Southwest Missouri’s craft beer scene expanded in late September with the opening of Turkey Creek Brewery in Hollister.
The brewery, owned by husband and wife Scott and Deneen Wuest, debuted Sept. 24 at 1865 S. Business Highway 65. It’s not only the first ownership venture for the couple, but also marks the only craft brewery in Hollister.
“Just looking at the Branson market and the Tri-Lakes area, we felt like maybe there’s an opportunity for more of a comprehensive brewpub setting,” said Scott Wuest. “We are a craft brewery first with a food piece.”
Turkey Creek has eight taps with six dedicated to beer, and one each for cider and seltzer – all produced in-house, Wuest said. Six beers are served regularly with two others available on a rotational basis. A blonde ale, pale ale, stout and strawberry-basil cider are among the options.
“Over time, our guests will drive which beers will be the flagship beers,” he said.
The food menu includes pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, Wuest said, noting the kitchen and bar share space as the back of house is dedicated to the brewing operation. Appetizers such as chicken wings and garlic cheese strips also are served. Most prices range $8-$16.
Wuest said Turkey Creek seats around 100 with a combined 3,450 square feet split between the building and an outdoor patio. The building, which he said formerly housed Audi’s Pizza, has been vacant for about a decade.
While declining to disclose the couple’s startup investment, Wuest said equipment was funded by a $65,000 U.S. Small Business Administration loan through The Bank of Missouri. They also signed a loan for undisclosed terms with building owner John Stricklin.
The brewpub isn’t a full-time focus for Wuest, who’s worked in the hospitality industry for 22 years. He remains regional general manager for Hilton Head, South Carolina-based Spinnaker Resorts, which has properties in Branson as part of its portfolio. His wife retired last year from Branson Public Schools after a nearly 30-year teaching career.
“We’ve been peripherally looking at the craft beer market and watching it in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas,” Wuest said, noting he talked to brewery owners at Tie & Timber Beer Co. and 4 by 4 Brewing Co. LLC as part of his research. “I’m a home brewer, although I don’t claim to be all that good of a home brewer.”
Turkey Creek is the second business centered around beer to open in Hollister this year.
Another local couple, Tom and Heather Sattazahn, launched Seven Arrows Taproom in April at 260 Birdcage Walk. The 2,500-square-foot venture is roughly a quarter-mile away from Turkey Creek. It has 24 taps, largely dedicated to craft brews from Missouri and Arkansas. Tom Sattazahn, who is a general contractor and owner of Master Handyman LLC, handled the 117-year-old building’s remodel for undisclosed costs after the couple bought it from Michael and Kelly Klemm in November 2020, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Sattazahn said he and his wife have been over to Turkey Creek, while the brewery owners have visited Seven Arrows on several occasions. Additionally, he said employees from Downing Street Pour House, which opened in Hollister four years ago, also frequent their taproom. Downing Street, which is within walking distance to both Turkey Creek and Seven Arrows, added a Springfield restaurant in August 2020.
“This shows that we’re all a community and we’re not trying to compete with each other,” Sattazahn said. “With Branson being right next door, there’s a big enough pool of people who love craft beer and want to come and try out what we have and what they have.”
He said the proximity of the three businesses to one another affords an opportunity to hold an event that encourages people to visit all in one day. Early conversations are in progress, he said, noting a collaboration beer with Turkey Creek to be sold at Seven Arrows also is a possibility.
“People can get domestic beer anywhere. But craft beer, you couldn’t get it in our area without going to Springfield, which is about a 40-minute drive,” he said. “That’s great, but I don’t always want to drive that far for good beer.”
The brewery selection in the Springfield area market is about to grow. Both Banter Brewing Co. LLC in Springfield and Wire Road Brewing Co. in Battlefield are expected to open breweries before year’s end. Those openings will be followed next year by a second location for 4 by 4 Brewing Co., which broke ground in August in Fremont Hills.
In Hollister, Sattazahn said business at Seven Arrows has been strong since opening.
“We’ve been profitable really since the first month,” he said, declining to disclose revenue. “That’s something that a lot of businesses can’t really say.”
Wuest hopes for a similar public response for his 11-employee brewery, which sits on the banks of Turkey Creek, a tributary of Lake Taneycomo.
“That wasn’t a name we had in mind at all until our location came about and tied it in,” he said.
There are currently no retail or wholesale distribution plans, Wuest said.
“Like any business, there’s hopes, dreams and plans for the future,” he said. “We hope to be worthy at some point of distribution.”
As Easy Mountain Cannabis Co. closes in on nine months of business, dozens of new patients pass daily through its doors – a trend co-owner Alex Paulson said basically started on day one.
Marc Thornsberry, a Senior Engineer at CJW, says he joined the company after working in the public sphere. He says CJW had a ton of experience working with the community, and putting their customer's and clients.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful advice and cautionary tips about the importance of tracking cash flow for new or established businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.