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        Donation to Van Buren
First published 7/14/2017 in West Plains Daily Quill

Wages Brewing Company and Southern Bank of West Plains have donated $250 each in matching funds toward Community Foundation of the Ozarks' (CFO) disaster relief for Van Buren residents. Carol Silvey accepted the funds on behalf of CFO noting that downtown Van Buren is “quite devastated.”

From left: Wages Brewing Company head brewer Aym Fischer, Southern Bank representatives Melinda Hanshaw and Zac McNett, Silvey, bank representative Weston Gant and brewery owner Phil Wages. (CS)


https://showmeoz.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/wages.png       Brewing Up Opportunities
By Jill Henderson
First published 7/12/2017 in Show Me Oz as seen in Acres USA July 2017 issue

It’s early Monday morning and head brewer Amy Fischer is standing on a step ladder in the back room of Wages Brewing Company carefully stirring a steaming vat of barley and wheat mash that will soon be fermented into a tasty batch of Whatknot Ale. After years of practicing and perfecting the craft of small-batch brewing at home, owner and brewer Phil Wages and his wife, Amber, officially opened their brewery and taproom in the small rural community of West Plains, Missouri, in early 2017. With an official population of just below 12,000 people, the last business most residents expected to pop up in town was a brewery, but for Phil Wages, it was the perfect opportunity. PDF

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      A Brewery, A Food Truck, and Live Music to Benefit Flood Victims
First published 6/14/2017

WEST PLAINS, MO – Wages Brew Company (WBCo) announced on the social media website, Facebook, that they are hosting a fundraising event on Friday, June 23rd from 5 to 9 PM to benefit Van Buren, Missouri flood victims. The music is from 7 to 9 PM with no cover charge.

The evening took shape soon after singer Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave) passed away earlier this year. "I grew up on grunge rock music - as did many people my age - and I wanted to put together a tribute show for all of the tragic heroes of the genre. I knew that local musician Chris Coats was the perfect person to perform this show, and he brought in Will Brotherton to help - a perfect match, and together they have prepared a 'Grunge Tribute Show'", said owner, Phil Wages.

Wages adds, "We then quickly scheduled The Lemonade House Grille food truck (featuring gourmet hamburgers and handmade lemonades) of Van Buren to serve at our taproom during the show. I then put two and two together and I figured we could do a little fundraising while Lemonade House Grille is at our taproom to benefit their home town." He learned that Southern Bank has a fund set-up for victims of flooding in Van Buren, so he called the West Plains branch of the bank and they graciously agreed to do matching donations up to $250.

WBCo will be donating 10% of their sales plus all their bar tips during the event, and The Lemonade House Grille and the band will both be donating portions of their proceeds as well. Wages adds, "There are two ways people can help", and he elaborated:

1) You can walk directly into any branch of Southern Bank and say "I've heard there's a flood relief account for Van Buren. I'd like to contribute to that. Who do I talk to?"

2) Attend the special event at the WBCo taproom on June 23rd from 5 to 9 PM, simply make a purchase with us and the Lemonade House Grille, and you'll automatically be helping out. Take a step further and toss some cash into our tip jar. And remember, all proceeds collected up to $250 will be doubled by Southern Bank! How cool is that?

Wages adds, "I look forward to our community coming together on this evening to help out our neighbors in Van Buren. Our team at the brewery continues to seek more ways we can help West Plains and other communities in the Ozarks hurt by the flooding. If anyone knows of additional ways to donate and help, please contact me at phil (at) wagesbrewco (dot) com or send a PM to the brewery on Facebook. We hope to do more at the brewery as more opportunities arise."


       NPR Interview: "Craft Breweries Popping Up Across the Rural Bible Belt"
First published 3/2/2017

by Jennifer Moore for NPR

WEST PLAINS, MO - First interview Phil did with NPR!

http://ksmu.org/post/craft-breweries-popping-across-rural-bible-belt


       Small Town Brewery Plans Big Grand Opening
First published 1/28/2017

WEST PLAINS, MO – Wages Brew Company (WBCo), West Plains’ first and only microbrewery and taproom located near Heroes Coffee in the East Towne Village, will be having their grand opening event on Saturday, January 28th (preceded by a Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting on Friday, January 27th at 4:30 PM). This event is free and open to the public and includes live music, extended hours, scheduled brewery tours, and a food truck.

