In July, we attended the 2nd Shift and Friends Beer Festival in New Haven, Missouri, and it turned out to be one of the most unique beer festivals we’ve ever attended.
2nd Shift Brewing is a relative newcomer to the Missouri brewing scene and their offerings are available on draft in many restaurants and in bottles at many area liquor stores. The location of the brewery, where the festival was held, is truly unique. 2nd shift brewing is located on the grounds of the Cedar Creek retreat center in New Haven, Missouri. Cedar Creek is primarily a corporate retreat and consists of a sprawling campus with several lodging buildings as well as an executive golf course, a salt water pool and an old west town. The old west town consists a town hall and a saloon as well as other buildings. The brewery is housed in this area of the retreat area with the saloon serving as their tap room.
It was a very small, intimate beer festival. We’re not sure of the exact attendance numbers, but there were maybe 200 attendees. This was largely by design of the folks at 2nd Shift who were looking to do something different when it comes to festivals and create an intimate setting. The smaller setting allowed unparallelled access to the participating breweries and their beers. Along with 2nd Shift several other Missouri breweries participated in the festival including: Schlafly, Six Row Brewing, Buffalo Brewing, Kirkwood Station, Ferguson Brewing, Square One Brewing, Prison Brews, Perennial Artisan Ales, 4 Hands Brewing, The Morgan Street Brewery, Tin Mill Brewing, Civil Life Brewing, Exit 6 Brewing, Charleville Vinyards and Brewery and Urban Chestnut Brewing.
The roster of breweries was really impressive for the smaller size of this festival, and most breweries brought 2 or 3 different beers for tasting. A major benefit of the smaller size was that there were never any lines and you were able to actually discuss the beers with the brewers.
As 2nd Shift might be described as being in the middle of nowhere, they offered a package through the retreat center which allowed you to book a room for the night. The package included beer festival tickets, a room for the night, as well as dinner on Saturday night and breakfast on Sunday morning. This is a great option to avoid driving, and it unexpectedly allowed us the opportunity to enjoy the full experience of this festival.
The festival ended at 5 PM and at that point, anyone not spending the night had to leave. Those who were staying the night were treated to a great dinner. Then almost everyone hit the pool, and since most breweries did not want to cart full kegs back to St. Louis, they left their kegs out and accessible throughout the evening. It was a very long night, and a complete blast. If the opportunity comes up, do not hesitate to attend this festival and be sure to spend the night for the full experience.
Some of the top beers of the day were:
Art of Neurosis IPA on Cask – 2nd Shift Brewing (New Haven, MO)
Double Red – Square One Brewing (St. Louis, MO)
Golden Pilsner – Morgan Street Brewing (St. Louis, MO)
Hefeweizen – Ferguson Brewing (St. Louis, MO)