Joe and Crissy Hoefle: Home brew

Take a guy with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a gal with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in management. Marry them and combine their talents in the workplace.
What do you get?

The Hermann Brewing Co., established in October 2002 — a friendly eating establishment and haven where those who love the taste of microbrew beer can meet and eat.

After Crissy (Bosworth) Hoefle, Psyc’93, and Joe Hoefle, BSci’99, graduated from UMR, they did their homework and chose Hermann, Mo., as the site of their dream, which was to own and operate a brewery.

Joe took his book learning and 15 years of work experience, which included three years at the St. James Winery, and combined it with his homebrewing background, to become the brewmaster.

Crissy took her psychology and management background and created a marketing plan, developing a good reputation for the brewery throughout the state, particularly in the tourism industry.

The couple traveled to more than 15 states and visited about 100 microbreweries. Then in October 1999, they brought their knowledge, and most importantly, their unbridled enthusiasm to Hermann and purchased an old building.

“The building started as a carriage works in 1884 … it was a Chevy dealership from the ’20s to the ’40s,” says Crissy. “When we bought it, it was a dilapidated laundromat. The floors were falling through where the water had leaked.”
From 2000 through the fall of 2002, Joe worked full time on restoring the building.

“We did everything to Department of Interior standards,” Crissy says.“As members of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we enjoyed doing the work ourselves.”

Some of the more personal touches include murals by a local painter — an elephant by the outside entry way, other scenes on the inside walls.

In the belly of the brewery, a sterile setting with “space-age tanks,” Joe concocts the ales that bring folks from all over the country to Hermann. He rotates through his proprietary beer recipes and only a few varieties are considered “staples,” including Hermann Ale, Stout and Kolsch.

“The Pumpkin Ale is wildly popular,” Crissy says. “This style is made with nearly 100 pounds of local pumpkins that I pick and puree myself. It tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass.”

The restaurant also serves bistro-style fare including pesto chicken pizza, grilled portabella pasta, shrimp scampi and popular German entrees. Joe’s beer becomes an ingredient in their food as well, with fresh beer bread, whole grained mustard and bier salami on the menu.

In just two short years, Joe has upgraded the brewhouse twice — first with new tanks and later by adding space to the cold room so he could make lager beer. In addition to many ales, he now has Oktoberfest, Pilsner & Maibock — all lagers —under his belt. Maibock was released May 20 as the “Official Beer of Maifest.”

Upon the suggestion that he might entertain the idea of employing an intern from UMR, Joe laughs and says, “I guess that would work, if you could find anyone there who likes beer!”

For more information call (573) 486-HOPS (4677).

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