Steins & Vines: A Tasty Tour Through Southwest Missouri
One of my favorite ways to explore a new place is through my taste buds, so the recent influx of microbreweries and vineyards in Joplin and the surrounding area has me feeling absolutely giddy.
Each venue has its own personality, its own vibe. But the one thing they all have in common is passion. The owners love what they do, and their enthusiasm comes through in their one-of-a-kind creations.
I’ve visited them all – multiple times – and, in doing so, realized that visiting these spots is a great way to connect with people in a relaxed environment in order to get a feel for our local culture. I’ve put together a tour of these microbreweries and vineyards so that visitors and locals alike can discover the flavors that make this area unique.
So, sip back (yes, you read that right) and relax as I take you along with me on Steins & Vines: A Tasty Tour Through Southwest Missouri.
This urban craft brewery and taproom (the first one established in Joplin) is conveniently located within walking distance from downtown shops and restaurants.
The 7-barrel system here produces regular brews like Origin, a hoppy brown ale, and Kaos, a tasty tropical ale. Chaos Brewing Company uses coffee from local Bearded Lady Roasters in its Bearded Brewista, a smooth hazelnut coffee milk stout.
Vying for attention here are the craft cocktails created by Chaos’ resident expert mixologist, Daniel Valentine. Order off the cocktail menu or ask about Daniel’s latest concoction.
Soak in the sights of the Ozark countryside as we meander 30 minutes south of Joplin to Neosho where we’ll visit Indian Springs Brewing Company (ISBC), located on the historic town square.
ISBC brews its beer south of town in the area that was once known as Indian Springs, a place that was purported to have healing waters, and serves it in its Neosho taproom. Try the Jinks Milk Stout, a cream stout with hints of chocolate and nuts, or the Peach Wheat, which tastes like peaches ‘n’ cream and goes down way too easily…
More than just a microbrewery, ISBC makes a strong effort to engage with the community through a variety of activities, from Trivia Night to Theology on Tap, a bi-monthly event where theological topics are discussed over pints.
25695 Mulberry Road, Webb City, (417) 642-5288
From town to country, we’ll head north of Joplin to Christine’s Vineyard, where the beauty of its natural setting enhances the wine-tasting experience. Chambourcin and Norton grapes are grown here, and produce dry, red wines with notes of berries and spice. The vineyard’s King High Straight wine, made from Chambourcin grapes and aged in French oak, earned a silver medal at the 2019 Missouri Wine Competition.
Christine’s Vineyard also has St. James Winery wines on tap for those who prefer white or sweeter wines.
Once you find one that suits you, find a seat by the tranquil pond, listen to the sounds of the birds in the trees, savor your Missouri vino, and feel your cares drift away.
Just 10 minutes from Christine’s Vineyard, Keltoi Winery offers visitors a much different experience. Keltoi is an Irish winery with a lively atmosphere, due in large part to its gregarious Irish owner Erv Langan who proudly hosts an annual St. Paddy’s Day bash, complete with corned beef and cabbage and, of course, lots of wine.
Irish Raindrops, a semi-sweet white, is one of most popular wines at Keltoi, as are the pear and apple wines. For a semi-dry red option, try the Carleo, which is similar to a pinot noir.
With good wine and cheerful conversations, every day feels like a holiday at Keltoi.
The tiny town of Alba plays host to the next destination on this tour.
Beard Engine Brewing Co. is a friendly, funky, steampunk-themed microbrewery and beer garden specializing in European brews like the Boulderdash, a Northern English brown, and Bee Splendid, a German Keller bier with a touch of honey, as well as some American styles like The Clash, a vanilla cream ale.
Stop by on a Firkin Friday when the latest innovative firkin beer is released, like the German Chocolate Cake Oatmeal Stout. Once the firkin is tapped, it goes quickly, and you don’t want to miss out on those amazing flavors!
Next we’ll travel to Webb City, the “City of Flags,” to visit Flag City Brewing, a nanobrewery whose theme centers on local mining history. Sucker Flats Wheat, one of Flag City’s four flagship beers, is named after a nearby former mine.
The other three year-round beers are The Oronogo Circle IPA, Old #60 Brown Ale, and Turkey Creek Bitter.
Laid-back and friendly, the atmosphere at Flag City is one that invites patrons to come hang out. Bring your friends, bring your family – the more the merrier. Play board games inside, or bocce ball outside. Just come and have fun.
Minutes away from Flag City is Just a Taste, located on Webb City’s Main Street. What started as a wine tasting room has expanded to include a cocktail lounge and Irish pub, as well as a farm-to-table restaurant.
Sample a flight of wines from Just a Taste’s own label, Eagles’ Landing, in the tasting room, or find a spot in the charming courtyard.
Stroll to the sophisticated cocktail lounge to try one of Just a Taste’s signature cocktails, like the Green Derby, made with Four Roses bourbon, Ardbeg 10, honey syrup, grapefruit, and basil.
Wander upstairs to grab a brew at the Paddy O’Rourke Irish pub and catch up with friends near the cozy fire.
You can do all those things in one night, or experience them one visit at a time. There are so many choices at Just a Taste that everyone is sure to find something they like.
That’s it…for now. I’m sure I’ll be adding more to spots to this tour as more locals decide to share their passion for brewing beer or making wine with the community.
Until then, don’t leave your taste buds hanging! Visit one of the stops on this Steins & Vines tour and raise a glass to the many flavors that make our area unique.
Christine is a Chicago native and has lived in Joplin for almost two decades. Growing up in the Windy City, she loved to explore the wide variety of museums, restaurants, sports venues, theaters and parks. When she moved to Joplin her goal was to learn about the unique culture and attractions in the area. Now Christine discovers new things each week, whether it be a little-known park, a new restaurant or a community event. Joplin can be just as exciting as a major city if you dive in to all the community has to offer.