|Bias Winery is a small, family-owned winery that was established by Jim and Norma Bias in 1980. In June, 2004, Kirk and Carol Grass became the new owners.
"We were very involved patrons of the winery," says Carol. She and Kirk had been loyal customers since moving to New Haven, Missouri, from St. Louis in 1991. At that time a friend gave the Grasses a tour of the area wineries. "When we saw the Bias sign, that was it. We fell in love with the place," she says. It was the place they would go to relax and unwind, and drink Carol's favorite wine, Jubilee Red. Jubilee Red continues to be one of the best-selling wines at Bias Winery, but the most popular these days is Strawberry Weisser Fleider.
While many of the patrons were sad to see the winery change hands, the Grasses have promised to keep it the same as it has always been. "That's the reason we bought it," says Carol. "To preserve it just as it is." Jim Bias stops by nearly every day and is involved in showing Kirk and Carol the ropes. Carol says there is a mutual respect among them. Loyal staff members remain at the winery.
When Jim's daughter and son-in-law started Gruhlke's Microbrewery in 1998, Kirk was there to help. With the addition of the microbrewery, Bias became the first in Missouri, second in the nation, to operate as a winery and microbrewery combined. Kirk continues the beer-making operation. There are always 4 microbrews and 3 domestics available at any given time, but the brewery produces and rotates 14 different beers depending on the season. Beer is sold by the glass only. In addition, old-fashioned rootbeer is available for non-drinkers and those who are under 21. Not everyone likes wine, but people still will visit Bias Winery because of the beer offering. "This is one winery they can settle on. And, that's a big bonus," explains Carol. "We appeal to both beer and wine tastes."
In addition to tasting beer and any of the 14 wines produced at the winery, guests can stroll in the 9 acres of vineyards that are just 600 feet from the front door, enjoy a picnic at the pond or on the arbor covered patio, take a tram ride through the 64 acres when weather permits, or participate in many of the special events held at the winery. Saturday night buffet dinners are held monthly by reservation, and the Grasses are introducing meals on Sundays. A children's menu is available. The winery has a large party room with a fireplace that is open to the public. After hours it may be rented for private parties for up to 75 guests.
The winery is open year round with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. During daylight savings time, hours are from 10-6 Monday through Saturday and 11-6 on Sunday. Closing time during standard time is 5. To get to Bias Winery, travel east from Hermann about seven miles on Highway 100 to Route B. Turn left to Berger, stay on Route B for 1 1/2 miles, and watch for the sign. For information call 573-834-5475, or visit the website at www.biaswinery.com.