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A March 30 Facebook post by White River Brewing Co. invites customers to come drink with John “Buz” Hosfield.
Photo courtesy White River Brewing Co.
A March 30 Facebook post by White River Brewing Co. invites customers to come drink with John “Buz” Hosfield.

White River Brewing owner dies

Posted online

Last edited 8:39 a.m., July 10, 2019

The owner of White River Brewing Co., one of the city’s early players in the burgeoning craft beer scene, has died.

Wade Bridges, an employee at Adams Funeral Home in Ozark, said John “Buz” Hosfield died March 25. Bridges, who was unsure about the cause of death, said Hosfield is scheduled to be cremated and that no funeral arrangements have been set. Christian County Coroner Mandi Armitage confirmed Hosfield’s death, noting he was in his 70s and had an “extensive cardiac history.”

Stacey Uchtman, head brewer at White River Brewing, said Hosfield’s out-of-state family members aren’t currently releasing details. White River's Facebook page on March 30 posted a picture of Hosfield next to a beer stein, with the message, “Come and drink a ‘Gravel Bar’ with Buz!”

“We’re going to keep operating,” Uchtman said of plans for the Commercial Street brewery.

Hosfield launched White River Brewing in 2012 at 505 W. Commercial St., its current home.

At the time, only Springfield Brewing Co. and 2011 startup Mother’s Brewing Co. operated in the market.

The local craft beer scene has since grown in popularity with the additions of Tie & Timber Beer Co., 4 by 4 Brewing Co. LLC, Lost Signal Brewing Co., Great Escape Beer Works LLC and Show-Me Brewing. Hold Fast Brewing is planning a summer launch at a former fire station downtown.

White River ranked third on Springfield Business Journal’s 2019 list of the area’s largest breweries, published Feb. 25. White River reported 1,500 barrels produced in 2018.

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