Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

This site is archival. Please visit the current MIZZOU magazine site for up-to-date content.

Alumni Profile

Burkemper’s brew

Stu Burkemper

Stu Burkemper, BS Ag ’07, makes suds at the O’Fallon (Mo.) Brewery. It uses local ingredients and sells to area restaurants and stores.

Stu Burkemper started brewing in college. He wanted to save a little money and make a quality product. His interest grew, and after a summer internship with O’Fallon Brewery and training with the Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy, Burkemper, BS Ag ’07, of Moscow Mills, Mo., landed a dream job.

“It’s good to wake up and not be grumpy about going to work,” Burkemper says. “When you can produce something, there is a real satisfaction.” He started as a delivery driver for O’Fallon Brewery, but after a year he got what he was waiting for: the chance to become a brewer.

But it’s not all fun and games. “People don’t realize how much cleaning we do,” Burkemper says. “Ninety percent of the week is cleaning and sanitizing.” O’Fallon is a fairly traditional brewery. “We stir by hand, scrape out mash by hand,” Burkemper says. “We are using some modern technology, but we’re not far from techniques that have been used for hundreds of years.”

Making efforts to keep things local, O’Fallon gets most of its barley from the Midwest. It also likes selling local. “We want to be in local restaurants,” Burkemper says. “They’re in our backyard, and we’re in theirs. It just makes sense.”

Burkemper doesn’t say breweries are recession proof, but they are recession resistant. “My dad told me people drink when they’re happy and when they’re sad.” But Burkemper is far from sad. “I’d like to keep doing this; it’s a lot of fun.” — Josh Chittum