A man dumps dried grains into a large hopper to brew beer.


On any given night inside The Jolly Fox Brewery, there are stories to share. People at the bar, talking, enjoying a craft beer, enjoying an evening in Downtown Pittsburg.

Owner Joel Stewart likes to join the chats, learn about his customers, hear their stories. 

“This one time, I met this couple from Kansas City,” he said. “They were sitting at the bar drinking the bourbon barrel age we had on tap. They ended up telling me that they drove down here just to try that beer. They got a hotel room for the night and planned to eat at Harry’s the next morning.”

Together, they have made Pittsburg the craft beer capital of the region.

That’s the power of beer. Good beer. Craft beer. 

And Pittsburg now has plenty of it.

Two craft breweries have opened in Downtown Pitt in the past couple years, and combined they have completely changed the beer game in town. Jolly Fox and Drop the H Brewing Company, separated by just one city block, have given Pittsburg residents and those from out of town new options for a night out.

Stewart opened Jolly Fox at 301 S. Broadway. Cathy and Mark McClain, opened Drop the H at 107 E. Rose inside the old Durant Auto building.

Together, they have made Pittsburg the craft beer capital of the region.

A small flight of beers is shown, the closest glass bears the logo of Jolly Fox Brewery.

“And what goes better with cold beer than hot, fresh pizza?”

A wooden serving platter with a heat-branded logo of Drop the H brewing sits atop a table as a patron grabs a beer.

“It’s one thing to have a beer,” Mark McClain said, “but it’s quite another to have a really good craft beer. Our goal with Drop the H was to provide a true craft beer experience for the people in Pittsburg and in the surrounding areas.”

Along with beer, both serve different types of food. Jolly Fox serves what Stewart describes as “upscale bar food”, while Drop the H specializes in brick oven craft pizza.

“If you’re going to sit down for a nice beer, you might as well enjoy a nice meal with it,” McClain said. “And what goes better with cold beer than hot, fresh pizza?”

Craft beer can enhance a community.

Nationwide, craft beer has been at the core of reviving small communities like Pittsburg. There are stories of breweries and taprooms opening up across the country in small and mid-size cities. While the patrons certainly enjoy a good beer, the community aspect is just as important.

“A brewery is a very community-based business,” Stewart said. “It’s a place where people can come out and relax and be around each other. They can sit in here or sit on the patio and just enjoy being in town.”

McClain said he’s seen firsthand how craft beer can enhance a community.

“Beer brings people together, it really does,” he said. “Friends, family, coworkers. It’s all about enjoying time together and making the most of each moment.”

The new craft beer scene has also helped cement Pittsburg’s draw as a tourist destination.

“We’re right in the middle of several bigger cities,” Stewart said. “Those people want to get out of town sometimes, and we’ve heard from many people who now come to Pittsburg to check us out. I just had a guy from Springfield call me to ask if we had our sour on tap because that’s his favorite beer. He wanted to get out of the city, come down here and have a couple pints.”