Welcome to Growlers: your weekly roundup of news, events and specials from Little Rock’s breweries and taprooms. Little Rock’s beer scene is growing and improving at a rapid pace, and we’re dedicated to keeping you up to speed on all of it. Here’s what’s happening this week:
The big beer event this week is the Great Arkansas Beer Festival at the Statehouse Convention Center on Saturday starting at 5:30. More than 100 breweries from Arkansas and around the country will be on hand to let you taste close to 400 beers. You can still buy advance tickets for $30; they will be $40 at the door.
Fans of sour beers (including me) should head downtown this month to check out the new Cherry Poppins at Damgoode Brews. This Belgian-style sour brown ale is brewed with tart cherries to increase the pucker factor. It’s also packing a robust 7.1% ABV, though it isn’t very bitter at all. Damgoode calls this one of the best sours that brewmaster Josh Quattlebaum has ever made.
Speaking of fruit-infused beer, get to Lost Forty today for the brewery’s latest Fresh Cut release. This week, it’s the Cave City watermelon saison, made with watermelons harvested in Cave City, Arkansas, which are some of the sweetest you can find. Lost Forty only made 13 gallons of this light treat, so if you want a taste, today is the day. No growlers or cans are available.
We’re pleased to add Hot Springs breweries to our Growlers feature this week. Bubba Brews is releasing its special Pit Boss peach hefeweizen, which was a collaboration with Stone’s Throw Brewing for the Block on Rock party this past Saturday. Bubba Brews used more than a pound of Arkansas peaches per gallon in this hefe. It is available at both of Bubba Brews taprooms and a few restaurants in the Hot Springs area. Also, Bubba Brews is planning on releasing its Oktoberfest around September 1.
Also in the Spa City, Superior Bathhouse has its DeSoto En Fuego jalapeño golden stout on tap this week.. The En Fuego is a spiced version of its standard DeSoto’s Folly beer. Superior is also brewing up a light saisaon with lavender and citrus that should be ready in the next couple of weeks. Don’t forget, you can always find Superior Bathhouse beer on tap at The Ohio Club down the street.
Rebel Kettle has a couple of new brews for your enjoyment this week. Its Growler Tuesday promotion is the Border Patrol, a salsa-inspired ale brewed with cilantro, lime and three different peppers. That beer will only be available in growlers (though they will let you sample it first). And Rebel Kettle’s 4:30 Thursday beer this week is called Blonde Ambition. This is an intensely dry-hopped blonde ale made with Citra and Kohatu hops.
Flyway Brewing is spending the week preparing for its fall seasonals. The brewery has begun brewing a pumpkin ale that will be ready sometime during football season. Also, Flyway has increased its distribution of its 22-ounce bottles, so look for them at your neighborhood liquor store.
And finally, The Water Buffalo is just a step away from getting its own brewery started. Buffalo Brewing Company this week passed its final inspection from the Arkansas Department of Health, earning its retail food establishment certificate. All that is left now is for the federal government to certify the brewery, which could take days or weeks.
Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at email@example.com.