen is no stranger to the hand-crafted arts community and craft beer has allowed her to take her talents even further.

So what is Tie & Timber Beer Company exactly? Glad you asked.

In the rawest terms, Tie & Timber Beer Co. combines 4 ingredients (water, grain, hops, yeast) and produces an entirely new product: premium, local, fresh craft beer.

In the most enchanting terms, Tie & Timber Beer Co. is continuing a 5000-year-old tradition of encouraging yeast to unleash its magic creating aromas of toffee or spice and enticing the palate with flavors of chocolate or grapefruit. This is a product that when consumed in moderation tears down social barriers and spawns euphoria. In fact, Ben Franklin described beer as “a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy!”

In more practical terms, Tie & Timber Beer Co. strives to be your “other” backyard. To be your “Third Place” – an alternative to work and home. To be a community meeting place where premium craft beer, brewed on site, can be enjoyed while ideas between family, friends and strangers are shared.

Not enough pumpkin in our Spiced Autumn Farmhouse Ale? That’s ok, we have a pumpkin patch out back!

Sometimes in order to describe what you are, we must decide what we are not. Tie & Timber Beer Co. is not a restaurant. We don’t serve food; although you are more than welcome and even encouraged to bring your own. We are not a bar and we don’t serve liquor. In fact, we don’t even serve beer that is not made right here at Tie & Timber. Why not you may ask? Well, because our expertise and passion is making fresh craft beer and sharing it with others. That’s just what we do. For those in our community who choose not to imbibe, we’ll have fresh, hand-crafted sodas available. Perhaps you can even find an ice cream parlor around and make yourself a float.

But we digress. The days of drinking the exact same beer regardless of the occasion or season are fading away. While Tie & Timber Beer Co. will always offer a few flagship beer styles year round, our goal is to relentlessly experiment with new and exciting recipes. Recipes we hope will be inspired by you, our neighbors. By building a close relationship with the community and insisting on brewing smaller beer batches, we hope to respond to our customers in an extremely quick manner. Did we soak our porter in bourbon barrels a bit too long? Ok, next time, we’ll cut back a bit and give you a more subtle flavor profile. Didn’t like the cherry sour we brewed up in last spring? Ok, next time let’s try watermelon. Not enough pumpkin in our Spiced Autumn Farmhouse Ale? That’s ok, we have a pumpkin patch out back!

This resurgence of bringing the public local fresh craft beer is far from over – especially in Southwest Missouri.

The notion of a neighborhood supported brewery may be very familiar to some of you and perhaps quite foreign to others. In our current home of Colorado, it’s actually very common. In fact, I can ride my bike to 14 of them! It’s becoming as commonplace as the neighborhood bakery or coffee shop.

While this may seem like a new concept, community breweries used to be the standard. In 1873, the US supported over 4100 breweries. It wasn’t until the 1920’s and prohibition that these communal meeting places were removed from our neighborhoods. It took us 142 years to finally get back to the same number of breweries we once had and we now have 8 times as many people! Furthermore, the neighborhood brewery concept is not unique to the US. Per capita, Germany has more small breweries than the United States. The point we are trying to make is this: the idea of what it means to be a brewery is shifting back toward an era when breweries were largely local, and operated as a neighborhood establishments. This resurgence of bringing the public local fresh craft beer is far from over – especially in Southwest Missouri.

We are Jen and Curtis and we want to be a part of this exciting revolution. The question is: Do you?