Welcome to Grapes, Hops and Stops!

I started Grapes, Hops and Stops because I think people should not only eat local, but also drink local. I’m not a beer, wine or spirits certified expert, but I do have a passion for supporting local producers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

Grapes, Hops and Stops will highlight wineries, breweries, distilleries, bed and breakfasts, and other stops within 5 hours of St. Louis, Missouri. The craft beer industry is really growing in St. Louis, plus both Missouri and Illinois boast over 100 wineries each. Our goal is to educate you on the fantastic offerings local winemakers, brewers and distillers provide, plus keep you up to date on local drink news.

While it seems like local restaurants and liquor stores are increasingly carrying local craft beer, it’s my goal to also see more carry local wine and spirits. Part of the issue is that many Midwestern wine lovers are only familiar with the vinifera grapes – Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot, etc., while grapes grown in the Midwest are hybrid varietals, so they can withstand our cold winters. Another comment, I also hear is that in general people think all Midwest wine is sweet, which is far from the truth. Still not sold? Check out my Thanksgiving list of dry Missouri wines. I think with more education on what local grapes taste like, more people will request them and more establishments will carry them.

Who is Grapes, Hops and Stops?

Becca Ritz lives in Fairview Heights, Illinois with her daughter, husband, 2 dogs and three cats. When not sampling and supporting local businesses, Becca Ritz is also the owner of Bauerhaus Design.