Waterloo is home to two successful breweries right in their downtown square. Just minutes from metro St. Louis, Waterloo has developed a great local brewery scene with Stubborn German Brewing and Hopskeller Brewing less than a block from each other.
About Waterloo, Illinois
First settled by German immigrants, beer runs through Waterloo’s veins and has since the 1880s. JV’s Bar and Grill was the former home of the Schorr family brewery which operated until prohibition. There are three fermenting cellars below street level that are still accessible through the storage room of JV’s. The owner (who has been there for 28 years) gives tours throughout the year. Check their Facebook page for upcoming dates.
To this day, Waterloo continues to celebrate their heritage with several events throughout the year that honors their predecessors. One of their largest events is the Porta Westfalica which celebrates the town’s heritage with a parade and fair-like atmosphere. For more information on all events in Waterloo, please click here.
Stubborn German Brewing Company
Brewmaster and owner, Chris Rahn, and his wife and partner, Tammy, happily admit that they are stubborn Germans. Chris began brewing at their Main Street location in January 2016, making Stubborn German the first brewery in Waterloo in over 83 years. The owners wanted to create a space that pays homage to the strong German roots of the area while also brewing and serving up classic German style beers.
They have several varieties of beer including the Waterloo Wheat, Stubbornfest, and Shittzengiggles which has the flavors of bread crusts and toast – YUM! Each beer has a specific glass it is served out of to accentuate the aroma flavor, foam and appearance of the beer. No corner has been cut when it comes to serving up authentic brews.
Since the owners focus on what they know best, they do not serve food. Instead, they invite you to bring in food from one of the local restaurants or bring food from home.
Hopskeller Brewing Company
Hopskeller Brewing was a distant dream to owner Matt Schwizer, who made brews based on his experience living in Northern England and the Pacific Northwest. After entering the Monroe County’s “Taste of the Region” in 2014, crowds quickly took note, thus starting his following. Before long, Matt and his partners recruited locals to volunteer their time and expertise to the project.
They have many craft beers on the menu along with Illinois wine and craft cocktails. Their beers include several types of ales, IPAs, and porters. Their “flagship” beer is the Rasberry Ale which is aged on raspberries after fermentation to provide just a hint of fruit flavor and aroma. On the cocktail side of things, they have a delicious Stumpy’s Basil Lemonade (Stumpy’s is distilled in Columbia, Illinois) and a Red Cream Hurricane that uses Excel Bottling Company’s Red Cream Soda.
Make sure you come hungry because you sure won’t leave that way! Guests rave about the handmade wood-fired pizzas including concoctions such as the Midnight Rambler (sausage, bacon, caramelized online, goat cheese) or the Tangled Up in Blue (BBQ Chicken, Bacon, Red Onion, Bleu Cheese). There are several varieties available or you can build your own.
They also have hot dogs, sausages, brats, soups and salads, and small plates that are great for sharing. To see their full menu, please click here.
Wherever you go in Waterloo, Illinois, one thing is for sure – you will drink like a local and be welcomed like a local.