Wages Brewing began its journey when owner Phil Wages took an Operation JumpStart class at OzSBI in 2011. After five years of planning and fundraising, they held their soft opening on August 27th, 2016. Mr. Wages says, “Now that we have ‘learned the ropes’, we are happy to announce our official grand opening. We’ve been slowing building up to this, and with our recent taproom expansion [the taproom nearly doubled in size in November], we are able to add live music and can accommodate larger gatherings, so it just seems like now is the right time to open our doors to a larger audience.”

Normally open from 12 to 7 PM on Saturdays, WBCo will extend their hours to 9 PM for the January 28th grand opening event so that three musical acts can perform kicking off with Phil Orlikowski and H2O (brothers Brian and David Haenke) from 1 to 3 PM followed by Luke Hershenson from 4 to 6 PM and ending the night with the energetic Creek Stink from 7 to 9 PM. “These groups are all pretty different in terms of their sound which reflects the differences in the ales we make here at our brewery”, explains Mr. Wages, “and I think that’s pretty cool because we aim to provide that place where people of all walks of life can come together, like an old-school neighborhood pub, a neutral zone.”

But there’s nothing neutral about Wages’ beers. In the 4 months they’ve been open, they’ve released beers that range from the smooth and easy drinking Whatknot Ale to more adventurous beers made with ingredients like blood orange, dandelions, local blackberries, seeds of paradise, and even chipotle peppers! “Our goal has always been to have fun and be creative. Craft beer is all about experimentation, and we’re fortunate to have our crazy ideas received so well by so many in such a short period of time,” said Mr. Wages. “We look forward to sharing extra special releases at our grand opening, some of which will be in extremely short supply. And hint, yes, we will be bringing back the Blood Orange Whatknot!”

Also at their grand opening event will be Bootleggers BBQ food truck which previously served at Wages Brewing on New Year’s Eve. Their chef made a beer cheese dip with Wages’ top selling Landlocked IPA and paired it with freshly made warm pretzels. Mr. Wages says, “As of right now, we don’t know what special food they will be making, but you can be sure of at least one extra special dish that mingles our beer with Bootleggers’ menu.”

“Please be sure to drink responsibly,” encouraged Mr. Wages. “We also make our own handcrafted sodas from scratch, and we’ll be sure to have plenty on hand so that designated drivers can enjoy a beverage too.” In the past, WBCo has made Cream Soda, Cherry Soda, and Elderberry Cream Soda, and they’ve hinted that Ginger Ale may be available for the grand opening.

Wages Brewing has quickly become known for working locally, buying ingredients at the West Plains’ Farmer’s Market and D&D Produce as well as only carrying local wines (currently from McCullough House Winery from Thayer, MO), so it seems only fitting they have all local musicians and local food as the centerpiece of their January 28th grand opening. Mr. Wages’ work shirt has embroidered on it, “Purveyor of Puns”, so it comes as no surprise that he closed with, “It’s going to a lot of pun!”


       Brew Con One: Beer and Comics
First published 1/1/2017

WEST PLAINS, MO – In keeping with their goal of holding unique events, Wages Brew Company (WBCo), located near Heroes Coffee in the East Towne Village, will be hosting the free admission event “Brew Con One: Beer and Comics” in their taproom on Tuesday, January 17th from 5 to 8 PM.

“My goal is to bring together various passions of mine”, said founder Phil Wages. “And one of my guilty pleasures – aside from craft beer of course – is nerdy things like comic books, and I think hosting Brew Con one is going to be a lot of fun!” He went on to explain that Brew Con One is the first in a planned series of mini conventions he plans to host at WBCo. Future ones will carry other themes such as video games and role playing games (RPGs).

For Brew Con One, the focus is comic books. Brewery owner Phil Wages and Dragon’s Gate Comics (owned by Chris Roll, located in Mammoth Spring) will be there offering comic books for sale and trade. “But it’s not only comics”, said Wages. “We’re doing happy hour pricing for those who dress cosplay because we want to encourage people to get out and socialize. We’re also pleased that local authors Nicole Tillman and Nicholas Haring will have tables set up.” As of this writing, local artist Nikki Hergesheimer is also signed up and will be offering her handmade coasters featuring nerd themed art.

