The city of Little Rock has a new brewery, and for the first time, there’s a local brewer west of University Ave. Buffalo Brewing Company at The Water Buffalo has all of its necessary permits and certifications to begin brewing beer right now. You can expect Buffalo Brewing to hold its grand opening around the beginning of October. For those who aren’t familiar, The Water Buffalo is a retailer that sells supplies to make beer, among other foodstuffs, meaning the onsite brewery is a natural extension of the company’s existing business.
The Water Buffalo owner Nolen Buffalo gave me a tour of the new brewhouse this week. It’s in a small building on the back of The Water Buffalo’s store. At only half a barrel, this is the smallest brewery in town, though Buffalo says expansion is likely in the coming months. Buffalo Brewing Company will start out making four of its own beers on a regular basis. Three of them will be flagship brews: a stout, a pale ale and a red ale. The fourth will rotate regularly and will feature recipes based on homebrewing kits sold in The Water Buffalo.
“We’re going to use the brewery as a learning tool,” says Buffalo. “Mostly, when people come in, and this happens regularly, they want to brew a batch but they don’t know what they want to make. So we’ll start them in the taproom, tasting this and that, seeing what they like. And that will be a learning tool for us.”
In addition, Buffalo will open the brewery to gypsy brewers who can come in and use the licensed equipment to make their own batches. Expect to see some beer from up-and-coming brewers like Blood Eagle Brewing Company in the future.
Buffalo Brewing beer will be sold in a small taproom inside The Water Buffalo along with beers from around Arkansas. Buffalo says he will be selling pints and growlers of Stone’s Throw, Flyway, Lost 40, Blue Canoe, Bubba Brews and Superior Bathhouse. In addition, the taproom will be the first time beer from Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co. and 501 Brewing will be available for sale in Little Rock, which should make diehard beer fans very happy. 501 Brewing will be available for sale on opening day, while Prestonrose is planned for this winter.
Speaking of, Buffalo did not have a grand opening set in stone just yet. However, he is planning some soft open events starting in a few weeks In addition, The Water Buffalo will be expanding its evening hours during the week and Saturday, and will be open on Sundays. Expect to see those new hours take effect soon to give Buffalo and his staff time to adjust to the new business. The Water Buffalo will announce its opening day activities over the next few weeks, so keep checking Rock City Eats for the latest information on Little Rock’s newest brewery.