Relax and Have Fun at Prison Brews Brewpub

in Jefferson City, Missouri

Found in Missouri’s historic district, just two blocks from the old Missouri State Penitentiary, Prison Brews provides the perfect opportunity to break out of the ordinary and have some fun!

Prison Brews is a themed brewpub just a couple of blocks from the original Missouri State Penitentiary, which opened in 1836 during the same month as the Alamo happened in Texas.

The “pen” was decommissioned in 2004 when the prisoners were all moved to a new facility, leaving the more than century-and-a-half jail to take on a new purpose. Indeed, the “bloodiest 47 acres in America” are now open for visitors to tour, search for ghosts, even sit in the gas chambers themselves.

Prison Brews brewpub in Jefferson City, Missouri.


Although Prison Brews is situated in Jefferson City’s historic east side, the building is somewhat newer than the Penitentiary, since it’s circa 1895.

While the brewpub is now home to the whole brewing operation of the business, its early life was a little closer to the farm, if you know what I mean, since one of its early owners was a blacksmith and wagon maker. The large facility attracted businesses like a creamery and dairy later on, until it was eventually purchased and opened as a brewpub in 2008.

Appetizers at Prison Brews
Prison Brews glass of beer
Statue inside Prison Brews

Inside Prison Brews

Prison Brews carries its theme throughout the brewpub, with jail bars around the booths and to separate areas. Even the restrooms have been included with an hilarious sign that reads: Gas Chambers!

The outside patio is great on a nice evening and has the advantage of letting you watch everyone playing bocce ball. Prison Brews partnered with the local Kiwanis Club to organize a 32-team non-profit league that raises funds for local children’s activities.

On Tap at Prison Brews

The menu at Prison Brews is one of its biggest attractions, especially if you’re a writer who loves to play with words like I do. Here, for example, is a list of their brews on tap:

  • Go to Jail Ale – a light ale that was my favorite
  • Rapsheet Raspberry – my second favorite, a full flavored beer
  • Big House IPA – while I don’t usually enjoy dark beers, this strong flavored beer didn’t have a bitter taste
  • Deathrow Oatmeal Stout – again, I’m not a stout drinker, but the caramel taste was quite appealing
  • You’ll also find Big Yard Belgian Blonde, Class “A” Amber, I Aint Your Honey Wheat, and Prison Town Brown
Prison Brews pub in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Getting There

Prison Brews is in Jefferson City, Missouri, on 305 Ash Street
Online at: Prison Brews

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I visited Prison Brews as a guest of the Missouri Division of Tourism at

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