“Not everyone knows this, but in addition to making our own beers, we also make handmade sodas like our current Elderberry Cream Soda, so designated drivers and teens accompanied by parents are encouraged to come too”, said Wages. “All in all, attendees can expect a safe and fun atmosphere to have some social drinks, meet likeminded people, and experience a convention like no other.”

Wages encourages other local artists and authors to contact him via Facebook or email to phil (at) wagesbrewco (dot) com to get involved.


       Local Brewery Crowdfunds Start-Up
June 25, 2015

WEST PLAINS, MO - Wages Brew Company (WBCo) of West Plains has launched a fundraising drive with a twist as its next step toward opening doors later this year. “Founding Memberships” are being sold to raise $10,000 by July 1 that will enable the fledgling company to access further financing via a small business loan, said owner Phil Wages, who describes this approach as “crowdfunding like Kickstarter, but in person.”

Kickstarter is an online fundraising venue in which startups offer a sampling of their offerings to financial “backers” who pledge to contribute donations of a certain amount of money toward a project. In a similar vein, WBCo is offering unique benefits to supporters of WBCo's opening.

Wages said this current fundraiser is part of a much larger fundraising effort. Ultimately, he said, the goal is to raise a total of $20,000 by September 1. “That's for an opening with more equipment so we can supply more beer to more people,” he said, adding that “for those who want to have a greater level of involvement, we have pieces of equipment to sponsor which will make our opening that much more spectacular.”

WBCo consists of Wages, co-owner and wife Amber, and brewing team members Nathan Burch and Aym Fischer.

*This story was picked up by Ozark Radio Network originally airing on June 2, 2015!


       Logo Design Contest Connects Craft Brewery To Community
March 13, 2015

WEST PLAINS, Missouri, March 7, 2015 - Many people think craft beer is defined by their use of unorthodox ingredients to create new and original flavors. While this is true, it's only a small part of the picture. Their ingenuity translates into so much more. Wages Brewing Company, West Plains, Mo., illustrated this best when they used an innovative approach to come up with their company's logo: an art design contest.

"We are a very small operation known as a 'nano-brewery' preparing to open our doors later this year", said owner/founder Phil Wages, "and we don't have our sights on opening a giant production facility to send our beers to the far corners of the world." He admitted he wouldn't resist it if the public demanded. "Instead, we are focused on our community [in West Plains], and we have a strong desire to do as much locally as possible. For instance, we are developing a persimmon beer with locally harvested persimmons, and we're working with local farmers to supply us with some heirloom, non-GMO corn, and we've got a lot more ideas to bring to fruition."

"Keeping with our desire to be as local as possible, we decided we didn't want to just hire a graphics firm to design our logo." Wages explained, "We felt the people of the Ozarks would have a unique approach similar to our own. So we came up with a contest to have artists from the Ozarks submit logo designs to us. I have to admit; I was extremely nervous. But in the end, we found our winner in Dee Ann Lange, the owner of Dog Gone Creative, out of Kirkwood, Mo."

Wages went on to say those nerves were put to rest when the submissions came pouring in. In all, 20 designers submitted over 200 designs during the one month contest. He says, "Once the submission deadline passed, we were like 'How are we going to choose!?'". He and his team spent an entire month picking the winning design. "It was so difficult because at least five or six of the logos were wonderful in their own right. But in the end, there could be only one. I tell you, Dee Ann had submitted something like 50 or so variations of the same concept. I thought for sure she was going to quit because of my intensity, but she was a pure joy to work with!"

"Dee Ann Lange's winning design conveyed everything we wanted including having a modern feel while expressing our rough around the edges approach" Wages expounded, "The fingerprint really secured it for me. It shows we're putting our mark on this brewery, and really, our whole community." Dee Ann received a prize including $500 cash as well as an assortment of brewery merchandise and VIP attendance to a future special event.

Craft brewers continue to innovate with grassroots approaches like Wages Brewing Company's recent logo contest. Wages said, "Craft beer isn't just about me or you or beer in general. It's about all of that, but most importantly, about love and passion. Otherwise, what's the point?"

Wages Brewing Company is looking to open around late summer or fall this year.

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