Brewer’s Choice: Scratch Brewing’s Marika Josephson on the perfection that is Duvel’s golden ale, the thought-provoking creations from Is/Was Brewing, and supporting her community in southern Illinois
Photo by Demond Meek
Scratch Brewing Company
The last really good beer you drank was…
The Duvel golden ale on draft at The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden in Nashville. What an amazing beer and so difficult to accomplish on draft with the high carbonation level. The beer tasted so fresh, spicy, smooth and impossibly effervescent with a giant rocky cap of foam that lasted the entire length of drinking the beer. It transported me back to the aromas of breweries in Belgium. I’ve thought about it constantly since.
What fellow Illinois breweries and specific beers have impressed you lately?
We were fortunate to pour beer next to Is/Was Brewing at an event at Terra Ferment in Springfield this past spring. All of the beers were so meticulously crafted, highly drinkable and thought provoking. I really enjoyed the paw paw beer, which conveyed the aromas of mango and banana that are peculiar to that fruit. It was fun to try a different take on some of the ingredients we also use and be so pleased to just finish an entire glass.
Every beer we sell is another dollar that goes back to local farms and farmers, local artists and craftspeople, and strengthens our community here.
What are you most proud of at your brewery?
Honestly, especially after a crushing global pandemic, I’m just happy to see people continue to make the journey to the middle of nowhere to try our beer and spend a day or a long weekend with us. Every beer we sell is another dollar that goes back to local farms and farmers, local artists and craftspeople, and strengthens our community here. I’m proud we’ve been able to make beer that is firmly rooted in this place and the community — and that we made it to the other side of Covid.
What do you have coming up that people should know about?
Right now we are holding our Oktoberfest celebration every Saturday in the month of October. We have German-style gravity casks on the patio outside with handmade steins from local artists and some food specials. It’s a beautiful time of year to be out here. Next year we’re also hoping to lead some more forage walks and guided beer tastings like we did for our anniversary this year. More info on that will be on our website and social media.