Congratulations to everyone involved at this year’s Little Rocktoberfest, which was held Saturday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. The festival was a sweeping success based on the reactions of everyone I spoke with. Of course, beer was plentiful and delicious, in particular the Arkansas and homebrew taps. And while I tasted dozens of brews, there were a few that stood out, including Stone’s Throw’s Amadeus Vienna Lager infused with cacao nibs and vanilla, and Rebel Kettle’s Carolina Creeper, made with Carolina reaper peppers. But the beer that took my choice for best in show came from Void Cellars, a homebrew team from Fermentables in North Little Rock. Void specializes in sour brews, and the team’s Relocation Swarm just about took my breath away. Relocation Swarm is a saison that was aged and refermented with Arkansas honey, and the technical expertise on display in that pour is something I won’t forget anytime soon. The Void team has partnered with Lost Forty and Rebel Kettle on past collaborations, and it’s not hard to imagine them getting their own licensed brewing space in the future. Arkansas has some wonderfully talented brewers in the professional and amateur ranks, and Little Rocktoberfest did a great job of letting them all shine.
Another great brew I got to try at the festival was Lost Forty’s Freshcut Monday release coming later today. It’s called Blueberry Milk Money Milkshake IPA, and it’s one of the more intriguing takes on an IPA I’ve ever had. The brew team used fresh blueberries and plenty of hops for a juicy base IPA. They also used lactose, which gives the ale some sweetness and an almost creamy body. Lost Forty was pleased enough with this one to make it available in four-packs in the taproom. You can also get it by the pint, or to take home in crowlers or growlers.
Make plans this weekend to trek out to Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Company for the fall release of the progressively aged Patience Imperial Stout. Head brewer Liz Preston created this stout at the end of last year and put most of it into a barrel. Every three months, Preston releases a small portion of the batch, meaning you get to sample it at all stages of the aging process. Saturday’s pour will be a 10-month aged imperial stout. Patience is only sold in 32-ounce growlettes, and obviously the batch is quite small. By the way, the final release of Patience will be New Year’s Eve, when the stout will reach 13 months.
Rebel Kettle is calling this week’s release event a “Fruitful 4:30 Thursday” with the release of Moneymaker and Delorean Dynamite. First, Moneymaker is an orange-mango milkshake IPA, made with mango puree, orange peel, lactose, vanilla and plenty of hops. And if IPAs aren’t your thing, Delorean Dynamite is a sour wheat beer with passionfruit and guava that should be plenty juicy with plenty of tropical flavors. Both of these will be available in the taproom on Thursday. Also, beer yoga is back on for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The event is $10 and includes your first beer.
Stone’s Throw Brewing is getting in the fall spirit with a couple of seasonal ales for its #NewBrewFriday event. The first release is Pumpkin Pie Porter, a 6 percent ABV brew made with real pumpkin and blend of two malts. A little bit of spice puts the finishing touch on the aroma. The other release is a Belgian brown ale called The Liereman, a 5 percent ABV ale with some robust malty flavors. These two will be released Friday at 4 p.m. at Stone’s Throw on 9th and Rock.
And it was easy to miss, but just over a week ago, Rapp’s Barren Brewing Company opened its doors in Mountain Home. The new brewery has seven of its own creations on tap, plus a root beer for the designated driver. The name “Rapp’s Barren” comes from the moniker early settlers gave the Mountain Home area because it had few trees and the land didn’t seem fertile. The brewery has a great look to it, and I can’t wait to make the drive north and check it out.
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