Beerly Optimistic

Winston Churchill once said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." I believe, on average, human beings are more optimistic than not—it’s a survival strategy. I’ve always been optimistic and I’m always attracted to others who show a great amount of optimism.

...be positive.

So what is optimism in the first place? Optimism is the belief that the outcomes of events or experiences will generally be positive. Optimists view failure or negative experiences as only being temporary and ultimately surmountable. It’s this very perspective that enables optimists to identify possibilities for change and invention. To be successful in business, you need to be a dreamer and an innovator.



Recently, we were asked by the ever optimistic Visit Cape Girardeau Tourism to feature the rising microbrewery scene emerging in downtown Cape. So we went on a field trip to check things out. We were not disappointed—there’s something great brewing in Cape!



First up on our trip was Ebb and Flow Fermentations.

...back with a vengeance.

The idiom “ebb and flow” means “a recurrent pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.” Given recent events, this sure seems like a great name for a microbrewery and restaurant that is back with a vengeance.



...serving up complex culinary deliciousness...

The flavors offered at Ebb and Flow Fermentations are in constant flux. The establishment is devoted to serving up complex culinary deliciousness of historic and traditional sensibilities combined with a wide variety of modern beers. Every flavor profile is represented here: sour, dark and malty, bitter, hoppy, sweet, and exotic.

So come by and indulge in light gulping style beer paired with a savory side or meal. You might even break out one of the hundreds of board games that litter the shelves and end tables. I can think of no better way to repair one's soul than sinking into a soft sofa, sipping an unconventional but delicious brew, and munching on an over-the-top cream cheese stuffed pizza.

...what makes a great microbrewery.

With beers like Lupulin Psychedelia, an IPA brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Amarillo hops; Sour Belly: Rosa, a sour ale fruited with local plums and cherries and dry hopped with Barbe Rouge hop; or Lil Sexy, a rice lager finished in barrels with our house sour cultures and a friendly staff...what could go wrong?

We asked DeWayne Schaaf, the owner of Ebb and Flow, to fill us in on what makes a great microbrewery.


573: Tell us about you and your family.


I'm from rural Ste. Genevieve and have been in the restaurant business for thirty years, twenty-three of which have been at Celebrations in Cape Girardeau. My wife April and I were married in 2000 and have four children: Josh, Amethyst, Abby, and Sebastian. While my work kept me busy and away from the house for many years, my family and I have become a team through our work at Celebrations. Working with my children is one of the most rewarding and gratifying things that I've ever done. Seeing them grow and learn is such an amazing feeling, and we get to interact as a family at the same time! After twenty years of marriage, April is finally joining the team full-time in July. I simply cannot wait!

573: Tell us about the origins of Ebb and Flow.

Ebb and Flow had been bouncing around in my mind for over a decade. I imagined a creative and casual spot centered around conversation and music for years. I paired this inspiration with my love of honest, homemade foods and innovative, locally sourced beverages that pay homage to my rural roots. In 2018, we finally opened Ebb and Flow as a beer bar while our brewery permits were being approved. Our brewing began in March 2019, and now in 2021, we will be rounding out Fermentations with wine, cider, mead, and more. We’re also looking forward to launching a line of Baltic-inspired lagers inspired by the local agrarian traditions of Southeast Missouri.

573: The meaning of Ebb and Flow certainly has great significance in your life. Can you elaborate?


Ebb and Flow does indeed have great significance. All victories are built from previous defeats—without defeats, there are no lessons learned. Ebb and Flow takes this sentiment to heart. It is built around a seasonal concept that puts the "victories" and "defeats" front and center.

We move differently than most.

Ebb and Flow is different. Ebb and Flow changes. Ebb and Flow is a long story that we love sharing with patrons and customers. Our food and beverages vary by seasonal conditions and available produce...and this is by our own decision. Some might see this as a limitation, but we believe it pushes us to embrace possibilities that other businesses don't consider. We move differently than most.

573: Tell us about your daughter's artwork.

Amethyst designed a number of our labels. Some of my favorites are those included in the line up for our "Ma Fille" piquettes. These piquettes begin as a light beer base fermented on the skins of our Crime Scene series of beer/wine hybrids. When finished, these beers are light, refreshing, and the perfect bridge between beer and wine. The Ma Fille labels playfully represent each grape through a dynamic personality. Amethyst has done such an amazing job on them!