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The Beginnings of a Brewery

Ozark Beer Company has been officially serving beer since October 2013, but in all reality, it has been a constant work in progress since 2010.  We would like to jump in and begin telling you about the brewery and our culture, but it is hard to begin a story from the middle, and so we will start at the beginning – in some tents along the Arkansas River in the great state of Colorado.

This is where Lacie Bray, our business manager, and Andy Coates, our brewer, first met as raft guides for the summer.  Little did the girl from Arkansas and the boy from Iowa know that the summer was just the beginning of their adventures and that seven years later, the same river that started it all would lead them home to Arkansas and the Ozark Mountains.

It was an idyllic summer; rafting the river during the day and living in tents along the river at night.  It was during their time in Colorado at the rafting company that Andy and Lacie learned to value two very important things: camaraderie in a community, and a hard-work-can-do attitude.  When you are living out of a tent for the summer, there is no TV, no electricity, no distractions, and most free time is spent enjoying the company of others.  Loyalty and respect grows when you truly get to know people, and the community as a whole benefits.  Lacie and Andy had never experienced the true connections formed out of a seemingly random group of people, and the sense of belonging to a community and a deep appreciation for places with strong communities were born.

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Andy and Lacie during their rafting days.

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