Growlers: Hot Springs Craft Beer Weekend, Big Brewer Moves, Stone’s Throw Grand Opening

There’s plenty of beer news to go around this week, starting with the sprawling, three-day event that is the Hot Springs Craft Beer Weekend. It starts Friday with the Five-Beer 5k run through downtown Hot Springs, then picks up Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. with the Hot Springs Craft Beer Festival. Last year the festival saw more than a thousand people enjoy pours from dozens of vendors and plenty of food. And finally, Sunday morning will see the Hot Springs Beer Brunch with plenty of beer-themed food to help with any lingering ailments from the night before. Tickets are on sale now; it’s $35 for the Saturday festival and $25 for the beer brunch. The Five-Beer 5k is $45 and includes your admission to the festival. Designated driver tickets are also available.

A major shift in personnel for two breweries happened this week when associate brewer Mark Sniff left Flyway Brewing to join John Lee and Josh Davis at Rebel Kettle Brewing Company. Sniff, whom we featured in a story last year, is also one of the minds behind sour homebrewers Void Cellars and is widely considered one of the more creative brewers in Arkansas. To fill the position left by Sniff, Flyway has in turn hired Nathan Greubel, himself a former homebrewer and the former head brewer at Diamond Bear Brewing Company. We also featured Greubel when he worked at Diamond Bear. It will be interesting to see how Greubel continues and expands upon the special projects Sniff had started at Flyway and what Sniff brings to the experimental, technical team at Rebel Kettle.

And lastly on the news front, Stone’s Throw Brewing is officially opening its Stifft Station taproom on Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. The taproom will be closed on Mondays, open during the dinner hours during the week, noon until 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. There are 20 taps available, and Stone’s Throw has lined up some food trucks to take care of food. You can also get takeout from The Oyster Bar down the street and bring it over. Of course, Stone’s Throw will continue its business at the MacPark location. This week’s #NewBrewFriday there is the Eureka Pale Ale, a single-hop brew inspired by the Eureka SMASH (single malt and single hop) Stone’s Throw released last year. Eureka Pale Ale goes on tap at MacPark at 4 p.m. Friday.

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I stopped by Lost Forty yesterday for a glass of today’s Freshcut Monday, and can attest it is well worth your time to check out. It’s called Tigre Suave Tamarind Chile Lime Wild Ale, and it’s the latest in Lost Forty’s essential Wild Barrels Project. This one starts with a base of Easy Tiger Mexican Lager, barrel-ages it and throws in a bunch of flavor. Tamarind pods, fresh lime juice and chile peppers give this mixed-culture sour range and depth, and Lost Forty’s brew team does a beautiful job of keep everything in balance. Tigre Suave is only available on draft; if it had been in bottles, there would be two on my shelf right now.

Rebel Kettle is gearing up for its third birthday party in a couple of weeks. Beer and Loathing in Little Rock is always one of the year’s best events, and we can’t wait to tell you more about it next week. For this week, Rebel Kettle is making the 11th Block of its C Street IPA series a regular menu item with the release of Juice Generator IPA. It’s brewed with flaked barley, oats and wheat for a velvety texture, while Amarillo, Azacca and El Dorado hops give the brew its hazy, juicy profile. Juice Generator IPA goes on tap for Rebel Kettle’s 4:30 Thursday event this week.

Do you have any beer news to share with us? Email steveshuler@gmail.com.

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Growlers: Hot Springs Craft Beer Weekend, Big Brewer Moves, Stone’s Throw Grand Opening