This past month, two microbreweries have opened along Route 66 despite the economic turmoil and disruptions created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — a sign of hope if there ever was one.
Wally Kennedy, a writer at the Joplin Globe, noted that ray of sunshine amid the clouds during a recent column:
So when something really cool happens in our community, especially during this pandemic, it’s a big deal. The recent opening of the Chaos Brewing Co., 112 S. Main St., is something to be upbeat about.
I recently visited the craft brewery on a Saturday night. I parked in the lot behind the bar and entered through the back doors. The place was hopping with activity, but people were wearing masks and doing a good job of distancing. As long as you do those things in public, you are doing about the best you can to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus. Free masks were available at the door.
I ordered a Kaos pale ale for $6. It had a little body to it, but it was so refreshing. Other brews on tap are the Margarita Blonde, Aspirant (kolsch), Bearded Brewista (hazelnut coffee milk stout), Gekkenhuis (farmhouse with raspberries) and Blackout (a black IPA). If you don’t like those choices, you can order a glass of wine or a mixed drink. The bar manager is Daniel Valentine, one of the best mixers in town.
Kennedy reported the brewery doesn’t serve food, but Hubba’s Hideout Taco and Tiki Bar down the street or nearby Blackthorn Pizza & Pub deliver there. The brewery’s opening made a huge impact on sales at Hubba’s, according to an employee at the restaurant.
Chaos Brewing sits on the Main Street alignment of Route 66 in downtown Joplin.
Earlier this month, I went to 1865 Brewing Co. at 551 Historic Route 66 on the west side of Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
It had several beers on tap, including a good IPA and an in-house, easy-drinking Mexican lager. It had guest taps from Sierra Blanca Brewing Co. down the road in Moriarty.
We chatted with one of the gregarious co-owners of the brewery, who has longstanding ties to the area.
The brewery elected to close its patio to customers after the state tightened restrictions on restaurants and breweries because of a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Though 1865 Brewing Co. could have kept its patio open, it stated on a Facebook post it is “committed to keeping our community safe, even if it means limiting our operations to a standard that exceeds our Governor’s orders.”
It stated customers in the interim still could get beer to go by filling growlers.
(Image of a flight at Chaos Brewing Co. in Joplin, Missouri, via Facebook)