The Origin Story
The year is 2008. Jeff Schrag, downtown Springfield denizen, bon vivant, and serial entrepreneur, is contemplating the future. He’s at a crossroads: older and experienced, yet young-ish and still optimistic; Jeff has one more business venture in him before a life of shuffleboard in socks and sandals. A long draw from the pint glass in front of him proves to be the inspiration he requires.
The recent explosion of craft breweries across the nation had provided Springfield beer lovers with no shortage of offerings. But each delicious one came from somewhere else. Surely the Queen City of the Ozarks deserved its own production craft brewery? This was the project that led Jeff to say, ‘Mortgage it all!” and focus his acumen and resources toward what would become Mother’s Brewing Company.
Like the mastermind in a heist film, Jeff assembled the motley team necessary to the endeavor: architect, marketing ace, brewmaster, mechanical savant, silver-tongued salespeople. They got to work. It proved a challenge, the only respite being frequent ‘research and development’ excursions to pubs, bars, and breweries. In short order only one piece of the puzzle remained: the facility. The problem soon solved itself in what few could deny was destiny: the closing of the Butternut Bread bakery at Grant and Walnut. The building that had, for over sixty years, turned grain, water, and yeast into bread would gain new life turning grain, water, and yeast into beer.
Rather than the obvious path of naming the brewery after a person or location, Jeff chose a name that was an expression of the fundamental truth that brewing is an act of love; active, hardworking love that gets its fullest expression through being shared. Like a mother’s love. A mother’s devotion. A mother’s satisfaction in the joy of others. Eureka! Mother’s Brewing Company. Brewed with love.
In a testament to not only one man’s vision, but to the collaborative spirit and tenacity of that original crew, in the space of less than two years the former bread factory became the love factory. On May 12, 2011, fourteen brave restaurateurs and publicans took a leap of faith and offered draft beer from this brash upstart. Lil’ Helper, Three Blind Mice, Towhead, and Sandi Wheat flowed, from tap to glass, to locals in Springfield. Soon after, the craft curious, the fermentation fervent, and the local loyal began visiting the Tap Room. As the brewhouse scrambled to fulfill unexpected demand, work proceeded apace on the bottling line. The first six-packs of Mother’s beer hit coolers and shelves in southwest Missouri by Labor Day.
In the years that followed, Mother’s has not waivered from Jeff’s original vision: a brewery that operates with a mother’s love. It’s undeniable that we have changed. We are bigger now, distributing in three states and with dozens of beers beyond our original four offerings. We are wiser now, having weathered the capriciousness of the market, the cycles of boom and bust, and becoming more responsive to the voice of the beer lovers who support us. We are more creative, inspired, and innovative.
But we are as weird as we ever were. We remain as committed to flavor, quality, tradition, creativity, and our community as we will always be. And it is our mission that you feel that commitment, that love, in every pint, bottle, or can that bears our logo. Mother’s Brewing Company. The name says it all. Brewed with love. For you. Cheers!